Chairperson of the CTBTO, Ambassador Jan Petersen, condemns the nuclear test declared by North Korea

Vienna, 12 February

“Today's announced nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is of great concern to the international community. The DPRK has once again violated United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding that it should not conduct any further nuclear tests. I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” said Ambassador Jan Petersen, Chairperson of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), speaking at the organization’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

“The DPRK's actions are a disregard to achievements that have recently been made within the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Their act not only heightens tensions in North East Asia but greatly threatens international peace and security.”

“I call on the DPRK to comply with its international obligations and to adhere to the de-facto international norm against nuclear testing. The act by the DPRK strengthens the call to all nations to do everything in their power to finally bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force. All nuclear tests must come to an end.”

Background:

A total of 183 States, the vast majority of the international community, have signed the CTBT, underscoring their support for a definitive ban on nuclear explosions. Of these, 159 have also ratified the Treaty. To enter into force, however, the CTBT must be signed and ratified by 44 specific States. These States participated in the negotiations of the Treaty in 1996 and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time. Thirty-six of these States have ratified the Treaty, including the three nuclear weapon States - France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. Of the eight remaining States, China, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the United States have signed the Treaty, whereas the DPRK, India and Pakistan have not yet signed it.

A verification regime is being built to monitor compliance with the Treaty. Around 85 percent of the 337 facilities in the International Monitoring System are already in place, see interactive map. CTBTO Member States are provided with data collected by the monitoring stations, as well as data analyses prepared by the International Data Centre in Vienna, Austria. Once the Treaty has entered into force, an on-site inspection can be invoked in case of a suspicious event.

The North Korean nuclear tests on 9 October 2006 and 25 May 2009 were detected immediately by the CTBTO’s monitoring stations.

For further information on the CTBT, please see www.ctbto.org – your resource on ending nuclear testing,
or contact:

Annika Thunborg,
Spokesperson and Chief, Public Information

T    +43 1 26030-6375 
E    annika.thunborgping@ctbtopong.org
M    +43 699 1459 6375      
I    www.ctbto.org

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