2016 Presidential Candidates React to Alleged North Korean H-Bomb Test

The 2016 candidates react to North Korea's announcement.

ByABC News
January 6, 2016, 10:04 AM

— -- North Korea announced Tuesday night that it had conducted a successful hydrogen bomb test. Although the detonation has not yet been confirmed, the possibility that North Korea has intensified its nuclear capability has evoked strong reactions not only from the global political community, but also from 2016 presidential candidates.

On "Fox & Friends" this morning, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump shifted responsibility to China to "solve the problem."

"China has total control, believe me, they say they don't. They have total control over North Korea. And China should solve that problem. And if they don't solve the problem we should make trade very difficult for China," Trump said. "Because we are, believe it, we are holding China up. They're taking so much money. They're training our country, and they're toying with us with North Korea. So, North Korea is totally under the control, without China, they wouldn't eat."

Ben Carson said China must put pressure on North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un, to end illegal nuclear activity.

"In order to keep [Jong-Un] under control I think we need to work with China," Carson said today.

In a statement released Wednesday, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton expressed her disapproval of North Korea's nuclear test and demanded increased sanctions.

"I strongly condemn North Korea’s apparent nuclear test. If verified, this is a provocative and dangerous act, and North Korea must have no doubt that we will take whatever steps are necessary to defend ourselves and our treaty allies, South Korea and Japan," Clinton's statement read.

"Threats like this are yet another reminder of what’s at stake in this election. We cannot afford reckless, imprudent publicity stunts that risk war. We need a Commander-in-Chief with the experience and judgement to deal with a dangerous North Korea on Day One,” Clinton concluded.

Democrat Bernie Sanders called on China to step up its diplomatic responsibilities in the wake of the alleged H-bomb test.

"China is North Korea's closest ally. They'll have to push North Korea to start adhering to international agreements,” Sanders said on "Good Morning America" today. “When you have a hydrogen bomb, if that's true, you are a threat to China, as well.”

Most of the GOP candidates focused their blame on President Obama and Clinton.

On the campaign trail Sen. Ted Cruz pointed fingers at the "Clinton Obama Clinton" administration.

"North Korea has a nuclear weapon because of the Clintons," Cruz said in Rock Rapids, Michigan. "The Clinton Obama Clinton foreign policy...consistently makes the same mistakes over and over again."

In a statement on Twitter, Sen. Marco Rubio slammed the test as “the latest example of the failed Obama-Clinton foreign policy.”

On Fox News on Wednesday, Chris Christie also contended that Obama and Hillary Clinton were to blame for North Korea's actions.

“The problem here is that it's been a weak response by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the last seven years,” he said. “The fact is that we've allowed North Korea, while the president's been playing footsie with the Iranians, we've allowed the North Koreans to get further and further down the nuclear road.”

Rand Paul took a similar stance to his Republican counterparts but argued that there is "no easy solution."

"What I'm saying is there are no easy solutions. What I'm pointing out is that it is so important that we understand what went wrong with the negotiations and maybe there was too much leeway in the negotiations," Paul said on CNN. "Some of the same people who negotiated the North Korea agreement are the same people who have recently negotiated the Iran agreement and this is one reason I objected to the Iran agreement because I don't want to get to a situation where we are with North Korea where your options are somewhat limited."

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