IAEA Board Statement on North Korea

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
June 6-10, 2011
Agenda Item 7(d)
Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
U.S. Statement
Ambassador Glyn T. Davies
Permanent U.S. Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency

Mr. Chairman,

 As the international community continues to make strides to strengthen the nonproliferation regime, we must guard against threats that counteract our collective efforts and endanger global peace and security. One of the most critical such threats is North Korea’s continued defiance of its international commitments and obligations. The growing list of serious violations of UN Security Council Resolutions by North Korea, including its uranium enrichment program, light-water reactor construction activities, continued advancement of its other nuclear activities and ballistic missile programs, and proliferation activities, all call for a resolute commitment by all Member States to exercise strict vigilance and to urge North Korea to abandon its current course and choose a different path.

North Korea’s enrichment program is of serious concern as it provides another avenue for fissile material production that can advance the DPRK’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. It also heightens our concerns about the threat of proliferation of weapons-usable materials and sensitive technology by North Korea. Mr. Chairman, this is not the concern of a single country or a single region. This challenge is global. We all share the responsibility to deny North Korea’s efforts to procure sensitive equipment and technology, and to conduct prohibited transactions to secure funds to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The United States urges all Member States to implement UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 fully and transparently, and to take all measures necessary to impede North Korea’s efforts to circumvent UN sanctions. There are clear indications that the concrete steps taken by many states have been effective in complicating the DPRK’s proliferation activities. We commend these efforts, and we call on all states to cooperate.

Even as we continue to pursue robust national and multilateral sanctions, we remain open to meaningful engagement with the DPRK on denuclearization. However, we do not believe it will be fruitful or productive to resume Six-Party Talks until North Korea demonstrates that it is committed to dialogue and that it takes seriously its international obligations and commitments to denuclearize. 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 improve its relations with South Korea, cease its provocative behavior, and take irreversible steps towards denuclearization.

The United States continues to believe that consistent with its mandate under Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, the IAEA has an important role to play as we seek an immediate halt of all nuclear activities including enrichment in the DPRK, 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. To that end, we support the Agency’s efforts to maintain readiness to re-establish implementation of verification activities in the DPRK.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.