U.S. Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors: Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

IAEA Board Room. Photo courtesy of IAEA, D.Calma.

U.S. Statement as delivered by U.S. Ambassador Jackie Wolcott

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

Agenda Item 4(b): Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Vienna, November 22, 2018


Thank you, Madam Chair.

Since the historic June summit in Singapore between President Trump and Chairman Kim, the United States has been ready to engage the DPRK in the necessary negotiations to achieve the goals set forth in Singapore, including the final, fully verified denuclearization of DPRK. We have approached the DPRK in seriousness and good faith to work towards this outcome. Regrettably, the DPRK has yet to take significant concrete steps toward denuclearization that would demonstrate their intent to deliver on Chairman Kim’s commitment in Singapore.

The United States shares the Director General’s troubling assessments from his August 2018 report of the threat posed by the DPRK’s unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile programs and its continued violations of relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Diplomacy notwithstanding, North Korea continues to possess and develop its proscribed weapons programs. We must continue to speak with one voice in demanding that the DPRK fully comply with its international obligations and commitments, and we must maintain and intensify pressure on the North Korean regime. Sanctions relief can only follow denuclearization, and any premature relief in economic or diplomatic pressure would diminish the chances of achieving our common goal. We will not repeat the mistakes of the past by making concessions without meaningful progress on denuclearization. We are committed to working with the international community to ensure robust implementation of the DPRK sanctions regime and to holding the DPRK accountable to the commitments that it has made.

As the international community’s strong, credible, and independent authority on safeguards and verification, the Agency’s continued attention to the DPRK’s nuclear file is essential. We reiterate our support for the Secretariat’s continued efforts to strengthen the Agency’s readiness to play an important role in monitoring and verification of denuclearization in the DPRK. Together, we must hold firm to the principle that the DPRK can only achieve security and prosperity by matching its commitment to denuclearize with concrete actions. This is the only path to the brighter future that it seeks.

Thank you, Madam Chair.