Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

North Korea to join efforts for total nuclear weapons test ban

North Korea's ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament says his country wants to join global efforts to ban nuclear tests.

North Korea will join global efforts to ban nuclear weapons testing, an official from the regime has said, following an earlier pledge to halt all nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

In a move welcomed by Washington and Seoul, North Korea said at the weekend it will "completely" destroy the Punggye-ri test site, in a ceremony scheduled between May 23-25 in front of invited foreign media.

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Presently, above-ground testing is banned worldwide, and North Korea carried out its testing underground, in a hollowed out mountain. North Korea, India and Pakistan did not join the CTBT while the U.S., China, Egypt, Iran and Israel signed the agreement but did not ratify it.

Some observers believe that Han's remark suggests that the North offered to be part of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) ahead of its summit with the USA slated for next month. Formally backing the ban would go a long way toward reforming North Korea's worldwide reputation, after decades of ever-growing isolation.

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