North Korea nuclear test: Civil society warns of new nuclear arms race

06.01.2016 - Geneva, Switzerland - International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

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North Korea nuclear test: Civil society warns of new nuclear arms race

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) strongly condemns the nuclear test announced by North Korea on 6 January.

DPRK justified the alleged hydrogen bomb test as a way to protect their country from a potential attack by the US. The test by DPRK fuels the misguided and dangerous notion that the threat of nuclear weapons is an effective deterrent.

Nuclear weapons are unacceptable in their nature. Their use inflicts indiscriminate and barbaric harm on humans and disastrous environmental impacts.

The new test by the DPRK is another indication of the inability of the current nuclear regime to prevent states from seeking, possessing or modernizing nuclear weapons. The absence of a clear norm that prohibits nuclear weapons has persuaded some states that their possession and the threat of their use are somehow still legitimate. This could lead to a new arms race more dangerous than the one we faced during the Cold War.

“Escalating tensions between nuclear armed states is raising concerns about a new arms race. But unlike the Cold War, this time it would involve a larger number of actors and unstable and volatile regions. The risk of use or accident involving nuclear weapons is on the rise,” said Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN.

Nuclear weapons are irresponsible means of warfare and their use and possession is a ruthless act that must be condemned by the international community as a whole. Condemnation must be followed by the development of an international prohibition on nuclear weapons similar to the bans on chemical and biological weapons.

In February 2016 states will meet in Geneva to conduct talks to develop new law on nuclear weapons.

“All responsible states should negotiate new law on nuclear weapons, take a clear stand against the possession and reliance on this weapon of mass destruction and develop an unambiguous prohibition of nuclear weapons” concluded Fihn.

Categories: Asia, Peace and Disarmament, Press Releases
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