• 09:31
  • 31.05.2020
Congress bid to stop Trump bombing Korea

Congress bid to stop Trump bombing Korea

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Democratic US senators have introduced a bill they say will prevent President Donald Trump from launching a nuclear strike on North Korea on his own, highlighting the issue days before the Republican's first presidential trip to Asia.
The measure would stop Trump, or any US president, from launching an attack on North Korea, or spending any money on a military strike, without congressional approval, unless North Korea has first attacked the United States.
Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have been building after a series of nuclear and missile tests by North Korea and bellicose verbal exchanges between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
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The CIA says North Korea could be months away from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear weapon.
"I worry that the president's enthusiasm will not be checked by the advisers around him," Democratic Senator Chris Murph said.
Some Republicans have also expressed concern about Trump's rhetoric, but none co-sponsored the bill, which is backed by seven Democrats and Senator Bernie Sanders.
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Republicans control majorities in both the Senate and House, and there has been no indication that congressional leaders would allow a vote. Similar measures introduced earlier this year have also failed to advance.
However, backers said they might try to pass it later this year by introducing it as an amendment to legislation such as a must-pass spending bill.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday held a hearing on a new authorisation for the use of military force to exert some authority over the campaign against Islamic State and other militant groups.
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At that hearing, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said Trump does not have the authority to use force against North Korea without an imminent threat, but they did not define what such a threat would be.
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