New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: May I urge the Foreign Secretary to cheer up a bit and to cast his mind back 53 years to 1964, when red China, led by Mao Tse Tung, who was every bit as much of a murderous maniac as the current leader of North Korea is, was about to acquire nuclear weapons? May I ask my right hon. Friend to face up to a couple of hard facts? First, he is clearly right to say that North Korea is determined on this path. Secondly, he is clearly right to say that China could stop it, but probably will not do so. Thirdly, if North Korea is determined to get nuclear weapons, it will get them and, what is more, we will deter it from using them. That is what happened with China, which we are now looking at as our friends, when it used to be led by exactly the same sort of regime.

[The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Boris Johnson): I, of course, hugely admire the sangfroid of my right hon. Friend and his natural optimism. I hope he will forgive me if I, none the less, continue with what I think is the settled view of this House: that we should pursue all diplomatic and peaceful means available to us to try to prevent North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons.]