IAEA Board of Governors: 13 September 2017
Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative to the IAEA
Agenda Item 7b: Application of safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Thank you, Chair.
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 an unacceptable threat to regional as well as global peace and stability.
Australia joins with the international community in utterly condemning North Korea’s flagrant disregard of successive UNSC resolutions through its repeated testing of nuclear weapons and of nuclear weapon delivery systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles.
In particular, the testing of a powerful nuclear explosive device on 3 September was a serious escalation and is of the gravest concern.
North Korea’s provocations warrant the full implementation of existing UN Security Council resolutions including Resolution 2375, which was adopted unanimously by the Council on 11 September 2017.
UNSCR 2375 imposes the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions on North Korea to date.
These sanctions will have a serious impact on the DPRK if they are fully implemented by all member states.
This must happen. These sanctions must be universally imposed.
The international community must send North Korea a clear message that we stand firm and resolute together to make sure the DPRK faces clear and painful consequences for its continued and persistent breaches of UNSC and IAEA resolutions.
As has been said many times before, the DPRK’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, including its proliferation of sensitive technologies poses an unacceptable challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament framework established under the NPT and the CTBT.
The cost of these programs also diverts resources from the pressing need to improve the welfare of North Korea’s impoverished people.
Australia will continue to play its part – in cooperation with others – to exert diplomatic and economic pressure through our full implementation of UNSC sanctions.
We will also exert pressure above and beyond this, through implementing our own autonomous sanctions regime.
We bolstered this regime earlier this year to complement the already strong sanctions agreed by the Security Council, as well as the autonomous sanctions of our partners.
Australia welcomes the Director General’s report and establishment of a DPRK Team within the IAEA’s Department of Safeguards to enhance monitoring capability and improve preparations for a timely return to the DPRK should it be invited to do so.
The IAEA’s essential role in verifying the DPRK’s nuclear program has never been more evident.
Every effort should be made to ensure the Agency is in a position to fulfil its role as soon as a political agreement can been reached.
It is of crucial importance that North Korea: 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 ballistic missile activities; and fulfil its commitments to denuclearise under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement and under relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.
Australia also affiliates itself with the statement of Turkey made with reference to the MIKTA Foreign Ministers’ statement issued following North Korea’s 3 September nuclear test.