Gingrich: North Korea is a 'genuine threat' to the world

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 8, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: This a Fox News Alert. Welcome to "Hannity."

The world tonight faces an extremely dangerous situation. The are no good solutions as now the threat from North Korea reaches a whole new level, Reuters reporting that North Korea and their state media is now saying that Pyongyang is considering a strike on Guam. Also, FOX News has confirmed that North Korea now has developed a nuclear weapon that can be placed on one of its long-range missiles.

President Trump is responding to this threat by issuing a very stern warning to this increasingly belligerent and rogue regime in Pyongyang. Our opening monologue in just a minute. But first, joining us from Washington with the very latest is Ed Henry.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sean, good to see you. The stakes could not be any higher, U.S. intelligence officials now telling us they believe that North Korea has been able to miniaturize nuclear warheads that can fit inside missiles. This follows last month's test of a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the U.S. mainland.

When you put these two major developments together, it means North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is on the verge of having nuclear warheads that can reach major American cities from Los Angeles to New York and everywhere in between.

President Trump's national security adviser had already said it would be, quote, "intolerable" for North Korea to possess nuclear weapons that can reach our shores, which is why the commander-in-chief seemed to be making it clear today that all options, including war, are on the table.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening, beyond a normal statement. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before.


HENRY: Now, Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein quickly reacted that she believes these were bombastic comments, in her words. And she said that this will just further isolate North Korea, and that instead, what needs to happen is diplomacy. She's calling for direct talks between the U.S. and North Korea.

What's not being mentioned by the president's critics tonight is that the president and his U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, succeeded on Saturday in bringing together a coalition at the United Nations to unanimously slap new sanctions on North Korea. So in fact, the administration is still working diplomatic channels, but it has not yet come close to stopping the threat from North Korea -- Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Ed Henry, thank you tonight.

Joining us now from the Pentagon with more on this growing threat is -- Lucas Tomlinson is with us. Lucas, what's the latest there?

LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS PRODUCER: Well, Sean, this explosive report largely echoes what a top U.S. Air Force officer said back in 2015, that North Korea has the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and place it atop a missile. But it's noteworthy, Sean, that North Korea has never demonstrated this capability and has never shown that they can take a warhead and have it successfully reenter earth. (sic)

In the last month, North Korea has demonstrated two intercontinental ballistic missile tests, each one now putting the United States in range. The first on July 4th went 1,700 miles into space and flew for 39 minutes. The second test on July 28th, flew an astonishing 2,300 miles into space and was in the air for 45 minutes. It was the longest and farthest missile test in the history of the rogue communist regime, and that missile test flew about seven times higher into space than the orbit of NASA's International Space Station.

Now, the U.S. military has options to deal with this, of course. It has a missile defense program and has -- will have 44 interceptors in the ground in Air Force bases in Alaska and California before the year is done. And in late May, the Air Force successfully tested this missile defense system, knocking down an ICBM in outer space.

Now, the U.S. Navy also has a capability to knock down North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missiles in the boost phase or initial phase. But it's noteworthy, Sean, that just one month after the successful missile test, the U.S. Navy failed and it -- when it missed the target. But it does have fire and fury, and that's to launch 400 long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles from bases in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. Back to you, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, thanks, Lucas. Fire and fury.

Now, President Trump is facing an increasingly dangerous and very difficult situation with North Korea. And the reason why? It goes back decades to the Clinton administration. Now, this is something the destroy Trump media will never tell you. And unfortunately, tonight, I can say with full confidence, sadly, there's no good option. That's tonight's chilling "Opening Monologue."

So tonight, one of them my biggest fears has now come true. North Korea has reportedly developed a nuclear warhead that is capable of reaching the continental United States. Now, this threat will now become a defining issue for the Trump administration. But it's so very important -- we've got to learn and understand how it is we got here. If we don't learn from the lessons of history, we are doomed to repeat them.

Let's go back to 1994, the Clinton administration. They struck a deal with Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, where according to The New York Times, the U.S. agreed to give North Korea over $4 billion in energy aid over the course of a decade in exchange, supposedly, for North Korea freezing and eventually ending their nuclear weapons program.

Now, as part of the agreement, North Korea would allow inspectors into its nuclear sites, but -- and this is very important -- would also be allowed to keep their nuclear fuel rods, which can be used to make weapons for an unspecified number of years.

Now, of course, Bill Clinton put all those fears aside, praised this agreement, and you might remember when he went out there and he said this is good for the American people. Watch this.


PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: I'd like to say just a word about the framework with North Korea that Ambassador Delucci (ph) signed this morning. This is a good deal for the United States. North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.

South Korea, with support from Japan and other nations, will bear most of the cost of providing North Korea with fuel to make up for the nuclear energy it is losing. And they will pay for an alternative power system for North Korea that will allow them to produce electricity while making it much harder for them to produce nuclear weapons.

The United States and international inspectors will carefully monitor North Korea to make sure it keeps its commitments. Only as it does so will North Korea fully join the community of nations.


HANNITY: Ah, good deal -- freeze, dismantle? Of course, Bill Clinton was naive. He turned out to be completely wrong. Why? Because in 1998, North Korea -- they test-fired a long-range missile. By 2006, North Korea conducted their first nuclear test. And then under the Obama administration, the North Korean threat increased rapidly and literally have turned this into a crisis point that President Trump now has to deal with.

And in the case of the Obama administration, remember they drastically cut our strategic defense capabilities -- not a smart thing. Basically, the Clinton administration, the Obama administration -- they ignored the problem. They kicked the can down the road.

And if the deal Clinton cut with North Korea -- if all of that sounds so familiar, well, it is because it's so similar to that deal that President Obama struck with the radical mullahs in Iran. President Obama gave that rogue regime in Tehran $150 billion and loads of cash -- remember the plane loads of cash and other currencies? Remember the mullahs in Iran? They said that in exchange for that money, they promised not to build nuclear weapons? And Tehran agreed to let inspectors into their nuclear facilities after 25 days, but Iran was still allowed and is still allowed to spin their centrifuges and conduct missile tests.

Now, given tonight, what we're seeing in North Korea, it is so simple and easy to see where this Iranian deal is headed.

Now, what you have to understand tonight is this: Evil in our time must be recognized for what it is. You cannot appease, you cannot capitulate to evil radicals and rogue dictatorships. They don't care about honoring agreements because breaking promises, taking money is just par for the course when dealing with these kinds of regimes. Bill Clinton, Barack Obama -- well, they should have learned from Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler that set the stage for World War II that led to the death of millions and millions of people. So much for peace in our time.

Years ago, I wrote book. It's called "Deliver us From Evil." In this book, after a lot of research, I talked about how Stalinism, the former Soviet Union, fascism, Nazism, imperial Japan, the killing fields Cambodia, even 9/11/ 2001 resulted in the deaths of between that period over 100 million human souls. And in spite of all of that, there is a mindset today that says, "Oh, evil can't happen in our time."

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Yes, it can! And it might very soon. And thanks to the naiveté of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, who were following in the footsteps of Chamberlain, well, President Trump today has to confront a threat, and there are likely no good solutions, no good outcome here. The United States Security Council (sic) on Saturday, they did vote unanimously to sanction North Korea. By the way, China, Russia jumped on board. It's a good step.

But we're dealing with an unpredictable madman. His name is Kim Jong Un. And he wants and has nuclear weapons. He doesn't seem to understand, doesn't seem to even care about the idea of mutually assured destruction, like the former Soviet Union did.

And here's what we know. North Korea reportedly -- well, they're now working to get the ability to put a nuclear warhead on missiles capable of hitting the United States. The means cities like Boston in Massachusetts, New York City. Millions of people could die. And Kim Jong Un is also reportedly testing out launching missiles from submarines.

So here's what all of this means. The president tonight now faces a clear and present danger, not only for the United States but now the entire world. Best case scenario? OK, let's say we form a coalition. We launch a massive military operation, take out North Korea's nuclear sites. Here's the problem with that. Well, that would likely obliterate North Korea and lead to fall-out like we've never seen before.

And let's say we're not successful or not as fast as we want to act and let's say Kim Jong Un is able to respond, retaliate. Then South Korea, Japan, maybe even China could see human tragedy at a level that no one could ever have imagined.

So let me be clear. While I'm mad that, you know, literally stupid decisions in the past were made when it comes to trusting dictators, rogue regimes, the world needs to take a stand tonight. We must confront this evil in our time before it's too late.

Joining us now, author of The New York Times best-seller "Understanding Trump" -- he's a former Speaker of the House, FOX News contributor Newt Gingrich.

We've been friends for many, many years, and one of the things I love about you and the times we spend together on air and off air is that you are the great historian. And I know your father served in -- in war. My father served in World War II.

