The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, announced today that the DPRK has unilaterally continued the process of disrupting IAEA safeguard measures at its nuclear facilities. On 23-24 December, the DPRK cut most of the seals and impeded the functioning of surveillance equipment installed at both the fuel rod fabrication plant and the reprocessing facility. To date, seals have been cut and surveillance equipment impeded at a total of three facilities at Nyongbyong: the 5-MWe reactor including the associated spent fuel pond, the fuel rod fabrication plant and the reprocessing facility.
Dr. ElBaradei stated that unless the IAEA is able to reinstate without delay its safeguards measures at these facilities it will not be able to provide assurances that the DPRK is not diverting nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices as required by its safeguards agreement pursuant to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Dr. ElBaradei further stated that this rapidly deteriorating situation in the DPRK raises grave non-proliferation concerns. He is currently consulting with the Chairman and Member States of the IAEA Board of Governors on ways and means to address this disturbing development.