The IAEA Board of Governors today concluded its consideration of the Agency's implementation of safeguards in the Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea). Chair Ingrid Hall of Canada issued a "Chairman's Conclusion" that she said expresses the sense of the 35-member policymaking body on the nuclear issue.
The text of the Chairman´s Conclusion follows:
"The Board noted that the DPRK had yet to take any of the necessary steps called for in Board resolutions GOV/2003/3, adopted on 6 January 2003 and GOV/2003/14, adopted on 12 February 2003. The Board noted with concern that the DPRK has not permitted any Agency verification activities since December 2002, and thus the Agency was still not in a position to provide any assurances about nuclear material and activities in the DPRK.
The Board emphasized the importance of continued dialogue to achieve a peaceful and comprehensive resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue, and attached great importance to the crucial role played by the six party talks in this regard. The Board expressed the hope that such a resolution would ensure the return of the DPRK to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and provide the Agency with the authority necessary for it to provide credible assurances regarding the nature of the nuclear programme of the DPRK.
The Board expressed its serious concern over the DPRK statement dated 10 February 2005, which announced that it would suspend its participation in the six party talks for an indefinite period, and that it had manufactured nuclear weapons. The Board recognized that the DPRK nuclear issue was a serious challenge to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime as well as to peace and stability in Northeast Asia. At the same time, the Board noted that the above-mentioned statement by the DPRK to solve the issue through dialogue and negotiations and its stated goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula remain unchanged. The Board further noted the comment of 22 February 2005 by the DPRK indicating its possible return to the six party talks. In this regard, the Board strongly encouraged all the parties concerned to redouble their efforts to facilitate an early resumption of the six party talks with a view to achieving a peaceful resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue, and urged particularly the DPRK to agree to the resumption of the six party talks at an early date without preconditions.
The Board noted that the General Conference, in its resolution GC(48)/RES/15 adopted on 24 September 2004, urged the DPRK to completely dismantle any nuclear weapons programme under credible international verification. The Board also supported the international community´s peaceful efforts to address the serious challenge posed by the DPRK nuclear issue.
The Board requested the Director General to keep it informed of future developments."