IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Statement by Ms Anne Craig, Alternate Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Agenda item 6(a): Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
13-17 September 2021
Thank you Chair,
Australia once again expresses deep concern at the ongoing actions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in support of its nuclear weapons program. We remain determined, as does the entire international community, that the DPRK must comply with UN Security Council resolutions requiring it to abandon its nuclear, other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
We note with concern the ongoing activities at Yongbyon outlined in the Director-General’s report of 27 August, including the apparent resumption of operations at the Experimental Nuclear Power Plant in July and the operation for five months earlier this year of the steam plant serving the Radiochemical Laboratory.
Together with the 25 March launch of ballistic missiles, the parading of new ballistic missile designs in January and Kim Jong Un’s affirmation of the regime’s ongoing commitment to its nuclear weapons program, also in January, these developments demonstrate the seriousness of the challenge.
We reiterate that the continuation of these programs is unacceptable and entirely incompatible with the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament framework as established under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The IAEA would have a crucial verification role to play should the DPRK agree to concrete actions and timeframes towards denuclearisation. Australia commends the Agency for the work it continues to undertake to enhance its readiness to return to the DPRK within available resources.
The DPRK’s continued defiance in the face of the united condemnation of the international community is a clear threat to global peace and security. Dialogue is the only way to achieve permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, and we continue to call on the DPRK to refrain from provocations and engage in good faith in talks with each of the United States and the Republic of Korea.
Until the DPRK takes concrete steps towards denuclearization, Australia is firmly resolved to make every effort to ensure the full implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Sanctions cannot be effective unless they are universally enforced. It is imperative that all countries implement UN Security Council sanctions against the DPRK. Australia will continue to work alongside our partners to this end.
Australia once again calls upon the DPRK to return to compliance with the NPT, return to IAEA Safeguards at an early date, ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and implement its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions.