Moulton, Democratic Caucus’ National Security Task Force Send Letter to Administration Demanding North Korea Policy
Moulton: “The Democratic National Security Task Force is stepping into the Administration’s leadership vacuum”
Washington, DC. – Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA), co-chair of the Democratic Caucus’ National Security Task Force, along with fellow co-chairs Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) sent a letter to President Donald Trump, calling on his administration to pursue a “strong, strategic, and steady” policy towards North Korea, which has been developing and testing nuclear devices and missiles in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions. A total of 68 Members of Congress, including the co-chairs, signed the letter.
“This administration has shown that it does not have a strategy when it comes to dealing with the threat of North Korea,” said Moulton. “The President is clearly not on the same page as his own Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State. This makes his military threats not credible; it leads our allies to view us as untrustworthy, right when they need us most; and by ratcheting up tensions, he is closing down diplomatic options when they are most critical. The Democratic National Security Task Force is stepping into the Administration’s leadership vacuum and has convened experts and devised strategy to provide a smarter, stronger approach to North Korea’s unacceptable behavior. As a Co-Chair of the task force, I am proud to be joined by other Democrats who are ready to provide steady leadership while President Trump’s bluster risks blundering us into a nuclear war.”
In the letter, the task force outlines a U.S. strategy that would include:
- Increase economic pressure on North Korea through the imposition and effective enforcement of sanctions
- Enhance crisis-management channels with North Korea and be prepared to engage in tough, principled negotiations with Pyongyang without preconditions; strengthen, rather than subvert, our alliances with South Korea, Japan and other regional partners
- Nominate or name qualified individuals to critical, unfilled positions at the Department of State and the Department of Defense; and continue to make clear to North Korea—through a variety of means—that an attack on the U.S. or its allies in the region will produce unacceptable consequences for the North Korean regime.
“Responsibility for addressing the serious threat from North Korea lies squarely with the Trump administration,” said Murphy. “I am concerned by the President’s approach to date, which has been characterized more by tough talk than by strong, smart, and steady actions that make our country and our allies safer. U.S. policy toward North Korea should consist of economic pressure, strong and steady diplomacy, and credible deterrence and defense.”
The letter recognizes that North Korea’s dangerous and destabilizing actions are the root cause of tensions between North Korea and the international community, but expresses the view that the President’s reckless rhetoric and muddled messages to allies have made the problem worse. The letter states that “the U.S. can maximize the chance of success by charting a careful course that avoids capitulation to, or catastrophic war with, North Korea.”
“North Korea’s continued provocations must be met with strong, steady, and strategic action, not schoolyard rhetoric” said Panetta. “That is why we are calling upon the President to implement a strategy that uses economic pressure, firm diplomacy, and deterrence to address this paramount national security challenge. North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile capabilities represent a growing threat that must be met with comprehensive action that uses all the tools in our toolkit to deescalate tensions, reassure our allies, and protect American citizens.”
The full text of the letter is below and the signed letter can be found here.