U.S. Statement as delivered by Ambassador Macmanus
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
The integrity of the global nonproliferation regime remains at risk from the DPRK’s unrelenting pursuit of its nuclear weapons programs. This represents a serious, growing and unacceptable threat to international peace and security. Despite the international community’s overwhelming condemnation of these programs and consistent calls for a change of course, the DPRK continues its progression down the wrong path. As reported by the Director General, the DPRK has been engaged in activities consistent with its April 2, 2013 announced intention to restart and readjust all nuclear facilities at Yongbyon.
These activities are a significant step in the wrong direction, and together with all other nuclear activities associated with the DPRK’s nuclear program, are contrary to its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and its obligations under multiple UN Security Council resolutions. These actions are also a clear signal that Pyongyang is not committed to denuclearization, despite its rhetorical assertions to the contrary. As demanded by the international community, including in the 2013 IAEA General Conference resolution, the DPRK must halt any actions to restart, readjust and expand its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, and comply with its international commitments and obligations.
As the United States and our partners have stated consistently, we remain open to credible and authentic talks to bring the DPRK into compliance with its international commitments and obligations through irreversible steps leading to denuclearization. But we have yet to see any evidence that the DPRK is serious about denuclearization, let alone prepared to meet its obligations to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
In the meantime, concerted international pressure remains imperative to sharpen the DPRK’s choices. As noted by the UN Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts’ public reports, the international community’s efforts to implement UN Security Council resolutions have been successful in disrupting numerous DPRK attempts to circumvent sanctions. It is clear, however, that the DPRK remains determined in its efforts to engage in activities proscribed by the UN Security Council resolutions. More work needs to be done. Enhanced awareness and sustained vigilance by all UN Member States remains critical to impede the DPRK’s proliferation activities which provide Pyongyang the financial and technical resources it needs to advance its nuclear and other proscribed programs.
Likewise, the IAEA and the Board of Governors’ dedicated attention to this matter remains critical and serves as an important reminder to Pyongyang that the international community will not accept the DPRK as a nuclear-armed state. The United States and our partners in the Six-Party Talks process remain committed to the DPRK’s return, at an early date, to the NPT and IAEA safeguards, and to the IAEA’s essential role in the verifiable denuclearization of the DPRK. We remain fully supportive of the IAEA’s efforts to maintain preparedness to establish its monitoring and verification presence in the DPRK.
The international community awaits a clear demonstration of a strategic change of course. There is a real alternative available to the DPRK that will end its international isolation, bolster its security and create opportunities for its people. To avail itself of this opportunity, however, the DPRK must commit to taking meaningful, concrete and irreversible steps toward verifiable denuclearization, and as Secretary of State John Kerry stressed recently in Beijing, it must begin to do so now.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.