Voicing concern about the stated intention of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to carry out a nuclear test in the future, Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned today that such a move would be counter-productive and worsen tensions in the region, and he called on the country’s leadership to maintain the current moratorium on testing.
In a statement issued by his spokesman at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Mr. Annan said he “shares the global concern” regarding the DPRK’s avowal to conduct a nuclear test.
“Such action, if undertaken, would further aggravate tensions in the region,” the statement said. “It would bring universal condemnation by the international community and will not help the DPRK achieve the goals expressed in its statement, particularly with regard to strengthening its security.”
The Secretary-General urged Pyongyang “to exercise utmost restraint and adhere to the international community’s norm on nuclear testing and also observe the current moratorium.”
He called on the North Koreans to return to the Six-Party Talks – comprising the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States – to ensure that the nuclear issue and any other security concerns on the Korean peninsula are solved through negotiations.
Earlier today, the Security Council’s President for October, Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan, said the issue of DPRK and its nuclear programme would be near the top of the Council’s agenda this month.