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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Latest DPRK nuclear test 'yet another brazen breach' of Security Council resolutions - UN chief

9 September 2016 – Strongly condemning another underground nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon reiterated his call on the leadership of the country to reverse its course and commit to a path of denuclearization.

"This is yet another brazen breach of the resolutions of the Security Council," underlined the Secretary-General, in his remarks to the press at the UN Headquarters today.

"Rather than pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology, the DPRK should be promoting the well-being of the country's people," he added.

Mr. Ban further underlined that in recent years this was the fifth time that the country alone had defied the international norm against nuclear tests.

"This unacceptable act endangers peace and security in the region and is another vivid reminder of the urgent need to strengthen the global nuclear test ban regime," he stressed.

Further calling on the Security Council to remain united and to take appropriate action, the UN chief highlighted the urgent need to "break this accelerating spiral of escalation."

The Secretary-General also told the press that the UN is monitoring and assessing the developments related to the nuclear test in close coordination with concerned international organizations, including the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

Latest tests a frightening, unfortunate and serious breach of international norms

Earlier today, speaking to UN Radio Lassina Zerbo, CTBTO Executive Secretary called the tests a frightening, unfortunate and serious breach of the norms adopted by the international community.

Furthermore, in a statement today, Mr. Zerbo said the latest nuclear test by DPRK "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."

He urged DPRK to refrain from further nuclear testing, and to join the 183 States Parties 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," he said.

Also today, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano also spoke out against the test, calling it a "deeply troubling and regrettable act."

"This is in clear violation of numerous UN Security Council resolutions and in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community," said Mr. Amano in a statement issued by IAEA.

Recalling Security Council's calls on DPRK to not conduct nuclear tests and to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, he urged the country "to fully implement all relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the IAEA."

UN rights chief appoints experts on human rights violations in DPRK

In related news, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein today designated two independent human rights experts, Sonja Biserko and Sara Hossain, pursuant to a decision by the UN Human Rights Council to support the work of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in DPRK, Mr. Tomás Ojea Quintana, his Office (OHCHR) said in a news release.

In March this year, the Human Rights Council had decided to establish a group of independent experts to explore appropriate approaches to seek accountability for human rights violations in the country, in particular violations amounting to crimes against humanity, and recommend practical mechanisms of accountability to secure truth and justice for victims, including the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The report of the group of independent experts will be presented to the Human Rights Council at its March 2017 session.

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