Happy 'Nuclear Free' Anniversary Kim Jong-il

Press release - 8 October, 2006
Greenpeace today appealed to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, to halt plans for a nuclear test that would coincide with the ninth anniversary of his leadership.

"Rather than testing a nuclear weapon, Kim Jong-il should celebrate the occasion by taking a step towards a nuclear free world," said Steve Shallhorn, Executive Director, Greenpeace Australia Pacific. "As long as some countries have nuclear weapons other countries will inevitably seek to achieve them. Not only should North Korea refrain from this test and renounce its nuclear weapons programme, so should each and every one of the other nuclear weapons states."

Such a test will not only increase tensions in the Korean Peninsular but could also lead to a nuclear arms race in South East Asia. South Korea has expressed an interest in obtaining stockpiles of plutonium similar to that of Japan, who has not only one of the world's largest stockpiles but also the most advanced missile technology (1).

"North Korea has believed to have benefited from trade of nuclear materials with Pakistan and Iran. Nuclear power and nuclear weapons are not the solution they are the problem," concluded Shallhorn.

Other contacts: Steve Shallhorn, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, +61 400 514 727Mhairi Dunlop, Greenpeace International Communications, +44 7801 212 960

Notes: 1 - The prospects for Japan making the decision to develop nuclear weapons is contained in the 2005 paper, "Thinking the Unthinkable", Dr Frank Barnaby and Shaun Burnie, Oxford Research Group/Greenpeace International.