IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item 8(c): Nuclear Verification – Application of Safeguards in the DPRK
U.S. statement as delivered by Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate
Vienna, Austria, June 8, 2022
Thank you, Chair.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues to engage in a series of increasingly provocative and destabilizing actions that underscore the serious threat posed by its nuclear and ballistic missile programs to international peace and security and the global nonproliferation regime.
In particular, we are gravely concerned by reports that the DPRK may be undertaking preparations to conduct a nuclear explosive test, and by the announcement from the DPRK regime last month that Pyongyang would take steps to strengthen and develop its nation’s nuclear capabilities as quickly as possible. In the context of this statement, we note with increasing concern the Director General’s report to the 2021 General Conference (GOV/2021/20) that activities continue at the DPRK’s nuclear facilities, including activities consistent with the operation of DPRK’s fissile material production facilities at Yongbyon.
In addition, just since the beginning of this year, the DPRK has conducted an unprecedented number of launches of ballistic missiles, including six ICBMs, a claimed submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), and what the DPRK has described as a new hypersonic missile.
The threats posed by the DPRK’s continued nuclear and ballistic missile advances underscore the urgency of diplomacy and dialogue focused on achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The United States remains prepared to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy without preconditions to achieve these objectives and to increase the security of the United States and our allies, but the DPRK continues not to respond.
We will continue to work with our allies and partners to address the threats posed by the DPRK’s WMD and ballistic missile programs. The IAEA General Conference last September unanimously agreed that the DPRK must fully comply with its obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including halting these unlawful activities. The international community has sent a strong, unified message that the DPRK must halt these provocations, abide by its obligations and the UN Security Council resolutions, and engage in sustained and substantive negotiations.
Finally, we once again express our appreciation for the professional and impartial efforts of the Director General and the Secretariat to monitor developments related to the DPRK nuclear program. We continue to support Agency efforts to remain ready to resume monitoring and verification activities in the DPRK if called upon to do so.
Thank you, Chair.