Federal Minister Kurz: “North Korea is increasingly isolating itself from the international community

Vienna, January 6, 2016

The Foreign Minister condemns the latest North Korean nuclear test in the strongest terms and underlines his full trust in the CTBTO.

“I condemn the nuclear test announced today in the North Korean media in the strongest possible terms. Should the pertinent reports be confirmed, this nuclear test represents another flagrant violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and is tantamount to an expression of contempt for the international community. By taking such irresponsible steps, North Korea is increasingly isolating itself from the international community”, stressed Sebastian Kurz.

“North Korean policy can only be described as deeply irresponsible. By massively expanding its nuclear weapons and missile programme, the policy pursued by the Kim Jong Un regime is fully geared towards confrontation, thus deliberately fuelling insecurity on the Korean peninsula and in the entire region. At the same time, neither does North Korea ensure provisions for its people’s basic needs nor does it respect human rights. North Korea must accept the global treaties, agreements and standards, and continue negotiations at the multilateral level. Level-headedness and diplomacy are the only means that will serve to defuse the situation, which is in the interest of both the North and the South”, explained the Foreign Minister.

North Korea had already conducted one nuclear test each in 2006, 2009 and 2013 for which it was condemned by several UN Security Council resolutions. Alongside the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in particular plays a central role in the objective detection of nuclear tests. “I fully trust that the CTBTO, as was indeed already the case following the previous North Korean nuclear tests, will again provide valuable information on this test based on objective, detailed and conclusive measurements. North Korea‘s irresponsible behaviour underlines the need for ensuring that the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty will finally become universally applicable. I therefore call upon North Korea and on all the other states that have not yet ratified the treaty to do so without further delay”, emphasized Sebastian Kurz.

“This deplorable event once again underlines the need for the complete renunciation of a security policy based on weapons of mass destruction. As long as there are nuclear weapons there is the risk that they will be used. Even in case of accident or error, the global impact on people, the environment and the economy would be disastrous. Austria will therefore continue its efforts directed at the elimination of all nuclear weapons and at the prohibition of such weapons under international law. The international call initiated by Austria towards reaching this objective has already been joined by 120 states”, stressed Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz in his conclusion.