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Test Ban Organization Says Resumption of U.S. Nuclear Testing Would Pose Challenge to Global Peace

May 29, 2020 (EIRNS)—Lassina Zerbo, the executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), warned, in response to questions from the London Guardian yesterday, that a U.S. return to testing reportedly being contemplated by the Trump Administration would present a “grave challenge to global peace and security.” His remarks also run counter to claims by U.S. officials that Russia and China have violated the test ban.

Since 1999, the CTBTO has set up a network of 300 seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound, and radionuclide sensors around the world—the International Monitoring System (IMS)—that helped identify nuclear tests by India, Pakistan, and North Korea. “The CTBTO’s international monitoring system [IMS] has been operating as normal and has not detected any unusual event,” Zerbo said, apparently referring to U.S. claims that Russia and China have carried out nuclear tests sufficiently powerful to produce a yield. “The IMS, complemented by the national technical means of the states signatories themselves, provides full confidence that the system can detect nuclear test explosions.”

Zerbo added that the only way to remove all doubts was to bring the Test-Ban Treaty into force, which requires the signing and ratification of the treaty by all nuclear weapon states. “At that point, the provisions for on-site inspections would come into effect, allowing for on-site visits at short notice if requested by any state party.”

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