Official position of the South African Government of its Misgiving
on the Nuclear Test of North Korea
QUESTION NO: 314
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION
PAPER NO 35 DATED 24 OCTOBER 2006
Mr D J Sithole (ANC) to ask the
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Whether the Government has officially informed
North Korea about South Africa's misgiving on the nuclear test it performed; if
not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
SA government is totally opposed to the Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
and is also committed to a world without weapons of mass destruction. Therefore
when the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced that it had conducted
a nuclear test, the South African Government issued a statement on the same day
in which it expressed its deep concern at the reported test. In this statement,
the Government reiterated its view that nuclear weapons threaten the total annihilation
of humanity and are therefore not a source of security and do not serve any deterrent
Accordingly, the South African Government called upon
the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to fully and verifiably terminate any
nuclear weapons programme, to return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons (NPT), sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
(CTBT), and to open all its nuclear facilities and materials to comprehensive
IAEA safeguards inspections and surveillance.
In addition, the Government also
encouraged all parties to urgently seek to intensify efforts that would facilitate
the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks, which would contribute to an early
resolution of this issue in a peaceful manner through multi-party dialogue.
a Special Session of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear
Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) held on 13 October 2006, South Africa again
reiterated its deep concern about the reported nuclear weapons test and called
upon the DPRK to terminate its nuclear weapons programme.
We have been
seized with this issue for some time since the announcement by the DPRK in 2003
of its intention to withdraw from the NPT and the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA), South Africa has continued to urge the DPRK to return to the Treaty
and the IAEA. South Africa has consistently called on the DPRK to abandon any
nuclear weapons programme.
In the Security Council, there were debates about
a resolution under chapter 7 of the charter, which would have allowed for the
use of force for non-compliance. This did not materialise because some of the
permanent members of the Security Council rejected this option.
after 14th October 2006, acting under Chapter 6 of the UN Charter, the Security
Council imposed sanctions against the DPRK.
This resolution condemned the
nuclear test, which was in disregard of various UN resolutions and demanded that
the DPRK immediately retracts its withdrawal from the NPT, return to the treaty
and accept safeguards through the IAEA.
This resolution was adopted unanimously.
However, while China voted in favour of the resolution, it expressed reservations
about the provisions calling for inspections of goods going in and out of the
DPRK. China believes that these provisions are provocative and could lead to an
escalation of tensions.
The sanctions include:
- An embargo (supply,
sale or transfer) on weapons or materials contained in the UN Register on Conventional
- Resolution also includes an embargo on all arms/technology that
are contained in the lists devised by the Security Council Sanctions Committee.
sanctions imposed by resolution 1718 takes effect immediately and all UN member
states are bound to enforce its provisions.
It was announced yesterday
that DPRK has agreed to return to the 6 Party talks.
The South African government
welcomes this and urges all parties to negotiate in good faith.