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International Atomic Energy Agency
Information Circular
(Unofficial electronic edition)
INFCIRC/437
14 April 1994

GENERAL Distr.
Original: ENGLISH


Communications dated 18 and 19 March 1994 Received from the Permanent Mission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the International Atomic Energy Agency

The attached texts of the following communications received from the Permanent Mission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are being circulated to all Member States of the Agency at the request of the Permanent Mission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea:

Statement of 18 March 1994 by a Spokesman for the General Department of Atomic Energy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Attachment 1)

Memorandum of 19 March 1994 of the General Department of Atomic Energy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Attachment 2)


INFCIRC/437
Attachment 1

Statement

By a Spokesman for the General Department of Atomic Energy of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea

18 March 1994, Pyongyang

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has accepted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection necessary for the continuity of safeguards from March 1 to 15, in accordance with the February 25 agreed conclusions of the DPRK-USA talks in New York.

The recent inspection was aimed exclusively to maintain the continuity of safeguards, proper for the unique status of the DPRK characterized by the temporary suspension of its declared withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

At the February bilateral consultations in Vienna, the IAEA Secretariat accepted that the agreed inspection would be an inspection needed for maintaining the continuity of safeguards, and reached agreement with us upon the scope of such inspection.

Therefore, on the basis of our desire to implement in good faith both the DPRK-USA agreed conclusions and the DPRK-IAEA agreement, throughout the presence of the inspection team, we have permitted all the inspection activities within the scope needed for maintaining the continuity of safeguards and provided the inspection team with our unreserved co-operation for its work.

Consequently, the Agency's inspection team was able to carry out satisfactorily all the activities in the DPRK's nuclear facilities as specified in the Vienna agreement of February 15, including the reloading and servicing of containment and surveillance devices, the verification of the physical inventories, examination of a number of records and documents, verification of the design information, sampling and measurements.

While the recent inspection was proceeding, however, the Agency Secretariat and the inspection team unilaterally claimed that their inspection was a safeguards agreement-bound inspection, not an inspection necessary for providing of safeguards and pressed their inordinate demands that would make their inspection equivalent to routine and ad hoc inspections, a wanton violation of what was agreed in the Vienna agreement of February 15.

The Agency Secretariat gave the inspection team instructions inconsistent with the Vienna agreement and took inaccurate report from the inspection team at its face value as a fait accompli, and insisted on unreasonable demands for sampling from locations where seals as the means of containment remain unbroken, gamma-mapping at most of the points, instead of a few selected points and even verification of cooling systems which the Vienna consultations had never dealt with.

In addition, the Agency Secretariat went to the extent of threatening us with telex messages addressed to us three times, saying that it "will have to report to the Board of Governors that the Agency is not in a position to verify non-diversion of nuclear material," unless its demands are met.

On the other hand, the inspection team members during their stay in our country found themselves helpless when the operators gave them logically reasonable explanations with regard to the requested samplings from location where seals remain unbroken, and excused themselves for their demands, saying "it cannot be helped because this is the task from the Agency Secretariat".

Moreover, even after they confirmed firsthand the maintenance of the original seals they placed last August, they illogically made out their case, saying that "we cannot believe the integrity of the one-year-old seals".

The unjust demands of the Agency Secretariat including request for sampling from the input-accountability tank contained by the Agency's seals have no relevance at all to the aim and character of the recent inspection designed to verify the absence of nuclear activities, and constitute a flagrant violation of the Vienna agreement of February 15.

During the inspection, we have shown flexibility as an expression of our good will by agreeing to the impertinent demands from the IAEA Secretariat, including samplings at same locations where containment devices remain intact, and gamma-mapping at all necessary points.

Therefore, the recent inspection activities performed by the IAEA inspection team are sufficient to enable the Agency to fully verify non-diversion of nuclear material at our nuclear facilities and definitely ensure the continuity of safeguards as well.

In fact, the receiving stage and major processes at the Radiochemical Laboratory remain controlled by dozens of the IAEA seals, surveillance cameras and IAEA's tracer chemicals, so that the facility is placed under the Agency double and triple containment control.

