U.S. and international community agree on denuclearization of North Korea, Iran

The U.S. and the international community agree that North Korea cannot be a nuclear state and that Iran cannot develop nuclear weapons, a U.S. representative for the U.N. said on Tuesday.

Ambassador Susan Rice, the U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., made the remarks during the Security Council stakeout on Tuesday in New York. Rice responded to questions related to tangible results on U.S. and U.N. sanctions on North Korea and Iran. When asked what would happen in the future in the two countries, Rice said the U.S. and the international community will continue to stick together.

"First of all, in the context of the United Nations, we have repeatedly-in the case of North Korea-been able to strengthen and tighten the sanctions regime because the entire international community is of one mind that North Korea cannot and will not be a nuclear state accepted by the international community, that the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is an imperative, and we are committed to ensuring that," Rice said. "And on that, we are wholly united."

Rice said the world as a whole is also united against Iran's violations of international obligations. She said the U.S. hopes Iran's government decides to change its decision-making in relation to nuclear weapons.

"Now our hope remains that the issue of Iran's nuclear program can be resolved through what we have long called the dual-track policy of pressure and engagement," Rice said. "But the prospects for that rest squarely on the decisions that the Iranian government makes, and we have underscored our readiness to work these issues at the negotiating table if they are serious. But at the same time we have steadily and meaningfully increased the pressure to affect their decision-making."