Washington, Aug. 15 (Jiji Press) — China is concerned that Japan could go nuclear as a result of a nuclear North Korea, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said in an interview released Thursday on the website of U.S. government-affiliated broadcaster Voice of America.
Bolton, who advises U.S. President Donald Trump, underlined the importance of China making further efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
“China has said for many years, they don’t want North Korea have nuclear weapons because they believe it would cause ‘instability in Northeast Asia’ and ‘instability in Northeast Asia’ would harm Chinese economic growth,” Bolton said.
“I think that analysis is absolutely right.”
He also said that “what they mean by ‘instability in Northeast Asia’ is Japan getting nuclear weapons.”
“The longer that Japan looks at a nuclear North Korea, the greater the incentive, and it would be a huge change in policy for Japan, but the greater the incentive for Japan to get its own nuclear weapons,” he added.
Regarding U.S.-North Korea denuclearization talks, Bolton said that “we haven’t had really any substantive negotiations, at the working level with North Korea” since Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea in late June.
He also said that adequate verification and compliance mechanism on North Korea’s denuclearization processes still remain to be negotiated.
On a series of recent short-range missile launches by North Korea, Bolton said that the range of the missiles “could probably hit all of South Korea and parts of Japan” and “would endanger our deployed forces as well.”
While claiming that the short-range missile launches “don’t violate the pledge” that the North Korean leader made to the U.S. president about Pyongyang not firing intercontinental ballistic missiles, Bolton also said the recent launches are “troubling for everyone watching the peninsula.”