The CTBT verification regime put to the test - the event in the DPRK on 9 October 2006

Page 1

The announcement by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or DPRK on 9 October 2006 that it had conducted a nuclear test was met with practically unanimous global expressions of concern. The UN Security Council strongly condemned the act as a clear threat to international peace and security. The Chairman and the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), as well as States Signatories expressed grave concern at the declared test and characterized the event as an action against the letter and the spirit of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

For the CTBTO and the global alarm system it is building, the event represented a real-life test case. Designed to verify compliance with the CTBT, the verification regime will monitor the earth for nuclear explosions once the Treaty enters into force. Although completed only partially and operating in test mode, the CTBT verification regime proved that it was capable of meeting the expectations set for it.

The announced test was well recorded throughout the world by the CTBTO's International Monitoring System (IMS). Over twenty seismic stations of the IMS located throughout the world, including one as far away as South America, detected signals originating from the event. Less than two hours later, States Signatories received the first automatic analysis of the data, containing preliminary information on time, location and magnitude of the event.

As there was considerable interest in this event among States Signatories, analysts at the International Data Centre in Vienna expedited analysis of the seismic data, applying timelines as envisaged under the Treaty. As a result, a detailed analysis of the event on 9 October 2006 was issued and distributed to States Signatories on 11 October 2006. This bulletin confirmed the preliminary information.