1. Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Kim Hong-kyun, in his capacity as head delegate of the Republic of Korea, attended the 60th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is under way in Vienna from September 26 to 30, and delivered a keynote speech on September 27.
2. In his keynote speech, Special Representative Kim urged that in the face of the grave situation, where North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests in 2016 alone, the international community take a strong, united step to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue. In addition, he explained the ROK government’s position on issues concerning nuclear non-proliferation as well as nuclear security and safety.
[Gist of the Special Representative’s keynote speech]
° North Korea is the only country that has conducted nuclear tests in the 21st century, is conducting nuclear weapons program in defiance of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime and has withdrawn from the NPT. At the UN General Assembly session the week before, North Korea had openly expressed its intent to possess nuclear weapons in total ridicule of the UN’s authority.
- ROK Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se called into question the qualification of North Korea, which is repeatedly violating UN Security Council resolutions, as a member of the UN.
° The IAEA Director-General, in his report in 2016, noted that North Korea is continuing 5 mw reactor and reprocessing activities in Yongbyon, expressing deep concern over North Korea’s violations of relevant Security Council resolutions.
° In response to North Korea’s work to advance its nuclear and missile capabilities as well as its threats to preemptively use nuclear weapons, the international community should send to the North a firm message in a way completely different from the past.
- As part of such efforts, the UN Security Council and the IAEA should adopt new, tougher resolutions on North Korea, with the IAEA and its member states united in the course.
° The ROK government is working to strengthen the nuclear safeguards, nuclear security and nuclear safety, the main mission of the IAEA. In addition, the government is implementing policies for building an international nuclear security regime; promoting nuclear safety; and achieving sustainable development of nuclear energy.
- In particular, with Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se set to serve as chair of the 2016 IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security, the first meeting on nuclear security following the end of the Nuclear Security Summit mechanism, the ROK will seek to make a success of the IAEA conference.
3. On the sidelines of the IAEA General Conference, Special Representative Kim met bilaterally with IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano and Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) to make an assessment of North Korea’s fifth nuclear test and exchanged views with them on ways for the ROK to work with the IAEA and with the CTBTO.
4. Special Representative Kim’s speech at the 60th IAEA General Conference, like that by Foreign Minister Yun on September 22 at the recent UN General Assembly session, is seen to have sent to North Korea from the IAEA, the leading international organization for non-proliferation, a firm message against the North’s nuclear program, thereby further strengthening the “international community vs. North Korea” structure.
* unofficial translation