CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Toth condemns declared North Korean nuclear test

Vienna, 12 February 2013

“Our monitoring system picked up an unusual seismic event earlier today  in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The DPRK also claimed today that it has conducted yet another nuclear test, the third within the last six years. It constitutes a clear threat to international peace and security and challenges efforts to strengthen global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. I am gravely concerned by this action, which deserves universal condemnation,” said Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), speaking at the organization’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria. “I recall UN Security Council resolution 1874, adopted on 12 June 2009, which condemned the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK in May 2009, and called upon the DPRK to join the Treaty as soon as possible. The unanimously adopted UN Security Council resolution 2087 of 22 January 2013 explicitly warned the DPRK to abstain from nuclear testing. It is therefore imperative that all countries join and respect the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). “Nuclear testing needs to end once and for all. There is broad support from the international community for the early entry into force of the CTBT, which will establish a legal ban against all kinds of nuclear explosions for all time." 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 countries 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. The 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. The current event was detected at 2.57.51 UTC with a magnitude of 5.0.