IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Agenda Item 8(a): Application of safeguards in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
14 September 2022
Australia condemns in the strongest terms the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s ongoing actions in support of its illicit and dangerous nuclear weapons program.
The Director General’s latest report (GOV/2022/40) again highlights the Agency’s serious concern at the DPRK’s continuing nuclear activities – we share these concerns.
We note with concern the ongoing operation of the DPRK’s 5MW(e) reactor, and the expansion of a reported centrifuge enrichment facility at Yongbyon.
We also note reports that the DPRK has been preparing its Punggye-ri nuclear test site for what appears to be an imminent test. The Director General’s report documents the Agency’s observations in this regard. We share the Director General’s assessment that these developments are deeply troubling.
Australia again urges the DPRK not to resume nuclear testing. Another DPRK nuclear test would be a setback for regional peace and security. We continue to call on the DPRK to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
Australia further condemns the unprecedented succession of irresponsible and destabilising ballistic missile launches conducted by the DPRK this year, in contravention of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.
The legislation on nuclear weapons adopted by the DPRK last week was deeplz troubling on several fronts, as was Kim Jong Un’s categorical rejection of negotiations on denuclearisation. These steps are irresponsible, counter-productive and dangerous.
We reaffirm our call on the DPRK to comply fully with the UN Security Council resolutions requiring it to abandon its nuclear, other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
Australia is committed to working alongside its partners to ensure UN Security Council sanctions against the DPRK are implemented to the fullest extent possible.
The DPRK’s actions cannot be normalised or downplayed. This Board, and the wider international community, must continue to call out these grave violations and reckless acts.
We urge the DPRK to return to compliance with the NPT, cease provocations and make a sustained commitment to diplomacy. Permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula can only be achieved through dialogue.
The IAEA will have a crucial verification role to play in the event the DPRK agrees to concrete actions towards denuclearisation. Australia commends the Agency for maintaining and enhancing its readiness to return to the DPRK within available resources, as outlined in the Director-General’s latest report.