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IAEA Director expresses grave concern over North Korea’s nuclear programme

He again called upon North Korea to comply fully with its obligations under Security Council resolutions and to cooperate promptly with the IAEA and resolve all outstanding issues.


IAEA Director expresses grave concern over North Korea’s nuclear programme
In his opening statement, Director General Yukiya Amano noted that the IAEA technical cooperation programme helped countries to use nuclear science and technology to address key development challenges in health, agriculture, nuclear safety, and many other areas. (Image Credit: Flickr)

Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear safety and the IAEA's activities in nuclear science, technology, and applications are among the items in front of the IAEA's Board of Governors, which began its regular autumn session today.

In his opening statement, Director General Yukiya Amano noted that the IAEA technical cooperation programme helped countries to use nuclear science and technology to address key development challenges in health, agriculture, nuclear safety, and many other areas.

As an example of the IAEA's work to improve cancer control in developing countries, he mentioned the installation of a new linear accelerator radiotherapy machine at the Mother Teresa University Hospital Centre in the Albanian capital Tirana this year, with support from the Agency. Radiation oncologists, medical physicists, and radiation therapists received extensive training. "Cancer control capacity in Albania has been significantly strengthened over the past ten years thanks to six Agency projects," Mr Amano stated.

He informed the Board that work to modernize the IAEA nuclear applications laboratories at Seibersdorf, near Vienna, continued to make good progress. "Major construction work on all new laboratory buildings at Seibersdorf is nearly complete."

Mr. Amano's statement also touched upon the IAEA's latest annual nuclear energy projections, which show that nuclear power will continue to play a key role in the world's low-carbon energy mix. "However, the declining trend in our low projection for installed capacity up to 2050 suggests that, in the absence of concerted efforts to make more use of nuclear power, it will be difficult for the world to secure sufficient energy to achieve sustainable development and to mitigate climate change."

Mr. Amano drew attention to the Nuclear Security Report 2018, which reviews the IAEA's work in helping States establish effective nuclear security regimes to prevent nuclear and other radioactive material from falling into the hands of terrorists or other criminals.

The statement referred to the Agency's work in monitoring and verifying Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. "Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," he stated. "It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments."

Mr. Amano expressed grave concern about the further development of North Korea's nuclear programme, which he described as "clear violations of relevant UN Security Council resolutions." He again called upon North Korea to comply fully with its obligations under Security Council resolutions and to cooperate promptly with the IAEA and resolve all outstanding issues.

This week's Board of Governors meeting will be followed by the IAEA's annual General Conference, which starts next Monday.

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