When news circulated this week that North Korea has achieved the capability of producing miniaturized nuclear weapons for missiles able to reach the United States and allies such as Japan, President Donald Trump responded that the US will respond with “fire and fury.” However, retired Gen. Jack Keane -- a former army vice chief of staff -- told Fox News that North Korea, by accelerating its intercontinental ballistic missile program, dictator Kim Jong-un calculates that once he achieves the capability, that the US will “acquiesce and accept that capability much as the United States accepted the development of nuclear weapons ten years ago and much as the United States 40 years ago except to China developing intercontinental ballistic missiles over our proto-stations.”
Keane credited Trump for putting the military option “back on the table,” having noted that Barack Obama had not done. As for attacking Guam with missiles, Keane said that doing so would “absolutely destroy North Korea as a country, as an entity. And the Chinese would not let that happen either.”
Keane cautioned that the US should not treat North Korea in the way the US has treated other “great power competitions.” He said that the only path to preventing North Korea from achieving nuclear ICBM capability is through China. “And we are on that path but we are not close to getting where we need to be. We are on a collision course with China. You are going to see us get really tough with China because I don't think China will behave necessarily in a way that Ambassador [Nikki] Haley wants them to behave.
“I think that they are going to come up short and we are going to have to really go after China and their interest with Korea but also their interest in the region. We will going to have to put significant geopolitical and economic pressure on China.”
Fox News co-host Jesse Watters noted the extensive nuclear capabilities of the United States, including submarine, air, and missile delivery systems. When he asked about the possibility of assassinating dictator Kim, Keane said:
“There is a possibility of that happening. And that would be something that was engineered by the Chinese. And because they want to change out their leadership, in thinking that the leadership is not responding to them. But listen, this is what we've got to recognize: North Korea has nuclear weapons because the Chinese wanted them to have nuclear weapons. They wanted them to be the dominant power on the [Korean] peninsula."
“North Korea has intercontinental ballistic missiles that looked remarkably similar to the Chinese in a continental ballistic missile at a portable missiles. I bet anything, if we went up and pulled off the label, we would see ‘Made in China’ during those parades. So, that, you have to understand how close these countries are. The intellectual property they are using is Chinese. Some of the major parts they're using is Chinese.”
“So, China has their hands all over this thing. The path through this has got to be through China. And there is a possibility, because of the pressure that China will start to put on North Korea, and if they get resistance, that would lead them to make the regime change. In other words, assassinate them and put somebody else in his place that is complicit with them and would respond to their guidance. That's still a reasonable option that could be down the road.”