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Dems to introduce bill barring Trump from preemptive strikes without Congress approval

Dems to introduce bill barring Trump from preemptive strikes without Congress approval
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyKabul attack spurs fears over fate of Afghan women as US exits Sen. Murphy calls for Yemen's Houthis to accept ceasefire following trip to Middle East US, Iran signal possible breakthroughs in nuke talks MORE (D-Conn.) said Wednesday that he and two other Democratic senators will introduce a bill barring President Trump from launching a preemptive strike on North Korea without congressional consent.

In a string of tweets, Murphy said that the bill would aim to prevent the president from carrying out a strike — either "nuclear or conventional" — unless Congress first approves such a measure.

"Trump's North Korea threats are real. I will intro bill w brianschatz & CoryBooker to prohibit any preemptive action w/o vote by Congress," Murphy tweeted, referring to Sens. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzDemocrats face big headaches on Biden's T spending plan Democrats introduce bill to give hotels targeted relief Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap MORE (D-Hawaii) and Cory BookerCory BookerPolice reform talks hit familiar stumbling block Almost 20 advocacy groups team up to pressure Congress to pass health care bill for immigrants Biden adds pressure to congressional talks with self-imposed deadlines MORE (D-N.J.).

He warned that such a strike "could kill hundreds of thousands" of people on the Korean Peninsula, and urged Republican lawmakers to back the measure to constrain Trump's "most dangerous power – to make war." 

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Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have risen to new heights in recent months, as the North has stepped up the pace of its missile tests and tested what its government claimed was a hydrogen bomb. 

Trump has engaged in an ongoing war of words with North Korea, and has repeatedly threatened military action against the country if it continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions and to make threats against the U.S. and its allies in the region.

In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly last month, Trump warned that the U.S. would "totally destroy" North Korea if it continued its threats.

Trump will travel to China next month, where he is expected to press President Xi Jinping to ramp up pressure on North Korea to curb its weapons programs, Reuters reported this week.

China is North Korea's only major ally, and Trump has said that Beijing should do more to rein in the reclusive country.