At a time when the international community is re-kindling the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, the North Korean nuclear test is a source of real concern, says the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia.
"The World Council of Churches is deeply troubled by North Korea's nuclear test and profoundly concerned for the people of North Korea and surrounding countries", Kobia said in a public comment on the development - which has been headline news over the weekend and has produced a scurry of diplomatic activity in Washington DC and at the UN.
"There is no place for nuclear arsenals in international affairs – whether by a country like North Korea or by the eight other self-appointed nuclear powers that would have others believe their security requires weapons of mass destruction", Dr Kobia added.
Praising the "remarkably positive meeting" on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty held at the United Nations ten days ago, Kobia pointed out that: "It is unfortunate that North Korea was not there; neither were Pakistan, India or Israel."
The governing bodies of the World Council of Churches - which brings together over 340 of the world's major Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches, as well as cooperating with the worldwide Catholic Church - have repeatedly called on all states to join in negotiations and efforts towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.
WCC member churches in every region of the world have consistently condemned nuclear weapons as a sin against God and humankind.
The full text of the WCC general secretary's comment is here: http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=6834
More on the WCC's work on nuclear arms control: http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=3255