IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – Agenda Item 5(a) –
Nuclear Verification – Application of Safeguards in the DPRK
U.S. Statement as Delivered by Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate
Vienna, Austria, November 16, 2022
Thank you, Chair.
In September, the Director General issued his report on nuclear verification in the DPRK, which identified indications that key facilities associated with fissile material production continue to operate and evidence that the DPRK is working to reconstitute tunnels and infrastructure at its nuclear test site. These developments reported by the Director General are cause for grave and increasing international concern. As we have previously noted, only one country – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – has conducted nuclear explosive tests this century, and a new nuclear test would constitute a reprehensible affront to the nonproliferation regime. Furthermore, the DPRK conducts a seventh nuclear test, the international community should swiftly and universally condemn this action.
These activities described in the Director General’s report come against the backdrop of other alarming developments, including the adoption by the DPRK on September 9 of a law that purports to enshrine DPRK policies with respect to the development and use of nuclear weapons and the regime’s claim that the law renders the DPRK’s status “irreversible,” and that there will be no denuclearization “in advance.” No domestic law will normalize unlawful nuclear weapons programs. In addition, the DPRK has conducted an unprecedented number of missile launches this year, including 60 ballistic missile launches, of which seven involved ICBMs.
In the face of these alarming developments, the United States continues to coordinate closely with our partners and allies to advance our shared objective for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to address threats posed by the DPRK. The United States has made clear that we have no hostile intent toward the DPRK. We continue to seek diplomacy and have repeatedly said we are prepared to meet without preconditions, but the DPRK has not responded.
In this time of continued DPRK provocations, we must speak loudly and with one voice that the DPRK must halt its provocations and engage in sustained and substantive negotiations with the United States. Furthermore, the DPRK must fully comply with all of its obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions, and we call on all Member States to fully implement the associated sanctions regime. Nuclear proliferation will not be tolerated.
We thank the Director General and the IAEA for their continued efforts to monitor developments related to the DPRK’s nuclear program and strongly support IAEA efforts to remain ready to resume verification activities in the DPRK if called upon to do so.
Thank you, Chair.