By Roxana Tiron - 07/26/09 12:19 PM EDT
Clinton, who has just returned from a trip to Asia, said that North Korea’s nuclear program is still at the beginning, but that the isolated communist country proliferates nuclear material.
Clinton stressed the international community is united in pressuring North Korea to abandon its nuclear program and that China had been extremely helpful in pressuring the regime to abandon its nuclear program.
North Korea, which this week resorted to personal attacks on Clinton -- equating her to a “primary schoolgirl” -- has abandoned promises to dismantle its nuclear program and recently conducted a number of missile tests, as well as an underground atomic test in May.
Clinton also said that the United States and the world's major powers were united in preventing Iran from getting its hands on a nuclear weapon.
"Your pursuit is futile," she told Iran. Iran does not “have the right” to develop a nuclear weapon, she added.
“We are trying to affect the internal calculus of the Iranian regime,” Clinton said.
She stressed that the Obama administration remains ready for dialogue with Iran on its nuclear program.
Meanwhile, Clinton avoided a clear answer on whether the United States would attempt to extend a nuclear umbrella over the Arabian Gulf region to protect allies from Iranian nuclear weapons.