BEIJING – The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Tuesday that sanctions alone would not resolve the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
In a speech at one of China's top universities, Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, also said there had to be development in countries such as North Korea — formally the Democratic People's Republic of Korea — to create a sense of security.
"The solution will have to address the security, economic and other concerns of the DPRK. Quite often these nuclear crises underline a sense of insecurity that clearly needs to be addressed, and a sense of imbalance, economic discrimination also needs to be addressed," he told students at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
North Korea's top nuclear envoy Kim Kye Gwan said after meeting his U.S. and South Korean counterparts in Beijing last week that his country would not unilaterally abandon its atomic weapons program.
The envoys also failed to produce a date on restarting six-nation disarmament talks.
The multinational negotiations have been stalled for over a year due to a North Korean boycott. Efforts to resume the talks have taken on a new urgency since the North tested a nuclear device on Oct. 9.