Joe Biden to China: Curb North Korea or Japan Can Go Nuclear ‘Virtually Overnight’

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 6.33.38 PM
Vice President Joe Biden warned China that the Japanese government may acquire nuclear weapons “virtually overnight” if the threat from North Korea becomes too grave, urging Beijing to do more to curb Pyongyang’s belligerence. The Vice President’s comments echo those of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who warned that Japan and South Korea acquiring nuclear weapons “is going to happen anyway” in controversial remarks issued in March. Japanese government officials and media responded to Trump’s comments much more severely than they have to Biden’s. “What happens if Japan, who could tomorrow, could go nuclear tomorrow? They have the capacity to do it virtually overnight,” Biden told PBS host Charlie Rose in an interview broadcast Monday. He explained that he made this warning to Chinese President Xi Jinping personally while discussing the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea to protect from a North Korean attack, a move that China has condemned vocally. “When I tell President Xi, you have to understand we got a guy up there in North Korea who is talking about building weapons that can strike, nuclear weapons strike the United States and not only Hawaii and Alaska, but… the mainland