Seoul, 27 January 2023 (TDI): The 11th High-level Policy Consultation between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of ROK on 26 January 2023.

This consultation was held by Korean Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Park Yongmin. The Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards of the IAEA, Massimo Aparo accompanied him.

The ROK-IAEA High-level Policy Consultation has been held annually since 2013. It is considered a strategic communication channel between the ROK and the IAEA.

Mutual Cooperation

Both sides have used the consultation to discuss current IAEA safeguard issues. They are also utilizing it to strengthen mutual cooperation.

During the consultation, both sides discussed cooperation in strengthening the IAEA’s readiness to verify North Korea’s nuclear program. They also reviewed the implementation of the safeguards in the ROK.

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Moreover, a discussion about ways to expand cooperation in the area and exchange views on key developments and future priorities for IAEA safeguards was also made.

Park Yongmin appreciated that both sides were able to discuss in further detail cooperation on safeguards for ensuring the peaceful uses of nuclear energy through the consultation after the successful visit by Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA, in December last year.

The Deputy Director General of the IAEA noted that the IAEA is maintaining its enhanced readiness to play an essential role in verifying North Korea’s nuclear program.

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Furthermore, Aparo also highlighted that the IAEA’s safeguards measures had been implemented smoothly to ensure peaceful nuclear activities in the ROK.

ROK and IAEA agreed that the consultation was a good opportunity for enhancing understanding. This also strengthened the cooperation on the current safeguards issues, and both sides agreed to continue the consultation.