DPRK nuclear test: dangerous and irresponsible
IPPNW condemns today’s test of a nuclear weapon by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We urge the DPRK government to reconsider its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, and to join with the majority of States that have pledged to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons because of their unacceptable humanitarian impact.
We are especially concerned that the DPRK’s claims to have tested a hydrogen bomb, if verified, signal a much more dangerous and irresponsible intent to deploy weapons that threaten all life on Earth. The development of new thermonuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them—whether by the DPRK or any other State—only increases the likelihood that these weapons will be used.
At the same time, the other nuclear-armed States—the US, Russia, China, France, the UK, India, Pakistan, and Israel—have failed to honor their own nuclear disarmament obligations, have insisted that their security depends upon nuclear weapons, and are engaged in multi-billion dollar programs to modernize their arsenals. While these same countries have condemned the new nuclear test by the DPRK, their hypocrisy provides the government in Pyongyang with the arguments it is now using to justify expansion of its own nuclear weapons program.
Nuclear weapons must never be used again, under any circumstances. An overwhelming majority of States now recognize, along with civil society, that preventing the use of nuclear weapons requires prohibiting and eliminating them.
IPPNW calls on all States to use the new Open-Ended Working Group that will convene next month in Geneva to prepare a new treaty banning the development, production, testing, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, deployment, threat of use, or use of nuclear weapons. The nuclear-armed States—including the DPRK—should comply with this new legal instrument—and with their existing obligations under international law—by eliminating all nuclear weapons without further delays or excuses.