Foreign ministers of non-nuclear nations criticize North Korea’s nuclear development

Joint declaration adopted: Kishida calls for meeting to be held in Hiroshima

by Junpei Fujimura, Staff Writer

THE HAGUE – The Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), which consists of Japan and nine other nations that do not possess nuclear weapons, was held on April 9 in The Hague, Netherlands. New proposals on nuclear disarmament were formulated at the meeting, which was attended by Japan’s foreign minister, Fumio Kishida. The ministers also adopted a joint declaration that strongly condemned North Korea, which has proceeded with the development of nuclear weapons and missiles and has repeatedly behaved provocatively.

The NPDI hopes to have its proposals on nuclear disarmament incorporated into the final document of the 2015 review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Six types of documents were reviewed, including one with which nuclear nations prepare reports on their progress on reducing their nuclear arsenals in a shared format and another obligating nuclear nations to submit to rigorous inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Amid growing concern about a possible ballistic missile launch by North Korea, that nation came in for increasing criticism by the foreign ministers. At a joint press conference after the meeting, Mr. Kishida said, “North Korea poses a serious threat to the international community. We must send a strong message urging North Korea to refrain from further extreme behavior and stressing that this behavior is not in its interest.”

The joint declaration included a request for North Korea to refrain from further acts of provocation and also expressed concern about Iran’s nuclear development.

At the meeting, Mr. Kishida, a native of Hiroshima, announced his idea for the creation of a new program to be called “Youth Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons.” This program, under which young people will tell of the horrors of the effects of nuclear weapons, won the support of the ministers of the other countries represented at the meeting. Mr. Kishida underscored the significance of holding the next NPDI Ministerial Meeting in Hiroshima in April of next year and said, “I would like the meeting to be the starting point for a world without nuclear weapons.”

The ministerial meetings have been held twice a year since 2010. This was the sixth meeting. The spring meeting is held in one of the member countries, while the fall meeting is held in New York.


Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative
Ten non-nuclear nations participate in the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative: Japan, Australia, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Chile, Poland and Mexico. The NPDI works to come up with specific, practical proposals on disarmament in order to implement the action plans agreed on at the 2010 Review Conference for the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

(Originally published on April 10, 2013)