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John Kerry: Iran different from collapsed deal with North Korea

The U.S. secretary of state said the Iran deal has terms and conditions that would make it highly unlikely to fall apart

By Elizabeth Shim
John Kerry: Iran different from collapsed deal with North Korea
Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the Iran Nuclear Agreement on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Photo by Pete Marovich/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, July 24 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Iran nuclear deal as a framework that grew out of "the failure of the North Korea experience," as the Treasury Department blacklisted a Singapore firm for arms shipments to Pyongyang.

Washington's separate North Korea statements came on Wednesday, the same day a report from Seoul's Korea Institute for National Unification stated the United States is shifting its focus to North Korea, South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported.

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In the report, South Korean researcher Cha Du-hyeon also said the Iran deal is likely to have a significant impact on the Khan Network, the global black market for nuclear weapons named after Pakistan engineer Abdul Qadeer Khan.

Without Iran, the market is likely to collapse and that in turn would further isolate North Korea in its efforts to pursue nuclear weapons development, according to Cha.

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In Washington, Kerry said the Iran deal has terms and conditions that would make it highly unlikely the deal would fall apart, as was the case with a 1994 deal with North Korea known as the Agreed Framework.

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"Iran has also agreed to accept the additional protocol, and the additional protocol is an outgrowth of the failure of the North Korea experience, which put in additional access requirements precisely so that we do know what Iran is doing," Kerry said during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

"We have unprecedented ability to hold Iran accountable."

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The 1994 North Korea deal collapsed in 2002, when Pyongyang was found to have been running a clandestine nuclear program.

The six-party talks that followed in 2003 also fell apart when North Korea refused denuclearization terms in late 2008 and early 2009.

North Korea's failure to comply with demands to denuclearize has led to sanctions against the country, and most recently against its foreign partners.

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On Wednesday, the Treasury Department blacklisted Singapore shipping firm Senat Shipping for purchasing weapons on behalf of Pyongyang and providing "extensive support," according to the BBC.

The Treasury has frozen all the firm's assets in the United States and has banned U.S. citizens from business dealings with Senat.

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