WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said on Thursday (Oct 12) the Trump administration thinks the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons capability is currently manageable but Pyongyang cannot be allowed to develop the ability to strike the US homeland.
"A state that has developed a pretty good ICBM (missile) capability and is developing a pretty good nuclear re-entry vehicle, I would believe ... that that state simply cannot have the ability to reach the homeland," Kelly said.
"Right now we think the threat is manageable but over time if it grows beyond where it is today, well, let's hope that diplomacy works," said Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general.
In an interview on Fox News on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump had tough words for the Kim Jong Un regime.
"We can't let this to go on. We just can't. Now you can say what you want, this should have been handled 25 years ago, it should have been handled 20 years ago and 10 years ago and five years, it should have been handled by numerous - not just Obama, but President Obama should have taken care of it."
Mr Trump, who recently tweeted that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was "wasting his time" in talking to North Korea, also praised US military capabilities.
"I'm building up the military like no one has ever seen," he said.
"We build the greatest military equipment in the world, we have missiles that can knock out a missile in the air 97 per cent of the time. If you send two of them, it's going to get knocked out" he added.