Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday that she backed the Trump White House in "painting a very bleak picture for the Chinese" about North Korea as tensions increase over its nuclear ambitions.
"I don't think any American president can tolerate that leader with the capacity to reach the United States," said Rice, referring to dictator Kim Jong Un, The Hill reports.
Rice, 62, who served in the George W. Bush administration, made her comments at the Library of Congress' Book Festival in Washington.
"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 said. "That's the only country with any real leverage on the North Koreans."
Rice explained that Beijing remains reluctant to intervene out of fears North Korea could collapse and create a refugee crisis on their border, the Hill reports.
Her comments came before the state-run KCNA news agency reported that Pyongyang had developed a more advanced nuclear weapon and that Kim had inspected a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded onto a new intercontinental ballistic missile.
Rice also referenced Kim's threats last month to fire missiles off Guam, which brought a strong response from President Donald Trump.
"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," she said.
"We're getting pretty close to a president having to make a decision."
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