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Kerry: North Korea, Iran Nukes 'Impermissible'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the international community must make a "strong, credible" response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test in order to show Iran that world powers are serious about nonproliferation.

Kerry did not detail what measures could be taken in response to North Korea’s third underground nuclear test explosion on February 12.

But he said that “just as it is impermissible for North Korea to pursue this kind of reckless effort,” it is also “impermissible" for Iran.

Unlike North Korea, Iran denies any effort to make a nuclear weapon. But the Islamic republic has rejected international demands to curb uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to create atomic bombs.

World powers are due to hold the next round of talks with Iran on the nuclear standoff on February 26 in Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, Obama renewed U.S. commitments to protect its ally Japan, including with nuclear weapons, in the wake of North Korea’s nuclear test.

The White House said Obama made the pledge in a telephone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

A written statement said Obama “reaffirmed that the United States remains steadfast in its defense commitments to Japan, including the extended deterrence offered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella.”

The statement added that the U.S. and Japanese leaders “pledged to work closely together to seek significant action at the United Nations Security Council and to cooperate on measures aimed at impeding North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”
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