Sending Office: Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Sent By:
Erik.Sperling@mail.house.gov

 

Request for Signature(s)

An Economist/YouGov poll conducted from April 29-May 2 found that

60 percent of Americans support “direct negotiations between the United States and North Korea”

to end North Korea’s nuclear program, while only 18 percent of all Americans polled opposed
talks.

Urge Trump Administration to Adhere to Diplomacy with North Korea

Deadline Tuesday, May 16, COB

Current Co-signers (20): Conyers, Lee, McGovern, Nadler, Rush, Welch, Clarke, Blumenauer, Norton, Neal, Khanna, Hanabusa, Jayapal, Evans, Hastings, Cohen, Hank Johnson, Carbajal, Pallone, Eshoo

Dear Colleague,

Please join us in sending this letter to the President regarding his inconsistent and dangerous policy towards nuclear-armed North Korea.  Trump ratcheted up tensions in the volatile region by suggesting that the U.S. may take unilateral military action
against North Korea, leading to threats of nuclear retaliation by North Korea and creating alarm with our regional allies.  Later the Trump Administration provided a briefing Members of Congress that made no mention of military action.

The letter urges Trump to adhere to a the diplomatic approach that was subsequently articulated by Secretary Tillerson, who stated that the Administration’s sole goal is to “seek a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” and “not seek regime change” that could
risk nuclear war.  The letter supports Secretary Tillerson’s statement that the preferred method for resolution is “direct talks with North Korea,” and it requests more information about the steps the Administration is taking to advance the prospects for direct
negotiations that could lower the potential for catastrophic war and ultimately lead to the denuclearization of the peninsula.

An Economist/YouGov poll conducted from April 29-May 2 found that 60 percent of Americans support “direct negotiations between the United States and North Korea” to end North Korea’s nuclear program, while only 18 percent of all Americans polled opposed
talks. Respondents were supportive of direct talks with North Korea regardless of political affiliation. The poll found 63 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of Republicans, and 55 percent of independents, are supportive of direct negotiations with North Korea.
Clinton voters (70 percent) and Trump supporters (68 percent) were both supportive of direct talks with North Korea.

The letter also notes that, in the event that the Administration does seek to pursue a military option, both the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973 would require an affirmative authorization from Congress before any such military action.
Few decisions are more needing of debate than a move to launch attacks, or declare war, on a nuclear-armed state such as North Korea, which could result in a reaction that could immediately kill as many as a third of the South Korean population, put approximately
30,000 U.S. service members and over 100,000 other U.S. citizens residing in South Korea in grave danger, and also threaten other regional allies such as Japan.

To sign this letter, or if you have any questions, please reach out to Erik Sperling in Rep. Conyers’s office at 5-5126 or
Erik.Sperling@mail.house.gov, Emma Mehrabi in Rep. Lee’s office at
Emma.Mehrabi@mail.house.gov or at 5-2661 or Cindy Buhl with Rep. McGovern at
Cindy.Buhl@mail.house.gov or at 5-6101.

Sincerely,

Rep. John Conyers, Jr.                   Rep. Barbara Lee              Rep. James P. McGovern

Member of Congress                Member of Congress            Member of Congress

May XX, 2017

Dear President Trump:

We write to once again draw your attention to your constitutional responsibility to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering use of U.S. military force, which would include any military action against North Korea that is not in response
to an attack from that country. The mandate requiring Congressional consultation and authorization is prescribed in both the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

While both the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973 provide the Office of the President with the authority to act in cases of emergencies, both require an affirmative authorization from Congress before our nation engages in military action
abroad against a state that has not attacked the U.S. or our assets abroad. As Section 2 of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 makes clear, absent a declaration of war or a specific statutory authorization approved by congress, only a “a national emergency
created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces” can justify military action undertaken without Congressional authorization.

Few decisions are more needing of debate than a move to launch attacks, or declare war, on a nuclear-armed state such as North Korea. Military action against North Korea was considered by the Obama, Bush and Clinton Administrations, but all ultimately determined
there was no military option that would not run the unacceptable risk of a counter-reaction from Pyongyang.  This action could immediately kill as many as a third of the South Korean population, put approximately 30,000 U.S. service members and over 100,000
other U.S. citizens residing in South Korea in grave danger, and also threaten other regional allies such as Japan.

In such a volatile region, an inconsistent or unpredictable policy runs the risk of unimaginable conflict. That is why we strongly urge you to adhere to the diplomatic approach articulated by Secretary Tillerson, who stated that your Administration’s sole
goal is to “seek a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” and that you “do not seek regime change” and “do not seek a collapse of the regime,” both of which could lead down a path that could risk nuclear war. We support Secretary Tillerson’s statement that the preferred
method for resolution is “direct talks with North Korea,” including persuading them to relinquish their nuclear weapons by assuring them that they “do not need these weapons to secure the existence of [the] regime.”

We respectfully request more information about the steps your Administration is taking to advance the prospects for direct negotiations that could lower the potential for catastrophic war and ultimately lead to the denuclearization of the peninsula.
We would also urge the Administration to outline steps to address humanitarian issues of mutual concern such as the reunification of Korean and Korean American families as well as the repatriation of the remains of US servicemen left in North Korea following
the War.

We look forward to receiving details about your plans for a negotiated resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, and, in the event that your plans do include an ill-advised military component, we stand ready to exercise our constitutional
duty to approve, or reject, any such military action.

Sincerely,

Members of Congress

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