I am speaking on behalf of the European Union. The following countries associate themselves with this statement: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Norway.
The EU fully supports the resolution that has just been adopted without a vote.
Many times over the last years and along with other speakers in this forum, the EU has expressed its grave concern over DPRK’s continued failure to implement its safeguards agreement with IAEA. This agreement remains in force and binding. The serious consequences of the lack of tangible progress on important verification issues over the past years became unavoidably clear when it was revealed and reportedly acknowledged by Pyongyang that DPRK had developed a uranium enrichment programme for nuclear weapons. This is a matter of deep concern to the EU.
Such a programme would represent a serious violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the IAEA Safeguards agreement, the North-South Joint Declaration on Denuclearisation and Agreed Framework. Also, it would constitute a serious threat to peace and stability internationally and regionally. The EU Council of Foreign Ministers, in its conclusions of 19 November 2002, has joined other key players in the international community in expressing grave concern regarding such a programme.
The EU strongly urges the DPRK to respond without delay to the Agency’s requests for clarification and to immediately dismantle any programme in a visible and verifiable manner and unconditionally come into full compliance with all relevant international commitments in particular NPT and the Safeguards agreement.
The EU has taken note of the Director General’s report of DPRK’s continued lack of tangible progress on important verification issues over the last year. The EU fully supports the IAEA and commends once again the impartial efforts made by the Director General and his staff to bring the DPRK into full compliance with its safeguards agreement. The EU impresses upon DPRK the importance of quickly establishing full cooperation with the IAEA.
We have been disturbed by reports that the DPRK could have sought help from outside in developing this unsafeguarded uranium enrichment programme. As members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Member States of the European Union abide strictly by NSG guidelines to prevent this type of proliferation. If reports of outside assistance are confirmed, this is an important issue that the international community needs to address at the appropriate moment, in the appropriate forum.
Finally, the EU would like to emphasise that DPRK’s continued statements about a ‘right’ to possess nuclear weapons are unacceptable since such statements disregard DPRK’s commitments and run counter to the NPT.
Thank you, Madame Chairperson.