VOLUME XLII NO.12
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The IAEA Int’l Conference On Nuclear Security Kicked Off In Vienna, Austria
To Prevent Terrorist Attacks Using Nuclear and Radioactive Materials:
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se chaired the second International Conference on Nuclear Security of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which kicked off in Vienna, Austria, on December 5, leading international discussions on ways to prevent terrorist attacks using nuclear and radioactive materials. The IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security, the first international high-level meeting on nuclear security since the end of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process, marks a milestone in the IAEA-led efforts to build a permanent and comprehensive international nuclear security regime.
ROK Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se chaired the Second International Conference on Nuclear Security of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which kicked off in Vienna, Austria, on Dec. 5, 2016, leading international discussions on ways to prevent terrorist attacks using nuclear and radioactive materials.
The IAEA international conference, the first international high-level meeting on nuclear security since the end of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process, marks a milestone in the IAEA-led efforts to build a permanent and comprehensive international nuclear security regime.
According to the press release issued from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of Korea's assumption of the chairmanship of the meeting at this important point in time reflects the international community's recognition of the ROK's contribution and leadership in the field of nuclear security.
The conference was one of the largest meetings on nuclear security, bringing together 60-odd foreign, science/technologyrelated and other minister-level officials as well as a combined 2,000 nuclear experts, scientists and entrepreneurs.
In the lead-up to the conference, the ROK, as its chair, had led the discussions on the event's outcome document and contributed greatly to the adoption by consensus of a ministerial declaration, affirming the IAEA's pivotal role in nuclear security, expressing high-level commitment to beef up nuclear security and setting the direction of future activities to that end.
In his opening remarks, Minister Yun, citing the recently detected attempts by such terrorist and extremist groups as ISIS and Al Qaeda to obtain radioactive materials, stressed that the threat of nuclear terrorism is more palpable than ever before. He added that the IAEA should take the helm of global nuclear security efforts based on its decades of experience.
Minister Yun pointed out that North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear program is posing a grave threat to the Korean Peninsula and international security in terms of both the nuclear nonproliferation regime and nuclear security; expressed concern over the possibility of North Korea, subjected to tough sanctions and pressure, engaging in illicit transfer of nuclear materials or technology to terrorist groups to earn foreign currency for its nuclear and missile programs; and underscored the need for united international responses.
Yun stressed that for nuclear security on the Korean Peninsula and beyond, North Korea's nuclear program must be abandoned in a complete and prompt manner, and that for this to happen, the international community should continue sending to the North a stern and resolute message that the North's pursuit of nuclear and missile programs will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Minister Yun hailed the adoption of the strongest-ever IAEA resolution, condemning North Korea's nuclear tests "in the strongest terms," at the 60th Annual Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference; and the unanimous adoption to UN Security Council Resolution 2321, which is considered the strongest-ever resolution along with Security Council Resolution 2270 in the history of the United Nations.
He urged that the international community, by thoroughly implementing the resolution, enforce across-the-board sanctions and put pressure on North Korea. Yun said that the ROK has been making diplomatic efforts in accordance with its strategic roadmap to induce the international community to enforce across-theboard sanctions and put pressure on North Korea.
As a result of such efforts, the major international mechanisms, including the G7, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the ARF, and the "Friends of the CTBT" community, sent to strong messages to the North. In the same vein, the IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security is seen to have served as an opportunity to make the frame of the "international community vs. North Korea" more solid.