Press Release

15 September 2016

Media Statement on the reported Nuclear Weapons Test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

The South African Government has noted with serious concern the reported nuclear weapons test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).  This follows the nuclear weapons test conducted by the DPRK on 6 January 2016 and subsequent missile launches in flagrant violation of the DPRK’s obligations under various UN Security Council resolutions, including the measures adopted by the Council on 2 March 2016 through Resolution 2270 (2016).

South Africa shares the concerns of the international community regarding the nuclear weapon- and delivery system-related activities of the DPRK. We therefore urge the DPRK to adhere fully to its Security Council-mandated obligations, to return to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to fulfil its safeguards obligations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

South Africa supports a negotiated solution that addresses the issues of the Korean Peninsula in a holistic manner and urges the DPRK to fulfil its commitments under the Six-Party Talks with a view to achieving the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful manner.

We strongly urge the DPRK and all States involved to refrain from any further acts of provocation which may undermine the pursuit of such a negotiated solution or that could further increase tensions in the North East Asian region and beyond.

The latest events reinforce South Africa’s conviction that nuclear weapons continue to constitute a grave threat to international peace and security.  We join the vast majority of UN Member States and the UN Secretary-General in calling for urgent action to eradicate all nuclear weapons, once and for all.

The latest test also emphasises the urgency for those States that have not yet done so, particularly those that possess nuclear weapons, to join the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty so as to facilitate its entry-into-force without any further delay.

Enquiries: Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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