A former U.S. ambassador to South Korea says Washington has "no good military options" to push back against North Korea other than stronger bilateral cooperation with China.
"We say 'everything is on the table' is because basically none of the options are particularly good options," Christopher Hill said in an interview with John Catsimatidis that aired Sunday on New York's AM 970.
"There are no good military options. You know, we've done a lot on sanctions. It's the most sanctioned country in the world — that hasn't worked. We tried to have negotiations with them — that hasn't worked. But I think what could work is a much better understanding between the U.S. and China," he maintained.
The former ambassador noted that the North Korean nuclear threat has been growing substantially in recent years but said that the country has been a threat for the past two decades.
"There is no question North Korea's threat is growing, but they've been a threat for some 20 years," he said.
"In the last few years, North Korea's threat has really grown ... now we are seeing them modernize their missile arsenal such that it's quite likely in the near future ... North Korea will have a deliverable nuclear weapon. And then the question is, what are we all going to do about that?"
Hill said he would not want to be president in 2020, telling the American people that all options were exhausted.
"I wouldn't want to be Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE in 2020 and have to say ... we couldn't do anything," he said.
"We are going to have to thicken up our defense of South Korea ... and I think we are going to have to really work more with China," he added.
While China has been more vocal in criticizing the North Koreans for their nuclear program, it has also been critical of the U.S. plan to deploy missile defense systems in South Korea.
The White House, however, remains determined that bolstering U.S. and South Korean missile defense capabilities is a crucial first step in neutralizing the North Korean threat.