In an interview with VOA Korea, CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo explains that a verbal promise from North Korea not to continue nuclear testing does not suffice, and that North Korea should instead join the CTBT. Asked how long it would take to attain significant nuclear disarmament achievements, Zerbo replies that it would take longer than people suspect, as there are various elements to be considered such as nuclear and missile test sites, as well as nuclear materials. He points out that this process requires “a lot of expertise and knowledge, not only from international organisations, but also from nuclear weapons states like the US.” With regards to CTBTO’s role, Zerbo notes that the CTBTO has the expertise in comparing and analysing data before and after a test. The Organization could verify the permanent and irreversible closure of the North Korean test sites. Blowing up a tunnel is not enough.

Read more from the interview here.

Original article in Korean.


Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | June 21, 2018

OPINION: So much left to be done

“The ultimate goal is to halt, and then reverse, and ultimately eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability,” says Thomas Countryman in an op-ed for Kyodo News. Stating that the Trump – Kim summit is “a positive step forward, but a small one,” Countryman outlines what future negotiations should look like in order to achieve the desired denuclearisation of North Korea.

To begin with, North Korea and the United States should seek to arrive at a common definition of denuclearisation, because as it stands now, it is still a blurred line. Following that, the US “should press Pyongyang for a complete inventory of its nuclear weapons, facilities and materials.” To compliment these steps, “The United States must also lay the groundwork for the involvement of the wider international community and of the two organizations which are key to verification: the [IAEA] and the [CTBTO].”

Read the full article here.


Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | June 14, 2018

Global Body Questions Kim Site Demolition



In an Deutsche Presse-Agentur interview, reported by SBS News, the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, Lassina Zerbo, provided his insight on the demolition of the Punggye-ri test-site, stating that “International experts should inspect North Korea’s nuclear test site to verify whether the explosions that were carried out at the facility last month really destroyed it for good.”

Zerbo raised concerns with the demolition process of the Punggye-ri test-site, pointing out that, “reporters were allowed to stand only 500 meters away from the explosions, even though the blast should have been big enough to destroy the underground test facility… That’s an indication that the explosion wasn’t that big,” he said. “There is an opportunity still, should any expertise be required, to verify that the sites are indeed not usable.” Furthermore, Zerbo acknowledged that his organisation has not yet received any direct signals from any party on the negotiating table, but stated that “We stand ready” to carry out this work.”

Read the full interview here.

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