25 May 2009

Re-issued as received

Statement by Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), on the Announced North Korean Nuclear Test

VIENNA, 25 May (UN Information Service) - "Today's nuclear test claimed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) constitutes a threat to international peace and security and to the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. I am gravely concerned by this action. In particular, it is a serious violation of the norm established by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and as such deserves universal condemnation.

Today's event underlines the urgency of the entry into force of the CTBT and the necessity of putting an end to all nuclear explosions for all time. It is therefore my hope that the current situation will increase political momentum towards the CTBT's entry into force and speed up the ratification process."



180 States, the vast majority of the international community, have signed the CTBT, underscoring their support for a definitive ban on nuclear testing. 148 of these 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-five of these States have ratified the Treaty, including the three nuclear weapon States France, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. Of the nine remaining States, China, Egypt, Indonesia, 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. Three-quarters or 75 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 first North Korean nuclear test on 9 October 2006 was detected immediately by the CTBTO's seismic stations, despite its small yield. The findings were later corroborated by the noble gas system. With regard to the nuclear test that has just been announced, Member States will receive measuring data and their analysis in the shortest time possible.

The UN Security Council unanimously condemned the nuclear test of 2006 in its Resolution 1718 (2006).

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For further information, please see www.ctbto.org - your resource on stopping nuclear testing, or contact:

Annika Thunborg
Spokesperson and Chief, Public Information
Telephone: (+43-1) 26030-6375
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-6375
Fax: (+43-) 26030-5823
Email: annika.thunborg@ctbto.org
Website: http://www.ctbto.org