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Nuclear test claims appalling, says Peters

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

9 October 2006

Nuclear test claims appalling, says Peters

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says he is appalled by claims from the North Korean government that it has conducted a nuclear test.

"If Pyongyang's claims are true, they have acted in an irrational way that ignores the clear advice of the United Nations Security Council and international community," Mr Peters said.

“Such action is unpardonable and inconsistent with the behaviour expected of a state seeking security and other guarantees from the global community.

"New Zealand joins others in condemning North Korea. We absolutely reject the use of nuclear weapons and the testing of these weapons.

"We are profoundly concerned by Pyongyang's flagrant disregard for regional and international peace and security. Its decision to test a nuclear weapon goes against the spirit of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime and the global moratorium on nuclear testing that is in place.

"A nuclear test will be viewed by many as having crossed the red line and represents an extreme escalation of North Korea's previous unacceptable behaviour, such as the missiles launched on 5 July.

"For China, Japan and South Korea, this test changes the security environment. We will talk with those countries and others about prudent and effective ways to deal with the situation.

“North Korea must return to the Six-Party Talks without preconditions and work towards the expeditious implementation of the previous agreements that they have entered into. New Zealand, along with other concerned countries, will be exploring options for managing this problem.

“Clearly the international community is deeply concerned about this claim of a nuclear test, and New Zealand shares this concern. That said, this is a time for cool heads and we urge all parties to refrain from acts which may add to a further deterioration of the situation,” Mr Peters said.

ENDS

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