Statement by Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano at the Board of Governors Meeting starting on Monday, 2 March 2015 Agenda Item 6(c): Application of safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Japan appreciates the efforts of the IAEA regarding the application of safeguards in North Korea, and expresses its concern about the current situation, in which the IAEA has lost its presence in North Korea since April 2009. Although the Secretariat cannot conduct its verification activities in North Korea, and the monitoring by the Agency of the situation at Yongbyon is conducted mainly through satellite imagery, Japan continues to attach importance to these activities by the Secretariat
Needless to say, North Korea’s ongoing nuclear and missile-related activities, including uranium enrichment, are in violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. Japan has been and continues to be most seriously concerned by these activities.
It is impermissible that North Korea conducted nuclear tests despite the repeated calls by the international community as a whole not to conduct any further provocation, including nuclear tests. The nuclear tests by North Korea pose grave challenges to the international non-proliferation regime centered on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), particularly when taken together with North Korea’s enhancement of its capabilities to deliver weapons of mass destruction through the series of ballistic missile launches in clear violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions. They are totally unacceptable as they seriously undermine the peace and security of Northeast Asia as well as the international community as a whole.
North Korea announced in April 2013 that it intends to readjust and restart its Yongbyon nuclear facilities, and it is reported in the Director General’s Report of September last year that developments were observed at the 5MW graphite moderated reactor site that indicate its operation, and that further renovations to the enrichment facility were also observed. Restarting the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon is in violation of the agreements under the Six-Party Talks and relevant Security Council resolutions. This is a matter of grave concern. Furthermore, North Korea has reiterated its intention to possess nuclear weapons, including the statement of its Foreign Ministry in March last year regarding a new form of nuclear test. It is clear that North Korea has in no way changed its objective of making other countries acknowledge its status as a so called “nuclear possessor State”.
It is essential for the international community to be united in continuing the steady implementation of the measures contained in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. It is also important for the international community to clearly express its firm and united position that it will never acknowledge North Korea as a nuclear weapon state.
In accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and the September 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement, North Korea is required:
- First, not to conduct any further provocation including nuclear tests;
- Second, to abandon all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes, including any uranium enrichment activities, in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and immediately cease all related activities;
- Third, to retract its announcement of withdrawal from the NPT; and
- Fourth, to act strictly in accordance with its IAEA Safeguards Agreement.
In addition to these points, North Korea must provide transparency measures, as stipulated in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Having said all of the above, Japan hopes that the IAEA will continue to play an important role in resolving the North Korean nuclear issues.