US warns N. Korea, Iran: Abandon nukes

Pyongyang believed to have plutonium for at least 6 nuclear bombs.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 2, 2010 12:59
1 minute read.
US warns N. Korea, Iran: Abandon nukes

north korea missiles 298. (photo credit: AP)

 
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A senior US envoy on nonproliferation warned North Korea and Iran to abandon their "provocative activities" and give up nuclear ambitions, speaking at a meeting with South Korean officials on the subject of new US sanctions against North Korea.

Robert Einhorn, the State Department's special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, discussed the new sanctions unveiled two weeks ago, which target the sale and purchase of arms and related goods used to fund North Korea's nuclear activities, and the acquisition of luxury items to reward its elite. The details of how and when the sanctions will be carried out have not been released.

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"Our hope is that these measures will be effective, that they will provide strong incentives for North Korea's leaders to abide by their international obligations, not to pursue any provocative activities and to fulfill completely their commitments to denuclearization on the Korean peninsula," Einhorn told reporters outside South Korea's Foreign Ministry.

North Korea is believed to have enough weaponized plutonium for at least half a dozen nuclear bombs and last year revealed it has a uranium enrichment program that would give the regime a second way to make atomic weapons.

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Einhorn said the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran threaten global peace and security.

"One means of addressing these challenges is to increase the pressures felt by these two governments so that they recognize that it is in the best interests of their countries to meet their international obligations and forsake nuclear weapons," he said.

Washington and Seoul also accuse the North of sinking a South Korean warship in March. Forty-six sailors died in an explosion that an international team of investigators pinned on a torpedo fired from a North Korean submarine.

Pyongyang denies attacking the ship.

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