IAEA Board of Governors, Agenda Item 7 (c), Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Statement by Robert Wood

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

June 4-8, 2012

Agenda Item 7(c)

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

U.S. Statement

Robert Wood

Chargé d’Affaires

U.S. Mission to the IAEA

Mr. Chairman,

It is regrettable that once again this Board meets in the context of business as usual from North Korea. The cautious optimism we all expressed at the last Board has again been met with a show of bad faith and provocation by the DPRK. We had hoped that by implementing the modest steps it agreed to take during the February discussions in Beijing, Pyongyang would lay the groundwork for meaningful progress on denuclearization. We commend the Director General and the Secretariat for maintaining a high state of readiness to return to the DPRK to resume implementation of safeguards and regret that the DPRK’s actions ultimately prevented the Agency from carrying out a visit in this regard. By proceeding with its April 13 launch in clear violation of its international obligations and commitments, the DPRK sent a clear signal that it was not serious about making meaningful progress.

The onus, Mr. Chairman, let us be clear, was and remains on the DPRK. North Korea needs no prompting. Refraining from further provocations, including any further launches using ballistic missile technology or the conduct of nuclear tests, and ceasing uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities at Yongbyon under sustained IAEA monitoring would be good, initial steps toward restoring international confidence. The United States stands firmly behind the IAEA in its prudent and sustained efforts to maintain a state of readiness for resumption of its monitoring presence in the DPRK. What the IAEA and the international community need is a serious partner that can be trusted to follow through on its own undertakings. Words alone will not suffice. What we need to see from North Korea is positive and concrete action.

As the United States and our Six-Party partners have consistently made clear, we remain open to engagement with the DPRK if it demonstrates that it is prepared to comply with its international obligations and commitments, and to improve relations with its neighbors. The path to reintegration with the international community and greater security remains open to North Korea should it change its fundamental calculus, redirect its focus away from proliferation to positive engagement, and reinvent itself as a responsible member of the international community. The DPRK’s continued development of its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons capability, including its uranium enrichment activities, violates its UN obligations and threatens international peace and security. We call on the DPRK to reaffirm its commitments under the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. Our core objective remains the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, and the DPRK’s return to the NPT and IAEA safeguards.

The international community remains united in its resolve to implement UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874 fully, and as demonstrated by the Council’s swift and strong response to the DPRK’s April 13 launch, remains determined to take action accordingly in the event of further provocations or violations of UN resolutions.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.