Hillary Clinton said Friday that sanctions aren’t enough to stop North Korea from going nuclear.
The Democratic presidential nominee said the U.S. must “bring the world together to stop North Korea’s dangerous game” and that, if elected, she would pursue negotiations similar to the deal limiting Iran’s access to nuclear weapons.
President Obama and other world leaders condemned North Korea’s latest atomic tests, which took place Friday.
“The United States condemns North Korea’s September 9 nuclear test in the strongest possible terms as a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability,” Obama said in a statement.
“To be clear, the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state.”
North Korea trumpeted the test — its fifth and largest — as a demonstration of its ability to produce nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
The bellicose nation’s state media said the test proves it can produce “at will and as many as it wants a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power.”
The test was announced hours after the U.S. Geological Survey detected a magnitude 5.3 earthquake in the hermetic nation’s northeast test site — a reading that exceeded those recorded after previous nuke tests.
The blast, on the 68th anniversary of North Korea’s founding, was more powerful in fact than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, according to some estimates.
News of the test prompted swift condemnations from North Korea’s neighbors and several other nations.
South Korea President Park Geun-hye called the detonation an act of “maniacal recklessness.”
China’s Foreign Ministry said the nation “resolutely opposes” the test.
Echoing Obama’s language, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the test a “grave threat.”
“The international community needs to deal with North Korea firmly and make Pyongyang understand the costs of taking such provocative action,” Mr. Abe told Mr. Obama in a 10-minute telephone conversation, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The U.S. and its allies have long struggled to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Under 32-year-old dictator Kim Jong Un, North Korea has accelerated the development of its nuclear programs, despite U.N. sanctions that were tightened in March.
The Friday detonation took place a day after Obama, speaking at a regional summit in Laos, vowed to keep working on reducing the North Korea threat during his final four months in office.
In Pyongyang, residents reported feeling a wave of fresh optimism after the successful test.
“Now, I am full of confidence that if the enemies make any little provocations we will make a counter attack and we will surely win,” said Rim Jong Su, 42.