Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

Agenda Item 5 (a): Application of Safeguards in the DPRK

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting: 17 November 2016

Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative to the IAEA

Agenda Item 5 (a): Application of Safeguards in the DPRK


Mr Chair,

I thank the Director General for his updates on North Korea, and for the calls he made in his Opening Statement for North Korea’s cooperation.

Mr Chair,

Australia condemns absolutely the reckless, provocative and dangerous actions of North Korea in undertaking two nuclear tests this year alone, with the latest test on 9 September. 

We also condemn the more than twenty ballistic missile test launches that it has conducted over this period. 

We are deeply concerned that these tests contribute to North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons – and associated delivery systems – and increases tensions in Australia’s region.

The recent General Conference sent a clear message that North Korea’s continued provocative acts are unacceptable.  The North Korean regime should focus instead on the welfare of its people.

We stand firm with our allies and regional partners in condemning these provocative actions by North Korea and calling on it immediately to desist from such irresponsible and dangerous behaviour. 

We believe it is critically important that North Korea abandons its nuclear and missile programs and abides by its international obligations, to ensure denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

Mr Chair,

Australia remains seriously concerned that North Korea continues its nuclear program in contravention of a growing series of UN Security Council (UNSC) and IAEA resolutions, including:

  • operation of facilities at the Yongbyon complex, including the 5MW(e) reactor and reprocessing facility;
  • the continued use of its centrifuge enrichment facility; and
  • ongoing construction at its Light Water Reactor.

We remain concerned at other possible breaches including indications of ongoing mining, milling and concentration activities at the Pyongsan uranium mine and concentration plant.

Australia calls on the global community to work together more rigorously than ever in addressing the threat posed by North Korea through implementation of existing sanctions, to ensure North Korea is not rewarded for its continued and persistent breaches of UN Security Council and IAEA Resolutions.

Australia co-sponsored UNSC Resolution 2270 on 2 March.  We are implementing UNSC sanctions fully and will continue to take all necessary steps to deter North Korea’s dangerous ambitions.

Mr Chair,

North Korea’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and its proliferation of sensitive technologies also challenge the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). 

Swift condemnation of North Korea’s latest nuclear test underlines the strength of the de facto norm against nuclear testing, and reinforces the importance of entry into force of the CTBT, which opened for signature 20 years ago.

Australia joins others in urging North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. 

Australia calls on North Korea to:

  • 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 UNSC to cease its nuclear activities; and
  • fulfil its commitments to denuclearise under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement and under relevant UNSC resolutions.

We will continue to work with partners regionally and globally in taking the necessary steps to address the threat posed by North Korea.

We support the IAEA maintaining its readiness to play a key role in verifying North Korea’s nuclear program.

Thank you Mr Chair.