Representative Duncan Hunter, a California Republican best-known for vaping during a congressional hearing, thinks the U.S. should put an end to the back-and-forth bickering with North Korea and launch a “preemptive strike,” he said Thursday.
Speaking to a local TV station, Hunter said if one assumes that North Korea has a nuclear missile aimed at the U.S., President Trump has only two choices. “The question is, do you wait for one of those? Or, two? Do you preemptively strike them? And that’s what the president has to wrestle with. I would preemptively strike them. You could call it declaring war, call it whatever you want,” said Hunter, who was investigated by the Justice Department for spending campaign funds on, among other things, more than $1,000 in video games.
Hunter’s suggestion comes as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang continue to rise. On Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reached deep into his bag of insults and unveiled a new one for Trump, calling him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”
Kim’s missive was part of a written response to Trump’s speech at the United Nations earlier this week, which included a threat to “totally destroy” North Korea. In the statement, Kim also called Trump “a frightened dog” and a “gangster fond of playing with fire.”
“Far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors,” Kim said.
A proud counter-puncher, Trump shot back at Kim on Twitter Friday morning with an insult of his own and a helpful reminder that, as amusing as Kim’s trash talk can be, he is still a brutal despot who allows his people to suffer in poverty as he finances a fantastical dream of military might.