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CTBTO on the unusual seismic event detected in DRPK

CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo on the unusual seismic event detected in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Vienna, 3 September 2017

Vienna, 3 September 2017

“Our monitoring stations picked up an unusual seismic event in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) today at 03:30 (UTC). So far over 100 of our stations are contributing to the analysis. The event seems to have been larger than the one our system recorded in September last year and the location is very similar to that event. Our initial location estimate shows that the event took place in the area of the DPRK’s nuclear test site. ( 03-SEP-2017 03:30:06 LAT=41.3 LON=129.1 D=32 mb=5.8 ML=5.3 ndef=38 nsta=37 dist=6 (di6/10 t1.3/1.8 de33/0) )

Our experts are now analysing the event to establish more about its nature and we are preparing to brief our Member States today in Vienna.

“If confirmed as a nuclear test, this act would indicate that the DPRK's nuclear programme is advancing rapidly. It constitutes yet another breach of the universally accepted norm against nuclear testing; a norm that has been respected by all countries but one since 1996. It also underlines yet again the urgent need for the international community to act on putting in place a legally binding ban on nuclear testing once and for all. I urge the DPRK to refrain from further nuclear testing and to join the 183 States Signatories who have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). I sincerely hope that this will serve as the final wake-up call to the international community to outlaw all nuclear testing by bringing the CTBT into force,” said Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

Broadcast quality footage will be posted in the CTBTO Newsroom as it becomes available.

Background

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. The Treaty will enter into force once signed and ratified by the remaining eight nuclear technology holder countries: China, Egypt, the DPRK, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States.

A verification regime is being built to monitor compliance with the Treaty. Nearly 90 percent of the 337 facilities of the International Monitoring System (IMS) are already in place; see interactive map. The system swiftly, reliably and precisely detected all four DPRK’s declared nuclear tests. After the DPRK announced nuclear test on 12 February 2013, the CTBTO was the only organization to detect radioactivity attributable to the event.

CTBTO Member States are provided with data collected by the monitoring stations, as well as data analyses prepared by the International Data Centre in Vienna, Austria. Once the Treaty has entered into force, an on-site inspection can be invoked in case of a suspicious event.

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