WASHINGTON, July 6 (Yonhap) -- China is still the only card the U.S. can use to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis, a former CIA chief said, despite calls for tougher measures against Pyongyang in the wake of its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
James Woolsey, who served as CIA director during the administration of Bill Clinton, made the remark in an interview with AOL.com, saying regime change isn't likely going to work for the North.
"Regime change in North Korea is very difficult, and I don't know what leverage we've got," Woolsey said. "It's very hard to figure out how to do that, and Kim Jong-un doesn't seem like the type of leader that can be persuaded to step down by sweet reason."
"I think our only card is China," Woolsey said . "We have to convince China to work with us and to continue its economic pressure and enhance its economic pressure... I think China is the ballgame."
U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed growing frustration after months of fruitless effort to persuade China to exercise more of its influence as the North's economic lifeline to rein in the regime. China accounts for nearly 90 percent of the North's total trade.
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