President Bush makes remarks on the No Child Left Behind program during a visit to Waldo C. Faulkner Elementary School in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006.
President Bush said Wednesday the United States would stop North Korea from transferring nuclear weapons to Iran or al-Qaida and that the communist regime would then face “a grave consequence.”
Bush refused to spell out how the United States would retaliate. “They’d be held to account,” the president said in an ABC News interview.
In light of North Korea’s Oct. 9 test detonation of a nuclear bomb, Bush warned that any transfer of nuclear material elsewhere in the world by the North would be considered a grave threat to the security of the United States. He previously used “grave threat” in relation to
Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, whose government was toppled in the U.S.-led war in 2003.
“If we get intelligence that they’re about to transfer a nuclear weapon, we would stop the transfer, and we would deal with the ships that were taking the â€” or the airplane that was dealing with taking the material to somebody,” the president said.
Asked how he would retaliate, Bush would not be specific, “You know, I’d just say it’s a grave consequence.”
Make No mistake about it. If North Korea provokes the United States in this manner then there will be a military conflict, including the use of tactical nuclear weapons on North Korea’s nuclear facilities.