Donald Trump’s campaign insisted on Friday that Hillary Clinton somehow bears responsibility for North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test.
“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,” Trump’s senior communications advisor, Jason Miller, wrote in a statement. “Hilary Clinton’s North Korean policy is just one more calamitous diplomatic failure from a failed Secretary of State.”
Trump campaign statement on North Korea’s nuclear test. pic.twitter.com/1ziDg7RYi7
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 9, 2016
North Korean officials confirmed that they conducted their fifth nuclear test explosion on Friday, in what South Korea’s president called an act of “fanatic recklessness.”
President Barack Obama released a statement strongly condemning the “provocation” and announcing that sanctions against the dictatorship would be intensified.
While the Trump campaign is correct that four of North Korea’s nuclear tests were conducted after Clinton was named secretary of state in 2008, building up the country’s nuclear program has been a focus of North Korean leaders since the 1950s. North Korea’s first nuclear test came in 2006, during George W. Bush’s administration, and two have been conducted in the last eight months, long after Clinton left the State Department.
Trump, for his part, has proposed some radical options for curtailing North Korea’s nuclear program that run contrary to the United States’ non-proliferation policy. These include allowing other countries like Japan to have “nukes” at their disposal. The Republican nominee has also said he would “never, ever” rule out using nuclear weapons to combat the Islamic State terror group.