Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a former Republican presidential candidate, said Friday that President Trump ought to “eradicate” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his top lieutenants in a surgical military strike designed to give rise to a more benign leadership in Pyongyang.

In a discussion with reporters in Washington, Kasich evaluated the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula and suggested that Trump devise a plan to swiftly eliminate North Korea's leadership.

“How do you deal with this? I think there might be a way, and that has to do with taking out the North Korean leadership,” Kasich said. He added, “I believe the best way to solve this problem is to eradicate the leadership. I'm talking about those who are closest to making the decisions that North Korea's following now.”

Kasich stopped short of explicitly recommending that U.S. forces assassinate North Korea's leaders, but what he described would be a military and intelligence exercise.

“The North Korean top leadership has to go and there are ways in which that can be achieved,” Kasich said. “But you have to have very good intelligence. You have to have an ability to do things very quickly. And, you know, I think that is not beyond our capability to achieve that.”

The Ohioan said that, if he were president right now, “I'd be asking [military commanders] about it. Are you staging raids? Do you know how to land? Do you know how to get there? Are your helicopters going to work?”

Kasich's comments came at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, part of the governor's media blitz to promote his new book, “Two Paths: America Divided or United.”

Kasich spoke extensively about health care and tax policy, as well as the early months of Trump's presidency. Asked to grade Trump's first 100 days in office, Kasich said: “Incomplete.”

“Nothing really has happened outside of knock and talk that's really impacted anybody,” Kasich said. But, he urged the journalists, “You ought to give him time righto figure out how this whole thing works.”