19 February 2003 The Security Council has referred a letter from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to its experts for further consultations before beginning any discussion of the matter, the President of the 15-nation body said today.
"As it is an important and very complicated issue, the Council wanted to refer this to the expert consultations first before discussing this in the Council itself," Ambassador Gunter Pleuger of Germany told reporters after the Council held a brief closed-door session on the correspondence.
The letter from IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, which contains the resolution adopted last week by the Agency's 35-member Governing Board, had been transmitted to the Council by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan last Friday.
The resolution expresses deep concern that the DPRK has rejected efforts at dialogue and says it is now in further non-compliance with international nuclear safeguards. It also calls on Pyongyang to fully and urgently cooperate with international inspectors and to comply with its obligations under non-proliferation treaties. The DPRK had announced in January its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and in December, expelled the IAEA’s only two inspectors left in the country.
"The experts of the members of the Security Council will study this report and draw their substantial and legal conclusions and make recommendations to the members of the Council," Ambassador Pleuger said. "On that basis, the Council will take the matter up and discuss it."