Will North Korea sign Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty?

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The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty’s (CTBT) entry into force could help ensure that North Korea stops its nuclear tests.

North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3, claiming to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb which could be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) Lassina Zerbo told Sputnik: “at the end of the day, one way to stop North Korea from testing is entering into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

“It is my hope that countries would work towards getting DPRK to join the moratorium on nuclear testing and joining signatures of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty as part of the solution to the denuclearisation.”

The treaty needs to be ratified by all states that took part in its negotiation in 1994 and 1996 and had nuclear power or research reactors at the time.

Five of these countries, namely China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, and the United States, have signed the treaty, but not ratified it, while India, North Korea, and Pakistan have to both sign and ratify.

Zerbo pointed out that North Korea has not stopped the tests despite being hit with increasingly strict sanctions.

The UN Security Council adopted new sanctions against Pyongyang on Sept. 11, banning textile exports from North Korea and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

The CTBTO chief expressed hope that “at the end of the day, multilateral diplomacy will prevail and institutional framework that governs not only the UN as a centre for multilateral diplomacy, but regional dealings among states as well, will be able to ease the tension in a way where [the globe does] not suffer a nuclear war.”

Zerbo added that not only North Korea’s nuclear tests deserve the “specific and special attention” of the UN, but also the terrorism threat, pointing to the creation of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism.

“UN Secretary-General [Antonio Guterres] has appointed to deal with terrorism Ambassador [Vladimir] Voronkov from the Russian Federation, a good friend of mine.

“I think the North Korean issue deserves the same type of attention because it is one of the key issues of our moment, the key issue of our generation,” the CTBTO chief said.

The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, which works in close cooperation with the UN Security Council, was established in June 2017. (NAN)

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