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Rice On North Korea And Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that a United Nations Security Council resolution has imposed sanctions on North Korea because of North Korea's nuclear weapons program:

"It has very clear guidelines on what should and should not be allowed to get into North Korea. It has a very powerful tool in the possibility of interdiction of dangerous and suspicious cargo. It has a ban on luxury goods, which I think will be a problem for a regime that has always enjoyed luxury goods while its people -- many of them -- starve."

The United Nations Security Council has demanded that North Korea end its nuclear weapons programs and return to the Six-Party Talks. Those negotiations involve South Korea, China, Russia, Japan, and the United States.

Ms. Rice says that "the global regime to prevent and counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. . . .is under strain, but it is not broken":

"The greatest challenge to the nonproliferation regime comes from countries that violate their pledges to respect the Nonproliferation Treaty. The North Korean regime is one such case, but also so is Iran. The Iranian government is watching, and it can now see that the international community will respond to threats from nuclear proliferation. I expect the Security Council to begin work this week on an Iran sanctions resolution so the Iranian government should consider the course that it is on, which could lead simply to further isolation."

Secretary of State Rice says that there is now a coalition of countries working together "for a change in Iranian behavior concerning their nuclear program." It is widely understood that "Iran is the problem," says Ms. Rice. "The president [George W. Bush] has put together these coalitions. It's the right way to go about this activity, and it is the only way to use a diplomatic solution to resolve these cases."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.