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Former top CIA official: US 'running out of options' on NK
Former chief of operations for the CIA counterintelligence center, Lon Augustenborg, warned on Sunday that the U.S. is quickly running out of options on North Korea as the war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong Un escalates.
"We are running out of options quickly. And the president, while I certainly understand his speech at the UN, the personal attacks, especially when you're going after someone like the Korean leadership, and with their culture ... to save face, it just ups the ante and increases the hostility, and we already have limited options," Augustenborg told John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.
Augustenborg went on to say that the U.S. should consider putting even more pressure on China in order to force the nation to take a more hardline stance on Pyongyang.
"The Chinese really have to cut everything off. And I think we have to put more pressure on China, even if it means not paying our debts to them," he continued.
"Deep down, China feels the US is their number one threat, not North Korea, and I think we have to reverse that for them or change their perspective," he said.
"Advise the Chinese that if they don't force North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons, we would not object to arming Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines [with nuclear weapns]," he said, adding "Imagine how that would threaten China."
Augustenborg's comments come as Trump finds himself in a verbal battle with Kim.
Kim responded to Trump's debut speech at the U.N. calling him a "mentally deranged dotard," and warning that the U.S. would "pay dearly" for Trump's threats.
The president first responded on his preferred medium of Twitter on Friday, saying Kim would "be tested like never before."
The president went on to rip Kim in a speech at a rally on Friday night, saying he would handle "little rocket man."
"This shouldn't be handled now. But I'm going to handle it because we have to handle it. Little rocket man. We're going to do it. Because we really have no choice. We really have no choice," Trump said.