U.S. Statement: North Korea

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Agenda Item 4(a)

Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

U.S. Statement

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to thank my colleagues in the chamber who very generously wished me well in my new function, the only downside of which is that it will take me away from Vienna and so many good friends.   Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the kind things you have said and the wishing well in what I know will be an important endeavor.  I have learned a lot in Vienna that I think will help me fulfill those new responsibilities.

The complete and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula remains an essential objective for safeguarding peace and security in the region and preserving the integrity of the global nonproliferation regime.  With the help of the international community, we are committed to achieving this objective with all diplomatic tools at our disposal and to continue to pursue a dual-track approach on North Korea.  We continue full and transparent implementation of UN sanctions and urge all states to do the same.  At the same time, the United States and our allies remain open to meaningful dialogue with North Korea.

However, Mr. Chairman, we have made it clear that we must see a clear demonstration that North Korea is seriously committed to denuclearization.   The recent two rounds of United States-DPRK bilateral meetings were exploratory discussions to determine if North Korea is prepared to honor its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement, and comply with its obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the terms of the Armistice agreement.  In all of our sessions with North Korea, we underscored the need for a continuing process of dialogue between North and South Korea, and we welcome steps to improve inter-Korean relations.

The meetings in New York and Geneva were very positive and generally constructive.  The U.S. and North Korean delegations explored several areas of concern.  We narrowed our differences on several points but significant divergence in views remains.  We have a substantial amount of work ahead of us.  The United States will continue to consult closely with the Republic of Korea and other close partners in the Six-Party Talks on next steps in the process.

Mr. Chairman, consistent with the concerns expressed in Director General Amano’s Comprehensive Report in September, addressing the DPRK’s uranium enrichment program remains an utmost priority for the United States.  These activities are clear violations of the DPRK’s obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, and of the DPRK’s commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement.  Echoing the clear consensus of the international community in the Resolution adopted unanimously at the 55th General Conference, we call on North Korea to comply fully with its international commitments and obligations, including abandoning all existing nuclear programs and immediately ceasing all related activities.

Going forward, the United States continues to believe in an important role for the IAEA as we seek the DPRK’s sincere commitment to an irreversible process of complete and verifiable denuclearization.  We commend the Agency’s efforts to maintain readiness to re-establish a monitoring presence in the DPRK, and we continue to hold the DPRK to the commitments it made in the 2005 Joint Statement, including a return, at an early date, to the NPT and to IAEA safeguards.

Thank you to all my colleagues who said nice things about me and, thank you, Mr. Chairman.