Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | June 12, 2018

A Way Forward With North Korea: The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty


“Getting North Korea to join the CTBT may be a better start than any other proposal on the table,” says Stephen Herzog in a commentary piece for War on the Rocks. Herzog, a Ph.D. Candidate at Yale University and participant from the 2018 Science Diplomacy Symposium, argues that having North Korea ratify the CTBT would build “goodwill” for the DPRK, while serving as a national security win for the US. Indeed, doing so would “establish ties with the CTBTO, which is the most qualified organization to verify its test site dismantlement.”

While North Korea reportedly shut down its nuclear test site on 24 May, “a series of worrisome reports have emerged in the aftermath,” causing speculation over Kim Jong-un’s intentions to denuclearise. In this scenario, “if Kim is serious about the path toward disarmament, verification is sorely needed at the test site. Informal pledges simply will not cut it.” In light of this, Herzog is of the opinion that “of all the options on the table, CTBTO verification of the test site’s closure should be a top priority. It is well-developed, effectively proven, and the most likely way to comprehensively and impartially verify the elimination of a segment of Kim’s nuclear program in the near-term future. If Kim is hiding something at Punggye-ri, the CTBTO will find it.”



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