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Both Clinton, Trump won't take military strike option off table on N. Korea: advisers

All Headlines 06:02 October 12, 2016

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (Yonhap) -- Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won't take any options off the table in dealing with North Korea, including a preemptive strike on the communist nation, top foreign policy advisers to the two sides said Tuesday.

"The secretary and her team have made clear that North Korea is an urgent matter that requires focused American attention working closely with allies and partners," former Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, a key adviser to Clinton, said during a discussion in Washington in response to a question about preemptive military action against the North.

"As Secretary Sherman, Vice President-elect Kaine, others have indicated, we're not going to take any options off the table at this time," Campbell said, referring to former Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine.

Sherman, a top foreign policy brain for Clinton, said during an international conference in Seoul earlier Tuesday that every possible tool, including military action, should be used to denuclearize the North.

Kaine also said during a vice presidential debate last week the U.S. should take action against imminent threats.

Campbell spoke at a discussion organized by the Korea Economic Institute. Also attending the event was Peter Hoekstra, a former congressman who is in Trump's campaign.

Hoekstra also said Trump won't take any options off the table.

"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, that he'll do two things: he won't take options off the table and he won't release a lot of clear signals to people about at least short and medium term objectives as to what we may be doing," he said.

"Obviously, you have got to establish parameters in terms of where your foreign policy is operating from and what's acceptable and what's not. But I think the statement that at least as we enter into the next set of negotiations with our friends in the region as to where we're going to go, all the options at least initially are going to be on the table," he said.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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