Vienna, 9 October 2006 Press release

Plassnik: "Stop playing with fire"


Foreign Minister condemns nuclear test in North Korea

Vienna, 9 October 2006 – Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik strongly condemned last night’s nuclear test in North Korea: "This will not create more security, but rather worsen the current security situation. North Korea must stop playing with fire and return to the negotiating table immediately. The strategy of aggressive self-isolation pursued by the North Korean leadership with nuclear means is a dangerous dead-end".

Just last September, the six-party talks involving the two Koreas, China, the USA, Japan, and Russia entered a promising stage. However, no negotiations have taken place since November 2005. "Following the unilateral escalation by Pyongyang, the resumption of negotiations is more important than ever. We must not stop insisting on a negotiated solution towards Pyongyang. Every other development carries the danger of increased tensions and further rearmament efforts", the Foreign Minister continued.

"Alongside the threat to regional stability, the example of North Korea once again underlines the importance of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Austria is thus consistently committed to promoting non-proliferation along with the disarmament of the nuclear states", Plassnik emphasised.

"Now the UN Security Council will have to concern itself with this matter. I hope the UN Security Council’s confirmation of the candidacy of Ban Ki-moon for the office of UN Secretary-General, scheduled for today, will open up new opportunities for finding a solution for the Korean peninsula”, Plassnik concluded.

Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213