International Monitoring of North Korea’s 2016 Nuclear Test

E-International Relations, February 5, 2016

Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

E-IRThe Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) or North Korea conducted a nuclear test on January 6, 2016. The recent test takes the count of nuclear tests conducted by North Korea to a total of four with previous tests in October 2006, May 2009 and February 2013. Following the January 2016 test, North Korea released a statement claiming that it had tested a small H-bomb or thermonuclear bomb. The North Korea test resulted in widespread global condemnation led by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the United States, China, South Korea and Japan. However, subsequent differences over measures to curb the expanding North Korean nuclear and missile arsenal and over imposition of economic sanctions have evoked what Ralph Cossa describes as a sense of déjà-vu.

Rather than dwell on the best possible manner to deal with Pyongyang, this article will focus on the expanding capabilities of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO)’s International Monitoring System (IMS) to successfully detect even a fairly small nuclear test in any part of the globe with a high degree of probability

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