Strengthening the NPT after the DPRK Nuclear Test

9 October 2006

The Pugwash Council deeply regrets the announcement by the DPRK that it has conducted a nuclear test, and it urges the government of North Korea not to take further steps on the path toward acquiring nuclear weapon capabilities.

The Pugwash Council also urges the international community to strengthen the NPT regime in order to prevent a chain reaction of nuclear proliferation in the region and in the world.

The Pugwash Council notes that a policy of hostile verbal confrontation, in particular between the US and DPRK, has not produced any positive results and it believes that dialogue at every level (multilateral and bilateral) is what was needed before the test and what is now needed after the test in order to prevent more severe consequences for the international community.

The solution of the Korean problem requires a peace treaty between the conflicting parties and the spelling out of adequate security guarantees for all the States in the region. As an immediate measure, we believe that those military maneuvers which may result in the heightening of the tension should be abandoned.

In addition, renewed commitments are needed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation regime, especially from the original five nuclear weapons states but also from those countries who have since acquired such weapons of mass destruction. Until all nuclear weapons states implement measures leading to the reduction and elimination of their nuclear weapon arsenals, security fears might lead other countries to become new nuclear States.