Clinton: U.S. 'Doing Everything We Can' to Free Soldier From Taliban

Photo: Clinton: Doing Everything We Can to Free U.S. Soldier From Taliban: ABC Exclusive: Secretary of State Address North Korea, Iran And Captured U.S. Soldier

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes her first overseas trip since breaking her elbow June 17, she faces a world of problems -- from Iran's nuclear ambitions to North Korea's unwavering threats to resistance against emissions caps in India.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News this morning, Clinton said the clock for nuclear talks with Iran is ticking and downplayed North Korea's military threat, while contradicting her own apologies for the two journalists who have been sentenced in the country for trespassing.

President Obama's former rival in the Democratic presidential race scoffed at recent reports that she had been marginalized.

"How can it frustrate me, it's so ridiculous, there's no basis for it," Clinton said when asked whether she is frustrated by reports of marginalization.

"I could not be more satisfied working with the president," she said in New Delhi, India, on her first official trip to the country. Clinton has visited India three times before.

The United States' top diplomat may be ready to take on the world, but the list of problems facing the United States internationally is long. In the latest round of complications in Afghanistan, the Taliban captured a 23-year-old American soldier in early July. Clinton told ABC News the United States is "doing everything we can to locate him and free him."

"It's just outrageous," she said. "It's a real sign of desperation and inappropriate criminal behavior on the parts of these terrorist groups, so we are going to do everything we can to get him."

Clinton said she was not free to talk about whether the soldier, Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl, was still in Afghanistan.

But she repeated her offer to welcome anyone supporting the Taliban to lay down their arms.

North Korea's Nuclear Ambitions

Another major problem the secretary faces is North Korea, which has tested missiles and has been relentless in its pursuit of nuclear weapon capability. Clinton acknowledged that the Obama administration has shifted its approach toward North Korea by not responding to its provocations.

"We weren't going to give the North Koreans the satisfaction they were looking for, which was ... to elevate them again to center stage," she told ABC. "What we've seen, constant demand for attention. Maybe it's the mother in me or the experience that I've had with small children and unruly teenagers and people who are demanding attention. Don't give it to them. They don't deserve it. They are acting out to send a message that we're not interested in receiving."

Clinton added that she doesn't know whether North Korea will go ahead and launch a long-range missile but, surprisingly, downplayed any threat from the country.

"We understand their capabilities, which are not all that great frankly, their military doesn't pose a threat to us," she said. "We know our allies -- Japan and South Korea -- are very concerned. They watch what we watch and we know what's really going on there."

Clinton On Journalists: 'We Are Very Sorry' It Happened

Clinton said international efforts to squeeze Pyongyang are "really beginning to make a difference."

So what's working?

"I actually feel as though our message is getting through to North Korea. We have not chased them. We have not thrown money at them. We have not said OK, just be nice for a little while and then you can go back to your old ways. We said, now you know what the choice is," Clinton said.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
null
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison attend the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Inaugural Gala presented by Salvatore Ferragamo at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 17, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Stefanie Keenan/Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts/Getty Images for Wallis Annenber