“I would like for it to have been yesterday,” responds CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo to an interview question for Izvestia regarding the entry into force of the CTBT. In the interview, Executive Secretary Zerbo explains the role of Russia and the US in the process of disarmament and discusses the status of the CTBT and the need for the Treaty to be signed and ratified by the remaining Annex 2 States. Commenting on recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, Zerbo says that the “inter-Korean dialogue, cooperation between Pyongyang and Washington, the North Korean leader’s visits to China and his plans to come to Russia create the necessary atmosphere of trust.” With this, “The end result should certainly be the accession of the DPRK to the CTBT.”

Read the full interview (in Russian) here.

Read the full interview (in Russian) here.


Photo credit: Izvestia – Alexey Mayshev

This article by CTBTO Executive Secretary, Lassina Zerbo, published in Arms Control Today (preview article of the November 2018 issue), focuses on the possible contribution of the CTBT and the CTBTO to the verifiable path of the denuclearization of North Korea. Dr Zerbo argues that “verification is key to permanently ending nuclear test explosions in North Korea”…”verifiable measures are at the heart of lasting nuclear arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament”. He also notes that the CTBTO and its technological tools are unique, when it comes to providing the adequate verification and to monitor an end to nuclear tests in North Korea. The CTBTO stands ready to contribute to the process of verifiable denuclearization if called on by its states signatories, comments Zerbo.

As current developments on the Korean peninsula are happening, “it is vital not to miss this opportunity to demonstrate to the world the value of the treaty and the efficacy of one of the most sophisticated and far-reaching verification regimes ever devised”…”together, we will ensure nuclear tests become a relic of the past and subsequently we will put in place one of the most practical and achievable elements of a nuclear-weapons-free world”, concludes Zerbo.









Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo spoke at the 15th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club where he expressed hope that China, North Korea and the United States will ratify the CTBT. Zerbo said that such a move, if taken, would change the future of non-proliferation. On the sidelines of the meeting, he commented that he would seek to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula at his forthcoming meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and also stated that “We (CTBTO) have the resources and expertise to do in-field measurements that could contribute to what the international community wants to do in  the DPRK”. North Korea has to prove to the international community that the country has indeed stopped conducting nuclear tests, he added. It might be the CTBTO or any other international organization that would provide the expertise and resources to confirm North Korea’s claims, stated Zerbo on the sidelines of the event. “Of course, we are working closely to create the conditions for the eight remaining countries [to ratify the treaty]. I don’t make a difference between the eight countries, what I say is that any single of the eight remaining countries can make a difference for the CTBT”, concluded the Executive Secretary at the margin of the meeting on Monday.

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