IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
June 12-16, 2017
Agenda Item 7(c)
Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
U.S. Statement – As Delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Ike Reed
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The United States condemns in the strongest terms the ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile programs of the DPRK, which continue in flagrant disregard for the views of the international community. We particularly condemn the ballistic missile tests conducted by the DPRK, including its most recent ballistic missile test on [May 29]. The DPRK has carried out over half a dozen missile tests since the start of the year, and in the last month conducted missile launches on a near weekly basis. The DPRK claims to have incorporated nuclear weapons into its warfighting capability and its stated objective is to be able to attack U.S. cities with nuclear weapons, as well as cities of other member states. The threat posed by the DPRK’s development of its nuclear weapons and delivery capabilities is a direct challenge to all of us in this Board room.
We must make it clear to the DPRK that we will never accept its provocative behavior or treat its unlawful actions as routine. The DPRK’s continued production of fissile material, together with each and every nuclear and ballistic missile test is cause for grave alarm and merits a swift, firm response. The DPRK’s unlawful development and testing of its proscribed programs will not lead to its acceptance as a nuclear armed state. The United States together with the international community stands ever more resolute in our opposition to the DPRK’s possession and further development of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery. Through concerted action and decisive pressure, we must redouble our efforts to press the DPRK to change course, uphold its international obligations and commitments, and abandon its unlawful programs. We remain ready and willing to engage the North in serious talks, but we will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table.
Our goal is not regime change. Rather, the time has come for all of us to put new pressure on North Korea to change course. To help to bring the North to its senses, we urge all states to rigorously implement all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including 2270, 2321, and 2356 and join the efforts of likeminded partners in this room and around the world to disrupt and degrade the DPRK’s prohibited activities. We must impose unprecedented diplomatic and economic pressure on the North Korean regime to compel it to return to serious talks and ultimately abandon its prohibited nuclear program.
The United States remains firmly committed to the IAEA’s essential role in the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the DPRK. We greatly appreciate the Secretariat’s efforts to maintain the Agency’s readiness to resume monitoring and verification in the DPRK and commend the Board’s sustained attention to the DPRK’s nuclear file.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman the world faces no greater security challenge today than that posed by North Korea. Denuclearization is our overriding priority, and we must apply the necessary pressure to hold the DPRK to its commitments.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.