IAEA Board of Governors: 23 November 2017
Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Agenda Item 5 (b): (DPRK)
Application of safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Thank you Chair,
Australia remains firmly of the view that the DPRK’s continued defiance of repeated demands by the international community to halt development of its illegal ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs poses a severe and unacceptable threat to global peace and security.
We condemn North Korea’s flagrant disregard of successive United Nations Security Council resolutions through its repeated testing of nuclear weapons and weapon delivery systems.
The testing of a powerful nuclear device on 3 September – and ballistic missile tests overflying Japan on 29 August and 15 September – represent serious escalations.
North Korea’s provocations warrant the full implementation of existing UN Security Council resolutions, including the latest such resolution, UNSCR 2375, and require even stronger resolve from the international community to deter North Korea from threatening its region and the world with its illegal weapons.
The latest sanctions can only seriously affect North Korea if they are fully implemented by all member states. It is crucial these sanctions are universally imposed.
We must stand firm together. We must send a clear message. We must drive North Korea to the negotiating table.
The DPRK’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles – and its proliferation of sensitive technologies – unacceptably challenges the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament framework established under NPT and the CTBT.
At the same time, the huge resources Pyongyang spends on these programs comes at the expense of the North Korean people, the vast majority of whom live in poverty and regularly suffer from famine and other severe hardships.
Australia will keep playing its part to exert diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea.
This will include full implementation of UNSC sanctions, as well as Australia’s own autonomous sanctions, which we recently expanded to complement the strong resolutions adopted by the UNSC and the expanded autonomous sanctions of our partners.
Australia is increasing its outreach and advocacy in the Indo-Pacific region to help address the risk of proliferation.
In this respect, Australia stands ready to assist regional states to fully implement the relevant UNSC resolutions, in order to limit the avenues the DPRK can use to proliferate weapons technology and raise funds for its illegal programs.
It is crucial that the DPRK: cease its nuclear-weapons program; comply with IAEA resolutions calling for a restart of full cooperation with the IAEA and its safeguards obligations; heed the requirements of the UN Security Council to cease its nuclear activities; and fulfil its commitments to denuclearise under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement and under relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.