STATEMENT BY CHAIRPERSON OF THE PREPARATORY COMMISSION FOR THE CTBTO, AMBASSADOR CRISTIAN ISTRATE, ON UNUSUAL SEISMIC ACTIVITY DETECTED IN THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA

Vienna, 7 January 2016

“Yesterday the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) verification system detected seismic waveforms which are most likely caused by a nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK),”said Ambassador Cristian Istrate, Permanent Representative of Romania and Chairperson of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), at the issue of a special meeting of the Preparatory Commission held on 7 January 2016.

“This is a matter of great concern to the international community. If confirmed to be DPRK’s fourth nuclear test, this is totally unacceptable as it poses a great threat both to international peace and stability. This possible fourth nuclear test by the DPRK would be a clear violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions. I call on the DPRK to fully comply with its international obligations.

“One hundred and eighty-three States have signed and 164 States have ratified the CTBT. The whole international community widely shares the common recognition that nuclear tests should be prohibited.
“I also call on all nations to do everything they can to bring the CTBT into force. Further, I congratulate the CTBTO for building and maintaining its verification system which once again proved its effectiveness providing essential data for detecting this phenomenon.”

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, among which DPRK. A verification regime is being built to monitor compliance with the Treaty. Around 90 percent of the 337 facilities in the International Monitoring System are already in place; see interactive map. The 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.

The previous announced DPRK nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013 were detected swiftly, precisely and confidently by the CTBTO’s monitoring stations.

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For further information on the CTBT, please see www.ctbto.org - your resource on ending nuclear testing, or contact:
 
Elisabeth Wächter,
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Thomas Mützelburg, Public Information Officer  
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Kirsten Gregorich Hansen, Public Information Officer
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