Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton is trying to talk tough on North Korea despite repeatedly stating as Secretary of State that the regime was moving in the right direction with regard to its nuclear ambitions.
Clinton released a statement Wednesday, following reports that North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb which is even stronger than the nuclear weapons that Kim Jong Un’s regime has already tested on multiple occasions. Clinton stated:
The United States and our partners, including the UN Security Council, need to immediately impose additional sanctions against North Korea. The Chinese government, which wields influence with the North Koreans, must be more assertive in deterring the North’s irresponsible actions, and it should take actions to halt prohibited activities transpiring across its borders or its firms that participate in illicit trade or proliferation will have to face sanctions. We should also work with our allies to strengthen our missile defenses.
“And threats like this are yet another reminder of what’s at stake in this election. We cannot afford reckless, imprudent publicity stunts that risk war. We need a Commander-in-Chief with the experience and judgement to deal with a dangerous North Korea on Day One,” Clinton added.
But Clinton’s record does not speak to her supposed ability to stare down the North Koreans.
In March 2012, Secretary of State Clinton said that North Korea was taking a “modest step in the right direction” by agreeing to allow nuclear inspectors back into the country in return for 240,000 metric tons of food from the United States. The food delivery was called off the very next month when North Korea violated the terms of the agreement by testing a nuclear missile.
Clinton also credited herself with spearheading the effort to sanction North Korea during her time at the State Department.
“We had to make some concessions to get Chinese and Russian backing, but this was still the toughest measure ever imposed on North Korea, and I was pleased we were finally able to muster a unified international response,” Clinton wrote in her book Hard Choices.
Those sanctions obviously did not work. Clinton’s record still does not atone for the fact that her husband Bill, as president, struck a failed deal with North Korea that he thought would stop the regime from obtaining nuclear weapons. The deal did not accomplish that feat.