IAEA urges DPR of Korea to reconsider decision to pull out of

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to reconsider its decision to withdraw from a global nuclear weapons treaty and urged Pyongyang to engage in dialogue with the international community.”I strongly urge the DPRK to reverse its decision and to seek instead a diplomatic solution,” said IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei of the country’s decision to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). “This is the only way to address the DPRK’s security and other concerns.”Mr. ElBaradei described the move as “a continuation of a policy of defiance and was counterproductive to ongoing efforts to achieve peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.”He added that “the NPT, with its 188 States Parties, is the cornerstone of the international community’s efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons. A challenge to the integrity of that Treaty may constitute a threat to international peace and security.”The Director-General reminded the DPRK of the international community’s readiness to engage it in a dialogue toward a peaceful settlement once Pyongyang had shown signs of readiness to come into compliance with its international non-proliferation obligations, but not under the threat of nuclear blackmail.Mr. ElBaradei noted that under Article 10 of the Treaty, a decision to withdraw could only be effected after three months. He expressed the hope that, as a matter of urgency, the international community and the DPRK through dialogue would arrive at an agreed and peaceful solution.The Director-General was in Washington, D.C., today for meetings with United States Sen. Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice and US Secretary of State Colin Powell.