Statement by Ambassador HIKIHARA Takeshi at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on Monday, 6 March 2023 Item 6(b): Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Thank you, Chair,

Last September, the Director General’s report on the application of safeguards in North Korea underscored that North Korea’s nuclear activities continue to be a cause for serious concern, and that the continuation of North Korea’s nuclear programme is a clear violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The IAEA General Conference adopted, by consensus, the resolution entitled “Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement between the Agency and the DPRK”, demonstrating unified determination among IAEA Member States toward the denuclearization of North Korea.

Japan is seriously concerned about North Korea’s intensified nuclear and missile activities including its ballistic missile launches with an unprecedented frequency and in unprecedented manners. North Korea launched yet another ICBM-class ballistic missile on February 18th and it landed within Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). North Korea also launched two more ballistic missiles on February 20th. These launches again are a violation of the relevant UNSC resolutions and not only constitute a grave and imminent threat to Japan and the region, but also pose a clear and serious challenge to the international community.


Japan strongly urges North Korea to fully comply with all of its obligations under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and to take concrete steps towards achieving complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all of its nuclear weapons, any other weapons of mass destruction, and ballistic missiles of all ranges in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Japan also urges North Korea to return to full compliance with the NPT and to cooperate promptly with the Agency in the full and effective implementation of Agency comprehensive safeguards, including all necessary safeguards activities provided for in the safeguards agreement.

Japan emphasizes the critical importance of full implementation of all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and calls upon all states to continue working together to this end.


Japan commends the impartial efforts of Director General Grossi and the Secretariat to apply comprehensive safeguards in North Korea, as well as the Agency’s work to enhance its ability and readiness to verify North Korea’s nuclear programme. It is crucial that the Agency’s expertise, knowledge and experience are maintained, and that the Agency plays an essential role in verifying North Korea’s nuclear programme, when concrete progress towards the complete denuclearization of North Korea is made.

Japan will continue to work closely with the international community to resolve these concerns regarding North Korea.

Thank you, Chair.