Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
U.S. Statement as delivered by Deputy Permanent Representative Hushek
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
The international community is watching with serious concern the DPRK’s escalatory actions and rhetoric, which pose a grave threat to our common peace and security and undermine our collective efforts to uphold and strengthen the nonproliferation regime. Despite the presence of a clear option to choose a different path, the DPRK continues to make a deliberate choice to act in direct defiance of the overwhelming international consensus against its proscribed programs and proliferation activities.
The United States and our partners have long made it clear that the door to a meaningful diplomatic process remains open, should the DPRK demonstrate a seriousness of purpose and will toward denuclearization. But of the latter, Mr. Chairman, we simply do not see any evidence. What we have seen and continue to see, instead, is the DPRK taking step after step in the wrong direction. Far from any signals of intent to choose a different course, in statement after statement, we hear the DPRK repeatedly and explicitly avow its pursuit of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery as a strategic national priority. We see this policy in action in the DPRK’s continued development of its nuclear programs, including uranium enrichment and plutonium production. We see it in the DPRK’s efforts to alter, adjust, and expand its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. And we see it in its threats to respond to the international condemnation of its recent ballistic missile launches – in clear violation of its UN Security Council obligations – with additional longer-range launches and possibly a “new form of a nuclear test.”
In light of these dangerous and unshifting strategic objectives, enhanced pressure and a strong and unified international resolve remain critical to impeding the DPRK’s efforts to sustain and advance its proscribed programs. The IAEA’s and the Board of Governors’ dedicated focus to the DPRK’s nuclear file is a key element of that resolve: it sends a clear and unambiguous message to Pyongyang that the international community does not, and will not, condone its ongoing nuclear activities in violation of its UN obligations and its own international commitments; that we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state; and that we seek its return to the NPT and IAEA safeguards and to full compliance with its nonproliferation obligations. The United States and our Six-Party partners remain committed to the IAEA’s essential role in the verifiable denuclearization of North Korea. We commend and fully support the IAEA’s efforts to maintain preparedness to establish its monitoring and verification presence in the DPRK.
In the 21st century, in an intensely connected and interdependent world, isolation is a stiff cost for any country seeking security and economic prosperity. But by its own choosing, isolation is what North Korea will continue to face unless it makes a strategic decision: to refrain from further provocations; to take concrete steps to reaffirm and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization; and to engage in a credible diplomatic process to implement the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks and come into compliance with its UN obligations.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.