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(09/10/2006)

For Mother Earth condemns North Korean nuclear test, calls for global ban on nuclear weapons

With the detonation of a nuclear test this morning, North Korea has crossed a line which it should have never crossed. For Mother Earth, member of Friends of the Earth international, believes that the North Korean nuclear test is a provocative military activity, and calls for a global ban on the production, use, and testing of nuclear weapons.

The nuclear weapon test deserts the agreement between South and North Korea for the 'Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsular' and threatens peace in Northeast Asia. Regardless of its political and diplomatic intentions, North Korea’s foolishness is drawing war clouds over the Korean Peninsula. The nuclear test will not help the North Korean government stay in power, nor will it bring a long-awaited end to economic sanctions. Rather, the nuclear test will only spur more sanctions from the United States, and could instigate the reemergence of Japanese militarism. We will never approve of North Korean nuclear tests, or the development of nuclear weapons, in general. We urge North Korea to immediately stop all moves which threaten peace on the Korean peninsula.

It is also clear that pressure and sanctions from the Bush Administration and Japan have contributed to North Korea’s miscalculated provocation. Therefore, we should seek a peaceful resolution to the situation rather than being swept up in the possible militant frenzy of neighboring countries and international society. Though some are calling for military measures, such actions will only worsen the situation.

The 'Peaceful Resolution' to the nuclear problem and 'Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula' can not be compromised. Fervently working towards a peaceful resolution is the only way to prevent a disastrous war on the Korean Peninsula and to maintain the Korean people's existence. It is time for political and civil societies, regardless of their own interests, to work hard to find peaceful ways to solve the crisis caused by North Korea’s nuclear test.

At the same time, we must also work towards a global ban on nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are the most destructive weapons ever developed, and the testing of these weapons has caused large-scale environmental damage around the world. To date, there have been 2058 nuclear tests world wide. The majority of these were conducted by the United States and the Soviet Union. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review conference in 2000 agreed that one of the most important steps to achieving global nuclear disarmament was the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). This treaty has been signed and ratified by 135 states, but requires the signature and ratification of all states with the capacity to develop nuclear weapons before it can come into force. North Korea has so far refused to sign or ratify the treaty. Of the other nuclear weapon states India, and Pakistan have neither signed nor ratified the treaty; the United States, China and Israel have signed the treaty but have failed to ratify it.

October 9th, 2006

(Based on the statement of the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement-Friends of the Earth Korea)



Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels (formerly For Mother Earth) is a member of Friends of the Earth International