Sen. Lindsey Graham indicated that firing at Guam, the tiny U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean, is the red line North Korea must not cross; otherwise, "all bets are off."
"If there is a war with North Korea, it will be because North Korea chose a war," Graham, R-S.C., told Columbia, S.C., CBS affiliate WLTX on Thursday.
The North Korean threat has once again gripped headlines this week after the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on Pyongyang over the weekend. Following the vote, North Korea began to escalate its rhetoric, which prompted President Trump to threaten "fire and fury" should North Korean aggression continue.
Roiling the situation even further, North Korea singled out Guam Tuesday evening as a target for its missiles. The next day, Pyongyang outlined a plan to launch ballistic missiles toward Guam, saying that the missiles would fly over Japan and travel "1,065 seconds before hitting the waters 30 to 40 kilometers away from Guam."
North Korea is working on developing intercontinental ballistic missiles and tested two of them last month. This week it was reported that the country has created a miniature nuclear weapon that can fit inside its missiles.
Graham said in a separate interview on Thursday that Trump 'told me' he's willing to launch pre-emptive North Korean attack. He urged his colleagues to vote on giving Trump military authorization for a pre-emptive attack to send a message to China to convince the country to prevent an international conflict.
The senator, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, told WLTX that if North Korea isn't stopped now, the level of threat it poses to the U.S. will grow beyond the shores of Guam.
"It's Guam today, and it could be California tomorrow, and it could be South Carolina down the road. If you don't stop this man, he's going to have a hydrogen bomb, not a uranium bomb, he's gonna have a bunch of missiles, not one," he said.
"If they fire at Guam, all bets are off," he added. He then echoed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who said on Wednesday that continued North Korean provocations would "lead to the end of its regime."
"The commander in chief has an obligation to every American to protect them, including those in Guam, to protect them against crazy people with nuclear weapons," Graham said. "If we have to, we'll go to war. I don't want to, but if we have to, we'll go to war. And I'll tell you who'll win that war. We will."