According to NBC News, the National Security Council has presented Donald Trump and his advisers with a range of options to counteract the North Korean threat, among them positioning nuclear weapons in South Korea or assassinating the country's dictator Kim Jong-un. Washington withdrew all of its nuclear assets from South Korea 25 years ago.
Killing Kim Jong-un or placing American nukes in South Korea are two options presented to President Trump as possible retaliations to North Korea's continued nuclear weapons program, according to reports Friday.
The White House National Security Council presented the options as part of an accelerated review of USA policy on North Korea, ahead of Trump's ongoing meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to NBC News.
Trump Administration officials have repeatedly insisted they believe China could quickly and unilaterally solve North Korea with little effort, though the U.S. has also ruled out any Chinese solution that involves any sort of diplomacy.
Incidentally, after Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called Kim a "crazy fat kid" during a TV interview last month, the Korean Central New Agency - Kim's mouthpiece - labeled McCain's "grave provocation" a "blasphemy".
North Korea has been trying to develop a long-range missile carrying a nuclear warhead that is capable of hitting the USA mainland, a distance of about 8,000 kilometers.
Following the two-day meeting at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Xi agreed that North Korea's nuclear moves are at a "very serious stage" and relayed the leader said that China would increase its cooperation efforts to rein in the nation.
"The number one threat in the region continues to be North Korea, due to its reckless, irresponsible, and destabilizing program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability", Benham said. On Thursday, Trump ordered the surprise attack against a military air base in Syria, signaling he was prepared to act in the protection of USA interests. Four-star Gen. Jack Keane, who told Fox News that the US was "rapidly and dangerously heading towards the reality that the military option is the only one left when it comes to getting North Korea to denuclearize and not weaponized [intercontinental ballistic missiles]".
Trump days before meeting Xi warned that the United States was prepared to act unilaterally to stop North Korea's nuclear advances should China be unwilling to use its leverage over Pyongyang.
It's unclear whether North Korea is on the brink of war with Senator McCain.