North Korea on Oct. 2 criticized the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for endorsing a resolution urging the cessation of the country's nuclear programs, calling it a "conspiracy" by the United States and its allies.
At the 67th general conference held Sept. 25–29 in Austria, IAEA member states adopted the measure calling on North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons programs and abide by the U.N. Security Council resolutions.
The ministry argued that the IAEA has "neither qualifications nor justification" to pass judgments on North Korea's nuclear programs since the country withdrew from the nuclear agency in the early 1990s.
Since the beginning of 2022, North Korea has carried out more than 100 weapons tests, many of which have involved nuclear-capable missiles designed to strike the United States, South Korea, and Japan.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog hasn't been able to enter North Korea since 2009, and it now uses satellite imagery to monitor the country's nuclear activities.
Speculation on Russian CooperationMr. Grossi said he believes that Russia, being one of the countries recognized as a nuclear weapons state under the Nonproliferation Treaty, wouldn't engage in "trade or transfer of any nuclear weapons technology to a country which is by de facto outside the regime."
"I cannot conceive that countries would engage in trade or in exchanges (of nuclear weapons technology) with a country that has such a problematic relation with the nonproliferation regime like the DPRK," he told Yonhap News Agency.
DPRK is an acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Mr. Grossi said he hopes that Russia will uphold its obligations as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council when dealing with North Korea.
This came amid concerns over potential military cooperation between the two nations following Mr. Kim's September meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
During his visit, Mr. Kim was shown Russia's strategic bombers, including the Tu-160, Tu-95, and Tu-22, and Russia's Pacific fleet frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the United States maintains its position that talks about the provision of weapons by North Korea to Russia "have been advancing and continue to advance."