ICAN condemns North Korean test

February 12, 2013

12 February 2013

ICAN strongly condemned the nuclear weapon test carried out today by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and raised concerns that it brings the potential use of nuclear weapons closer. “As the existing nuclear weapon possessors still argue that their nuclear arsenals are essential for their own security, they only increase incentives for proliferation,” said Akira Kawasaki, co-chair of ICAN. “Only when we devalue all nuclear weapons by outlawing them through an international treaty can we reduce the risk of countries like the DPRK developing them further.”

This third nuclear test by the DPRK is reported to have been larger than its previous ones, and highlights that the traditional approaches and institutions for preventing nuclear proliferation and achieving nuclear disarmament are not adequate. “North Korea’s tests are designed to show that it can make different types of nuclear weapons and deliver them against cities such as Tokyo and Seoul, with catastrophic humanitarian consequences,” noted Dr Rebecca Johnson, co-chair of ICAN.

The impact of the use of nuclear weapons has unparalleled consequences on people’s health and the environment and its effects reach beyond borders and throughout generations to impact our environment, economy, food production and commerce; to undermine development goals and to harm people worldwide. Years of atmospheric nuclear tests, as well as the detonation of nuclear bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have provided incontestable evidence of the catastrophic medical and environmental impact of nuclear weapons.

“Nuclear weapons are inhumane, unacceptable and appalling weapons, and no state should be proud to possess them or aspire to acquire them. Maintaining nuclear weapons is not a symbol of power or strength, but instead a constant reminder of the catastrophic humanitarian suffering that they have caused and continuously threaten to cause again,” said Beatrice Fihn, editor of the recently published study Unspeakable Suffering. “The latest DPRK test highlights the urgent need for all countries, including those without nuclear weapons, to start negotiations to outlaw and eliminate these weapons.”

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