RICE: The U.S. is working very closely with Japan and we will be in consultation with our partners inside the council, trying to get the most appropriate and strong response we can possibly get.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But this is already a violation of U.N. resolutions -- two U.N. resolutions...
RICE: Yes, it is.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... just to have this test. So what good does it do for the United Nations to come back and say, hey, we really mean it this time?
RICE: Now, well, the first resolution that is really the operative one was from 2006, when the North Koreans launched a missile and the United Nations Security Council demanded a halt to future missile-related activity and any future missile launches.
We feel very strongly that what occurred today was a violation of that resolution. So we will go back and work, George, to both toughen existing regimes, but to add to that resolution. In fact, that resolution did not...
STEPHANOPOULOS: So there will be new sanctions toughening...
RICE: George, we have 15 members of the Security Council and -- including the permanent five, so we all need to come together around this. But the United States' view is, this is serious, it's a violation, and it merits and appropriately strong United Nations response. We'll be… STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned...
RICE: ...working for that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned the 15 members. One of them, of course, as you mentioned, is China. China has made it pretty clear they don't want any sanctions. And because of that, your predecessor, John Bolton, says that any kind of U.N. resolution is going to be close to meaningless.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: I think the real pressure has to be applied on China, which gives North Korea 80 to 90 percent of its energy and a substantial amount of its food and other humanitarian needs.
China has got the capability to stop this nuclear program, we've just never applied adequate pressure to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is the United States prepared to pressure China?
RICE: We're working very closely with China. China shares the same goal that we do, which is a de-nuclearized Korean Peninsula. China also is very proximate, on the border with North Korea, and shares our desire not to see this situation escalate, and to ensure that we can achieve, George, the long-term goal, which is de- nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through the six-party talk process.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But because China is right on the border of North Korea, they've been reluctant to really pressure North Korea. They're afraid that if you turn the screws too hard on North Korea, the regime is going to collapse and there's going to be chaos.
And is that why they are not going along with tougher sanctions?
RICE: Well, I think they have multiple concerns. They are looking at the large long-term goal of ensuring that we don't have a nuclearized Korean Peninsula. There have been times when we have differed as to the best means of achieving that.
But we are unified with China and others in the six parties towards the goal, George, of ensuring that we roll back this nuclear program that North Korea is pursuing.