Chris Van Hollen: Trump doesn’t have legal authority for ‘bloody nose’ strike on North Korea

February 5, 2018 GMT

Sen. Chris Van Hollen said Monday that President Trump isn’t within his legal rights to launch a preemptive attack on North Korea.

“There are a whole range of different possibilities and scenarios here, from striking a terrorist target, to essentially launching preventative war against North Korea. I think in anybody’s book, an attack against North Korea, a first attack, a preventative war attack, constitutes an act of war, which is contemplated under the congressional authorities within our constitution,” Mr. Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat, said on CNN.

The White House is reportedly contemplating a so-called “bloody nose” strike against the regime as tensions continue to escalate. A group of senators sent a letter to President Trump on Monday expressing their concern about a preemptive attack, The Washington Post reported.

The letter warns Mr. Trump that it would be an “enormous gamble,” The Post said.

North Korea has upped its nuclear testing in the past year, but some have accused Mr. Trump of antagonizing the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, calling him “Little Rocket Man” on Twitter and in public speeches. The Trump administration has said the threats will not be tolerated and the long-held theory of “strategic patience” is over.