Sullivan to Trump: “On North Korea, we need calmness, credibility”

Sen. Dan Sullivan. (2016 Halifax International Security Forum/Flickr Creative Commons)

As President Donald Trump continues escalate his nuclear-powered Twitter feud with North Korea, Alaska’s Sen. Dan Sullivan has jumped in to call on the president to cool things down.

In his own tweet—directed at the official presidential Twitter account and not @realDonaldTrump—Sullivan called for “calmness, credibility and strategic focus.”

“Calmness” and “credibility” have been largely absent from Trump’s handling of North Korea over the past week, marked by the “fire and fury” tweet that warned North Korea against escalated threats. North Korea has continued to push back, raising the threat of a possible attack on Guam that caused some to note the country has already called Trump’s bluff.

The tweet comes hours after the president’s latest twitter-issued threat toward North Korea that said “Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely.”

That tweet was also followed by Trump’s retweet of pictures of B-1B Lancer bombers standing ready in Guam.

Sullivan on Trump

Sullivan, who worked in President George W. Bush’s state department, has been pretty vocal in recent days on North Korea, calling for a more measured approach and the involvement of Congress. He told KTVA yesterday that the president should avoid a “blustery” response to North Korea.

“Effective diplomacy has to be backed up with credible military options,” he told CNN. “One of the options that they’re looking at that would eventually materialize is a preemptive war on the Korean Peninsula launched by the U.S. That would clearly, in my view, require the authorization from Congress.”

Sullivan’s also used the opportunity to highlight Alaska’s importance to missile defense. He’s talked about it directly in interviews with Fox News, CNN and other outlets. The reference to “robust homeland missile defense” is a nod to Alaska-based missile defense at Fort Greely and the early warning radar system at Clear Air Force Station.

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