The Korea Herald


U.S. says Iran deal has no bearing on N. Korean nuclear standoff

By (공용)코리아헤럴드

Published : April 4, 2015 - 11:44

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WASHINGTON--The breakthrough nuclear deal with Iran has nothing to do with North Korea and does not change the communist nation's obligations to abandon its nuclear program, the State Department said Friday.
"These really are very different issues. What Iran chooses to do or not do doesn't have a lot of bearing on whether North Korea lives up to its international obligation," State Department acting spokeswoman Marie Harf said at a regular briefing.
On Thursday, six world powers and Iran announced a tentative deal that calls for limiting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the U.S. and others lifting sanctions that have stifled the Middle Eastern nation's economy. Negotiators plan to put the tentative deal in a final agreement by June 30.
The agreement represented the crystallization of more than a dozen years of efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The six world powers -- the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China -- have held years of the so-called "P5 plus one" negotiations with Iran.
"If North Korea is open to coming back to the table in a credible way as part of the six-party talks, obviously we believe the goal is the same. We need to get to a denuclearized Korean peninsula. The responsibility is on them, though, regardless of what's happening in other nuclear talks around the world," Harf said.
Six-party talks aimed at resolving the North Korean standoff have been stalled since the last session in late 2008. North Korea demands the unconditional resumption of negotiations and the U.S. says that Pyongyang must first take concrete steps demonstrating its denuclearization commitments.

While the six-party talks have been idled, the North has bolstered its nuclear capabilities and stockpile, conducting its second and third nuclear tests in 2009 and 2013. Some experts now warn that the communist nation's nuclear arsenal could expand to up to 100 bombs by 2020.
Meanwhile, Harf said that Amb. Sung Kim, special representative for North Korea policy, met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and other Russian officials when he visited Moscow earlier this week.
"These discussions are the latest in a series of regular ongoing consultations with our five-party partners, all of whom remain united in pursuit of their shared objective: a denuclearized North Korea," she said. (Yonhap)