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N. Korea cited again in U.S. as failed example of denuclearization efforts

All Headlines 07:21 March 16, 2015

By Chang Jae-soon

WASHINGTON, March 15 (Yonhap) -- North Korea was cited again as a failed example of denuclearization efforts on Sunday as Republican opposition grew to a potential nuclear deal the President Barack Obama administration is negotiating with Iran.

"In 1994, the United States entered into something called the Agreed Framework to stop North Korea from getting a bomb. They almost immediately started cheating on it. And a mere 12 years later, they detonated their first nuclear weapon," said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) in an interview with CBS.

"Now the world has to live with the consequences of a nuclear North Korea. I don't want the world to live with the consequences of a nuclear Iran."

The 1994 deal, which committed Pyongyang to freeze and ultimately abandon its nuclear program, fell apart in late 2002 as the communist regime was found to have pursued a clandestine nuclear program in violation of the agreement.

Cotton led 46 other Republican senators in sending an open letter last week that warned Iran's leaders any deal with the Obama administration could be undone after Obama leaves office in 2017. The Obama administration heavily denounced the letter as interfering and undermining negotiations with Tehran.

Cotton denounced the deal being negotiated with Iran as "a very bad deal."

"It would allow Iran to have thousands and thousands of centrifuges to continue enriching uranium," he said. "It would do nothing to the military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program. It's excluded entirely the ballistic missile program that Iran has, which is designed solely to strike the United States right here at home."

The senator also said he has no regrets about the open letter to Iranian leaders.

Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also cited North Korea as a bad example of U.S. efforts to get a foreign nation to give up nuclear ambitions, as he delivered a powerful speech before a joint session of U.S. Congress.

"Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn't stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors. Within a few years, it got the bomb," Netanyahu said. "Now, we're warned that within five years North Korea could have an arsenal of 100 nuclear bombs."

Netanyahu was referring to a recent estimate by U.S. experts that Pyongyang's nuclear stockpile could expand from the current 10-16 nuclear weapons to as many as 100 bombs by 2020.

"Like North Korea, Iran, too, has defied international inspectors ... Like North Korea, Iran broke the locks, shut off the cameras. Now, I know this is not going to come as a shock to any of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them," he said.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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