EU Statement on the occasion of the IAEA Board of Governors
Vienna, 4-8 March 2019
Agenda item 5 (c): Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The following countries align themselves with this statement: Turkey§, North Macedonia, Montenegro*, Iceland+, Serbia*, Albania*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Liechtenstein+, Norway+, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and San Marino.
2. The second Summit between the US and the DPRK held in Hanoi last week provided an opportunity for dialogue on the denuclearisation of North Korea and towards easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Even though it was not possible to reach substantial progress towards denuclearisation, we welcome the US commitment to continue negotiations. The EU urges the DPRK to take concrete steps to embark on a credible path towards a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, to comply with its obligations under multiple UNSC resolutions and to maintain its declared suspension of testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Until the DPRK does take these concrete actions, we will continue to strictly enforce existing sanctions. We urge the DPRK to sign and ratify the CTBT without delay, giving legal effect to the suspension of nuclear tests and to the statement of DPRK on their interest to – and I quote - "join international desire and efforts for the total halt to the nuclear tests".
3. The EU, as a strong supporter of the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime, urges the DPRK to collaborate with the international community, to return to the NPT and to adhere to the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. In this regard the EU continues to promote a concrete negotiation process leading to the verification of the exclusively peaceful nature of the DPRK's nuclear programme in which the IAEA needs to play a key role. Any further verification effort would benefit from technical assistance by the IAEA and the CTBTO and would need to take due account of non-proliferation obligations.
4. As said before, the EU strongly condemns that in 2017 the DPRK conducted its sixth nuclear explosive test and a wider range of ballistic missile tests than ever before, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, in serious violation and blatant disregard of its international obligations under multiple UN Security Council Resolutions. During the 2018 NPT PrepCom meeting, 63 countries, including all EU Member States, adopted a statement underlining these challenges to the non-proliferation regime. The DPRK's pursuit of nuclear warhead miniaturisation and nuclear weapons delivery systems not only aggravates our serious concerns but is likewise an outright violation of relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the IAEA General Conference. It is the firm stance of the EU that the DPRK cannot have the status of a nuclear weapon State in accordance with the NPT.
5. The EU supports the UN Security Council's active engagement on this threat to international peace and security. We call on all States to fully and effectively implement its sanctions, including the measures contained in UNSC Resolution 2397. The EU has swiftly transposed all UNSCRs into EU legislation, and has adopted its own rigorous autonomous sanctions.
6. The cessation without delay of WMD proliferation from North Korea to other countries is an urgent priority and should be addressed as such. The EU urges all countries to uphold their international obligations and relevant sanctions by ensuring they do not trade with the DPRK in related nuclear and ballistic missile technologies. The EU recalls that all UN Member States are obliged to comply with the restrictions targeting the DPRK’s illegal activities as imposed by the UN Security Council and should do their utmost to contribute to curbing proliferation flows, including related dual-use goods from and to the DPRK and their financing.
7. The continuation and further development of the DPRK's nuclear programme, as described in the last report of the DG, undermine the efforts of all those who, like the EU, have steadfastly supported nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament for decades. We call on the DPRK to cease this extremely dangerous behaviour. It is essential to foster trust and de-escalate tensions and in this regard we recognize the importance of recent dialogue.
8. The EU welcomes the efforts of the Agency to enhance its readiness to play an essential role in verifying the DPRK’s nuclear programme. We also appreciate the IAEA’s continued efforts, especially by its established DPRK Team, to monitor the nuclear situation in North Korea and preparations for its involvement as soon as the DPRK takes credible steps towards denuclearization.
9. Finally, Madam Chair, the IAEA General Conference decided that the IAEA should remain seized of the matter. The EU requests the Director General to keep the Board of Governors informed of this issue and to maintain this item on the agenda of Board of Governors’ meetings.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
§ Candidate Country
* Candidate Countries North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania as well as potential Candidate Country Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+ Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein are members of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.