After North Korea launched a new, long-range missile this week, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., warns that “we’re headed to a war if things don’t change.”

Graham told CNN Wednesday the latest missile launch from North Korea could bring the so-called “Hermit Kingdom” into conflict with the United States.

“I don’t want a war. (President Donald Trump) doesn’t want a war,” Graham said. “But we’re not going to let this crazy man in North Korea have the capability to hit the homeland.”

On Tuesday, North Korea launched what it said was its longest-range missile yet, stoking fears the country is getting closer to a missile that could carry a nuclear warhead as far as the U.S. mainland.

Graham said he would prefer to avoid a war. But, paraphrasing President Trump, he said if North Korea continues with its missile program, “We’ll take care of it.”

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“If we have to go to war to stop this, we will,” Graham said Tuesday. “If there’s a war with North Korea it will be because North Korea brought it on itself, and we’re headed to a war if things don’t change.”

U.S. relations with Pyongyang always have been been fraught, but the Trump administration has taken a combative tone toward North Korea. In August, Trump threatened to respond with “fire and fury” after an earlier missile test. He also has taken to referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “Rocket Man.”

In response to Tuesday’s test, the United States says it is considering new sanctions on North Korea. Earlier, the U.S. placed North Korea back on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Bristow Marchant: 803-771-8405, @BristowatHome, @BuzzAtTheState


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