“I think that the Chinese have to understand that unless they become very engaged with North Korea and bring about a very quick resolution to this crisis that the Japanese will have no choice but to nuclear arm themselves,” McCain said on a Fox News television talks show.
“It is a crisis,” said the Republican from Arizona. “So I think that the Chinese ought to understand that it is not in their interest in any way to have a nuclear-armed North Korea.”
Appearing on the same show after McCain, White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice denied the possibility of Japan arming itself with nuclear weapons.
“I don’t see any evidence that the Japanese think that this is in their interest,” Rice said.
“The key here is to get the regional powers to recognize that we need a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula, that we’ve got to work for it in a united fashion,” she said, referring particularly to Japan, China and Russia.
Against this backdrop, Rice welcomed the International Atomic Energy Agency’s decision Wednesday to refer the North Korean nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council, calling it a “very good step.”
“I know that the North Koreans would like nothing better than for this to become a bilateral problem between the United States and North Korea,” Rice said.
“But of course, the Chinese have an enormous stake in this. The Russians have an enormous stake. The Japanese have an enormous stake,” she said.
Rice reiterated that Washington will not allow Pyongyang to “get back into a kind of discussions with the United States that produces an agreement that the North Koreans have no intention of carrying through.” (Kyodo News)