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Clinton: Time for ‘rethinking’ of U.S. approach to North Korea

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a LBGT For Hillary Gala at the Cipriani Club, in New York today.

PENSCACOLA, Fla. » Hillary Clinton said today it was time for a “rethinking” of America’s strategy for North Korea following the regime’s latest test of a nuclear weapon. Donald Trump and his campaign chief, meanwhile, refused to outline the Republican presidential candidate’s plans for defusing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The New York billionaire, however, vowed to deploy military muscle to attack America’s enemies if provoked.

Largely ignoring North Korea, he noted a recent incident in which he said Iranian ships were “toying with” an American destroyer near the Strait of Hormuz. During a Trump presidency, he promised at a Friday night rally in Pensacola, Florida, ships trying to provoke the U.S. “will be shot out of the water.”

In New York, Clinton was focused on the North Korean threat after meeting with a bipartisan group of national security experts.

The former secretary of state said she would seek to impose tougher sanctions on the communist nation, arguing the latest test provides an opening to pressure China, which has been tepid in its response to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

“I think we have an opening here that we haven’t had for the last several years that I intend to do everything I can to take advantage of,” Clinton said.

Clinton spoke hours after Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, pressed repeatedly on Trump’s plans for the region, said only, “He wouldn’t do what’s being done now.”

“He’s not going to reveal all of his plans and he’s made that very clear. And maybe someone can ask him in a debate,” Conway told “CBS This Morning.” ”But the fact is that this entire world would be put on notice that there’s a strong leader in the White House.”

North Korea’s latest atomic test was its fifth, and the second in eight months. South Korean President Park Geun-hye said the detonation, which Seoul estimated was the North’s biggest ever in explosive yield, was an act of “fanatic recklessness” and a sign that leader Kim Jong Un “is spiraling out of control.”

President Barack Obama condemned the test and said the U.S. would never accept the country as a nuclear power.

In appearances in Florida and Washington, Trump used the North Korean development to attack Clinton. “North Korea, like so many other things, is one more Hillary Clinton failure,” he said in Pensacola.

He did not say whether he had a plan to address North Korea’s claim the test will allow it to build an array of stronger, smaller and lighter nuclear weapons.

He focused instead on attacking Clinton’s credibility. He said Clinton was being “protected” during the Justice Department’s investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

“She could walk right into this arena right now and shoot somebody with 20,000 people watching, right smack in the middle of the heart, and she wouldn’t be prosecuted,” Trump said.

Meanwhile, Clinton said the United States would not let North Korea pursue a nuclear weapon and said that as president, she would seek new sanctions and work closely with allies in the region, such as South Korea and Japan.

But she also said she would consider discussions similar to recent negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, because sanctions “aren’t enough.”

The development in North Korea comes at the end of a week in which Trump and Clinton clashed repeatedly over national security.

The New York billionaire attacked Clinton’s record as the nation’s chief diplomat, yet he faced criticism from within his own party for refusing to outline his plans for combating foreign policy challenges, including threats posed by the Islamic State group. Trump said this week that he does indeed have a plan, but would convene military leaders in his first 30 days in office to craft another plan.

Trump has also faced criticism for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin during a high-profile national security forum earlier in the week, and appearing on a Russian-backed television network Thursday evening.

On Friday, Clinton said she was “disappointed” by Trump’s decision to appear on RT America, saying that “every day that goes by this just becomes more and more of a reality television show. It’s not a serious presidential campaign.”

With several prominent Republican national security officials already concerned about Trump’s national security acumen, Clinton has tried to cast herself as the better potential commander in chief. She has aggressively promoted her growing list of military endorsements from both parties.

On Friday, her campaign said the number of retired generals and admirals endorsing Clinton for president has grown to 110. Trump quickly countered by saying his list had ballooned to 120 former U.S. generals and admirals earlier in the week.

Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, received his first intelligence briefing Friday. The vice presidential nominee declined to offer any specifics since the information was classified.

Continuing her aggressive fundraising push, Clinton appeared at two fundraisers in New York. One of them was an LGBT event featuring Barbra Streisand.

Clinton is getting some help from another wealthy backer as well. Billionaire Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz said Friday he’s giving $20 million to help defeat Trump.

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  • Sanctions have no effect on the Pyongyang regime. Our president needs to tell North Korea simply and bluntly that the next time it conducts a nuclear test, the U.S. will consider that action a direct assault on our national security and will respond with conventional military force to remove the current North Korean leadership from power.

