The U.S. may need to rethink its current North Korea strategy of asking China to step up efforts to rein in an increasingly aggressive Pyongyang as it attempts to become a nuclear power, experts said Wednesday.
That followed another missile launch by the North on Tuesday, which the U.S. confirmed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Since taking office, President Donald Trump has tried to get China, North Korea's only major ally, to apply more economic pressure on Pyongyang to help stop its nuclear and missile programs and other acts of defiance against the U.S. and its allies.
Christopher Hill, who was a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea during the George W. Bush administration, and later was ambassador to Iraq under the Obama administration, said Americans will monitor the U.S. response after the latest round of provocations.
"I think the Trump administration, frankly, is not known for long-term thinking, if I can put it kindly," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday. "In the short run, what they're very concerned about is the possibility that North Korea could have an ICBM that could hit the U.S. with a nuclear weapon. And they have to go and explain that to the American people in 2020 at the elections."
Hill added, "If I were Donald Trump, I wouldn't want to do that. Obviously, he will blame Barack Obama — he does that on everything. But in this case, I think the American people will indeed ask the question you're asking, which is 'what is he going to do about it?'"