Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that India and Pakistan did not suffer sanctions from having joined the nuclear club. This is factually incorrect.
Caracas, Oct 9, 2006 (Venezuelanalysis.com).- The Venezuelan government joined the international chorus of condemnation following North Korea’s nuclear weapons test.
“As a matter of principle, Venezuela is against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and condemns these kinds of tests due to the immense damage they cause to the planet,” Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said to reporters after a meeting with Canary Islands government leader Martin Menis in Caracas.
According to international media reports, North Korea successfully finished an underground nuclear weapons test using soviet-era technology as well as technology and materials provided by nuclear guru AQ Khan of US-backed Pakistan.
“We are against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and we are doing a great effort in all international scenarios so that countries that have nuclear weapons start eliminating them progressively, so that we can move towards a world without nuclear weapons,” Maduro said.
“We have enough destructive elements threatening life on this planet, and we do not need the advancement of these policies of nuclear tests no matter who does them,” the Foreign Minister added.
“America, the whole continent, should be declared a nuclear weapons free zone. In that sense we condemn all nuclear weapons tests due to the immense damage they cause to life on this planet which is already deteriorated as a result of a developing model based on consumerism, which has led to global warming and to the destruction of life,” he added.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister further commented that Venezuela opposes the North Korean test “due to principles and due to our humanist policies.”
Echoing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Maduro said nuclear energy should be used for peaceful purposes such as “providing electricity to important regions of the global south that do not enjoy this public service, to treat cancer, and for other aspects related to human life, never for the destruction of human kind.”
North Korea’s nuclear weapons test has been condemned by numerous countries around the world, including the United States, which is calling for sanctions against the Asian country.
North Korea has become the latest member of the elite club of nuclear powers, joining the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Israel, and Pakistan.
The Venezuelan government condemnation comes a months after local media erroneously cited a US intelligence report about the existence of an alleged secret agreement between Iran and Venezuela through which Venezuela, as well as Cuba, would receive nuclear weapons from Iran. In spite of the fact that the article was based on another article by US author Kenneth Rijock, and not on a US intelligence report, the piece was widely covered by international media agencies. Venezuelan officials described it as part of a campaign to portray Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a threat to international peace.