Statement by Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano at the resumed Forty-Eighth Session of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO in connection with the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 3 September 2017

Madam Chairperson,

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you, the Chair of the Preparatory Commission, Ambassador Paulina Franceschi, for convening today’s meeting. I would also like to thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, and the IDC Director, Mr. Randy Bell, for the professional and timely provision of technical briefing yesterday and the updates presented today.

Yesterday, at approximately 5:30 AM Central European Standard Time (12:30 PM Japan Standard Time), the Japan Meteorological Agency detected a seismic wave originating in the vicinity of a nuclear testing site in North Korea, with a wave pattern different from natural earthquakes. Having considered this and other related information in a comprehensive manner, the Government of Japan concluded that the explosion was North Korea’s sixth nuclear testing, in which North Korea subsequently described as “a perfect success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for ICBM”.

The nuclear test by North Korea is totally unacceptable. The international community, including Japan, has repeatedly urged North Korea to fully comply with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and to abandon its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs. We have condemned North Korea’s repeated provocations, including nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches. However, North Korea ignored these calls once again.

With yesterday’s sixth nuclear testing, and together with more than ten launches of ballistic missiles conducted this year, North Korea’s nuclear and missile development has entered a new level of threat which is more grave and imminent for Japan, and seriously undermines the peace and security of the region as well as of the international community. Yesterday’s nuclear test by North Korea is a clear violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and poses a grave challenge to the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime centered on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferatoin of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Furthermore, it also violates the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration as well as the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. Japan lodges its serious protest against North Korea and condemns in the strongest terms its testing. Japan, once again, strongly urges North Korea to immediately and fully implement the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and other relevant commitments.

Madam Chairperson,

Twenty-one years after the opening for signature of the CTBT, 183 states have signed and 166 states have ratified the Treaty. The whole international community widely shares the common recognition that nuclear tests should be prohibited. This is well demonstrated by the fact that no nuclear tests have been conducted in the 21st century except for those by North Korea. We believe that the prohibition of nuclear testing has already become a de-facto international norm. North Korea’s another nuclear test following those of 2006, 2009, 2013 and January and September 2016 goes against such an international common recognition.

We note that the International Monitoring System (IMS) of the CTBTO has detected unusual seismic waveforms immediately after the nuclear test. Once again, the CTBT verification regime confirmed itself functioning successfully. This case also shows the important role of On-Site Inspections, which will only become possible after the CTBT’s entry into force. In this respect, Japan urges all non-ratifying countries especially the Annex II countries, including North Korea, to ratify the CTBT without further delay. We also strongly urge all states possessing nuclear weapons to continue their nuclear test moratoria pending the entry into force of the Treaty.

Madam Chairperson,

In light of the significance of this meeting, and in accordance with the past practice, I would like to propose that we issue a factual report of today’s meeting which delivers a clear and strong message of our discussion today.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.