Director General Emphasizes Urgency of North Korean Response

2003/09

In recent days, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei in press interviews has addressed aspects of the DPRK resolution adopted by the IAEA Board 6 January.

Interviewed the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States 6 January, Dr. ElBaradei said that the resolution requests him to report back to the Board as a matter of urgency. "I have transmitted the decision to North Korea. I expect them to respond in a matter of days, or weeks at the most," he said. "If they do not, then I will have to go back to the Board of Governors, and the Board then will report the issue to the Security Council. So it's a fairly urgent situation....it's a question of weeks and not months."

The Board resolution requires the DPRK to engage in talks immediately with the IAEA and calls for Pyongyang to urgently comply with several measures, including allowing the return of inspectors to the country and complying fully with its safeguards agreement. Dr. ElBaradei explained that in the event of continuing non-compliance, the IAEA is bound to report the matter to the Security Council, which has enforcement powers. "It is then up to the Security Council to decide what would be the next step," he said.

The Director General underlined that the Board action provides an opportunity to resolve issues. "The chance now is to convince North Korea that a policy of compliance and not a policy of defiance is much more conducive to a solution of its perceived problem," he said. "And that's what we are trying to work on right now."

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serves as the world's foremost intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Established as an autonomous organization under the United Nations (UN) in 1957, the IAEA carries out programmes to maximize the useful contribution of nuclear technology to society while verifying its peaceful use.

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Last update: 3 December 2014