Iran’s Rouhani: No nuclear weapons on Korean peninsula

Irans-Rouhani-No-nuclear-weapons-on-Korean-peninsula.   SEOUL, The leaders of Iran and South Korea condemned North Korea’s nuclear weapons program during President Park Geun-hye’s historic visit to Tehran on Monday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye in Tehran on Monday. Photo courtesy of Republic of Korea Blue House














Park is the first South Korean president to visit Iran since the countries established diplomatic relations in 1962, Newsis reported Monday.

The statement is significant. North Korea has long been friendly with Iran and reportedly provided military assistance to the Iranian government during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told reporters while meeting with Park at Saadabad Palace that he stressed the importance of a “lasting peace” on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

Rouhani said he expressed support for the aspirations of the South Korean people for peaceful unification, and added Iran opposes any form of nuclear weapons development on the Korean peninsula.

Iran’s basic principle is to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction from the Koreas and from the Middle East, Rouhani said.

Iran has signed treaties renouncing WMDs and has ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

North Korea has yet to comply with International Atomic Energy Agency guidelines and has repeatedly violated United Nations Security Council resolutions in its quest to become a nuclear weapons state.

Kim Keun-sik, a political scientist at South Korea’s Kyungnam University, told local newspaper JoongAng Ilbo on Monday that North Korea’s case cannot be compared to Iran’s.

Iran agreed to allow inspectors on the condition it received nuclear energy and did not conduct weapons tests.

North Korea, meanwhile, withdrew from the NPT and continues to claim that it has built a nuclear arsenal.

In an interview with an Iranian newspaper, Park also said that there “is a limit” to applying a Iran-like deal to the North.

Experts in the United States have said there is a likelihood North Korea could test a nuclear weapon in May.

By Elizabeth Shim