President Barack Obama's national security adviser says there is a growing consensus in the world that North Korea and Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. The comments were made in the first public appearance in his new role by retired General James Jones.
General Jones says the Obama Administration has not yet decided how to respond to North Korea's latest actions, and is consulting with countries around the world about how to proceed. But he says more and more countries, including major powers, are coming to the same conclusion about both North Korea and Iran.
"What has changed a little bit, in terms of the body politic of the world, is the growing conclusion that states like North Korea and Iran should not be permitted to have this capability because of the threats to the stability of not only the regions that they live in, but also the globe," he said.
Jones says the most imminent threat from North Korea in particular is not that it might attack someone with a nuclear weapon. He says the country is a long way from making a nuclear weapon and putting it on a missile. Rather, the national security adviser says the main threat is that North Korea or Iran might sell nuclear weapons technology to others, who might be more likely to use it. And there, too, he says, a global consensus is emerging.
"On issues of proliferation and issues of nuclear safety and the like, there is a growing convergence of opinion in the world. If you watch what the Russians are saying, if you watch what the Chinese are saying, if you watch what India is saying, if you watch what, obviously, most of the world is focused on, (it's) what's going on in North Korea and what's going on in Iran," he said.
And General Jones, a former commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and later commander of all NATO forces, says how the international community addresses either potential threat will have an effect on the other, and also on security in both their regions. He said he is "excited" about the possibility of significant U.S., Russian and Chinese cooperation on this issue, and he wants to see how far it will go through a series of high-level meetings in the coming months.