North Korea rebuked the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency as “a marionette dancing to the tune” of the West, signaling Pyonyang’s continued hostility toward international monitoring.
North Korean Ambassador Kim Song’s dismissive words came Wednesday at a U.N. General Assembly meeting, after the International Atomic Energy Agency condemned Pyongyang’s ongoing nuclear activities as “a clear violation” of Security Council resolutions.
“This is our appraisal of the IAEA at present, as it was more than 20 years ago,” Song responded to the 193-member assembly.
“We left the IAEA long ago and have not forgotten its despicable acts of having sided with the hostile forces in their maneuvers to put pressure on us, raising ‘suspicions’ about the DPRK’s peaceful nuclear facilities earlier in the 1990s,” Song said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“I’d like to make it clear once again that the DPRK will never have any business to deal with the IAEA so long as it runs short of impartiality and objectivity, the lifeline of its activities, and remains a marionette dancing to the tune of the hostile forces against the DPRK.”
The IAEA has not had inspectors in North Korea since the agency was expelled in 2009.
But its executive director Rafael Grossi, said the IAEA continues to monitor the country’s nuclear program using satellite imagery and open source information.
North Korea is known to be producing both plutonium and highly enriched uranium, two key ingredients for nuclear bombs.