North Korea makes progress on nuclear programme – UN agency

Kim Jong-Un

North Korea fires short-range missile, slams "hostile" U.S. policy. Above is Kim Jong-Un, North Korean leader

Kim Jong-Un, North Korean leader

All indications suggest that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is moving ahead with its nuclear efforts, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has said.

The Director-General of IAEA, Yukiya Amano, disclosed this while speaking at the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on Tuesday.

The head of the UN atomic agency expressed serious concern about the nuclear programme of North Korea.

He also regretted that North Korea continued to launch missiles and threaten other countries.

“Without direct access to relevant sites and locations, the agency cannot confirm the operational status of North Korea’s nuclear facilities.

“But all the indications suggest that North Korea is making progress with its nuclear programme.

“This is extremely worrying,” the Director- General told the participants at the session, where he also provided a broader overview of important developments in key areas of the IAEA’s work relevant to the implementation of the Treaty since 2015.

Amano urged North Korea to cooperate with the IAEA in implementing NPT safeguards, to fully comply with its obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and resolve any outstanding issues.

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He also noted that IAEA inspectors were ready to return to the country “at short notice” if political conditions allows it.

In 2009, North Korea asked IAEA inspectors to leave the country, however, the UN agency had continued to collect and evaluate information from satellite imagery, open-source and trade-related information.

North Korea had also withdrawn from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A landmark international treaty that went into force in 1970, the NPT aimed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.

It also aimed to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

NPT represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.

The Preparatory Committee, which started on Tuesday, would last through Friday next week.

It is the first of three planned sessions to be held prior to the 2020 review conference.

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