And I want to ask you, is there anything I'm saying here that is wrong? Is this -- is there evil? Is there a chance all these people can die? Do we have any good options? Because I don't see them.

NEWT GINGRICH, R-FMR. HOUSE SPEAKER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think -- no, I think the lessons of history would suggest that everything you said so far is frighteningly right. My dad served in Korea during the Korean war, went back and served later, when we were defending South Korea.

I first got involved in looking at nuclear warfare with a book by Philip Wiley (ph) called "Tomorrow," which was a frightening account of a nuclear weapon going off over a city like Kansas City. And literally, what would happen in the first 30 or 45 minutes -- I read it when we -- my dad was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, and I was just, as a teenager, just shocked at how terrible these weapons could become.

So we're talking about a genuine threat to the North Korean people, to South Korea, to Japan, to the United States that would be in the millions. Now, remember how we reacted at 9/11, and then add at least 100 times as many people per city. And then you begin to realize how horrifying this would be.

I think the time has come to recognize that all these diplomatic maneuvers, all these U.N. resolutions -- you're up against a very willful dictatorship that can withstand an enormous level of sanctions. That's one of the lessons of the last 50 years. Look how long we had sanctions on Saddam Hussein. Dictators learn to adjust. They take care of the secret police. They take care of the military. Everybody else can starve, if that's what it takes.

I think we have to do three or four things that are very big breaks in our thinking and our policy. First, I think we have to develop two new kinds of anti-ballistic missile systems. One is to take the experiments we've had with airborne lasers, radically invest in them and get to a point where we have (INAUDIBLE) kill effect on launch, so that any time we're worried about a North Korean launch, we could kill it on the way up, which is when it's most targetable and most stable.

Second, we should reach back to the Reagan years, take the space-based concept, which was then called Brilliant Pebbles. The technology clearly exists. You want to have an ability not to have one shot. I mean, watch these experiments. They fire a test missile. They fire one or two test interceptors. That does not give you the redundancy you need.

So you need some kind of space-based system where you're going to get 20, 30, 40 shots at a missile like this as it goes through the whole ballistic parabola.

Very important next step. Third, we need to recognize both in South Korea, Japan and the United States a need for real civil defense. We should be capable of withstanding three nuclear events in three different cities the same day and having the hospitals, the engineering, the military police that would enable us to minimize the loss of human life. This is serious, serious stuff.

And finally, I think we have to have a launch -- a very rapid preemptive strike capability that the North Koreans knows if we think they're going to scare us, we will take them out before they have a chance to attack. Sorry for the long answer.

HANNITY: No, it's an important answer.

When we get back, I want to talk about the president's comments, fire, fury and power. And then Dianne Feinstein going right back to appeasement.

More with Newt Gingrich, also Ambassador John Bolton here with reaction on this busy, scary breaking news night straight ahead.



AMB. NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Saturday during the vote, we did say this is not the solution to North Korea. What this does do is this kicks them in the gut. This goes right after the hard currency. He's going to feel it, and all that money he's been using for his ballistic missile program -- you know, and he's not feeding his people -- it just got reduced in a big way.

What we are saying is now the ball's in your court. Kim now has to decide if he's going to turn around and say, OK, the international community is telling me to stop, or is he going to have, you know, a temper tantrum?


HANNITY: All right, that was the U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, earlier today on "Fox & Friends" talking about the new North Korean sanctions. And by the way, china and Russia joined in with the United States.

We continue with former Speaker of the House, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich, author of the best-seller "Understanding Trump."

Mr. Speaker, I just tried to lay out a history. There's always been this naive belief about peace in our time. And Neville Chamberlain is the classic example that everybody uses. And then we look at, for example, what Bill Clinton did with the North Koreans that allowed them to get to where we are today. We saw Barack Obama I believe naively handing over billions and billions of dollars. And I believe he naively think that they're going to abide by the agreement.

My question is, when the president says fire, fury, and power, and Dianne Feinstein calls him bombastic and further isolate North Korea, and then she suggests bilateral talks with Kim Jong-un, I'm just thinking, You don't get it. You don't understand. This is not -- you can't negotiate with crazy people like this.

GINGRICH: Well, look, I think that, as Ambassador Nikki Haley said, the entire civilized world sent a pretty powerful signal at the U.N., a unanimous vote for more severe sanctions. The question is, will it have any effect? I think the key to American national security planning with Korea now is start with the assumption that none of this works. Then, what do you need to do?

