FA196 - 23
North Korea's Removal of IAEA Monitoring Equipment
I am deeply concerned that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
(DPRK) has gone ahead with its threat to cut seals and interfere
with surveillance equipment installed by the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) at nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. The IAEA
has confirmed the DPRK's action.
This latest development comes hard on the heels of the DPRK's admission
it has a Highly Enriched Uranium program. It has also announced it
will re-activate its nuclear facilities, which were frozen under
the 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework.
Operation of these facilities without the requisite safeguards in
place would contravene the DPRK's obligations under the Treaty on
the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the DPRK's safeguards
agreement with the IAEA.
This threat to security on the Korean peninsula, and to the region,
will not help the DPRK's efforts to establish normal cooperative
relations with other members of the international community. The
DPRK's actions will be met by firm international resolve.
I strongly urge the DPRK to step back from the path it is taking,
and to restore full cooperation with the IAEA in applying the containment
and surveillance measures. I also call upon the DPRK to abandon
its nuclear-weapons program once and for all.
The DPRK must understand that Australia cannot take the bilateral
relationship forward until the nuclear question is resolved.
Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) +61 02 6277 7500 / Lyndall
Sachs (Departmental) +61 02 6261 1555
Wednesday, 12-Mar-2014 23:25:17 EST