IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Agenda Item 7(b) (DPRK): Application of safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
11 September 2019
North Korea’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles - and its proliferation of sensitive technologies continues to present an unacceptable challenge to global arms control and nuclear non-proliferation regimes.
It also runs contrary to the express will of the international community, as has been clearly demonstrated through the promulgation of many relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Australia commends the commitment demonstrated by all relevant parties – particularly by the United States and the Republic of Korea – to continue talks with the DPRK.
And Australia has joined many other nations in seeking a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, including through the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the DPRK.
Consistent with our desire to see peace on the Peninsula, Australia has condemned the repeated missile launches conducted by North Korea since May.
These ballistic missile launches are a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions. And they sour the atmosphere required for progress in negotiations.
Australia once more calls on the DPRK to choose the path of dialogue and cease provocative actions that increase tensions.
Australia is working with our international partners to maintain sanctions and other measures until the DPRK takes clear and verifiable steps towards denuclearisation.
We call on all countries to assist in maintaining sanctions.
Together – by fully implementing all relevant UN Security Council resolutions – the world can encourage the DPRK to continue talks with the United States and the Republic of Korea.
We believe this is the best contribution that other countries can make to a successful outcome from those talks.
Australia commends the Agency for its work to develop and maintain a high level of readiness to return to the DPRK.
Where the IAEA would – of course – have a crucial role to play in verifying any steps that the DPRK agrees to undertake towards denuclearisation.
Australia once again urges the DPRK
- to return to full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
- to permit IAEA safeguards inspections at an early date
- to abandon its nuclear development activities in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner
- and to comply fully with all UN Security Council resolutions regarding both its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Moreover – and in our capacity as a Co-Chair of the Friends of the CTBT – Australia also calls upon the DPRK to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty as soon as possible.
This would be one means of clearly demonstrating its intention to negotiate some form of comprehensive denuclearisation agreement.
In closing let me assure the Board that Australia stands ready to provide support to any international effort to verify denuclearisation of the DPRK.