HRC ON BUSH, NK…. Hillary Clinton, en route to Asia, talked about her goal of the “denuclearization of North Korea,” but added some important context to the international dispute.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton cast doubt Sunday on a claim by the Bush administration that North Korea had a clandestine program to enrich uranium, and she said she will focus on getting the Pyongyang government to give up its stock of weapons-grade plutonium.

“There is a debate within the intelligence community as to exactly the extent of the highly-enriched-uranium program,” Clinton told reporters traveling with her to Asia on her first voyage as the chief U.S. diplomat.

In a slap at her predecessors, Clinton made it clear she believes that the Bush administration’s decision to walk away from an agreement negotiated during her husband’s administration — the 1994 Agreed Framework — helped create the current crisis over North Korea’s stash of nuclear weapons.

“The Agreed Framework was torn up on the basis of the concerns about the highly-enriched-uranium program,” Clinton said. “There is no debate that, once the Agreed Framework was torn up, the North Koreans began to reprocess plutonium with a vengeance because all bets were off. The result is they now have nuclear weapons, which they did not have before.”

The Bush administration, following a policy that never made any sense, let North Korea get far more dangerous. Since Clinton is going to have to help clean up the mess, it’s understandable that she call out those responsible for pushing the failed policy in the first place.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.