US Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on DPRK

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

November 28-29, 2013

 

Agenda Item 4b

 

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

 

U.S. Statement as delivered by Ambassador Macmanus

 

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

 

The DPRK’s actions and stance regarding its nuclear program remain a cause for serious concern.  Since the Director General’s August report, we continue to see press reports about activity at Yongbyon, and official DPRK media outlets have continued to highlight Pyongyang’s intent to “bolster its nuclear deterrent.”  Far from signaling a commitment to denuclearization, these reports indicate a continuing pursuit of nuclear weapons.  These actions are in direct defiance of the clear and overwhelming international consensus that the DPRK must abandon all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, and cease all related activities immediately.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The United States has consistently made it clear that we remain open to authentic and credible negotiations with North Korea to implement the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement and bring North Korea into compliance with applicable Security Council resolutions through irreversible steps leading to denuclearization.  But the onus is on North Korea to take meaningful actions toward denuclearization.  As the U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice has stated, any such negotiations must “get at the entirety of the North’s nuclear program.  Pyongyang’s attempts to engage in dialogue while keeping critical elements of its weapons programs running are unacceptable and they will not succeed.”

 

Mr.  Chairman,

 

This message resonates with the concerns raised by this Board, as well as the General Conference (GC).  In particular, in the GC resolution adopted unanimously in September, Member States stressed the importance of a complete understanding of the DPRK’s entire program.  This underscores the need for the DPRK to declare all of its nuclear activities and facilities, including its plutonium program, and the full scope and extent of its uranium enrichment program.  The resolution also called on the DPRK to halt any steps to restart, readjust, and expand its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, and urged the DPRK to reaffirm its commitment to the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

We see no signs of seriousness of purpose on part of the DPRK to address the core concerns of the international community.  In the absence of North Korea’s willingness to take meaningful action on denuclearization, the international community must continue and strengthen its efforts to sharpen the choices for Pyongyang:  the DPRK can either choose to comply fully with its international obligations and commitments and become integrated into the community of responsible nations, or continue to face the consequences of this defiance.  We will work with our partners and the international community to maintain and enhance, as necessary, the pressure to compel North Korea to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, which is damaging to the global nonproliferation regime and threatens international peace and security.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

As we continue to work closely with our partners on next steps, we remain steadfast in our support of the IAEA’s essential role in achieving the DPRK’s denuclearization in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner, and its return to the NPT and IAEA safeguards.  The United States commends the IAEA for maintaining readiness to implement verification and monitoring activities in the DPRK.  The sustained focus by the IAEA and the Board of Governors on the DPRK’s nuclear program sends a clear message that the international community will not accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state, and that we continue to hold the DPRK to its international obligations and commitments.  North Korea’s nuclear programs will not make the country more secure and will only deepen its isolation.  The only way for North Korea to achieve the security and prosperity it seeks is by complying with its international obligations and commitments.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.