Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the agreement between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States on denuclearization verification measures, saying the accord will allow the Six-Party Talks progress and related activities to resume.
“This is another step towards a verifiable non-nuclear Korean peninsula,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.
“The Secretary-General urges all the participants of the talks to redouble their efforts to meet their respective obligations and to complete the ‘disablement phase’ as soon as possible,” the statement noted, referring to long-standing talks involving the DPRK, the Republic of Korea (ROK), China, Japan, Russia and the United States. “The Secretary-General remains fully supportive of this process.”
The agreement between Pyongyang and Washington was reached just days after the DPRK cut off all access to United Nations inspectors to its nuclear reprocessing plant in Yongbyon, in line with an announcement to that effect on 24 September.
At the time the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said its inspectors would remain in Yongbyon pending further information from the DPRK.
Under an accord reached last year as part of the Six-Party Talks process, the DPRK had agreed to stop its disablement work and decommission Yongbyon.
The East Asian nation today granted inspectors from the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to that facility.
Core discharge facilities at the Yongbyon reactor will resume tomorrow, DPRK authorities told the experts, who will now be permitted to re-apply containment and surveillance measures at the site.
“Naturally, any additional verification role envisaged for the Agency under the Verification Protocol that goes beyond the IAEA’s present ad hoc monitoring and verification arrangement with the DPRK will require Board authorization.”