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Clinton, Trump respond to North Korea's fifth nuclear test

Clinton called for more sanctions and defended regional alliances, while the Trump campaign blamed Clinton’s North Korea policy.

By Elizabeth Shim
Clinton, Trump respond to North Korea's fifth nuclear test
Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton condemned North Korea's fifth nuclear test on Friday. Photo by Nell Redmond/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- North Korea's fifth nuclear test on Friday is drawing responses from both presidential candidates.

Hillary Clinton, who served as secretary of state during the first term of the Obama administration, said she would support new sanctions against Pyongyang and urge China to strengthen pressure on North Korea.

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"I think we have an opening here that we haven't had for the last several years...I intend to do everything I can to take advantage of," Clinton said, adding North Korea's policy of developing weapons that could reach the continental United States is unacceptable.

Clinton also said the United States should strengthen defense cooperation with regional allies South Korea and Japan, a posture that contrasts with past statements from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

RELATED U.S. bombers may be deployed in response to North Korea nuclear test

In an earlier stage of his campaign Trump had said military alliances with Seoul and Tokyo need to be revised because the defense of allies was costly to the United States.

Clinton disagreed with past Trump statements, and said on Friday South Korea and Japan play important roles in the missile defense system that protects the United States against North Korea threats.

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North Korea's fifth test and its claim of "smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power" have invited comments from the Trump campaign, according to Yonhap.

RELATED North Korea warns against 'hostile speech,' bans sarcasm

The campaign said Friday the fifth test is yet another consequence of Clinton's failure in North Korea policy as secretary of state.

Trump has said in past statements the North Korean state is "incredible," the Kim Jong Un regime has become increasingly belligerent and that it is up to China to solve the "North Korea problem."

Clinton has criticized Trump's policy approaches and compared the Trump's campaign to a reality show.

RELATED President Obama condemns North Korea's fifth nuclear test

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