Statement by Minister IMANISHI Nobuharu at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on Monday, 11 September 2023 Item 7(b): Application of safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Thank you, Chair,

Japan thanks the Director General Grossi and the Secretariat for the report on the application of safeguards in North Korea issued on 25 August.

One year ago, the IAEA General Conference adopted the resolution entitled “Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement between the Agency and the DPRK” by consensus, demonstrating unified determination among IAEA Member States toward the denuclearization of North Korea.

It is deeply regrettable that the recent report of the Director General had to underscore once again, with updated information, 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 clear violations of relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The report also states that the ongoing maintenance of the nuclear test site in North Korea continues to be deeply troubling, as is the expansion of the reported centrifuge enrichment facility and the continued operation of the 5MW(e) reactor and other facilities.

Japan is seriously concerned about North Korea’s intensified nuclear and missile activities including its ballistic missile launches with an unprecedented frequency and with new modalities and patterns. This year, North Korea has already conducted 20 launches using ballistic missile technology, including four ICBM-class ballistic missiles. On 24 August, North Korea conducted a launch using ballistic missile technology for satellite launch, which flew over Japan. North Korea announced its intention to conduct another launch in October. This is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and we strongly urge North Korea not to conduct further launches. In addition, there is a possibility of further provocations in the future, including another nuclear test. Concerted response of the international community is critical.

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 continued 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.