Clinton condemns N.K. test as 'outrageous,' Trump puts blame on Clinton
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton condemned North Korea's fifth nuclear test as "outrageous and unacceptable," calling for stronger sanctions on Pyongyang and greater defense cooperation with South Korea and Japan.
"North Korea's decision to conduct another nuclear test is outrageous and unacceptable. 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," Clinton said in a statement.
"This constitutes a direct threat to the United States, and we cannot and will never accept this," she said.
Clinton, a former secretary of state, also said that she supports President Barack Obama's calls for strengthening the existing sanctions and impose additional measures.
"At the same time, we must strengthen defense cooperation with our allies in the region; South Korea and Japan are critical to our missile defense system, which will protect us against a North Korean missile," she said.
"China plays a critical role, too, and must meaningfully increase pressure on North Korea -- and we must make sure they do," she said.
Clinton said that the North's test shows the U.S. needs "a president committed to reducing, not increasing, the number of nuclear weapons and nuclear states in the world, apparently referring to her rival Donald Trump's suggestion that he may allow South Korea and Japan to develop their own nuclear weapons for self-defense.
"More countries with nuclear weapons in Northeast Asia would increase the chances of the unthinkable happening," Clinton said. "We cannot take that risk."
Trump's campaign blamed the North's test on Clinton.
"North Korea's fifth nuclear test, the fourth since Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, is yet one more example of Hillary Clinton's catastrophic failures as secretary of state," Trump communications aide Jason Miller said in a statement.
"Clinton promised to work to end North Korea’s nuclear program as secretary of state, yet the program has only grown in strength and sophistication," he said.