Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday urged President Trump to be careful with his rhetoric on North Korea, adding that he should let diplomacy help temper the tensions between the two countries.
"You want ... to watch your rhetoric. I can remember in crisis after crisis, your rhetoric gets hotter and hotter and hotter, escalates more and more and more. Really, it just puts an environment around the problem that's hard to get it solved — so I fully understand what the president's saying," Rice said on Fox News's "The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino."
"The North Koreans with the nuclear weapons — unacceptable. The North Korean leader is a rather odd character. And the United States will not accept it. But having said that, I think it's time to step back and let the diplomacy work,” she continued, after saying it is okay if Trump comes off "unpredictable" in dealing with the hermit state.
Rice also said Chinese President Xi Jinping is trying to take the middle road, attempting to appease both states just enough to get by without upsetting one or the other too much.
"So the Chinese have been doing just enough to say that they're doing the right things, but they’re not doing nearly enough, and I hope that after this [communist] party Congress they’re really gonna start to put some real pressure on the North Korean regime because we really, we don't have great options if we can't do this diplomatically."
"And so the Chinese are the key to that and I'm hoping after the party Congress, they'll get really tough with the regime,” Rice told Perino, adding that Xi is looking to make himself "the most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping and so that’s where his focus is."
Her remarks come after Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her MORE (R-Tenn.) remarked that Trump may lead the country into World War III, pointing to his threats directed at other countries.
During his first address to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Trump threatened to "totally destroy North Korea" amid escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
Rice served for eight years in the White House as both as a national security adviser and as the nation’s first African-American woman to become secretary of State in 2005 under President George W. Bush.