IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – Agenda Item 8(a) – Application of Safeguards in the DPRK
U.S. statement as Delivered by Lucy M. Chang, Counselor for Nuclear Affairs
Vienna, Austria, September 14, 2022
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We would once again like to express our appreciation to the Director General and the IAEA for their continued efforts to monitor developments related to the DPRK’s nuclear program and we welcome the comprehensive and detailed overview of Agency activities over the past 30 years as presented in the Director General’s report (GOV/2022/40). We also strongly support IAEA efforts to remain ready to resume verification activities in the DPRK if called upon to do so.
The DG’s report outlines several recent developments that are cause for grave and increasing concern, including indications that key facilities associated with fissile material production in the DPRK continue to operate, and evidence that the DPRK is working to reconstitute tunnels and infrastructure at its nuclear test site. The DPRK is the only country that has conducted nuclear explosive tests this century, and a new nuclear test would constitute an alarming act of provocation to which the international community should respond with swift and universal condemnation.
In addition, we are especially concerned that the DPRK last week announced a new law intended to formalize its nuclear forces as an element of its national defense capabilities and outlining elements of a nuclear doctrine that could include possible first use of nuclear weapons in an armed conflict. In the face of this deeply irresponsible and destabilizing pronouncement, we want to reiterate that the DPRK cannot have the status of a nuclear-weapon State in accordance with the NPT and we remain fully committed to defending the United States and our allies and partners in the region.
Our policy is unchanged: We remain focused on continuing to coordinate closely with our allies and partners to address the threats posed by the DPRK and to advance our shared objective of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We have made clear that we have no hostile intent toward the DPRK. And as we have said, we continue to seek diplomacy and are prepared to meet without preconditions. The DPRK continues not to respond.
The DPRK must fully comply with all of its obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and we call on all Member States to fully implement the associated sanctions regime. 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. Chairman.