Joint appeal of Belgium, Iraq and the CTBTO regarding North Korea and the CTBT

Joint appeal by Mr Didier Reynders, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Mr Ibrahim Al-Jafari, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq and Dr Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization

 
As Co-Coordinators of the Article XIV process and as the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, we welcome the recent bilateral and multilateral efforts to find a peaceful, diplomatic and long-lasting solution to the nuclear crisis with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including the summit meeting between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un scheduled for 12 June 2018 in Singapore. It is our sincere hope that the outcomes of these talks provide a basis for progress on the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The verification regime of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its implementing organization possess the necessary tools and specialized expertise to verify compliance with a nuclear test prohibition in any disarmament related agreement, while promoting confidence and cooperation between all parties.

It is of paramount importance that a legally binding and irreversible end to the nuclear testing programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea be part of any comprehensive, negotiated agreement to end the nuclear crisis and achieve denuclearization. This can be achieved through the signature and ratification of the CTBT by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Finally, the unfinished and long overdue business of the entry into force of the CTBT is a critical step along the path to a world free from nuclear weapons and would constitute a concrete measure towards this globally shared objective. Therefore we call on all States that have not yet done so – in particular the non-ratifying Annex 2 States – to sign and ratify the CTBT without delay.