North Korea announced on Sep 3, 2017 that it had conducted its sixth nuclear test.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the hydrogen bomb test on Sunday morning, ordered by leader Kim Jong-un, was a “perfect success“. The news agency hailed the bomb’s “unprecedentedly large power“, saying it “marked a very significant occasion in attaining the final goal of completing the state nuclear force“. See North Korea confirms sixth nuclear test, Aljazeera.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation confirmed that an ‘unusual seismic event‘ took place in North Korea at 3:30am GMT, which is consistent with the time given by North Korea for its nuclear test. ‘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.’ CTBTO press release, Sep 3, 2017.
Pyongyang earlier on Sunday reported details of its latest weapon, claiming it has developed a more advanced nuclear bomb that can be loaded onto a intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
These developments are likely to further inflame the tensions in North East Asia, and between North Korea and the United States, which have included threats and counter threats of military attack and even the possible use of nuclear weapons.
Abolition 2000 members appeal
Abolition 2000 members have called on the leaders of China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and USA to step back from the nuclear brink and resolve the underlying conflict through diplomacy.
An Appeal from Abolition 2000 members for a diplomatic solution in North East Asia, was sent on September 7 to the leaders and officials of these countries, and also to the United Nations Secretary-General and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The appeal was endorsed by 110 organisations and over 200 additional civil society representatives from 44 countries (all the continents except Antarctica). Endorsers include parliamentarians, mayors/city representatives, scientists, academics, business leaders, medical professionals, veterans, educators/teachers, Nobel Peace Laureates, Right Livelihood Award laureates (the ‘alternative Nobel Peace Prize’), religious leaders, artists, nuclear victims, lawyers, women’s organisations, youth, former UN officials & diplomats, NGO leaders and other civil society campaigners.
Quotes from endorsers
‘We support this call for diplomatic approach for North Korea. As we experienced during our visit to North Korea the people want peace not war‘
Mairead Corrigan Maguire (Northern Ireland), Nobel Peace Laureate and member of the Women Cross DMZ, the group of women who walked from North Korea to South Korea in support of peace.
‘I feel sad for the ordinary folk who live in North Korea. We [in the USSR] went through that too. We thought having weapons of mass destruction means being stronger and more powerful, but it is like an illusion. It is like carrying a huge rock up a steep mountain.’
Karipbek Kuyukov (Kazakhstan), Second generation victim of nuclear tests and Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM Project, endorser of the Appeal for a diplomatic solution in North East Asia.
‘The threat to use nuclear weapons is the threat to deploy state-sponsored terrorism either in assault or retaliation.’
David C Hall MD. (USA). Past president, Physicians for Social Responsibility
We support the call for a negotiated settlement of the dispute between Korea and USA, Japan, South Korea and neighboring countries with a view to cessation of nuclear testing in the interests of humanity and protection of the planet.
Ela Gandhi (South Africa), Grand-daughter of Mohandas Gandhi. Chair of Gandhi Development Trust. Vice-President of Religions for Peace
‘The standoff between the “leaders” of the United States and North Korea demonstrates the futility of nuclear weapons and the existential risk posed to humanity by their continued existence. There is no military solution to the standoff. Sincere, sustained diplomatic efforts are the only option for a peaceful resolution.’
Leonard Eiger (USA). Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
‘I endorse the appeal to the nations of the world for deep thought before some nations begin more threat of nuclear weapons—or even USE. Any appeal before use—by nations who cannot bear the thought of nuclear weapons being used again. Wasn’t it enough to see what they do ? Another Hiroshima? Oh NO.’
Kara Nelson aged 97. Waiheke Island peace walker