Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Secretary Hillary Clinton draws a hard line on Nuclear North Korea and Iran

This morning at 11:00 am EST, Secretary Clinton delivered a Major Policy Speech on Nonproliferation to the United States Institute of Peace. She presented the Obama Administrations “Diplomatic Blueprint” that included language covering these topics: confronting Proliferators, insuring that all nations abide by the rights and obligation of the Nonproliferation Regime, intent for negotiating a new treaty with Russia to reduce the US nuclear arsenal, and undertaking a review of the role of nuclear weapons in the United States defense strategy. This event was held at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

She got quite a few headlines for her speech when she drew a clear line on U.S. relations with North Korea as well as Iran.

The Secretary said that while the Obama administration is interested in talking with Pyongyang, the United States will not normalize relations with North Korea until it abandons its nuclear weapons program.

Thwarting the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran is critical to shoring up the nonproliferation regime. Within the framework of the six-party talks, we are prepared to meet bilaterally with North Korea, but North Korea’s return to the negotiating table is not enough. Current sanctions will not be relaxed until Pyongyang takes verifiable, irreversible steps toward complete denuclearization. Its leaders should be under no illusion that the United States will ever have normal, sanctions-free relations with a nuclear armed North Korea.

Together with the other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, the United States is pursuing a dual-track approach toward Iran. If Iran is serious about taking practical steps to address the international community’s deep concerns about its nuclear program, we will continue to engage both multilaterally and bilaterally to discuss the full range of issues that have divided Iran and the United States for too long. The door is open to a better future for Iran, but the process of engagement cannot be open-ended. We are not prepared to talk just for the sake of talking.

Read her full remarks here or watch below:

Later in the day the Secretary also held meetings with William Hague, Member of British Parliament and Shadow Foreign Secretary as well as attending a Bureau Briefing on Counter Terrorism at the State Department.

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