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North Korea's nuclear tests affect Russian national security, says senior MP

Nuclear tests by North Korea violate the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and pose a threat to Russia's national security, a senior Russian parliamentarian wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday. "The North Korean nuclear program is implemented by the state that shares the border with Russia," Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the upper house's international affairs committee, wrote.

"The distance from Pyongyang to (Russia's Far Eastern) Vladivostok is less than 700 kilometers. And any activity of the DPRK in this direction directly affects national security of our country," he noted. He said that if information about a nuclear test by North Korea proved to be true, this meant "yet another violation of the spirit of the CTBT by Pyongyang".

He said three nuclear states - North Korea, India and Pakistan - had not signed the de-facto document. Five nuclear states, including the US, signed it but have not ratified. Besides, the US and North Korea were the only states that 10 years ago came out against a UN General Assembly's resolution in support of the Treaty, the parliamentarian from the Federation Council noted.

He said Russia was doing all it could to see the document signed and ratified by all nuclear states, adding that Washington had special responsibility in preventing the Korean nuclear threat.

"It will be interesting to see how the US will behave. It is the very case when it has special responsibility and a unique opportunity to demonstrate principles of the leader. Starting with itself," he added.

North Korea's central television said on Wednesday morning Pyongyang had conducted a successful test of a thermonuclear bomb.

North Korea previously conducted three nuclear tests: in 2006, in 2009 and in 2013. Following these tests, the United Nations Security Council imposed different kinds of sanctions on Pyongyang. In the past two years, North Korea refrained from nuclear tests limiting itself to ballistic missile launches as a response to South Korea's and the United States' large-scale military exercises.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un said on December 10 the country had a hydrogen bomb of its own. "We have managed to become a great nuclear power capable of protecting the independence and national dignity of our Motherland with the might of strikes by nuclear and hydrogen bombs," Kim Jong-Un was quoted by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 06Jan16]

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