And what I tried to outline in the last segment is there are a number of very bold, very powerful steps we could take if we acted on a wartime basis if we said this is an existential threat, millions of American lives are at stake, many millions of South Korean lives are at stake, many millions of Japanese lives are at stake -- and to be fair, millions of North Korean lives are at stake.

We should be moving with an intensity and an aggressiveness, cutting through the bureaucracy developing a series of steps as I outlined in the last segment that enables us to say to North Korea, We don't need to contain you diplomatically. If you decide to behave in a stupid way, we are surrounding you with mechanisms which will coerce you, make you harmless and ultimately crush you.

So the ball is in your court. You want to be eliminated? We're going to have the assets to do it. We don't particularly want to do it. In fact, we'd like to negotiate, but it's your call, not our call.

What we cannot do is have another decade of piously hoping that sanctions and diplomacy and talk are going to be a substitute for very profound change in North Korea. And there is zero evidence we're going to see profound change.

HANNITY: I love what you're saying, especially about the missile technology to take out -- and we do have some great antiballistic missile technology available to us. But when you talk about what -- the lasers that you're discussing and 40 opportunities to take him out -- I've always said that I thought President Reagan's greatest legacy, you know, through the prism of history will be his vision about strategic defense, and he was mocked greatly for it.

Let's say, like in World War II, we have a coalition. The former Soviet Union was our enemy. We aligned against Nazi Germany. My question is, even if we have a world alliance that included China, Israel, Russia, Western Europe, the United States, and we even combined military forces to take their sites, aren't we -- isn't this answer is the obliteration of North Korea and the risk that he launches weapons before he's obliterated?

GINGRICH: Well, look, I think that's why you have to invest very dramatically now in much more redundant systems of killing missiles. You cannot afford to rely on a very sophisticated, very limited number of missiles who do not have a track record of being able to cope with any significant launch. If you were to launch three to five missiles, I doubt very much if we would get one or two of them right now.

So you want to build a system that's a layered defense. We know how to do this. We studied how to do it against the Soviets. And remember, they had thousands of missiles. So President Reagan was suggesting a defensive system on a much bigger scale than you'd need against North Korea.

We also want to have very targeted weapons. We don't want to kill lots and lots of North Koreans, but we may need very hypersonic missiles delivering very large conventional weapons to very specific sites.

HANNITY: You do...

GINGRICH: So what we do is we strip North Korea...

HANNITY: You run the risk of blowing their weapons up.

GINGRICH: ... of specific weapons.

HANNITY: Right. Mr. Speaker...

GINGRICH: But I think that's a very low risk. I think...

HANNITY: OK. Mr. Speaker, always love your knowledge of history on this important news night. Thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.

Here now with more reaction, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. -- John Bolton is with us. Ambassador, I know you've warned about this over the years. I've warned about it over the years. And here we are. Your thoughts about what our options are.

JOHN BOLTON, FMR. U.S. AMB. TO U.N., FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, we have very few. This is a grim day in American history. As you said, we've watched three administrations, Clinton, Bush and Obama, with variations to be sure, pursue the same basic policy of trying to negotiate or pressure North Korea out of getting deliverable nuclear weapons.

HANNITY: Or bribe them. We've tried to bribe them.

BOLTON: Yes, sure, and that field, too. That's why I worked so hard to get out of the agreed framework with North Korea Bill Clinton we were about to give them light water reactors.

But we've failed. And I think we're now down to a period of decision that can be measured in months at best. This capability, if it's accurate that North Korea can miniaturize these weapons, means we're at risk very soon. And given we know our intelligence as far from perfect, I don't want to guess wrong when that capability will actually be in the North Koreans' hands.

So we've got have very limited options here, and the military option is, I'm afraid, got to be at the center of it because the American people have to ask themselves this question. Are you willing to live with a regime like North Korea holding American civilians at risk of a nuclear attack?

And by the way, the same question applies to the ayatollahs in Tehran. The capabilities North Korea has today, Iran can have tomorrow by sending a wire transfer.

HANNITY: Do you agree with former speaker of the House Gingrich that -- I agree with him. We need to look at this as a clear and present danger to the country and the world and expedite the technology and placement of the weaponry that could take this out with redundancy, that gives us 40 or more chances to take something out, if, God forbid, it's ever launched.

