The United States could “go to war” with North Korea if it does not stop launching missiles and conducting nuclear tests, says Senator Lindsey Graham.
The remarks by Graham, a longstanding Republican hawk and ally of President Donald Trump, came after Pyongyang said Wednesday it successfully launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
“If we have to go to war to stop this, we will,” the South Carolina senator said during an interview with CNN. “We would win it but a lot of people would get hurt and killed.”
“If there’s a war with North Korea it will be because North Korea brought it on itself,” he said, noting, “We’re headed toward a war if things don’t change.”
Pyongyang launched a new type of ICBM, called the “Hwasong-15,” which flew high into space for 53 minutes before landing near Japan in the early hours of Wednesday morning local time, according to a statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
It said the missile, which reached an altitude of 4,475 kilometers, higher than any previous missile fired by Pyongyang, is capable of reaching anywhere in the United States
Graham also said that war is not the best option, but added that he would not let Kim Jong-un develop the ability to strike America’s mainland.
“I don’t want a war. He (Trump) doesn’t want a war,” Graham said. “But we’re not going to let this crazy man in North Korea have the capability to hit the homeland.”
Shortly after the test, the US, Japan, and South Korea all called for the holding of an emergency UN Security Council meeting for Wednesday.
Rattled by the early morning missile launch, South Korea almost immediately launched three missiles in a show of force. The South’s military said it had conducted missile drills on Wednesday in response to Pyongyang’s latest launch.