January 7, 2016
For immediate release
The Coalition of Nuclear Disarmament and Peace(CNDP) strongly condemns the nuclear weapons test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The North Korean regime, which is highly authoritarian and militarist, has tried to consolidate itself internally through such aggressive moves. Carried out in defiance of the opinions of international citizens groups desirous of peace, this display of nuclear bravado will only embolden the nuclear hawks in other countries, including the United States, Japan and South Korea, thereby promoting the possibility of further nuclear weapons acquisition while adding fuel to regional and global militarization and arms racing.
Shortly after the end of the Cold War there were promising steps taken towards the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula which was even agreed to by North Korea which had not tested nuclear weapons then. This outcome however was contingent above all on the United States normalizing political relations with North Korea. When the United States eventually decided not to do this and decided instead to further its regional geopolitical interests, it sought to portray North Korea as an existential threat in the region going so far as to name it as part of the “axis of evil”. While the North Korean regime must be condemned thereafter for carrying out its multiple nuclear tests, therefore, the United States must also share a considerable part of the blame for this development, both through imposing sanctions (always done selectively) and for failing to move towards disarmament in the Korean peninsula and elsewhere.
More generally, it is hypocritical of all Nuclear Weapons states, including the United States and India, to condemn North Korea for acquiring nuclear weapons while rationalizing and justifying their own nuclear arsenal. All of them bear responsibility for the global nuclear predicament.