NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton said Friday it was time for a "rethinking" of America's strategy for North Korea following the regime's latest test of a nuclear weapon. Donald Trump's campaign chief, meanwhile, declined to outline the Republican presidential candidate's plans for defusing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Speaking after meeting with a bipartisan group of national security experts in New York, Clinton said she would seek to impose tougher sanctions on the communist nation. She also argued the latest test provides an opening to pressure China, which has been tepid in its response to North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
"I think we have an opening here that we haven't had for the last several years that I intend to do everything I can to take advantage of," the former secretary of state said.
Clinton spoke hours after Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, pressed repeatedly on Trump's plans for the region, said only, "He wouldn't do what's being done now."
"He's not going to reveal all of his plans and he's made that very clear. And maybe someone can ask him in a debate," Conway told CBS This Morning. "But the fact is that this entire world would be put on notice that there's a strong leader in the White House."
In an afternoon speech to a group of conservative activists in Washington, Trump used the North Korean development to attack Clinton, describing the situation as "one more massive failure from a failed secretary of state." He did not say whether he had a plan to address North Korea's claim that the test will allow it to build an array of stronger, smaller and lighter nuclear weapons.
Trump also suggested Clinton and others are wrong to outline their national security policies, because doing so could help the nation's enemies. "Maybe we shouldn't be so honest when it comes to military strategy," he said.
But at a crowded rally Friday night in Pensacola, Trump said he'd order an attack on Iranian boats if they harassed the U.S. Navy.
He was referring to a recent incident in which Iranian boats harassed a Navy destroyer near the Strait of Hormuz.
Trump said the boats were "taunting us" and "toying with us." He said if Iran's "little boats" circle our "beautiful destroyers" when he's president, "They will be shot out of the water."
Trump and Clinton have clashed over national security for much of the week. Each says the other doesn't have the temperament to be commander in chief.