U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50th District) has doubled down on his call for preemptive action against North Korea, saying he would support the president if he declared war on the country.
Hunter, in an essay posted on his website, said that the United States needed to prepare for "other alternatives" to sanctions, like a declaration of war.
"If the President were to request one, I would fully support the Commander-In-Chief in knowing the right time to strike and hit North Korea is before they hit us," he wrote.
In the op-ed, as Hunter called it, he detailed his concerns with military preparedness in the face of the growing threat from North Korea.
“The U.S. should take North Korea at their word when they have repeatedly threatened attack," he wrote.
The Marine Corps veteran wrote of his experience going to war, and said it was wrong that millions went to bed worrying about the threat from "a Third World dictatorship who managed to build a nuclear weapon."
The latest statement comes a week after Hunter first made controversial comments calling for a “preemptive strike” on North Korea.
Hunter, interviewed by the local news station KUSI, said North Korea has nuclear weapons aimed at the U.S. and San Diego.
However, critics have expressed concern about his comments. National security expert Ron Bee called the comments dangerous and warned of consequences.
“You have to think of what sort of consequences down the road happen if you use a preemptive strike. What sort do you use?" Bee speculated. "He did not mention that. Should it be conventional? Should it be nuclear?”
He also said a preemptive strike would put millions of people at risk.
“That puts a lot of people at risk, especially in Seoul, where there are 2.5 million of our allies within artillery range and 10-thousand artillery pieces,” said Bee.
The comments were made in support of President Trump's comments before the United Nations earlier in this month. The President said if forced to defend itself, the U.S. “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Meanwhile, the San Diego director of the Truman National Security project, Shawn Vandiver, had strong criticism for the congressman’s comments.
“The fact is, a preemptive strike from us results in tens of thousands of deaths, many of whom may be Duncan Hunter’s constituents, all of whom are American citizens or wearing our uniforms and that is absolutely unacceptable,” said Vandiver.