Seoul, 13 November 2021 (TDI): The Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs of South Korea, Ham Sang Wook hosted a consultation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

10th High-Level Policy Consultation

This was the 10th High-Level Policy Consultation between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and IAEA. Deputy Director-General and Head of the Department of Safeguards of the IAEA, Massimo Aparo cohosted the event with Ham Sang Wook.

Strategic Communication Channel 

The ROK-IAEA High-Level Policy Consultation is a strategic communication channel between the ROK (South Korea) and the IAEA. Ever since 2013, it is held annually. The two sides utilize the consultations to discuss prevalent IAEA safeguard issues and measures to improve cooperation. During the latest consultation, they discussed collaboration to strengthen the IAEA’s readiness to verify North Korea’s nuclear program.

Implementation of IAEA Safeguards

Aside from that, the two sides exchanged views on future priorities for IAEA safeguards and key regional developments; implementation of IAEA safeguards in Korea, and the safeguards of IAEA safeguards in Iran.

South Korea’s Chairmanship

The South Korean Deputy Minister, as the chair country, elaborated that his country will examine the prevailing issues of the IAEA in a lucid and unprejudiced way. Ham Sang Wook asked for the support of IAEA during Korea’s chairmanship.

Verification of Nuclear Programs

Korea will handle strengthening the safeguards, verification of nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea, enhancing the international collaborative framework for nuclear security and safety, and increasing technical cooperation for supporting member states. Likewise, it will prepare for the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors; scheduled from 22-26 November.

Contaminated Water from the Fukushima-Daiichi

South Korean Deputy Minister emphasized the value of a transparent and objective evaluation of the disposal of contaminated water from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant by Japan. He reiterated that IAEA must play an active role to address this issue.

IAEA’ Strengthened Readiness

On the contrary, Deputy Director-General Aparo underscored that IAEA maintains a heightened willingness to fulfill its role. It will play an essential role to verify the nuclear program of North Korea along with implementing safeguards.

This will ensure peaceful nuclear enterprises in the ROK; during the COVID-19 situation as well. The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation and strengthen understanding through the consultative platform.