September 9, 2016

North Korean Nuclear Threat Escalates Under Clinton-Obama Policies

Amid Hillary Clinton’s push to repaint her failed foreign policy record, North Korea has struck again. Only a matter of hours after Clinton’s disastrous appearance at the Commander in Chief forum and on the day she convenes a national security roundtable, North Korea may have conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet.

The new test highlights the Clinton-Obama failure to address the growing North Korean threat, one that only grew greater when the country threatened a preemptive nuclear strike against the U.S. and its allies just last month. In fact, the country’s second nuclear test this year came amid 30 ballistic missile tests since February alone, “more than the number fired previously by North Korea ever.” The Rand Corporation’s Bruce Bennet further noted that the “more extensive tests should allow North Korea to convert its missile force from a strategic threat/showcase to an operational force that seriously jeopardizes all of its neighbors.”

Responsible first and foremost for the glaring inability to contain North Korea’s burgeoning nuclear program is the Clinton-Obama nuclear nonproliferation policy. North Korea conducted its second nuclear test ever only a few months into Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. In her book Hard Choices, Clinton touted her work on the sanctions that followed, even though they were panned as weak by the media and experts. North Korea would conduct another missile test just a few weeks after Clinton left the State Department, ignoring Clinton’s threats and U.N. sanctions. Amazingly, when North Korea conducted a nuclear this earlier this year, Clinton proposed sanctions again, hoping that doing the same thing over and over again would produce a different result.

Clinton’s weakness in the face of the spiking North Korean nuclear threat has resulted in the pariah state’s recently escalating hostility. When North Korea tested nuclear weapons this year, the media widely criticized the Clinton foreign policy for not doing more to stop the country’s nuclear program. In the wake of the most recent nuclear test, The Washington Post’s David Nakamura noted that the new test showed that the Obama administration “has made no headway with the world’s most reclusive authoritarian state.” The Hill’s Jordan Fabian called the test “a blatant challenge to world leaders to have tried and failed thus far to persuade Pyongyang to drop its nuclear ambitions.”

As always, the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton’s speaking fees play a part in the story as well. In March 2012, Bill Clinton sought to give a paid speech at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the North Korean demilitarized zone, even though the South Korean government has accused the North of funneling workers’ wages to its nuclear program.