For immediate release: 9 January 2003

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) today urged the government of North Korea to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Given the apparent drive towards war on Iraq, it is quite legitimate for North Korea, described by the United States as part of the ‘Axis of Evil’, to feel vulnerable. It is also the case that the five declared nuclear weapons states (United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China) have not honoured their commitments under the NPT.

However, by withdrawing from the NPT and leaving the option open to develop nuclear weapons at some future point, North Korea has not helped to stabilise global security.

In a letter to General Secretary Kim Jong-il, CND called upon North Korea to stay within the NPT and to honour its commitment to it by renouncing any intention to develop nuclear weapons.

CND Chair Carol Naughton said:

“The only successful way in the long-term to resolve the world’s complex problems is by dialogue leading to international arms control treaties, by which all abide. The NPT may not be perfect but it’s the best we’ve got and if all states fulfil their obligations, the world will be a much safer place.”

She also drew attention to the responsibilities of the nuclear weapons states (NWS) when she added:

“Once again today we have seen the hypocrisy of the NWS condemning North Korea’s decision while at the same time keeping hold of their own nuclear arsenal. The NPT does not just apply to some signatories, it applies to all.”

Contact details: CND Press mobiles: 07968 420859 or 07736 698702