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Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton assessed the limited options for the Trump administration in the wake of new reports that North Korea could have a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile as early as next year. 

U.S. officials warn Pyongyang could be readying another test-launch, as the hermit dictator threatens to strike the U.S. with a “powerful nuclear hammer” if it attempts regime change. 


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Bolton said the options are “very limited” for President Trump after decades of failed diplomacy and sanctions and he will now be facing real questions about whether American national security is at-risk. 

He said the last diplomatic option involves China and convincing them that it’s in their best interest to unite the Koreas. 

“The way you eliminate the North Korean nuclear program is to eliminate North Korea. It’s a hard argument to make, but I think it’s doable,” said Bolton. 

He wondered what any U.S. president would do when there is an ICBM on a launch pad and it’s not known what’s “under the nose cone.” 

“Are you gonna let it take off and hope it hits somewhere else? That is the real concern and it’s coming very soon,” said Bolton. 

Marie Harf asked Bolton about the calculation that will have to be made about collateral casualties among South Koreans. 

Bolton said the first question for the president is protecting Americans and the military has comprehensive plans in place to strike the nuclear weapons facilities and also protect Seoul. 

“That’s why you say to China: ‘we’re gonna see reunification here. Do you want to do it the hard way or the easy way?'” he argued.

Watch the full “Outnumbered” discussion above.


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