BOLTON: Well, in terms of ballistic missile defense for the country as a whole, we can blame Barack Obama for the fix we're in today. He gutted the Bush administration plan for missile defense, and we're very much at risk because of Obama's policies.

In terms of the offensive side, Sean, I don't think we have the time. As I say, I think we've months to decide whether we will allow North Korea to have that capability to put nuclear warheads essentially anywhere they want inside the United States.

They're not going to be as sophisticated as ours. Their guidance systems may not be as good. So what? So they aim for Los Angeles and hit San Francisco. That doesn't make us feel any better because once they really do get that capability, it's much harder and the risk of one of those missiles actually being fired at the United States is greater.

We're at the point that we never should have come to by all of this -- these decades of negotiations. And the notion that today anybody, any responsible person could say we still want to negotiate with North Korea just defies all logic. We're at a very dangerous point.

HANNITY: Yes. All right, Ambassador. Chilling times. Thank you for being with us. We'll continue to monitor all that is happening, these escalating tensions tonight with North Korea.

Also, Jay Sekulow, Gregg Jarrett here with new details about the Clinton- Lynch tarmac meeting as we continue straight ahead.


MARIANNE RAFFERTY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: This is a Fox News alert. I am Marianne Rafferty.

The U.S. flying B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula as North Korea dangerously escalates tensions with the U.S. The rogue nation threatening today to launch a missile attack against Guam, an American territory in the Pacific that hosts a large contingent as U.S. military forces. Among them is Andersen Air Force base, home to those strategic bombers that are flying over North Korea this evening.

This coming just hours after the director of national intelligence released a report saying North Korea likely has ability to fit a miniature nuclear weapon on its intercontinental ballistic missiles. Various estimates saying North Korea could have anywhere between 20 and 50 warheads at their disposal. Earlier today President Trump warned North Korea against making any more threats, saying the U.S. will meet them in fire and fury.

I am Marianne Rafferty. Now back to "Hannity."

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." We're going to have more on the escalating situation out of North Korea. Ollie North in just a few minutes. But first, this is another developing story we are following tonight, damning new discovery by the American Center for Law and Justice. They say new emails now prove that the Obama White House was involved in the Clinton-Lynch meeting spin.

And that's not all. Earlier today President Trump took the press to task tweeting, quote "Emails show that the Amazon "Washington Post" and the failing "New York Times" were reluctant to cover the Clinton-Lynch secret plane meeting."

Joining is now with reaction, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and President Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow as well as Fox News anchor and attorney Gregg Jarrett. I'm going to ask you, Jay, about North Korea in a second. Really quickly, that to me is -- really? Now we have the DOJ and FBI talking points, now we got the Obama administration involved? That sounds like obstruction to me.

JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: It's even more complicated than that. The FBI denied that they had any documents and then when we went to court against the Department of Justice, the Department of Justice produced documents which resulted in disclosures about emails that included emails to the FBI.

We now in going through those carefully, we found an email that goes from the Department of Justice to the White House press office on how to handle this where they gave them, again, this is the redacted statement. So now you've got the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the White House involved in this.

And the chain of events on this disclosure with regard to former president Clinton and former attorney general Lynch on the tarmac also reached inside the Department of Justice, the highest level, within minutes of this story breaking, including bringing in a deputy attorney general whose job description includes, quote, "crisis management."

Also we've discovered later this afternoon, Sean, and this is an interesting development and we are still looking at it tonight, and that is one of the lawyers copied on these emails was a former in the White House counsel's office and was over at DOJ as a senior counsel to the attorney general. She now is the deputy counsel to Dianne Feinstein, the senator from New York whose committee is looking into this whole situation between Loretta Lynch and President Clinton.

So you have to put up a whiteboard to figure it all out but as we are developing and looking at it, it's a tangled web here that's going on, no question about it. A lot of people are being caught up in that web.

HANNITY: Because of Jay's position, I feel more comfortable asking you, Gregg Jarrett -- putting on your legal hat, your commentator hat, DOJ, FBI, White House, and Feinstein, what does that sound like? And talking points when the story is breaking, wow.

GREGG JARRETT, FOX NEWS ANCHOR AND ATTORNEY: Why is Loretta Lynch using an alias in her communication about the meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac? Was she trying to hide incriminating evidence of an illicit conversation?

