IAEA Board of Governors Meeting: 14 June 2017
Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative to the IAEA
Agenda Item: Application of Safeguards in the DPRK
Thank you, Chair.
The DPRK’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and its proliferation of sensitive technologies challenge the Treaty on Nuclear Non-Proliferation (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
In particular, Australia strongly condemns the DPRK’s ongoing ballistic missile launches, including nine in 2017, which are a clear breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions. These reckless actions follow an unprecedented rate of testing in 2016, including two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile tests.
We are deeply concerned that these tests are integral to North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and associated delivery systems, and threaten the peace and security of Australia’s friends and partners in our region and beyond.
Australia welcomes UN Security Council statements, calling on the DPRK to refrain from further actions, including nuclear testing, and for full compliance with UNSC resolutions. Australia calls on the global community to work together more rigorously in addressing the threat posed by the DPRK through implementation of existing sanctions.
Australia implements UN Security Council sanctions against the DPRK, and supplements these through its autonomous sanctions legislation. In early December 2016, Australia designated an additional four persons and five entities for targeted financial sanctions under Australia’s autonomous sanctions regime.
On 28 February this year, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Julie Bishop announced public consultations were commencing for new and expanded autonomous sanctions. The proposed new sanctions will target North Korea’s extractives industry and its vessels, building on the measures Australia already has in place and will be enacted this month.
On 2 June, Australia’s Foreign Minister also designated an additional five North Korean’s for their association with their WMD and ballistic missile programs.
There is a pressing need to improve the welfare of North Korea’s impoverished people, rather than divert resources to develop nuclear weapons and missiles. We must send a clear message that we stand firm together to ensure that the DPRK will not be rewarded for its continued and persistent breaches of UN Security Council and IAEA resolutions.
Australia joins the international community in urging the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons program in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. It is critically important that the DPRK:
- cease its nuclear-weapons program;
- comply with IAEA resolutions calling for a restart of full cooperation with the IAEA and its safeguards obligations;
- heed the requirements of the UN Security Council to cease its nuclear activities;
- and fulfil its commitments to denuclearise under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement and under relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
We support the IAEA enhancing its readiness to play a key role in verifying the DPRK’s nuclear program.
Thank you, Chair.