The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today condemned North Korea’s underground test of a nuclear weapon, saying it underlined the urgency of efforts to agree the disarmament of all nuclear states, both established and emerging.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said “This unnecessary and provocative test will do nothing but harm prospects for a more stable, denuclearised Korean peninsula. We hope that – as in the aftermath of their earlier attempted test of a non-weaponised nuclear device in 2006 – North Korea now feels that it has ‘made its point’ and will pull back from the path of confrontation.”

She continued, “This launch cuts against the grain of efforts to secure the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula – a process that is vital to proving that negotiations, not military attacks, are the correct way to counter the spread of nuclear technologies. At a time when the US and Russia may be on the way towards serious strides for a world with fewer nuclear dangers, this is particularly unhelpful.”

“North Korea’s test shows the urgent need for all countries to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and for next year’s review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to be the springboard towards a convention banning all nuclear weapons. Decades of prevarication by the long-established nuclear powers have shown that the lack of progress towards disarmament does not create a static situation, but rather encourages a slide towards further nuclear proliferation. The UK is currently contributing to this problem by replacing Trident. The British government should cancel its own next-generation weapons and throw all its efforts into facilitating multilateral disarmament talks.”