It is a crime, 18 USC 2017 for a government official to willfully conceal a document. We know that Loretta Lynch actually achieved it for the better part of the year until last Friday when, as Jay points out these documents he obtained. So Lynch needs to be put under oath before the Judiciary Committee and answer questions. What was this meeting really about with Bill Clinton? Did you assure the Clinton campaign nothing would come of the investigation? Did you ask Comey to lie as James Comey has testified? And why didn't you ever impanel a grand jury over the course of a one yearlong investigation into Hillary Clinton? Robert Mueller did it in a nanosecond investigating Trump.

HANNITY: Unbelievable.

SEKULOW: And remember this, Sean, James Comey utilized this meeting between Clinton and Loretta Lynch as the basis upon why he went public just five days after these exchange of emails and that meeting took place. As Gregg said, you look at this, there is a lot of things that have the answer to hear. And hopefully these committees and hopefully the Department of Justice is investigating it. They sure should.

HANNITY: Guys, we will have you back tomorrow to talk more about this. Thank you both. That is huge news. It's everything we've been talking about with this audience about things that really need to be investigated. And grand jury is impaneled and people put under oath, and if we believe in equal justice under the law, we will get there. Thank you Gregg and thank you, Jay Sekulow.

When we come back, more on tonight's scary breaking news about North Korea. How should the U.S. respond? Colonel North, next.



TRUMP: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.


HANNITY: Fire, power, fury the likes of which the world has never seen before. The president earlier today delivering a very stern warning to the rogue regime in North Korea. Here now with reaction, the host of "War Stories," Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North. Colonel, this is one of those nights, honestly, where I don't see a lot of good solutions here. And going back over the years and the many segments we've done together, I wish I could say to everybody that I was so wrong. This was a good deal like President Clinton said. But we can't say that, can we?

OLIVER NORTH, HOST, "WAR STORIES": No. In fact, the president's message based on the intelligence that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea already has a nuclear weapon and the means of delivering it on our homeland is an existential threat and his remarks were spot on.

Here's why. The threats posed by Pyongyang are far more serious than what Kennedy faced in the Cuban missile crisis because the Soviets wanted to survive the experience. That's why mutually assured destruction work. But I listen very carefully to Ambassador Bolton and to former speaker Newt Gingrich. And I don't want to be the Jeremiah here, because I have always said that military force ought to be the last option. But the Soviets were all alone in their threats moving missiles to Cuba because Cuba was the USSR's only ally and Castro was useless.

The Obama administration's malign neglect of the North Korean-Iranian connection in building nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them has allowed Kim Jong-un, ruler of one of the poorest nations on earth, to rapidly acquire the means of striking the U.S. And that's why he's talking the way he is. He has doubt as to whether we will do it.

I have considerable doubt as to whether the leaders in North Korea or Tehran have the same survival instinct as the Russians. And as both Newt Gingrich and Ambassador Bolton pointed out, the ballistic programs approved by President Reagan were never fully implemented. We are virtually naked against this significant attack.

Finally, a fact that both Beijing and Moscow voted for new U.N. sanctions is a very clear signal they too are concerned.

So here's what we have to do. Take reasonable steps to convince the Chinese, President Xi, he is running out of time to take care of the situation in Pyongyang. We cannot wait months or even weeks if we're to prevent a catastrophe that will very seriously affect China.

So how do you convince Xi that we're deadly serious? Number one, the president needs to press hard for President Moon and the Republic of Korea to bring as much THAAD batteries and assistance as we can possibly deliver.

Number two, return the tactical nukes to the Republic of Korea that we withdrew back in the 1990s when all of this started with Kim Jong-un's dad. Third, deploy much more long-range strike aircraft to Guam and Okinawa. And yes, that's going to cause a fracas, and the Chinese are going to be paying attention. And then make it known that we're dusting off our target list. That means additional ISR, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance satellites and other kinds of assets. And then finally, pray that the Chinese are paying attention, because if they are not, the catastrophe that the president just talked about is going to happen.

HANNITY: How many can die, colonel, in a worst-case scenario? And do you see any of these options particularly good?

NORTH: Well, as both the speaker and the ambassador pointed out, and several other of your guests have pointed out, the idea that you've got literally thousands of artillery shells aimed at the capital of South Korea, potentially you're talking hundreds of thousands if not millions of casualties. If a nuclear weapon goes off in the United States or over the United States, it will be catastrophic. If you thing that the great depression was bad, wait till you see what happens because of that.

HANNITY: All right, colonel, I wish we had better news for people tonight. I wish people did not underestimate evil as I said in my opening monologue. All right, sir, safe home, appreciate it.

