IAEA Board of Governors Meeting November 29-30, 2012
Agenda Item 4a
Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
U.S. Mission to the IAEA
Let me begin by reiterating the United States’ firm support for the sustained focus on the DPRK’s nuclear file by the IAEA and by this Board. The IAEA’s role in the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is an essential element of UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, and the Board of Governors’ attention to this matter has been endorsed by the General Conference year-in and year-out through the annual unanimous adoption of a resolution on the DPRK. Our collective focus on this issue sends a clear message that, despite the DPRK’s assertions to the contrary, the international community will not accept the DPRK as a nuclear weapons state and continues to hold Pyongyang to its denuclearization obligations and commitments. We greatly value the Director General’s annual reports on developments in the DPRK’s nuclear program – the Board must remain vigilant of North Korea’s nuclear activities, which compromise the integrity of the global nonproliferation regime. We also commend the IAEA’s efforts to maintain readiness to return to the DPRK; these efforts continue to have the international community’s abiding support.
Mr. Chairman, As reiterated by this year’s General Conference, the DPRK’s nuclear activities, including its enrichment activities and light water reactor construction, are a matter of serious concern. These and all other nuclear activities must cease immediately. The DPRK must allow the IAEA to establish a long-term presence to monitor and verify the cessation and abandonment of these activities. Echoing the resolution adopted unanimously in September, we strongly urge the DPRK to reaffirm its commitment to denuclearization and the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.
Mr. Chairman, The DPRK cannot use the false pretext of what it alleges is “U.S. hostile policy” to renege on its commitment to denuclearization when the DPRK’s long record of provocations against its neighbors, and against international peace and security, is an open book. As President Obama has stated, the United States has no hostile intent toward the DPRK. As he noted in Rangoon on November 19, if the DPRK lets go of its nuclear weapons and chooses the path of peace and progress then it will “find an extended hand from the United States of America.” But we are cognizant of the risk that the DPRK may again respond to our and others’ outstretched hands by carrying out another provocation.
While we remain open to improved relations with the DPRK if it is willing to live up to its international commitments and obligations, we will not tolerate proliferation or further provocations. We will continue to work closely with the international community to enforce sanctions against the DPRK and urge all states to be vigilant in their dealings with North Korea to prevent its proliferation activities. And if North Korea chooses the path of provocation, we will be prepared to work with our partners and all concerned states to respond in a swift, effective and credible manner.
We call on North Korea to reevaluate the cost of the international isolation which is sure to stiffen unless it alters its course, drastically changes its fundamental calculus and joins the community of responsible nations.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.