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Clinton, Trump not to take military strike option off table on N. Korea

Clinton, Trump not to take military strike option off table on N. Korea

Posted October. 13, 2016 07:30,   

Updated October. 13, 2016 07:47

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will not take any options off the table in dealing with North Korea, including a pre-emptive strike on the communist state, top foreign policy advisers to the two U.S. presidential contenders said Tuesday. In response to the Dong-A Ilbo’s question about pre-emptive military action against the North during a security forum in Washington, Kurt Campbell, a former Assistant Secretary of State and a key adviser to Clinton, and Peter Hoekstra, a former congressman who is in Trump's campaign, did not rule out the military option. The forum on East Asia and the Korean Peninsula was organized by the Washington-based Korea Economic Institute.

Asked about Clinton’s position on preemptive military action against the North, Campbell said, “As Secretary Sherman, Vice President-elect Kaine, others have indicated, we're not going to take any options off the table at this time.” H was referring to former Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine who recently made remarks about the option of military action on the North.

Kaine said during a vice presidential debate last week that the U.S. should take action against imminent threats. Sherman, a top foreign policy brain for Clinton, also said during an international conference in Seoul on Tuesday that every possible tool, including military action, should be used to denuclearize the North.

Hoekstra also said Trump won't rule out any option. He responded to the same question by saying, “I think Mr. Trump has been very, very clear about when it comes to our national security, whether it's throughout the Middle East or whether it's in Korea, or whether it's the continuing evolving threat from Russia.”

The key advisers’ remarks suggest that whoever gets elected president on November 8, a new U.S. administration will take an ultra-hardline stance against Pyongyang.

워싱턴=이승헌 특파원ddr@donga.com