Australia National Statement
to the Resumed 48th Session of the CTBT Preparatory Commission
on DPRK Announced Nuclear Test
4 September 2017
Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative to the CTBTO
Chair, Executive Secretary Zerbo,
Let me start by thanking you and the Preparatory Technical Secretariat for convening this important PrepCom meeting, and for the technical briefing yesterday following North Korea’s claim to have tested a “hydrogen bomb”.
Australia has taken note that the CTBTO’s analysis of IMS data indicates that – compared to the five previous nuclear tests undertaken by North Korea – the first seismic event identified yesterday was of a much greater magnitude.
This assessment concurs with Australia’s own analysis – through Geoscience Australia – that an explosive event occurred at the North Korean test site with an estimated explosive yield of up to ten times greater than any previous North Korean nuclear test.
Our experts will continue to refine analysis of yesterday’s events, including the second smaller seismic event a few minutes after the first.
Yesterday’s developments are deeply troubling: they are in breach of UN Security Council resolutions and appear to represent a new level and scale of recklessness by the Kim Jong-un regime.
Australia joins with the overwhelming majority of the international community in utterly condemning North Korea’s flagrant disregard and defiance of successive United Nations Security Council resolutions through its repeated testing of nuclear weapons and associated development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, including the missile it fired over Japan on 29 August.
The DPRK’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, including its proliferation of sensitive technologies, unacceptably challenge the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament framework established under the Treaty on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
North Korea’s provocative and illegal conduct poses an increasingly grave danger to regional as well as global peace and security.
To address this threat, Australia calls, once again, for strengthened resolve by all members of the international community to deter North Korea from threatening its region and the world with illegal weapons.
The international community must collectively send a clear message, and stand firm, in urging North Korea to change its behaviour, and to abandon its nuclear weapons program in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
Australia will continue to play its part in cooperation with others to exert diplomatic and economic pressure including through full implementation of UNSC sanctions and Australia’s autonomous sanctions regime.
This latest serious provocation by North Korea again underscores the need – in the interests of international peace and security – to urgently ensure that the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty enters into force.
Australia calls on all states which have not done so – and in particular the remaining Annex 2 countries – to ratify the CTBT without delay.