North Korea's Missile Tests: Should the U.S. Be Concerned?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," April 6, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Major General Bob Scales joins us live here in Washington. Nice to see you, General. All right, General, can you show us the path of this failed missile (INAUDIBLE)

MAJ. GEN. BOB SCALES, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Sure. If we go to the Telestrator -- this was a three-stage Taepodong-2 missile that has a theoretical range of over 3,000 miles. What happened, 10:30 Saturday morning, they launched the missile. It went out, and the first stage landed in the Sea of Japan, and the next two stages headed off to the east over Japan out to a distance of about 1,900 miles.

Nothing went into orbit. The second and third stage failed to separate, and the missile launch was, like the last two, a complete and total failure.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK, it's a complete and total failure, but one thing that I read today which stuck in my mind is the fact that you learn so much from failure in this because you learn, you know, how to fix your mistakes. That was, you know, in terms of many of these people who were involved. So the fact that it failed just sort of gets them revved up again. I don't know if they can ever do this...

SCALES: Well, the North Koreans must be the world's greatest rocket scientists because all they've done is fail there, and they've also failed trying to detonate a nuclear weapon, and the rest of the world goes into apoplexy over this thing. The right thing...

VAN SUSTEREN: Should we ignore it?

SCALES: Well, I wouldn't say ignore it, but don't make a big deal out of it. I mean, this is the gang that couldn't shoot straight. I mean, this -- this is a kleptocracy whose sole purpose in life is to rattle sabers in the hope of getting, as you just said, free food, fuel and fertilizer to keep this shaky regime in power for another few years. The thing to do is let this whole society collapse under its own weight because us getting involved with that in any way, as you just said, will do no good.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I'm almost inclined to agree with you that we should do nothing. However, I mean, I'm also mindful of the fact that there are millions of people starving in that country. And you all say let it collapse under its own weight. It has not yet collapsed, and it's been hermetically sealed off from the world since about 1950 or something.

SCALES: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: It hasn't collapsed yet. I guess you're talking about waiting until Kim Jong Il...

SCALES: Kim Jong Il passes from power. A couple of things. You know, I served three tours in Korea, and my first two tours, Korea was a -- North Korea was a significant military power, 1.1 million men under arms, formidable rockets and long-range artillery. Those days have passed. They don't have the fuel to go 20 miles. Their weapons are now obsolete...

VAN SUSTEREN: They can't -- they don't even drive a -- I mean, getting a car -- and when we were there, it was remarkable to see a car anyplace. But here's -- here's sort of one of the sort of secret weapons they do have on us.

SCALES: Right. Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: They're holding two American journalists, two women, since March, who were hovering around the border. I don't know if they were in North Korea or not, but they are...

SCALES: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, they do have two Americans. That is, you know, deeply disturbing to us.

Watch Greta's interview

SCALES: It is. It is. But the bottom line is I just don't see North Korea as a global threat.

VAN SUSTEREN: I -- I -- I would think of them more as buying, rather than as selling because if they -- if they...

SCALES: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... can't shoot straight...

SCALES: Well, I mean, the only clients they have, really, are usually Middle Eastern countries, who are buying their rocket technology, so they have to demonstrate how good their rockets are so people will start buying the weapons so they can get the foreign exchange to build more rockets. It doesn't make sense.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which raises another -- which raises another issue. This is probably the worst marketing venture they could do is to show that they can't do it. So buy our rockets, they're terrible, is basically what you're saying.

SCALES: Basically, that's it.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, anyway, the world certainly has got their eyes on this one. General Scales, thank you, sir.

SCALES: Thank you, Greta.

Content and Programming Copyright 2009 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.