Top senator: Preemptive war ‘more likely’ as North Korea improves on missile technology

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Sunday said a preemptive war with North Korea is “becoming more likely” as the rogue country continues to develop its missile technology while increasing the threat for the West.

Graham warned that North Korea is getting closer to striking the U.S.

“We’re running out of time,” he said.

Graham, who appeared on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” said the Trump administration’s policy on North Korea is not simply to “contain” the situation but rather to deny the North the capability to strike the U.S. Graham, meanwhile said the Pentagon should pull the families of American military personnel from South Korea.

"It's crazy to send spouses and children to South Korea, given the provocation of North Korea,” he said. “South Korea should be an unaccompanied tour. So, I want them to stop sending dependents, and I think it's now time to start moving American dependents out of South Korea."

There are roughly 28,500 American troops stationed in South Korea.

Graham’s comments come just as North Korea successfully launched a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile last week, which they say has the ability to strike the “whole mainland” of the U.S. The jump in missile capability was backed up by outside governments and analysts.             

Graham commended the Trump administration in its readiness to handle the situation should it escalate any further.

"He's got the best national security team of anybody I have seen since I have been in Washington," he said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and South Korean militaries have also begun their largest joint air force exercise on Monday. According to South Korea’s defense ministry, the drill called the Vigilant Ace will improve the two countries capabilities in wartime.

The exercise is set to last five days and will include about 12,000 U.S. military personal.

The Associate Press contributed to this report.