Secretary Kerry's Recent Statements Relating to North Korea

Sept. 3 - In a series of TV interviews, Secretary of State John Kerry explained President Obama's decision to seek Congressional approval for military action against the Syrian regime. See transcripts from CBS, CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox.

On North Korea

To Chris Wallace of Fox News:

SECRETARY KERRY: "I think, actually, North Korea and Iran ought to take note that the United States of America has the confidence in its democratic process to be able to ask all of the American people to join in an action that could have profound implications with respect to Iran. The fact is that if we act and if we act in concert, then Iran will know that this nation is capable of speaking with one voice on something like this, and that has serious, profound implications, I think, with respect to the potential of a confrontation over their nuclear program. That is one of the things that is at stake here." [Full transcript]

To George Stephanopoulos of ABC:

SECRETARY KERRY: "If the United States is unwilling to lead a coalition of people who are prepared to stand up for the international norm with respect to chemical weapons that’s been in place since 1925, if we are unwilling to do that, we will be granting a blanket license to Assad to continue to gas and we will send a terrible message to the North Koreans, Iranians, and others who might be trying to read how serious is America about enforcing its nonproliferation, counter-nuclear weapons initiatives. This goes to the core of American credibility in foreign policy, and I believe the Congress of the United States will understand that and do the right thing." [Full transcript]

Major Garrett of CBS:

SECRETARY KERRY: "Now, (President Obama) also decided that it would be much stronger for our country and have much greater impact and allow us much greater latitude going forward in terms of how we address Syria if we have the Congress of the United States backing it. He also felt that that was a very important message, if you will, to Iran, to North Korea, and to others not only about our democratic process but most importantly that we are prepared to uphold the norms of international behavior as a country and that we are united behind that, and that that gives greater impact to whatever choices we might face in other places in the future." [Full transcript]