IPPNW response to the May 25, 2009 nuclear test by the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea
IPPNW has released the
following statement, signed by the Federation's three Co-Presidents.
May 28, 2009
Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War regrets the nuclear test conducted
by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
As an organization
of doctors, we deplore the squandering of scarce resources of all the nuclear
powers in the time of world wide economic recession on the development of weapons
- especially weapons of mass destruction - instead of investing in health, education,
economic development and other social needs that provide true security.
research has shown how even a small amount of nuclear bomb explosions in a limited
nuclear crisis will destroy the crops globally for decades and lead to a world
wide famine. Thus, this test is a backward step for regional and global security
at a time of renewed international commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons.
new test explosion of a nuclear device, coupled with short-range missile tests,
does nothing to improve the DPRK's security. To the contrary, the predictable
response from North Korea's neighbors and from countries around the world has
been to further isolate the country and to demand punitive actions.
calls for increased contact and communication with the people of the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and will work with our affiliate, the Korean
Anti-Nuke Peace Physicians (KANPP) towards that end. We also call on all parties
to show restraint so that this situation does not escalate into a military confrontation.
If the DPRK nuclear tests provoke a nuclear arms race in the region, either
through the increased presence of US or other nuclear forces, or through the acquisition
of nuclear weapons by other countries in North Asia, the net effect will be greater
regional tension and instability, and the risk of an armed conflict that could
lead to the use of nuclear weapons.
The government of the DPRK has said
it wants to work for a nuclear-weapons-free Korean peninsula. Proposals for a
North Asian nuclear-weapon-free zone - which would include Japan and would have
the backing of the United States, China, and Russia - have been on the table for
several years. We are convinced that the DPRK's own security interests would be
best served by halting the development of nuclear weapons and by entering good
faith negotiations to bring this nuclear-weapon-free zone into existence.
At the same time, the double standard by which some states have claimed that
nuclear weapons are essential to their security while denying that right to others
is both reprehensible and unsustainable. The urgent need for a global nuclear-weapon-free
zone through the negotiation and adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Convention is the
real lesson of this unfortunate decision by a tragically isolated state.
John, Sergey Kolesnikov, and Vappu Taipale
Co-presidents of IPPNW