- KCNA via Reuters
Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California told a San Diego news station on Thursday that he wanted the US to launch a preemptive strike on North Korea, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“I assume that the North Koreans can reach mainland US with an ICBM with an entry vehicle that has a nuclear bomb – they can now nuke the United States,” Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told KUSI News.
“From my perspective, why would I not hit you first? Why would we not do a preemptive strike when you have ICBMs leveled at the US and you’re not a logical player in the world scene?”
He later added: “I would preemptively strike them.”
“Kim Jong Un needs to realize we’re not playing games here – we’re not posturing,” he said. “He needs to think about whether he likes his wine, women, and caviar, or whether he wants to have the devil blown out of him by the United States,” adding that he thought the North Korean leader had “some mental issues.”
In an address to the United Nations on Tuesday, President Donald Trump called for more sanctions on North Korea, labeled Kim “Rocket Man,” and said that if Pyongyang continued its nuclear provocations, the US would “have no choice but to totally destroy” the country.
Pyongyang responded on Tuesday by saying that the US would meet its “final ruin” if it chose to defy the North. On Thursday, Kim said Trump’s UN rhetoric was “unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.”
North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, also said on Thursday that Kim was considering testing “an unprecedented scale hydrogen bomb” over the Pacific in response to Trump’s UN speech.
Trump then tweeted Friday morning that Kim was “obviously a madman” and that he would “be tested like never before!”
Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2017
“It was great,” Hunter told KUSI when asked about his thoughts on Trump’s UN speech. “It’s great seeing America lead for a change.”
Hunter also said that though the US had not shot down the North’s missile launches, including one that recently flew over Japan, “we can tell the trajectory of a missile as soon as it launches.”