Condoleezza Rice: Trump right to paint 'bleak picture' of North Korea
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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she supports the Trump administration in "painting a very bleak picture for the Chinese" on North Korea, amid heightened tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear program.

The former Bush administration official commented on North Korea's recent missile tests during an appearance at the Library of Congress Book Festival on Saturday.

"I don't think any American president can tolerate that leader with the capacity to reach the United States," Rice said of North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnNorth Korean hackers targeting pharmaceutical companies working on COVID-19 vaccines: report US analyst: North Korea's Kim, family inoculated with experimental Chinese COVID-19 vaccine North Korea puts further restrictions on seawater entry to fight pandemic: state media MORE.


"What the administration is trying to do, and I support what they're trying to do, is they're painting a very bleak picture for the Chinese," she continued. "That's the only country with any real leverage on the North Koreans."

The former secretary of State said that the Chinese are hesitant to exercise their leverage over fears that the North Korean regime could collapse, creating a refugee crisis on their border. 

Rice said that ever since the George W. Bush administration had tried to negotiate denuclearization with the regime's former leader Kim Jong Il, the country has continued its research and development of long-range missiles and bombs. 

North Korea once again sparked international tensions on Tuesday when it fired a missile over Japan, which landed in the Pacific. Japan is now considering amending its defense plan, as the U.S. and South Korea continue efforts to secure the Korean peninsula. 

"I think at some point the American president, and I'm not inside so don't know what he's being told about how long he has, but at some point if you're threatening Guam and already firing missiles over Japan, we're getting pretty close to a denouement, we're getting pretty close to a president having to make a decision," Rice said, referring to the country's recent threats to fire missiles off the coast of Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific.

Rice speculated that China "must have talked to him" Kim Jong Un about the threats, as they quickly stood down from the situation following President Trump's comments that the U.S. would respond with "fire and fury" if North Korea continued its threats.