IAEA board mulls Amano’s return for second term at helm

Kyodo

The International Atomic Energy Agency began its regular board meeting Monday in Vienna with the re-election of Director General Yukiya Amano and how to respond to North Korea’s third nuclear test last month high on the agenda.

No country on the 35-member Board of Governors has so far opposed the reappointment of Amano, 65, as head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog. He is the sole candidate in the election for the top post.

Approval by the board will ensure Amano’s re-election for a second four-year term from December, with final confirmation to be made at the annual assembly of the IAEA General Conference in September.

Amano, a former Japanese diplomat, assumed the leadership of the IAEA in December 2009, its first chief from Asia. He has promoted efforts to enhance nuclear safety since the 2011 start of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

On North Korea and Iran, which has been enriching uranium to 20 percent purity and installing advanced centrifuges, the board will likely express strong displeasure regarding their nuclear ambitions, a diplomatic source said.