IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Agenda Item 6 (b) (DPRK): Application of safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
12 June 2019
Australia recognises that dialogue is the only way to achieve denuclearisation of the DPRK and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The DPRK’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles – including its proliferation of sensitive technologies:
- presents an unacceptable challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime
- established under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
It also runs contrary to the will of the international community as expressed through the numerous relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Australia once again calls upon the DPRK to commit to positive engagement with the international community, and to continue to talk with all relevant parties to agree a way forward on denuclearisation.
We commend the United States' commitment to pursue ongoing talks after the Hanoi summit, and the ROK’s commitment to inter-Korean engagement.
Australia considers that maintaining pressure on the DPRK is the best contribution we can make to the success of others’ direct talks with Pyongyang.
Accordingly, we are working with our partners to maintain such pressure until the DPRK takes concrete steps towards complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.
We urge all other countries to do likewise, including by fully implementing all relevant UN Security Council sanctions.
Until the international community can verify concrete action on denuclearisation from the DPRK, Australia will remain sceptical of Pyongyang’s intentions.
The DPRK has reneged on commitments to denuclearise before.
In the meantime, we commend the Agency for its work to develop, and maintain, a high level of readiness to return to the DPRK.
The IAEA would – of course – have a crucial role to play in verifying any concrete steps that the DPRK does take towards denuclearisation.
Australia once again urges the DPRK to return to full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, permit a return to IAEA safeguards inspections at an early date, and to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.
Moreover – and in our capacity as a Co-Chair of the Friends of the CTBT - Australia also calls upon on the DPRK to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty as soon as possible.
Australia also stands ready to provide support to any international effort to verify denuclearisation of the DPRK.