The position of the South African Government on North Korea’s refusal to cooperate with the United Nations and the International Community with regard to the discontinuation of its Nuclear Arms Programme
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
FOR ORAL REPLY
QUESTION NO: 19
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 3 OF 03 MARCH 2010
MR R A LEES (ID-KZN) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:
- What is the Government’s position on North Korea’s refusal to cooperate with the United Nations and the International community with regard to the discontinuation of its nuclear arms programme?
- Whether South Africa has (a) taken any diplomatic steps and/or (b) held any discussions with North Korea to discontinue its nuclear arms programme; if not, why not; if so, (i) what steps and (ii) what are the further relevant details?
The position of the Government is that, South Africa recognises the legitimate right of all States, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes only. South Africa furthermore believes that it is a prerequisite for peace and security in the region that the DPRK, as a confidence building measure, verifiably proves to the international community that it has permanently and fully dismantled any nuclear weapons.
Since the announcement by the DPRK in February 2005 that it had developed a nuclear weapon deterrent capability, South Africa has consistently called on the DPRK to verifiably dismantle any nuclear weapons, to return to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) without delay, to place all its facilities under comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification, and to contribute through strengthened confidence-building measures to global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
2. Yes, in bilateral meetings between members of the South African and DPRK Governments, South Africa has consistently reiterated its support for the military denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, the Six-Party Talks and the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as its condemnation of the nuclear tests by the DPRK.
In a statement at the recent meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors that was held in Vienna from 1 to 5 March 2010, South Africa expressed its regret at the lack of progress on the IAEA’s verification mandate in the DPRK and urged the DPRK to comply with the legally binding requirements of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), as outlined in its Resolution 1874 adopted by the Security Council on 12 June 2009. Similar statements were made at previous IAEA Board meetings.
Furthermore, I wish to inform Honourable Members that in accordance with UNSC decisions we recently confiscated military items from the DPRK in transit through South Africa and have reported the matter to the UNSC.