Clinton Calls for N. Korea Denuclearization

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At a Tuesday regional security news conference in Thailand, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempted to crank up the pressure on North Korea to return to nuclear disarmament talks following its recent missile and nuclear weapons tests.

"North Korea must completely and irreversibly end its nuclear weapons program or face further isolation and 'the unrelenting pressure' of international sanctions," she said.    

Clinton said North Korea must take steps to dismantle its main nuclear reactor at Yongbyon and surrender its plutonium stockpile.

"We have made it very clear to the North Koreans that if they will agree to irreversible denuclearization that the United States, as well as our partners, will move forward on a package of incentive and opportunities -- including normalizing relations -- that will give the people of North Korea a better future," she added.

The United States currently has no diplomatic relations with the North Korean government at Pyongyang, the nation's capitial.

Clinton said the international community is in a "strong position" to push North Korea to change, citing that China Japan, Russia and South Korea are backing the U.S.

She also addressed growing concerns about military co-operation between North Korea and Burma.

"It would be destabilizing for the region," she said. "It would pose a direct threat to Burma's neighbors. And it is something as a treaty ally of Thailand that we are taking very seriously."

North Korea withdrew from the talks after the United Nations censured its long-range missile test in April.  

After arriving in the region last Friday, Clinton stopped in India at Mumbai and New Delhi. She was in Bangkok Tuesday and earlier Wednesday continuing her efforts to highlight the Obama administration's commitment to broaden U.S. diplomatic ties in Asia.

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