Responding to the North Korean Bomb

Tasneem Jamal

Briefing 06-6

Ernie Regehr

Scarcely a year before its October 9 test of a nuclear warhead, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea or the DPRK) made a commitment, in a joint statement with its partners in the Six-Party Talks, “to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards.”

Immediately after the North Korean nuclear test, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (2006) warned of the inevitable deterioration of humanitarian conditions for a Korean population already enduring extreme suffering. If China and South Korea, which have been the leading providers of economic and food aid to the North, respond to the nuclear tests with an embargo, day-to-day living conditions in North Korea will deteriorate rapidly.

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