12 February 2013

South Africa: Government's Position On the Nuclear Test Conducted By the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

press release

The South African Government strongly condemns the latest nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The test is a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions calling on the DPRK not to conduct any further nuclear tests.

Since the announcement by the DPRK in February 2005 that it had developed a nuclear weapon deterrent capability, South Africa has consistently called on the DPRK to verifiably dismantle any nuclear weapons, to return to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) without delay, to place all its facilities under comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification, and to contribute through strengthened confidence-building measures to global nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.

At the same time, South Africa recognises the rights of all NPT member states to legitimately develop nuclear energy for peaceful civilian purposes. However, the actions of the DPRK are categorically denounced.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said: "South Africa believes that it is a prerequisite for peace and security in the region that the DPRK, as a confidence building measure, verifiably proves to the international community that it has permanently and fully dismantled any nuclear weapons. South Africa continues to urge all parties involved to avoid any actions that could exacerbate the volatile situation in the region."

Issued by: Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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