Experts

  • Position : Executive Secretary
  • Affiliation : Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
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Lassina Zerbo: “If nuclear testing is resumed, we lose a dream”

21.01.2016

MOSCOW, JANURY 20, 2016. PIR-PRESS — “Unless the CTBT enters into force, there is a risk that countries will pull out of the agreement and once again carry out nuclear tests. In that case, we would lose twenty years of hard work and fifty to sixty years of negotiations on a treaty and a dream.” Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO.

On January 6, 2016, the government of North Korea announced that it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb “constructed with domestic technology.” While independent sources have not yet been able to confirm or deny this information, what is known is that the observation stations of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) registered “unusual seismic event in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” on that day at 10:30 Korean time.  

In an interview with the Editor-in-Chief of the Security Index journal, Olga Mostinskaya, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO Lassina Zerbo stated that experts of the organization detected “suspicious activity in that part of the peninsula that is commonly used as a testing site” shortly before the explosion.

The diplomat noted that “our preliminary analysis shows that the event in question is similar to the one that occurred in 2013, not only in terms of location – the location matches that of three previous cases – but also in terms of magnitude. Given that the magnitude was on the same or even a lower level than in the previous case, some experts consider it unlikely that we are talking about a hydrogen bomb.”

According to Lassina Zerbo, the monitoring system for nuclear tests currently in place is fragile. Its stability could be enhanced by the accession of those countries that have not yet signed the CTBT. “Unless the treaty enters into force, there is a risk that countries will pull out of the agreement and once again carry out nuclear tests. In that case, we would lose twenty years of work and fifty to sixty years of negotiations on a treaty and a dream,” concluded the CTBTO's Preparatory Commission Executive Secretary.

Read the full interview on the PIR Center website.

For all questions related to the “Security Indexjournal, Editor-in-Chief Olga Mostinskaya is available at +7 (495) 987 19 15 or via email at mostinskaya at pircenter.org.


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