U.S. Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on North Korea

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

September 9-13, 2013

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

U.S. Statement as delivered by Ambassador Joseph E. Macmanus

U.S. Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency

Mr. Chairman,


The United States thanks Director General Amano for his report on the DPRK issued on August 28.  We note with serious concern the DPRK’s ongoing nuclear activities at Yongbyon reported by the DG, including the continued construction of the light water reactor, the construction of an extension to the uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon, and activities possibly aimed at restarting the 5 megawatt (MW) plutonium production reactor.


We thank the IAEA for bringing to the Board’s attention these developments, some of which appear to be connected to the DPRK’s April 2 announcement to “readjust and restart” its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, including the 5 MW reactor and the uranium enrichment facility.


As stated by the Director General, these actions are clear violations of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and we second his call for the DPRK to comply fully with its UN obligations, including those related to prompt and full cooperation with the IAEA.   The United States commends the IAEA for its dedicated and sustained focus on the DPRK’s nuclear file and for maintaining readiness for implementation of verification and monitoring activities in the DPRK.    We firmly support the IAEA’s essential role in the DPRK’s verifiable denuclearization.


Mr. Chairman,


The measures outlined in the IAEA report also run counter to the DPRK’s commitment to denuclearization under the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and underscore the concern about the DPRK’s entire nuclear program.   The DPRK’s efforts to continue and further develop its nuclear capabilities are a serious threat to the global nonproliferation regime and international peace and security.   These efforts have been met with unequivocal and overwhelming international condemnation.


We commend the international community’s vigilance and united resolve in implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and impeding the DPRK’s efforts to sustain and advance its proscribed programs and to conduct its proliferation activities.   We must continue to make it clear to the DPRK that its best and only option is to comply with its international obligations and commitments and become a responsible member of the community of nations.


Mr. Chairman,


Complete and verifiable denuclearization remains the primary focus of U.S. policy on North Korea.  We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state.   We remain committed to authentic and credible negotiations to implement the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement through irreversible steps on denuclearization and to bring North Korea into compliance with applicable Security Council resolutions.  But we are not interested in talks for the sake of talks.   We must see a clear demonstration of the DPRK’s will and commitment to denuclearization.


Mr. Chairman, the activities reported in the Director General’s report do not signify a positive change from Pyongyang.   Those actions are a step in the wrong direction and must cease immediately.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.