Senate Dem: Trump has to stop ‘reckless’ language on North Korea

Senate Dem: Trump has to stop ‘reckless’ language on North Korea
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Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyElection Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage Senate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Dems damp down hopes for climate change agenda MORE (D-Mass.) on Thursday said the Trump administration should end its “reckless” rhetoric on North Korea, calling for “urgent diplomacy” and “tightening sanctions” in the face of Pyongyang’s aggressive posture.

During a segment on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Markey argued that the language coming from Trump administration officials is likely to push North Korea to continue its nuclear development. 

“I think first, they have to stop the reckless, dangerous, scary language which they are using,” Markey said in the interview.

“When [Defense] Secretary [James] Mattis says that if North Korea doesn’t stop that it could lead to the destruction of its people, it could lead to regime change, that’s exactly what they’re most concerned about and will most likely lead to them continuing to test nuclear weapons and [intercontinental ballistic missile] capacity.”


Markey’s concerns come after the president earlier this week said North Korea will face “fire and fury" should it threaten the United States. Trump has received criticism from Democrats over the statement, with some lawmakers arguing such language will not help ease tensions between Washington, D.C., and North Korea.

“This good cop, bad cop that [Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson and Mattis are playing, along with the president, it really comes off more like Keystone Cops,” Markey continued, referring to the bungling policemen from a series of silent films in the 1910s.

“There’s no coherent strategy which should include urgent diplomacy with even tight, ever tightening sanctions around North Korea, much tougher even than the United Nations passed.”

A State Department spokeswoman on Wednesday pushed back against criticism that top administration officials have struck different tones on North Korea, saying the entire Trump administration is “speaking with one voice.”