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Guterres: UN Agencies Ready to Support DPRK Denuclearization

Police officers patrol the perimeter of the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore, June 11, 2018, ahead of the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the planned meeting between the U.S. and North Korean leaders in Singapore, saying it is "a promising development for global peace and security."

"Peace and verifiable denuclearization must remain the clear and shared goal," Guterres said Monday at U.N. headquarters.

He said if the parties request it, the relevant parts of the U.N. system are ready to assist the denuclearization process, including verification.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency has a mandate to apply safeguards on all nuclear material in peaceful use, including all material removed from military programs," Guterres noted.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said last week his agency is ready to resume nuclear verification activities in North Korea if there is a political agreement making it possible.

"We continue to enhance our readiness to play an essential role in verifying the DPRK's nuclear program if a political agreement is reached among countries concerned," Amano told the agency's board of governors.

The IAEA has been a key player in monitoring and verifying Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.In 2003, the IAEA sent inspectors to Iraq, where they concluded the government was not carrying out any prohibited nuclear activities.

"The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization could also play an important role in monitoring the DPRK's announced moratorium on nuclear explosive tests," Guterres said Monday, referring to North Korea by its abbreviation.

The CTBTO has a comprehensive verification regime to make sure nuclear explosions do not go undetected.It has been active in raising alarm bells on past North Korean underground nuclear tests with its monitoring stations recording unusual seismic activity in that country and then confirming the presence of radioactivity at its regional monitoring stations.