Clinton Tells N. Korea to Scrap Nukes for Peace Deal

Obama administration willing to aim for permanent peace
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 14, 2009 10:15 AM CST
Clinton said yesterday that the US was open to permanent peace with North Korea, provided it cut its nuclear program.   (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Before heading to Asia tomorrow on her first trip as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton sent a clear message to North Korea: Scrap the nukes, drop the war talk, and reap the benefits of better relations with the US, CNN reports. Pyongyang's nuclear program is “the most acute challenge to stability in northeast Asia,” said Clinton. But the Obama administration will normalize relations and help forge a permanent peace treaty on the peninsula if the North “completely and verifiably” disarms.

Recently, North Korea has threatened to dump peace pacts with South Korea and test a missile that could hit the US. Clinton slammed the Bush administration for acting too “reflexively” without “hearing the facts.” The US will no longer operate a “country-by-country” foreign policy, she said. She discussed greater engagement with Asia, the destination of her first trip abroad, breaking with a State tradition of first visiting Europe.