(CNN) – The United States will enforce the latest U.N. Security Council resolution on North Korea, which calls for stopping arms shipments if necessary, Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday.
"We're going to enforce the U.N. resolution," Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" program. "This is a matter of us now keeping the pressure on."
The resolution, passed by a 15-0 vote, expands and tightens sanctions on North Korea after the nation's recent nuclear test, firing of test rockets and threats to U.S. and South Korean ships near its territorial waters.
North Korea has said that any interdiction of its ships would be an act of war, the latest threat from a regime known for inflammatory rhetoric.
Biden said the resolution represented joint action by the Security Council members "like never before," noting that longtime North Korean ally China signed on. He called possible North Korean use or spread of nuclear weapons "a serious threat to the world, and particularly in East Asia."
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden expressed doubts Sunday about the validity of Iran's presidential election, but said it will take more time to analyze the results.
"I have doubts, but withhold comment," Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" program.
The Iranian government announced that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won Friday's election with 62.63 percent of the vote. The result sparked protests by supporters of his main rival, Mir Hossein Moussavi, who claim the vote was rigged.
Biden said the Iranian government has suppressed crowds and limited free speech by shutting down social networking sites such as Facebook, which he said raised questions. He also called the strong showing by Ahmadinejad "unlikely," based on pre-election analysis.
"Is this the response, is this the accurate response, is this the wish of the Iranian people?" Biden said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday that the federal government is doing everything it can to be ready for the traditional flu season this fall and winter, now that the H1N1 swine flu virus has become a global public health concern.
“We are certainly making every effort to be totally prepared,” Sebelius said on CNN’s State of the Union, adding that the production of a swine flu vaccine could begin as early as the end of the summer if a vaccination program is ultimately recommended.
“The good news is it still seems like not such a lethal virus,” Sebelius added. “But we are fully prepared . . . . Preparation is very much under way for what may happen this fall.”
Late last week, the World Health Organization raised its swine flu alert level to 6 – the highest level on WHO’s scale. It signifies the existence of a global pandemic – from the point of view of geographic spread rather than the sheer number of cases.
“The costs are crushing us,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “It’s hurting families. Our businesses are less competitive. We can’t continue on this pathway,” the Obama Cabinet member added.
To achieve Obama’s health care reform agenda, the administration is considering several different approaches including a public insurance option, Sebelius said Sunday.
A public option would be similar to the existing Medicare and Medicaid programs and, by competing with plans offered by private insurers, the White House hopes it would help to lower the cost of coverage throughout the market.
“Competition is a good thing . . . Choice and competition is what we want,” Sebelius told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Sunday.
“The president does not want to dismantle privately owned plans. He doesn’t want the 180 million people who have employer coverage to lose that coverage. He wants to strengthen the marketplace.”