North Korea: Economic strangulation can curtail Kim Jong Un, Gen. Keane says

North Korea launched its highest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday that reached an altitude of 2,800 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan.

During an emergency meeting at the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the North Korean missile launch, its first in two months, has brought the world closer to war.

“We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it. If war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday. And if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed,” Haley said.

Retired Gen. Jack Keane said the U.N. needs to economically strangle North Korea with strong sanctions in order to help slow down the country’s nuclear weapons program during an interview with FOX Business’ Trish Regan on Thursday.

“This is clearly an acceleration of this program's largest missile he’s ever fired. It can reach the entire range of the continent of the United States. His technologies advancing, he’s racing to get this technology as quickly as he can,” he said. “We are closer to war.”

Keane explained the difficulties that Kim Jong Un still faces in developing nuclear weapons.

“He still has some challenges out there with a re-entry vehicle coming from outer space back into the earth’s atmosphere. He has to miniaturize a weapon to be able to put on it and normally to ensure he’s actually accomplished that to some kind of atmospheric test,” he said.

Keane said that China has the leverage to potentially remove Kim Jong Un as the leader of North Korea -- a feat that he said would not be easy, but could be necessary.

“Realistically, they can change this leader out, if they want to, put another leader in there that is clearly aligned with them. He’s a starch communist, but he’s not creating this kind of nightmare scenario. The Chinese do not want war on the Korean peninsula.”

Keane discussed how leaders of the regime could in fact be the ones to replace Kim Jong Un.

“Another option is out there, when the regime is getting squeezed pretty bad internally, and they can [see] that [there’s a] potential for economic collapse, some of his own leaders may make that decision,” he said.