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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Obama warns North Korea, Iran in UN speech

RIA Novosti

21:09 23/09/2009 WASHINGTON, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President Barack Obama warned the leaders of North Korea and Iran on Wednesday that they would be "held accountable" if they continued to disregard international law.

"I am committed to diplomacy that opens a path to greater prosperity and a more secure peace for both nations if they live up to their obligations," Obama said in his maiden speech to the UN General Assembly.

"But if the governments of Iran and North Korea choose to ignore international standards; if they...are oblivious to the dangers of escalating nuclear arms races in both East Asia and the Middle East, then they must be held accountable," he went on.

"The world must stand together to demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise, and that treaties will be enforced. We must insist that the future not belong to fear."

Iran says it needs nuclear power for electricity generation, but the West suspects it of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program.

The communist state of North Korea quit international talks and announced the restart of its nuclear program after the UN Security Council condemned its April 5 long-range missile launch. The Security Council imposed tougher sanctions on the North after it conducted its second nuclear test in May.

The 64th session of the UN General Assembly, with 122 heads of state and government expected to attend, ends on September 30.

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