Notwithstanding this fact, before the analysis of the inspection results would be available, the IAEA Secretariat announced its unjust conclusions that "although many of the agreed inspection measures were carried out as envisaged, some activities were restricted at the Radiochemical Laboratory," and that "the Agency was not in a position to verify that there had been no diversion of nuclear material at the facility". And the Secretariat is making a dust-up by scheduling a meeting of the IAEA Board Governors on this matter.

This is an utterly unjustifiable action of openly revoking the DPRK-USA agreed conclusions and the DPRK-IAEA agreement with respect to the continuity of safeguards, and there can be no justification for this action in any case.

All the facts demonstrate that the Agency Secretariat has been further widening its partiality and still continues its ill-disposed political purposes under the United States' manipulation in an attempt to strangle the DPRK.

If IAEA Secretariat sincerely wants a fair resolution of unreasonable of our "nuclear issue" it must rescind the unreasonable assessment it had rushed to with regard to the results of the recent inspection.

We will wait and see what attitude the Agency Secretariat will take at the forthcoming meeting of the Board of Governors, and on the basis of its attitude we will judge whether the Secretariat intends to seek a fair resolution of our "nuclear issue" or the Secretariat intends to continue using the issue for its political purposes.

If the IAEA Secretariat tries to provoke us in an attempt to launch another pressure kickup against the DPRK, we will have no alternative but to respond with our resolute countermeasures.


INFCIRC/437
Attachment 2

Memorandum

Of the General Department of Atomic Energy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Pyongyang, 19 March 1994

We have recently accepted the inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needed for maintaining the continuity of safeguards in accordance with the Agreed Conclusion of DPRK-USA contacts and the Vienna agreement of February 15 and in keeping with the unique status of the DPRK which has suspended the effectuation of its announced withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

The recent inspection has enabled the Agency Secretariat to fully confirm that the continuity of safeguards has been maintained at our nuclear facilities.

The Agency Secretariat, however, made its unreasonable assessment of the results of the inspection and on that basis it is seeking to convene a meeting of the Board of Governors in an attempt to adopt an unjust "resolution" against the DPRK.

In this connection, the DPRK General Department of Atomic Energy considers it necessary to set straight the truth behind the IAEA's inspection in our country, and issues this memorandum.

  1. The character and scope of the recent inspection are as follows:

    Pursuant to the outcome of the December 29 DPRK-USA contacts last year on the nuclear issue, the DPRK and IAEA held working level consultations from January 7 to February 15 this year in Vienna with a view to determining the scope of an inspection needed for the continuity of safeguards.

    At the consultations, the DPRK side made it clear that the proposed inspection under discussion would be intended for the continuity of safeguards, and proposed the scope of such inspection to the Agency.

    However, the Agency side evaded the discussion of the character of such inspection from the outset of the consultations, and asked for the inspection activities that go far beyond the scope needed for the continuity of safeguards.

    They accepted that the intended inspection should not include activities of verifying the completeness of the initial inventory of nuclear material, but at the same time asked us to permit the tracing of the exempted nuclear material and the improvement of the already installed spent fuel rod counter - the activities of no relevance at all to the continuity of safeguards - and said that "the inspection in question is the inspection to be performed under the Safeguards Agreement."

    The Agency Secretariat later withdrew its earlier requests in the face of our legally, scientifically and technologically reasonable points, and agreed to conduct an inspection exclusively aimed at maintaining the continuity of safeguards.

    This is how the DPRK and IAEA reached their final agreement on the scope of inspection on February 15 in Vienna.

    The agreed inspection is, in terms of time, an activity of verifying that there has been no diversion of nuclear material since the last inspection, but does not include, in terms of contents, activities of verifying the completeness of the initial inventory of nuclear material.

    The Vienna Agreement says that the agreed inspection is restricted to providing the continuity of safeguards but not to "perform routine and ad hoc inspections under the Safeguards Agreement.

    This inspection is aimed to verify non-diversion of nuclear material from the nuclear facilities since the last inspection. "

  2. We have permitted all the inspection activities specified in the Vienna Agreement.

    We accepted the IAEA inspection needed for the continuity of safeguards from 1 to 15 March in accordance with Vienna Agreement of February 15.

