IAEA board calls for DPR of Korea to comply with safeguards readmit

Unless the DPRK “cooperates, and cooperates fully,” Pyongyang’s continued non-compliance will have to be referred to the UN Security Council, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told a press conference after an emergency meeting of the 35-nation governing board.”I hope the DPRK will seize this opportunity to come into compliance,” said IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei. “I hope [it] will understand that compliance, and not defiance, is the way towards a solution to this issue.”The Agency’s resolution deplores the “unilateral acts” by the DPRK to “impede the functioning of containment and surveillance equipment at its nuclear facilities and the nuclear material contained therein, including the expulsion of IAEA inspectors, which renders the Agency unable to verify, pursuant to its safeguards agreement with the DPRK, that there has been no diversion of nuclear material in the DPRK.”The resolution said the board “considers that the DPRK’s actions are of great non-proliferation concern and make the Agency unable at present to verify that all nuclear material in the DPRK is declared and submitted to Agency safeguards.”The text calls for Pyongyang to allow the IAEA’s inspectors to return, restore surveillance measures at its nuclear facilities, cooperate with the Agency to clarify the DPRK’s reported uranium enrichment programme, and continue a dialogue with the Agency.In his opening statement to the board’s meeting, Mr. ElBaradei said that the current situation with the DPRK was an unsustainable one and set a dangerous precedent, “namely that non-compliance with non-proliferation obligations can be tolerated.””If we aim to maintain and preserve the integrity of the non-proliferation regime then it must be incumbent on all parties to that regime to fully meet their respective obligations, and all cases of non-compliance must be consistently addressed in a uniform fashion – namely zero tolerance,” he stressed.In other news, a UN spokesperson in New York confirmed that Secretary-General Kofi Annan has sent an envoy to the DPRK to assess the humanitarian situation there.Maurice Strong, a Special Advisor to the Secretary-General, will travel first to Beijing and then Pyongyang, Hua Jiang told reporters. Asked if he would also be discussing the current nuclear situation with DPRK officials, the spokesperson said that Mr. Strong would be willing to listen to whatever they bring up during his meetings there.

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