  • Hillary’s sounding frighteningly hawkish. Maybe she has some leftover guilt since her husband allowed North Korea to go nuke in the first place. Just what we need, Hillary getting the country into another overseas conflict. Right now we need a deal maker not warmonger in the White House. It’s well understood many democrats loathe Trump and would never vote for him. Hillary is also a poor choice for a variety of reasons. To those democrats I say vote for Jill Stein and go to bed at night with a clear conscience.

    • Humm, I believe your own George W. Bush was in power when North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006.

      And, a vote for Jill Stein is as good as a vote for Donald Trump. Sorry.

      • Well, you’re wrong in that the “deal” negotiating the end to NK’s nuclear ambitions, the Agreed Framework, was negotiated and signed in 1994 by the Clinton administration. This Clinton arrangement failed immediately with NK’s subsequent admission of their violation of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. What did Clinton then do about it is the question. Answer: nothing.

    • Agree 100%. It was her husband Bill who provided aid and food to N Korea for their ‘promise’ to not develop nuclear weapons. Sounds cruel but let them starve because that does have effect on curtailing their nuclear weapons development. No momey, no nuclear weapoms as it is extremely expensive to develop. Trying to place the placate the N Korean regime is the same as trying to placate Hitler in his rise to power after WW1. Like Islamic terrorists, Hitler, Iran and N Korea are fanatical in their ideals, goals and what/ how they are willing to achieve their goals. They can NEVER be trusted when making deals with them. What should happen is if N Korea should ever shoot a missle and kill South Koreans, the South should declare war on N Korea and with the US latest missile and anti-missile technology, completely wipe out the N Korean military infrastructure and leadership. Yes, there will be collateral damage, but to do nothing means N Korea will eventually develop, refine then sell their nuclear weapons to the highest bidding Islamic terrorist groups. Now that Iran is flush with cash, expect Iranian state sponsored terrorists to purchase working nuclear weapons or technology from N Korea or Iran at some point in the future.

      • Hillary has cut many international diplomatic deals and what has it gotten us? The Middle-East and North Africa are in shambles, the Russian reset button she pushed resulted in Russia taking over Crimea, and Islamic terrorism has spread worldwide. And incidentally, what international diplomatic deals did Obama cut before being elected President? Having done none was not an impediment to his campaign.

      • He has cut international deals in many countries.
        Some of the best diplomatic deal-cutting we have had has not been from politicians, such those from Regan.

        Trump has built and refurbished large complex projects.
        I think that your statement that he is a fraud and an entertainer is very ignorant.
        In a large complex project if you are not good at it it does not get done or it falls down.

        Here is a link to an early example, the Wollman Ice Rink in NY
        http://articles.philly.com/1986-11-01/news/26094092_1_ice-rink-donald-trump-trump-time

  • How many of you feel president Obama’s stern warning to North Korea will have any effect. Raise your hands…..Now how many of you feel Hillary Clinton too,will have any effect on North Korea ….raise your hands! Isn’t it ironic with all the world problems facing us today,that

    • How many of you Trump supporters actually feel that Putin respects the Donald? The Donald is so out to lunch that he doesn’t even know what RT is. What a loser.

    • President Obama’s stern warning to North Korea will have the same effect as the red line he warned Syrian President Assad not to cross without dire consequences. When Kim Jong Un and his handlers stop laughing, they will get back to nuclear testing.

  • Here’s an idea: offer full diplomatic recognition, an end to sanctions, and a formal ending of the Korean Comflict in exchange for the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear program.

    Here we are, sixety-some years after hostilities ended, and we still do not have a peace agreement with North Korea.

    • That makes more sense than all the du*mb ideas being cast about by all the politicians. To date, the U.S. won’t even agree to a high level meeting with North Korea. At least get some serious dialogue in the works.

  • So, Clinton’s now into “rethinking”. I wonder if she’s going to be rethinking the following comments she made yesterday at a fundraiser:

    “”To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Clinton said. “Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.”
    She added, “And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.”

    Given that Trump has at least 100million supporters, she’s just played the racists/sexists/homophobe card on about 50 million Americans. Now, that make you hair-on-fire liberals feel nice and smug, but, in reality, it smells like desperation in the Clinton camp.

  • Me thinks all the politicians, at this point in time, haven’t the clue toward a peaceful solution to eradicate the menacing force behind the recently nuclear test. They’re great at expressing themselves but that’s all there is – nothing but talk!

    • Many have said the same thing about Iranian negotiations.

      Time will tell. Negotiations take time. Let’s pray for a good outcome.

      N. Koreans seem ready right now. They’re doing all kinds of crazy things to get our attention.

  • “But she also said she would consider discussions similar to recent negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, because sanctions “aren’t enough.””

    OMG

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