    In accepting the inspection team, we issued entry visas to the IAEA inspectors in time, even before the United States showed any move to implement the agreed simultaneous steps.

    During the inspection at the seven nuclear facilities, including the Experimental Nuclear Power Plant, the Radiochemical Laboratory and the Nuclear Fuel Rod Fabrication Plant, we provided the inspection team with convenience so as to enable the inspectors to perform their activities -- the reloading and servicing of the six surveillance cameras and the spent fuel rod counter, the replacement of several dozens of seals and the Thermal Luminescence Detectors, the verification by reading tank levels, gamma-mapping at 15 points, fresh and spent fuel measurements, core fuel and damaged fuel measurements, and 35 destructive assay samplings and smear tests with respect to the process scraps and holdup area, dissolver, waste storage tanks and glove-box area.

    We agreed to the requests from the inspection team by showing them all the necessary accounting and operating records and supporting documents for their examination.

    We afforded active co-operation to the inspectors so that they could smoothly conduct design information verification with regard to any facility modifications or changes in operating conditions.

    When the Agency inspectors asked for the arrangements needed for the measurements of the damaged fuel at the Experimental Nuclear Power Plant, our facility operators provided them with necessary conditions for their measurements even through complicated process manipulation, despite the risk of exposure to the high-level radioactive dose.

    Moreover, when the inspectors proposed the technically impossible way of taking samples in the Radiochemical Laboratory, our facility operators advanced a realistic way to help them to attain the purpose of their inspection, enabling them to take samples there to support the continuity of safeguards.

    Under the regulations of the IAEA inspections, the IAEA's annual "verification of physical inventory" at the bulk handling facility like our Nuclear Fuel Rod Fabrication Plant is supposed to take place only when the operators halt its operation for an overall inventory taking of the nuclear material.

    When the IAEA inspection team asked for the "verification of physical inventory, " the operators halted their operation of the necessary process, though it was not the time for overall inventory taking, in order to co-operate with inspectors in the work of accounting and measuring the nuclear materials held up in the process.

    The inspectors thanked us for our co-operation on several occasions. All these facts show that the inspection team carried out all its activities without let or hindrance, as specified in the Vienna Agreement.

    This was mentioned at the informal briefing to the Board of Governors in Vienna on March 16, where the IAEA Secretariat said that "a great many of the inspection activities agreed to were carried out without obstacles as envisaged."

  3. The IAEA Secretariat's assessment on the result of the inspection is unreasonable.

    No sooner had the inspection team returned than the IAEA Secretariat held an informal briefing on March 16, even before the evaluation of the inspection result would be available, and informed the Board members that "although many of the agreed inspection measures were carried out as envisaged, other important measures which had been agreed were refused.

    As a result, the Agency was not in a position to verify that there had been no diversion of nuclear material at the facility where the relevant measures were rejected."

    The "refused measures" as described by the IAEA Secretariat include the sampling from the input accountability tank, gamma-mapping in the Building No. 3 and smear-taking in the glove box area of the Radiochemical Laboratory.

    However, we offered our optimal co-operation for all the activities requested by the Agency at these and other facilities.

    But the "conclusion" that the Agency "was not in a position to verify that there had been no diversion of nuclear material at the Radiochemical Laboratory" does not stand to reason.

    1. Smear-taking at the glove box area

      The IAEA inspection team requested the smear-taking in the glove box area on the ground that the surveillance camera has run out of tape and the seals were broken there.

      During earlier inspections, the inspectors took dozens of smear tests in the glove box area, but there appeared differences in both sides' respectively measured and analyzed value and evaluation, and both sides have not yet come to any agreement thereof.

      In this connection, our side said in its March 10 letter addressed to the inspection team that "this is one of the 'inconsistency' factors.

      Therefore, the operator says that they will allow them to take samples after clarifying the analytical data of samples taken during early inspections. "

      But, with a view to maintaining the continuity of safeguards, our operator recommended the team to take samples of tracer liquid which the inspection team had put into three tanks during their earlier inspection to freeze this process.

      The inspection team agreed to the idea suggested by the operator and retracted its initial request and took solution samples from these tanks.

