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N. Korea urged to join CTBT

2016/01/06 15:56

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- A global agency fighting against nuclear tests called on North Korea Wednesday to drop its nuclear ambitions and join a related international treaty.

The call by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) came after the North's announcement of a "completely successful" hydrogen bomb test.

The Vienna-based body said it picked up an "unusual seismic event" in the North earlier in the day.

"If confirmed as a nuclear test, this act constitutes a breach of the universally accepted norm against nuclear testing; a norm that has been respected by 183 countries since 1996," Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the commission, said in an emailed statement. "It is also a grave threat to international peace and security."

   He urged Pyongyang to refrain from further nuclear testing and join the group of 183 signatories to the CTBT.

He also expressed hope that the North's announcement will serve as the "final wake-up call" to the international community to outlaw all nuclear testing by bringing the CTBT into force.

On the North's seismic activity, the commission said the location is very similar to that detected in 2013 when it conducted a third underground nuclear experiment.

"Our initial location estimate shows that the event took place in the area of the DPRK's nuclear test site," it said, using the acronym for North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "Our experts are now analyzing the event to establish more about its nature."