IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item 5a: Application of Safeguards in the DPRK
U.S. statement as delivered by Deputy Counselor Edward T. Canuel
Vienna, Austria, March 8, 2022
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We appreciate the professional and impartial efforts of the Director General and the Secretariat to devote sustained attention to developments related to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear program. We continue to support Agency efforts to remain ready to resume monitoring and verification activities in the DPRK, if called upon to do so.
In the past several months, the DPRK has engaged in a series of destabilizing activities that underscore the serious threat posed by its nuclear and ballistic missile programs to international peace and security and the global nonproliferation regime. In particular, we note with increasing concern the DPRK’s January 2022 statement that it would review its 2018 moratorium on testing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. In the context of this statement, we note again with increasing concern the Director General’s report to the 2021 General Conference, GOV/2020/42, that activities continue at the DPRK’s nuclear facilities, including activities consistent with the operation of the DPRK’s fissile material production facilities at Yongbyon.
In addition, since the beginning of this year, the DPRK has conducted ten ballistic missile launches in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions, including its most recent ballistic missile launch on February 27. These follow a series of test launches over the final four months of 2021 that included a claimed submarine launched ballistic missile last October, and what the DPRK has described as a new hypersonic missile.
The threats posed by the DPRK’s continued nuclear and ballistic missile advances underscore the urgency of diplomacy and dialogue focused on achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and increasing the security of the United States and our allies. The United States remains prepared to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy without preconditions to make tangible progress towards that end.
While we are committed to diplomacy, we will continue our efforts to address the threats posed by the DPRK’s WMD and ballistic missile programs. As noted in the resolution passed by the IAEA General Conference last September, the DPRK must fully comply with all of its obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and we call on all Member States to implement their own obligations. It is important for the international community to send a strong, unified message that the DPRK must halt provocations, abide by its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions, and engage in sustained and substantive negotiations with the United States.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.