Kerry says U.S. responsible to all of humankind for denuclearization

The U.S. is a responsible nation to all of humankind when it comes to creating a world without nuclear weapons, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

Kerry made the remarks at a gala for the Ploughshares Fund at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington. Kerry said the U.S. is currently facing two tests when it comes to denuclearization in North Korea and Iran. He said the U.S. must ensure that Iran and North Korea meet international nuclear responsibilities.

"We are engaged, as the President has charged me to be and has welcomed, an opportunity to try to put to test whether or not Iran really desires to pursue only a peaceful program, and will submit to the standards of the international community in the effort to prove that to the world," Kerry said. "Some have suggested that somehow there's something wrong with even putting that to the test. I suggest that the idea that the United States of America is a responsible nation to all of humankind would not explore that possibility would be the height of irresponsibility and dangerous in itself, and we will not succumb to those fear tactics and forces that suggest otherwise."

Kerry said the world needs to move forward with North Korea, Iran and other challenges to ensure that its children will inherit a planet without nuclear weapons.

"We know that our goal of a world free of nuclear threat is a lofty one, but it is worth fighting for," Kerry said. "We can't just wish this world into a different reality. We have to fight for it, and that's what I know every single one of you have come here committed to do. It's a privilege to be with you. Let's keep fighting and making it happen."