On Friday, for the second time in a month, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.
In response, Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Heidi Heitkamp D-ND, are urging President Trump in a letter to appoint a Special Envoy to the Korean peninsula to continue diplomatic action in North Korea.
The Special Envoy, and other key diplomatic offices, should be tasked with easing tensions and bringing regional powers to the table to address the looming threat coming from North Korea.
“We write with deep concern about North Korea’s dangerous behavior and acceleration of its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs, which threaten our national security,” the senators wrote. “The United States cannot sit idly by as a dangerous dictator threatens our families, our freedoms, and America’s standing in the world.”
The ICBM launched on Friday, reached a higher altitude than the previous launch conducted earlier in July.
Tester and Heitkamp wrote they don’t believe Trump has a clear strategy to address North Korea, their ballistic missile capabilities, or nuclear program. They also call on the administration to fill critical positions to address the threat coming from North Korea including Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, and Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
“The United States should pursue a holistic strategy drawing on all elements of our national power, including further economic sanctions and investments in deterrent and defensive capabilities that would make North Korea think twice before threatening us or our allies,” the letter reads. “We agree that ‘strategic patience’ is not a suitable course of action and instead we should exhaust every diplomatic tool our country has at its disposal.”