Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy is warning President Donald Trump to remember that he needs congressional approval to launch any unilateral military action against North Korea.
Trump is on his way to the South Korean capital, Seoul, during his first trip to Asia.
The administration has said it’s considering carrying out naval exercises in the Asia Pacific region during the trip, as part of its strategy to put maximum pressure on North Korea.
During a press conference, Murphy, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Trump cannot initiate any act of war without authorization from lawmakers.
"That is the law of the land and it does not change, simply because the threats change," Murphy said. "It does not change simply because the name on the front of the White House changes. I think it’s time we started taking President Trump seriously when he talks about attacking North Korea."
Murphy said Trump has displayed what he called an "unthinkable enthusiasm" for military action on the Korean peninsula.
"Because the president is repeatedly undercutting his diplomats, because he refuses to appoint people to the very positions that would be able to negotiate an agreement with the North Koreans, because he engages in adolescent name-calling that could end up with a dramatic and devastating miscalculation by the North Koreans, we need to make to clear that if he wants a military path with North Korea, he cannot do it without congressional authorization," said Murphy.
Murphy and his Democratic colleagues, John Conyers and Ed Markey, urged a diplomatic solution to the North Korean standoff.