2016ers Slam Obama, Clinton Over North Korea Nuke Test

North Korea says it has successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, which if confirmed, will be a first for the reclusive regime and a significant advancement for its military ambitions. A hydrogen bomb is more powerful than plutonium weapons, which is what North Korea used in its three previous underground nuclear tests.

WASHINGTON — (CNN) Republican 2016 presidential hopefuls responded to reports that North Korea successfully carried out its first successful hydrogen bomb test Tuesday by calling it an example of failed U.S. Leadership by President Barack Obama and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but also calling for help from nearby China.

Primary front-runner Donald Trump and Sen. Rand Paul — candidates who’ve attacked each through out the campaign cycle — appeared to be in agreement that any strategy to deal with Kim Jong-un would require help from China.

“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 with China,” Trump told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” adding South Korea also must play a role.

“We defend the world, we defend so many countries, we get nothing …. South Korea is going to have to start ponying up.”

Trump added that Kim is “getting too close to doing something.”

Paul, who’s been criticized by defense hawks for being isolationist, rejected the charge that he was advocating for no response.

“What I’m saying is there are no easy solutions,” Paul told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day,” before adding that the U.S. should talk to the other super powers in the region.

“The one thing we have in our favor is that socialism is an abysmal failure,” Paul added, saying the difference between the capitalism of South Korea and socialism in North Korea is visible from space.

Sen. Marco Rubio focused his response on attacking the leadership of President Barack Obama.

“I have been warning throughout this campaign that North Korea is run by a lunatic who has been expanding his nuclear arsenal while President Obama stood idly by,” the Florida Republican said in a statement issued late Tuesday night.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina also slammed the White House, as well as Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

“Of course North Korea would conduct a nuclear test after watching Iran willfully violate an agreement they just made without consequence of any kind from this administration,” Fiorina posted on Facebook. “North Korea is yet another Hillary Clinton foreign policy failure. America cannot lead from behind.”

The United States still has yet to confirm whether intelligence suggest North Korea’s claims of successfully testing a hydrogen bomb are true. A magnitude-5.1 seismic event was registered by the U.S. Geological Survey near previous nuclear test sites, but a senior administration official told CNN that it could take days to obtain the necessary scientific data to determine if the test was indeed successful.

Recognizing that there is still more to be found out about the alleged test, Rubio didn’t hesitate to also hit Clinton.

“If this test is confirmed, it will be just the latest example of the failed Obama-Clinton foreign policy,” said Rubio. “Our enemies around the world are taking advantage of Obama’s weakness. We need new leadership that will stand up to people like Kim Jong Un and ensure our country has the capabilities necessary to keep America safe.”

Three out of four of North Korea’s nuclear tests — in 2009, 2013 and now — have taken place while Obama has been President.

North Korea’s televised announcement of a hydrogen bomb test comes just a couple of days after Rubio laid out an address on national security in the 21st century. He again called North Korea’s leader a “lunatic,” saying, “There’s no other way to describe him. He expands his military while his country starves. He is growing his nuclear arsenal, and building missiles capable of reaching the West coast of the United States.” Rubio also listed China and Russia’s growing militaries, Iran, and ISIS, which can often dominate national security discussions, in the foreground of the national security landscape.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved. (Photo: CNN)

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