IAEA BoG – U.S. on IAEA Safeguards in the DPRK

Map of DPRK.

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item 6(a): Nuclear Verification – Application of Safeguards in the DPRK

U.S. statement as delivered by Acting IAEA Counselor Edward Canuel
Vienna, Austria, September 15, 2021

Thank you, Madam Chair.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs continue to pose a serious threat to the security of the United States and the rest of the world and a direct challenge to the global nonproliferation regime. We share the Director General’s assessment that the DPRK’s nuclear activities are cause for serious concern, and in particular note the report’s characterization of recent activities at the five megawatt reactor and Radiochemical Laboratory at Yongbyon consistent with the operation of these facilities as “deeply troubling.” These developments underscore the urgent need for renewed diplomacy and dialogue leading to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

And we continue to work towards the ultimate goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We have laid out a calibrated, practical approach to reducing the threats posed by the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs that seeks diplomacy with the DPRK. We are working in close coordination with our allies and partners so that we can address the full range of issues related to denuclearization. Our efforts build upon the 2018 Singapore Joint Statement and other prior commitments, including those in the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement. We hope that the DPRK will come to the table to discuss our respective goals and concerns. However, Pyongyang must make the choice to engage.

In the meantime, sanctions related to the DPRK’s UN-prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programs remain in place, and we must collectively continue to demand that the DPRK fully comply with its international obligations and commitments. We also continue to stress the importance of all UN Member States fully implementing their sanctions obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions and taking decisive action to prevent sanctions evasion.

Finally, Madam Chair, we reiterate our support for the IAEA’s continued efforts to maintain readiness to resume monitoring and verification activities in the DPRK and continue to appreciate the IAEA’s sustained focus on these issues.

Thank you, Madam Chair.