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Peters condemns Nth Korea's nuclear test threat

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs


4 October 2006
Media statement

Peters condemns Nth Korea's nuclear test threat

North Korea's statement that it is planning to test a nuclear weapon is inflammatory and completely incompatible with efforts to build security in the Asia-Pacific region, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today.

North Korea last night announced plans for a nuclear weapon test, although it gave no time frame. Pyongyang has previously said it has nuclear weapons, but is not known to have conducted any test to prove its claim.

“North Korea’s statement is intolerable, and New Zealand joins others in the international community in condemning it,” Mr Peters said.

“If this threat is carried out, North Korea can expect a harsh response from the international community. There will certainly be serious repercussions, undoubtedly stronger than those following North Korea’s missile tests in July. The patience of even North Korea’s closest friends must be wearing thin."

Mr Peters said a nuclear test would go against North Korea’s commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and would be contrary to the moratorium on nuclear testing that has been in place for the past eight years.

"Any threat to this moratorium would be a threat to us all and a significant step back for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

“North Korea must reconsider its plan and refrain from taking any further rash steps. We urge it to return to dialogue at the earliest possible opportunity,” Mr Peters said.


ENDS

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