South Koreans have elected a new president, Moon Jae-in, who campaigned on a pledge to engage in talks with North Korea to freeze and reverse its nuclear program and pursue diplomacy to finally put an end to the Korean conflict. That's a positive development, right? But many in Washington and their allies in big media don't think so. More international tension means more profits for politically influential arms contractors, more fear, more distraction from meeting human needs, at home and abroad.
Later this month, President Moon is traveling to Washington to meet President Trump. Dominant voices in Washington will pressure the South Korean president to toe the pro-escalation line. We're teaming up with a big coalition of groups on a joint petition to generate counter-pressure to keep space open for diplomacy.
Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress has the sole authority to initiate the use of force if the U.S. is not under armed attack. But during the Cold War, a bizarre exception to this basic idea of our democracy was introduced and tolerated: the President could start a nuclear war on his own say-so. It was a horrible policy then. There's certainly no excuse for it now. Right now, President Trump could launch thousands of nuclear weapons on his own say-so.
Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu have introduced legislation – the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act – that would limit the ability of Trump - or any President - to launch nuclear weapons without Congressional action. The Act would require congressional authorization in order to use nuclear weapons, except in response to an incoming nuclear attack.
Urge Congress to support the Markey-Lieu bill by signing our joint petition with Win Without War and Daily Kos.