IAEA Board of Governors: North Korea Statement

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

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
March 7-11, 2011

Agenda Item 4(b)

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

U.S. Statement

Ambassador Glyn Davies
Permanent US Representative to the IAEA

Mr. Chairman,

The DPRK’s disclosure last November of a uranium enrichment facility and light water reactor construction remains a matter of serious concern for the United States.  Let me restate unequivocally what the international community recognizes as an unambiguous and inescapable fact:  these activities are clear violations of North Korea’s obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, and contrary to its September 2005 Joint Statement commitments.  North Korea claimed that enrichment and light water efforts at Yongbyon began after it expelled IAEA and U.S. inspectors in April 2009, therefore, by its own admission, the DPRK confirmed that it stands in violation of both UN resolutions and the Joint Statement.  North Korea is required under the UN resolutions, and has committed under the Joint Statement, to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States and the international community will continue to insist that North Korea comply with its obligations and commitments by immediately ceasing all nuclear programs and related activities, including all those related to uranium enrichment.  North Korea’s development of an enrichment capability compromises objectives central to the integrity of the nonproliferation regime:  preventing the advance of nuclear weapons capabilities and onward proliferation of fissile material and sensitive nuclear technologies.  North Korea’s long track record of pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and proliferation speaks for itself.   North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, coupled with its provocative behavior and continued disregard for its international obligations and commitments, further heighten our concerns about its nuclear program and the threat it poses to international peace and security.
Mr. Chairman,

The international community bears a responsibility to address our mutual concerns about the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program and proliferation.  We urge all Member States to redouble their efforts to implement UN resolutions 1718 and 1874 fully and transparently.  We must all exercise robust vigilance against North Korea’s attempts to procure, and fund the acquisition of, equipment and technology to sustain and advance its prohibited nuclear activities.

The United States firmly believes that a dual-track approach offers the best prospects for achieving denuclearization and stability.  We are open to meaningful engagement with North Korea but will continue to pursue the full and transparent implementation of national and multilateral sanctions.  We continue to consult closely with our partners in the Six-Party process.  We have made it clear that before any resumption of Six-Party Talks, North Korea must take meaningful steps toward reducing inter-Korean tensions and demonstrate its sincerity and willingness to engage in serious negotiations, including through concrete steps to meet its international obligations and commitments and make progress toward achieving the goal of the 2005 Joint Statement:  the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.  As we have stressed before, there remains a positive path open to North Korea – it has the choice to take that path that will lead to security and economic opportunity, or to continue in its course of confrontation and isolation.

Going forward, the United States and our Five-Party partners continue to maintain our strong support for an important role for the IAEA in the DPRK, consistent with the requirements of UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874.  To that end, we encourage the Secretariat to maintain the capability to re-establish implementation of verification activities in the DPRK.

Mr. Chairman,

Addressing North Korea’s nuclear program remains a difficult and critical challenge, but one we must take on with unified resolve with all the diplomatic tools at our disposal.  Our collective message to North Korea has been loud and clear:  we do not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapon state.  We seek an immediate halt of all nuclear activities in the DPRK, including enrichment, leading to irreversible steps toward complete and verifiable denuclearization, and to North Korea’s return, at an early date, to the NPT and IAEA safeguards.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.