IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
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
7 March 2018
North Korea’s illegal long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs continue to pose an unacceptable and grave threat to both regional and global peace and stability. Australia condemns North Korea's repeated testing of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon delivery systems.
North Korea’s provocations, including three nuclear tests and forty-one missile launches since 2016, were committed in flagrant disregard of successive UN Security Council resolutions and continue to demand sustained and maximum resolve from the international community to convince North Korea to change its course. Australia will keep on working with a range of international partners to ensure the strongest possible response to North Korea’s provocations.
We remain committed – including in the current circumstances – to exerting maximum diplomatic and economic pressure on the North Korean regime and its revenue raising and proliferation networks. To this end – and as I have stated here on several previous occasions - Australia applies its own autonomous sanctions over and above those imposed by UN Security Council resolutions and autonomously by our partners.
There is a pressing need to improve the circumstances of North Korea’s severely impoverished people. Australia calls on the North Korean regime to abandon its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programs and to use the considerable resources this would make available to better provide for its suffering people.
North Korea’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and its proliferation of sensitive technologies, presents an unacceptable challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament framework as established under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Australia joins the international community in urging the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons program in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
In this connection, we are aware that the IAEA would have a crucial verification role to play should North Korea finally fulfil this obligation. For this reason Australia welcomes the Agency’s establishment of a DPRK team, and commends the Agency for the work it has been undertaking to maintain readiness to return to the DPRK.
Australia once again wishes to make clear that we believe it remains of paramount importance that the DPRK: ceases its nuclear-weapons program; complies with all IAEA resolutions calling for a restart of full cooperation with the IAEA and its safeguards obligations; heeds the requirements of the UN Security Council that it cease its nuclear activities; and fulfils its commitments to denuclearise under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement and under all relevant UN Security Council resolutions.