Lee Joon-il, head of the Foreign Ministry's North Korean nuclear diplomacy planning team, visited Vienna, Austria, to discuss North Korean nuclear issues, including the recent situation on the Korean peninsula with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
In a meeting with IAEA Deputy Secretary-General Massimo Aparo on Thursday, Lee said North Korea has continued illegal nuclear activities and missile provocations. He also highlighted the nuclear threat to South Korea by stipulating the Nuclear Forces Act, including the pre-emptive nuclear use doctrine in the Constitution. Lee called on the IAEA to continue to play an active role in a united international response, as the North Korean nuclear issue is one of the most significant threats to the non-proliferation regime as well as international peace and stability.
Deputy Secretary-General Aparo expressed serious concern about North Korea's nuclear activities, saying the IAEA is closely monitoring North Korea's nuclear activities and maintaining readiness for verification. As stated in the IAEA's annual secretary-general's report released in August, Aparo urged North Korea to comply with the Security Council's resolutions and cooperate with the IAEA in implementing the safety measures agreement.
On the morning of October 6, Lee visited Robert Floyd, secretary-general of the CTBTO. While outlining South Korea's efforts to deter North Korea's provocations and complete denuclearization, Lee said that if North Korea, the only country in the world to conduct a nuclear test in the 21st century, proceeds with another nuclear test despite repeated warnings from the international community.It will also pose a major challenge to the CTBTO, the only international organization aimed at preventing a nuclear test.
Lee evaluated that the CTBTO is interested in the North Korean nuclear issue and continues to monitor related trends. He urged the international community to take the lead in responding quickly to North Korea's actual nuclear test and creating public opinion of condemnation.Secretary-General Floyd said the CTBTO maintains a 24-hour monitoring system for North Korea's nuclear test sites in close cooperation with the international community, including South Korea. He also called upon North Korea to refrain from conducting further nuclear tests.