Clinton: North Korea nuke test ‘direct threat’ to US
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: The center strikes back Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE on Friday tore into North Korea’s latest nuclear testing, framing it as a vital challenge to America’s safety.

“North Korea’s decision to conduct another nuclear test is outrageous and unacceptable,” the Democratic presidential contender said in a statement Friday.


“I strongly condemn this reckless action, which — coupled with its recent series of missile launches — makes clear Pyongyang’s determination to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon. This constitutes a direct threat to the U.S., and we cannot and will never accept this.”

Reports emerged Thursday that North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear bomb test, causing a magnitude-5.3 earthquake near the experimentation site.

Pyongyang performed a similar trial in January. United Nations sanctions forbid North Korea from testing missile and nuclear technology.

Clinton said she supports President Obama’s call for increasing U.N. sanctions against North Korea and hitting it with other financial penalties as well.

“At the same time, we must strengthen defense cooperation with our allies in the region,” the former secretary of State said.

“South Korea and Japan are critical to our missile defense system, which will protect us against a North Korean missile. China plays a critical role, too, and must meaningfully increase pressure on North Korea — and we must make sure they do.”

Clinton said America’s next leader must support nuclear de-proliferation.

“This is another reminder we must elect a president who can confront the threats we face with steadiness and strength,” she said. "And we need a president committed to reducing — not increasing — the number of nuclear weapons and nuclear states in the world.

“More countries with nuclear weapons in Northeast Asia would increase the chances of the unthinkable happening. We cannot take that risk.”

GOP rival Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE’s presidential campaign earlier Friday blamed North Korea’s test on Clinton’s “catastrophic failures” at State.

Trump has previously floated the possibility of Japan and South Korea acquiring their own nuclear stockpiles.

“If Japan had that nuclear threat, I’m not sure that would be a bad thing for us,” he said during an interview with The New York Times last March.