Title translation from Korean: CTBTO Executive Secretary: “We are willing to verify North Korea’s nuclear test site shutdown”

“We are ready,” said CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo in an interview with RFA (Radio Free Asia). With this, Zerbo is referring to the possibility of CTBTO inspectors contributing to international efforts to monitor and verify the closure of North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site. While Zerbo notes that there has been no direct contact with North Korean authorities until now, in light of recent developments, he is hopeful that “North Korea has not closed [its] door” on the CTBTO.

With the possibility of shutting down North Korea’s nuclear test site, Zerbo highlights the role CTBTO could play in the country’s denuclearization process via its monitoring and verification regime, and uses France as an example to highlight CTBTO’s contribution during the dismantling of their nuclear test site in 1998. However, he also stressed the importance of three-way cooperation between the CTBTO, the International Atomic Energy Agency and possibly the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in North Korea’s denuclearization process.

Read the full article here.

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Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | May 3, 2018

Freezing and reversing N. Korea’s nuclear advances

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“The direct dialogue is overdue, it is historic, and it carries high stakes,” says executive director of the Arms Control Association, Daryll Kimball, regarding the upcoming Kim-Trump summit. In an op-ed in the New Straits Times, Kimball discusses the steps required for the long-term goal of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, as well as a durable peace regime. He argues that the summit should produce an agreement on a “balanced framework for sustained, direct, high-level negotiations,” on these and other issues, and suggests that “leaders in Washington, Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo, and elsewhere should seek to solidify Pyongyang’s nuclear testing suspension by securing its signature and ratification of the 1996 [CTBT], along with a confidence-building visit by the [CTBTO].” Read the full op-ed here.

In an interview with Euractiv, Karipek Kuyukov, a Kazakh anti-nuclear activist, artist, and Honorary Ambassador of The ATOM Project, talks about nuclear disarmament and the global political climate. He is among the 1.5 million people affected by Soviet nuclear weapons tests at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in eastern Kazakhstan, and due to his mother’s exposure to radiation he was born without arms.

He recounts stories from his years of activism, of which one stood out to him in particular: it was about a family where the mother bore 10 sick children, none of which lived to be older than 15. Kuyukov, highlighting his satisfaction with his home country regarding non-proliferation, stated, “Wherever I have been, I always say with pride that I live in a country that was one of the first to give up nuclear weapons.” As a survivor, the activist believes his story can inspire other survivors and have an impact on the future. “I have always said, my goal in this life, or maybe my mission, is here. We can achieve the complete destruction of all weapons if we do it together.”

 

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