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Clinton to drastically increase pressure on N. Korea: top aide

2016/05/19 01:49

WASHINGTON, May 18 (Yonhap) -- Sharply increasing pressure on North Korea would be the only way to get the communist regime to authentic negotiations over its nuclear program, a top adviser to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying.

Jake Sullivan, head of the Clinton campaign's foreign policy team, made the remark during an Asia Society discussion in New York earlier this week, stressing that North Korea will be a top priority for the next president and Clinton will deal with the problem in a similar way she dealt with Iran's nuclear program.

"This is a paramount security challenge of the United States. It will have to be right at the top of the agenda for the next president to deal with," Sullivan was quoted as saying by the Bloomberg View. "It's hard for me to underscore how important it is that we place urgency behind this."

   Sullivan, considered the No. 1 candidate for national security adviser under a Clinton presidency, also said that the only way to get North Korea to negotiate in good faith about its nuclear program will be to drastically increase pressure on the already heavily sanctioned regime, according to the report.

That's what happened with Iran, he said.

"Those negotiations were set up by a comprehensive, highly tailored, highly resourced effort that involved basically every significant economy in the world getting together and putting real pressure on that regime in a concentrated, sustained way," Sullivan said.

Like in Iran, the North's "expectations and understanding of their choices need to be reshaped," he said.

Sullivan also said that China should help increase pressure on Pyongyang.

He noted that the current administration of President Barack Obama recently signed an executive order calling for sanctions on countries doing business with the North and that Congress passed a bill authorizing sanctions against those helping the North over its nuclear and missile programs.

"This has to be one of the first and most important pieces of business in the first summit between the next president and (Chinese President) Xi Jinping," Sullivan was quoted as saying.