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Following Iran nuclear deal, UNSC should focus on N. Korean nuclear issue

Following Iran nuclear deal, UNSC should focus on N. Korean nuclear issue

Posted April. 04, 2015 07:18,   


A latest framework nuclear deal agreed Thursday between Iran and six global powers leaves North Korea as the only remaining nuclear threat in the world. Iran has agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons activities and facilities including a two-thirds reduction of its centrifuges for uranium enrichment. In return, the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) and Germany, promised to life sanctions on Iran. The international community has reduced nuclear fears, while Iran has seized an opportunity for its economic revival following decades of economic sanctions since 1979.

Now, it is time for the five permanent UNSC members to focus on North Korea. Among them, the U.S., China and Russia are parties to the six-nation talks for the North`s denuclearization. While Iran`s nuclear activities were limited to uranium enrichment, North Korea is blatantly developing nuclear weapons, has conducted three nuclear tests and is concentrating on miniaturizing nuclear warheads. Resolving the North Korean nuclear issue should be the top priority for the permanent UNSC members that are responsible for world peace.

U.S. President Barack Obama has led the negotiation process with Iran as an extension of his 2009 inaugural address, in which he vowed to extend a hand if enemies unclench their fist. Among the enemies that he called enemies – North Korea, Iran and Cuba – he has yet to extend his hand to the North. It is true that he prioritized the resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue while paying less attention to Pyongyang`s nuclear program. Now that the Iran nuclear deal has left him with more room, he should now turn his eyes to North Korea. Just as his administration agreed to normalize relations with Cuba through secret negotiations, it should now have a change of thoughts to attract Pyongyang to the negotiating table even with secret contacts.

Beijing and Moscow should also change their North Korea strategy. If they remain passive about resolving neighboring Pyongyang`s nuclear threats, their promise to never tolerate the North`s nuclear development would end up being a lie. They should persuade the North to recognize that the only way for its survival is to give up its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions and entry into the international community.

The North should take resources-rich Iran`s nuclear abandonment. It is a pipe dream for Pyongyang, which lack in natural resources, to simultaneously achieve nuclear armament and economic development despite international sanctions. The earlier Pyongyang realizes its wrongs, the sooner the opportunity for its revival will come. If sanctions on Iran are lifted after a final agreement is reached by June 30, the international community`s pressures will be concentrated on Pyongyang.