RAY SUAREZ: The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency has intensified pressure on North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program. The governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, Meeting in Vienna today, unanimously passed a resolution declaring North Korea in breach of its international nuclear obligations. Russia and Cuba abstained from the 35-nation vote. Mohamed ElBaradei, the agency's director-general, said North Korea has not kept its promises.
MOHAMED ELBARADEI: It is very important that the international community deals with all cases of noncompliance with nonproliferation obligations in a consistent fashion, and whether it's in Iraq, whether it's North Korea, cases of noncompliance with nonproliferation must be addressed with the same approach: Zero tolerance.
RAY SUAREZ: ElBaradei said that although the agency was sending the issue to the Security Council, it would continue to work for a diplomatic resolution.
MOHAMED ELBARADEI: A reporting to the Security Council does not mean anything other than using the Security Council as a focal point for a diplomatic solution. The agency naturally is not washing its hands from the matter. The agency and I will continue to be engaged.
RAY SUAREZ: The North Korea nuclear crisis erupted in October when Pyongyang admitted pursuing a uranium-based weapons program, a violation, U.S. officials said, of a 1994 agreement between the two countries. In November, the Bush administration responded by persuading its allies-- Japan, South Korea, and the European Union-- to halt oil shipments to the country. A month later, U.S. Officials held out the prospect of energy assistance to North Korea if Pyongyang would suspend plans to restart its nuclear weapons program.
JAMES KELLY: Once we can get beyond nuclear weapons, there may be opportunities with the U.S., with private investors, with other countries to help North Korea in the energy area.
RAY SUAREZ: Since December, North Korea has expelled IAEA inspectors, dismantled the agency's surveillance equipment, and announced it would restart a second weapons program, a moth- balled nuclear plutonium reactor in Pyongyang. Today in Washington, CIA Director George Tenet said his agency's attention to terror threats and Iraq hasn't diverted him from concerns about North Korea. He also said the North Koreans have long-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.
GEORGE TENET: I think we've unclassified the fact that they probably have one or two plutonium-based devices today.
SPOKESMAN: What is the likelihood that they currently have a missile capable of hitting the west coast of the United States?
GEORGE TENET: I think the declassified answer is yes, they can do that.
RAY SUAREZ: At the White House, spokesman Ari Fleischer praised the IAEA's action and said the nuclear dispute was a matter between North Korea and the rest of the world.
ARI FLEISCHER: This is a matter that North Korea has taken provocative steps that have caused great concern around the world, not just for the United States, not just for Japan or for Russia or China, or South Korea or not for England. But this is a matter to be settled through diplomacy and through multilateral action.
RAY SUAREZ: In recent weeks, South Korea has stepped up its diplomatic efforts to settle the nuclear crisis on the peninsula, dispatching envoys to Beijing, Moscow, and Washington.