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Iran Pact Backtrack Dents North Korea Diplomacy
National

Iran Pact Backtrack Dents North Korea Diplomacy

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said there is a "powerful argument" that US President Donald Trump's threat to scrap the Iran nuclear deal could imperil efforts to negotiate a peaceful outcome with North Korea. In a Sunday talk with Fairfax Media, Bishop said she had asked US officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, how they would counter the argument that North Korea could not trust the US if it walked away from previous international agreements. Trump vowed during his election campaign to tear up the deal, but this month kicked the issue into the court of US Congress, demanding that it either come up with a tougher approach or he would follow through on his threat to scrap it. By endorsing the argument that ditching the deal could set back efforts to negotiate with North Korea over its nuclear program, Bishop has taken the firm position of pressuring the White House not to push ahead with what many international experts say would be a self-defeating move. Bishop said she had discussed the matter with US officials last month after Iran mounted the argument to the United Nations General Assembly that the US would lose credibility, including in its standoff with North Korea.

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