Sen. Lindsey Graham: 'Time to Start Moving American Dependents Out of South Korea'

By Susan Jones | December 4, 2017 | 6:22 AM EST

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (Photo: Screen grab/CBS "Face the Nation")

( - "We're getting close to military conflict" with North Korea, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Graham said it's time to move the families of U.S. troops out of South Korea, as North Korea gets close to putting nuclear warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

"We're running out of time," Graham said. "I'm going to urge the Pentagon not to send any more dependents to South Korea. South Korea should be an unaccompanied tour. It's crazy to send thousands of children to South Korea, given the provocation of North Korea.

"So, I want them to stop sending dependents, and I think it's now time to start moving American dependents out of South Korea."

Graham also said it's time for Congress to debate pre-emptive war with North Korea:

"The policy of the Trump administration is to deny North Korea the capability to hit American with a nuclear-tipped missile, not to contain it," Graham said. "It now means preemptive war as a last resort.

That is, preemption is becoming more likely as their technology matures. Every missile test, every underground test of a nuclear weapon means the marriage [of ICBMs with nuclear warheads] is more likely. I think we're really running out of time. The Chinese are trying, but ineffectively.

"If there is an underground nuclear test, then you need to get ready for a very serious response by the United States," Graham said.

"Should the Congress be having a big open conversation about preemptive war?" host John Dickerson asked Graham:

"Yes, I think so," Graham said. "I think the president, as inherent authority as commander in chief, has the ability to strike North Korea to protect the American homeland. But this discussion needs to happen among ourselves."

Graham said President Trump has the "best national security team of anybody I have seen since I have been in Washington."

He also gave Trump credit for making the right decision on North Korea. Trump has said he will not allow North Korea to hit the U.S. with a nuclear weapon, period.

"Everybody before President Trump screwed it up, including Republicans," Graham said. "Now we need to get it right. And I think he's got the right approach. He's got the right team. I hope China will help us. We're running out of time."

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