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Kerry urges 'strong' action on N. Korea in sign to Iran

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday urged "strong, credible" response from world leaders after North Korea's nuclear test to show Iran that they are serious about non-proliferation.

"This is about proliferation and this is also about Iran ... because they're linked. You connect the dots," Kerry said after talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

"It is important for the world to have credibility with respect to our nonproliferation efforts," he stressed, with world powers poised to resume talks with Tehran in two weeks on its suspect nuclear program.

In his State of the Union address late Tuesday, US President Barack Obama vowed to take "firm action" with US allies against North Korea after Pyongyang ignited global fury with its third nuclear test.

"Just as it is impermissible for North Korea to pursue this kind of reckless effort, so we have said that it is impermissible with respect to Iran," Kerry told journalists. "And what our response is to this, will have an impact on all other proliferation efforts."

China, North Korea's trade and financial lifeline, have signed up to a UN Security Council statement accusing the communist state of standing in "grave violation" of UN resolutions amid global condemnation of Tuesday's blast.

Kerry said the United States would now "put energy" into an effort to draw up tough UN consequences against Pyongyang for setting off the test which he called "reckless and provocative" in defiance of UN resolutions.

"I think if you're going to say things, they have to mean something. And to mean something you have to be prepared to follow-up on them," Kerry added.

"North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program are a threat now to the United States of America because of what they are pursuing, specifically, as well as to global security and peace."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130213/kerry-urges-strong-action-n-korea-sign-iran