North Korea “does not give a damn about” United Nations sanctions or tough talk coming of the White House, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday, criticizing the administration’s response to Kim Jong Un’s saber-rattling.
“Clearly North Korea does not give a damn about UN sanctions or tough talk,” Graham tweeted Friday morning. “It is time to more forcefully back up our diplomatic efforts with the threat of a credible military option.”
President Donald Trump was briefed Thursday night on North Korea’s latest missile launch by chief of staff John Kelly, the White House said in a statement. The launch of a ballistic missile over Japan is the repressive regime’s latest provocation and the second time it has threatened Japan in recent weeks.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday called on the international community “to take new measures against the Kim regime,” following the U.N. Security Council’s most recent sanctions resolution.
“These continued provocations only deepened North Korea’s diplomatic and economic isolation,” Tillerson said in a statement. “United Nations Security Council resolutions, including the most recent unanimous sanctions resolution, represent the floor, not the ceiling, of the actions we should take.”
The U.S. and Japan have called a meeting of the Security Council on Friday ahead of next week’s U.N. General Assembly. The Security Council voted unanimously on Monday to impose tougher economic sanctions on North Korea after it claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who oversees America’s nuclear forces, said Thursday that he will work under the assumption that North Korea did, in fact, test a hydrogen bomb.
Trump has repeatedly responded to North Korea’s attempts to build up its nuclear arsenal and obtain a nuclear weapon capable of striking the U.S. mainland with fiery rhetoric, once warning of the “fire and fury” that would follow if it attacked the U.S. or any of its territories.
“North Korea believes there is no downside to pushing the envelope regarding their missile and nuclear programs,” Graham said. “It is up to the Trump Administration and the world to make North Korea believe otherwise.”