Magazine article Arms Control Today

IAEA Condemns North Korea's Actions

Magazine article Arms Control Today

IAEA Condemns North Korea's Actions

Article excerpt

Member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed several resolutions at the organization's yearly meeting, including one that condemns North Korea's nuclear activities, but did not vote on a controversial resolution singling out Israel's nuclear program.

The IAEA's 60th General Conference was held Sept. 26-30 in Vienna.

The agency's resolution on North Korea was adopted unanimously Sept. 30. It reaffirmed that North Korea cannot have the status of a nuclear-weapon state under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and called on Pyongyang to implement comprehensive safeguards and resolve all outstanding issues that have emerged since agency inspectors were last granted access to North Korea's nuclear facilities in 2009.

North Korea joined the IAEA in 1974, but withdrew in 1994. The agency has not been able to conduct safeguards activities since then, although inspectors had limited periodic access through 2009.

Laura Holgate, U.S. representative to the IAEA, said in a statement on Sept. 30 that the resolution is "strong, resolute, and unequivocal" and underscores that North Korea could "not harbor any illusions that its illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons will achieve legitimacy in the eyes of the international community."

Holgate said that enhanced pressure on North Korea will remain essential to compel Pyongyang to "correct its course."

In June, the Arab member states of the IAEA made a request to put Israel's nuclear capabilities on the agenda, but unlike past years did not introduce a resolution on the subject during the conference.

Zeev Snir, head of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, said in his opening statement at the meeting that Israel welcomed the decision to refrain from putting forward a draft resolution but regretted the Arab Group's decision to include the topic on the agenda for discussions, saying it leads to "politicized, irrelevant discussions. …

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