Statement by Ambassador H.E. T.P. Sreenivasan, Governor for India, on the DPRK Resolution to be adoped on 29th November 2002 by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).- Vienna, Austria,29 November,2002
India accepted your proposal to adopt the draft Resolution contained in document no. GOV/2002/58 without a vote as we agree that a strong message should go from the international community, as represented by the Board of Governors of the IAEA, to the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea that it must comply with the international obligations it has voluntarily undertaken. Every country has the sovereign right to choose any international treaty it wishes to accede to, but once this right is exercised in favour of a treaty, it should comply with its provisions. It is, therefore, appropriate that we should urge the DPRK to fulfil its obligations by answering the questions raised by the Director General of the IAEA and by cooperating with him to ensure compliance.
Our disappointment with the Resolution, however, arises from the fact that it is neither comprehensive nor strong. It is also anachronistic in that it does not seek to investigate the recent reports of complicity of other countries in DPRK’s clandestine activities.
The authors of the draft Resolution did not consider India a "core country" with regard to this issue. But the recent reports of an alleged missile and nuclear weapons barter deal between DPRK and Pakistan has brought us to the core of this issue. A statement issued by the Government of India on November 26, 2002 has expressed our serious concern and I wish to quote that statement in full as follows:
"Latest reports about missile and nuclear weapon-related barter deal between North Korea and Pakistan have a disturbing ring about them. Transfers of missile technology to Pakistan from DPRK have security implications for us. Continued linkages between these two countries should be a matter of serious concern to the international community. These transfers call into question their proclaimed commitment to non-proliferation and export controls. Although these linkages go back to the 1990s, they seem to have become stronger as was demonstrated by the interception of one shipment by India. It is not enough that accounts of such clandestine activity remain confined to newspaper reports, however, well-informed. Because of the grave nature of these reports and the implication for international security, the facts need to be properly investigated."
We are aware of statements by other countries which also have expressed similar concern. According to press reports, the United States has warned Pakistan that any cooperation with North Korea in the nuclear field would be "improper, inappropriate and would have consequences." The US has noted assurances that "there are no further contacts", but in our view, promise of good conduct in the future should not detract from the seriousness of past behaviour. The least the Board should have done in the circumstances was to update the Resolution to incorporate these new developments and to request the Director General, IAEA to investigate the matter. No action by the Director General to resolve this issue will be complete without identification of the sources of the material and know-how which have contributed to the development of the DPRK’s nuclear programme. We note that a number of Governors have expressed concern over the reports of international transfers. We are given to understand that the Director General of the IAEA will be requested to take into account the grave concern expressed by the international community as he investigates the DPRK’s nuclear programme. Our support to the resolution is on the basis of that understanding.
I have no doubt that the IAEA Board has not said the last word on the DPRK issue. We hope that when the Board takes the next step in this matter, it will not seek to ignore the realities on the ground and it will chastise not only DPRK but also others that aid and abet its clandestine nuclear activities.