News of North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test has sparked a swift and decisive response from the Donald Trump campaign focused on Hillary Clinton’s “failure” as a diplomat on the world stage.
“North Korea’s fifth nuclear test, the fourth since Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, is yet one more example of Hillary Clinton’s catastrophic failures as Secretary of State,” Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller said in a statement.
“Clinton promised to work to end North Korea’s nuclear program as Secretary of State, yet the program has only grown in strength and sophistication. Hillary Clinton’s North Korean policy is just one more calamitous diplomatic failure from a failed Secretary of State,” Miller said.
Here’s what Hillary said in 2009 at a nomination hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about what she would do to stop North Korea. This quote has been seized upon by the Trump camp:
Again, this is under review. We’re looking at all of the record of the negotiations up to this date. Our goal is to end the North Korean nuclear program — both the plutonium reprocessing program and the highly enriched uranium program, which there is reason to believe exists, although never quite verified. And it is our strong belief that the Six-Party Talks, particularly the role that China is currently playing — along with our close allies South Korea and Japan, is a vehicle for us to exert pressure on North Korea in a way that is more likely to alter their behavior. Again, I have no illusions about that. I think it takes tough, reality-based diplomacy to determine what is doable. We have got to end North Korea as a proliferator. There is certainly reason to believe that North Korea has been involved with Syrian efforts. We know that it was involved with Libyan efforts. So, it’s not only preventing the threat from North Korea — which is of particular interest to Hawaii, Alaska and the West Coast of the United States, but it is their role as a proliferator. So, we will embark upon a very aggressive effort to try to determine the best way forward to achieve our objectives with them.
Former president Bill Clinton made an historic deal with North Korea, promising in 1994, “North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program.”