A leading member of the US Senate's Armed Services Committee on Tuesday blamed former President Bill Clinton for not acting to stop North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, saying the Clinton administration's agreement with the communist nation was "a failure."
But Republican Sen. John McCain, considered the likely Republican presidential candidate in 2008, voiced his support for tough UN sanctions against the Pyongyang government. North Korea has drawn international condemnation following its announcement that it conducted a successful underground nuclear explosion.
"I would remind Senator (Hillary) Clinton and other Democrats critical of the Bush administration's policies that the framework agreement her husband's administration negotiated was a failure," McCain said at a news conference.
"The Koreans received millions and millions in energy assistance. They've diverted millions of dollars of food assistance to their military," he added. "We had a carrot-and-no-sticks policy that only encouraged bad behavior."