      But, after taking solution samples, the inspection team abruptly insisted that "the sampled solution is a good example to show the operator's integrity, but still insufficient for the verification at the glove box area" and again renewed their request for smear tests.

      Such insistence of the inspection team contradicts the IAEA document, which says that "this inspection does not include the verification of the completeness of the initial inventory of nuclear material."

      Therefore, the IAEA Secretariat's statement at the informal briefing as if our facility operators insisted that "the smear tests should be taken only after package agreement had been reached between the DPRK and the US" does not correspond to the fact.

    2. The gamma-mapping at the filter in Building No. 3

      During the inspection, we permitted "gamma-mapping at a few selected points" where such measurements had taken place before, in line with Paragraph 5 in part KDF-, Chapter II of the Vienna Agreement, and the inspection team performed its gamma-mapping at 15 points. The IAEA's request for gamma-mapping at the Building No. 3 was made for the first time only during the recent inspection.

      It is clear to everyone that the repeated measurements at the same points will enable the inspectors to detect any possible changes in the operating status at the specific locations as compared with the previous gamma-mapping.

      Therefore, the operators said that they would agree to permit the gamma-mapping at the Building No. 3 during current inspection if the IAEA inspection team produced any evidence that the gamma-mapping was carried out during the previous inspections at the relevant points of the Building No. 3.

      But, without presenting any specific evidence, the inspection team would simply say that the gamma-mapping took place at the points of this Building, and the inspector himself, who alleged to have performed the gamma-mapping, said that he himself was not sure of it.

      According to our records, no gamma-mapping has taken place there.

      Nevertheless, the IAEA Secretariat insisted groundlessly that the DPRK had refused its activities.

    3. Solution sampling from the input accountability tank.

      The inspection team has no reason at all to ask for sampling at this tank, as the Agency's seals remained intact on the inlet/outlet valves of the tank and the necessary gamma-mapping was carried out during its recent inspection.

      The team's request runs counter to the Vienna Agreement, specifically Paragraph 6 in Part KDF- of Chapter II that stipulates that "in the specific locations where seals were broken, samplings are permitted to provide the continuity of safeguards."

      When we explained that the solution sampling at the input accountability tank has no relevance to the continuity of safeguards, the inspection team excused themselves for their demand by saying that they had "to request the sampling because the solution samplings from the input accountability tank is the task from the Agency."

      The inspection team even attempted to realize their unreasonable demand, saying that "we cannot believe the integrity of the one-year-old seals," even though the original seals which they had placed last August remained unbroken on the inlet/outlet valves of the tank.

      The inspection team's unreasonable demands were also revealed by their hesitant behaviour asking again what it once waived from the sampling.

      The inspection team confirmed firsthand that the Radiochemical Laboratory's operational status remains completely frozen by the double and triple system of containment and surveillance.

      But, the inspection team concluded that it was not in a position to state that no reprocessing activities had occurred at the facility, simply because of lack of a few smear tests.

      This conclusion clearly does not stand to sense either in scientific and technological aspects or in terms of reason.

  4. The IAEA Secretariat must rescind its unjust assessment on the result of the recent inspection.

    All the facts prove that there can be no justification whatsoever for the IAEA Secretariat's unjust assessment on the results of its recent inspection, either in view of the Vienna Agreement of February 15 or in the light of scientific and technological viewpoints.

    On the basis of its unjust assessment of the results of the recent inspection, the Agency Secretariat is , however, seeking to adopt another "resolution" provoking the DPRK at the meeting of the Board of Governors, only to further widen its partiality.

    If the IAEA Secretariat sincerely wants to see a fair solution to our "nuclear issue", it must, inter alia, withdraw its unjust and hasty assessment of the results of its recent inspection.

    We express our expectation that the IAEA Member States will make their unprejudiced assessment of what has happened between the DPRK and the Agency Secretariat, on the basis of DPRK-USA Agreed Conclusions and Vienna DPRK-IAEA agreement, oppose and reject the unjust acts on the part of some officials of the IAEA Secretariat.

    If the IAEA Secretariat continues to widen its partiality, it will be held responsible for the consequences arising therefrom.