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MOSCOW, February 12 (Itar-Tass) – North Korea’s nuclear tests may impel Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons, the chairman of Russia’s Federation Council international affairs committee, Mikhail Margelov, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
“Tests increase tensions in the region, where, to different estimates, two dozens of disputable interstate situations remain unresolved,” he said. “It is clear that tests of such weapons carried out by Pyongyang, whose policy in many respects reduces itself to a challenge for the world community, can impel economically strong neighbours of North Korea – Japan and South Korea – to develop their own nuclear bomb.”
“Nowadays other countries of the region are capable of obtaining such weapons as well,” he said.
He supposed that new sanctions against North Korea may be imposed. Moreover, an arms race may be triggered in North Korea’s neighbouring countries.
“Neither this nor that will change the situation,” Margelov said. “Sanctions will not stop nuclear ambitions – Pyongyang drove itself into full international isolation as it is, while demonstration of force will only cause escalation of tensions in the region threatening it with destabilization.”
If the world community does not bring North Korea back to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the IAEA monitoring, “proliferation of nuclear weapons will become uncontrollable. This, taking into account “temperament” of probable uninvited members of the nuclear weapons club may have unpredictable consequences,” Margelov said.
On Tuesday morning North Korea held its third nuclear test. The size of the seismic activity indicated a nuclear explosion at 6-7 kilotons. Russia’s Defence Ministry fixed the blast measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale 380 kilometers northeast of Pyongyang.
Pyongyang also carried out its nuclear tests in 2006 and in 2009.