And coming up tonight, Sheriff David Clarke and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz here to discuss this serious threat of North Korea, straight ahead.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." The world on edge tonight after reports that the rogue regime in Pyongyang has missile ready nuclear weapons, scary times. Here with reaction, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, former Green Beret commander and Fox News contributor Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz. Lieutenant colonel, your thoughts on how does America deal with what is an existential threat now to the safety and security of not only the U.S. but those around the world tonight?

MICHAEL WALTZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Sean, I was just out in Japan and in the region, and I have to tell you we have some incredibly nervous allies, and rightly so.

My first response to the reports today that North Korea is able to put a nuclear warhead on an ICBM is the intelligence community better be right this time. You'll remember just six months ago, President Obama told incoming President Trump that they are going to be able to do this within four to five years. Now six months later they are able to do it now. This can't be another Iraq WMD situation. My brothers and sisters in the intelligence community have to be spot on here.

And then secondly, there's a lot of talk of President Trump warmongering essentially with some of his responses.

HANNITY: Further isolating.

WALTZ: That's right. But I think what he has to do is he has to change Kim Jong-un and the Chinese's calculation. Right now they think getting a nuclear weapon is the way to ensure regime survival, and we need to make them believe that by getting one he's actually going to guarantee the fall of his regime one way or another, and the Chinese need to believe that as well.

HANNITY: Sheriff Clarke, it's funny, you and I have had personal discussions about evil in our time. You've seen a lot of evil in your work. This is evil on a grand scale. You see that appeasement has got us to this point. What is your advice for the president today?

DAVID CLARKE, MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF: First of all, the hour is at hand. And I will sleep well tonight knowing that President Trump is in charge of this crisis. This is one of the most profound duties that a commander in chief has, to protect the United States of America. Nothing has seemed to work thus far. Paying this Kim Jong-un off with sanctions, that doesn't seem to work. Diplomacy, not with a rogue dictator.

So one of the things that's on the table for the president to have to make, it is a very serious thing for him to have to decide, is a preemptive strike. But that might be all that is left at this point. He's not going to sit back and blame the other administrations and people who came before him that could have done something about it. He made it clear during the campaign he was going to do with this situation. We can't appease North Korea anymore. Their nuclear capability has to be dismantled and I don't think that's going to come through negotiations.

HANNITY: There is a great risk there, lieutenant colonel, and that is obviously he could launch before our missiles get there. Even if we create a great coalition as I was asking the former speaker, to me you are talking about a need to almost incinerate North Korea to get the job done.

WALTZ: Yes, Sean. I want to be very clear here on the military options and how bad they are and how difficult that it will be. This is not a matter of just some stealth fighters going in and taking him out or taking his program out. He has been, and his father and his grandfather have been preparing for this for 50 years. They have these things dug into the sides of mountains, down in bunkers, with a fairly sophisticated air defense system.

And the trump card, as I'm sure you've heard, is the artillery, the thousands of artillery pieces they have ready to rain down on Seoul. It's like artillery coming down on Manhattan. And we would not be able to take all that out before he would be able to unleash it. So we do need to be sure that every option has been exhausted. I think we need to put a lot of pressure on the Chinese to strangle them financially. Yes, our ambassador Nikki Haley had a great success this week in new sanctions, but the Chinese have to enforce it, and their calculus has to change. Right now they are more afraid of the unified Korea and a fallen regime than they are of war. And they need to understand that we are serious.

HANNITY: It's a bigger geopolitical threat to them, Sheriff.

CLARKE: Without a doubt. Of course all of these other options have to be played out until the end. But as was indicated by several people, time is running out. We look at this and we know how dire it is. We can't punt, we know that. Something has to be done. It's not going to be clean, it's not going to be easy. There may be massive loss of life over in that region. Nobody wants to see that, but at the same time, just like I said, if you just decide to punt and try to buy this guy off, we will be dealing with this again at some point in time. But that's what we elected the president to do, to be a commander in chief.

HANNITY: Guys, thank you very much. Not a lot of good options.

When we come back, we will close out "Hannity," an important "Question of the Day."


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Time for our "Question of the Day" as we are running out of time. How do you think the U.S. should respond to North Korea's aggression?, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

Unfortunately, that's all the time we have left this evening. We will keep on the story of North Korea. Bad options here. We will always be fair and balanced. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being with us. We will see you back here tomorrow night.

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