North Korea’s continuing nuclear programme is clearly in violation of Security Council resolutions and “deeply regrettable,” the United Nations top nuclear official has said.
Briefing the General Assembly, Yukia Amano, the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that the UN agency remains ready to assist in verifying the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (as it is formally known), or DPRK’s nuclear programme “if a political agreement is reached among countries concerned.”
“I again call upon the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations under relevant resolutions of the Security Council and of the IAEA Board of Governors, to cooperate promptly with the Agency and to resolve all outstanding issues,” he said.
Mr. Amano was presenting the IAEA’s annual report to the General Assembly, which summarizes and highlights developments over the past year in major areas of the Agency’s work.
Iran implementing its commitments under nuclear deal
One of the key areas include IAEA’s verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.
“Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA,” said Mr. Amano, underscoring that it is “essential” that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments.
Turning to other major areas of work, the head of IAEA briefed the Assembly on technical cooperation initiatives, in healthcare, food and agriculture, as well as some industrial programmes.
Through its upgraded laboratories, IAEA we will be able to deliver improved services to Member States “to make food safer, improve control of harmful insect pests, and maximize the benefits of new radiation technology for cancer treatment,” he said.
Nuclear technology for sustainable development
Alongside, it continues to help nations achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using relevant nuclear technologies, added Mr. Amano.
“In fact, the IAEA helps countries to use nuclear science and technology to meet at least nine of the 17 SDGs directly, including those aimed at ending hunger, improving human health, increasing the availability of clean water, and, of course, energy.”
Concluding his briefing, Mr. Amano urged UN Member States to continue to support the Agency, including by providing it with the resources it needs to deliver upon the requests made by countries.