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French nuclear testing



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MINISTER FOR

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

*

NEWS RELEASE

No. M184 Date 9 December 1984

FRENCH NUCLEAR TESTING

The M i n i s t e r f o r F o r e i g n A f f a i r s , Mr B i L l Hayden MPZ c o mmen t i ng on

r e p o r t s t h a t F r a n c e had c o n d u c t e d one and p o s s i b l y t wo a d d i t i o n a l n u c l e a r t e s t s

a t M o r ur ua A t o l l , t o d a y c r i t i c i s e d F r a n c e f o r c o n t i n u i n g t o i g n o r e t h e p r o t e s t s

o f a l l Sout h P a c i f i c c o u n t r i e s a g a i n s t n u c l e a r t e s t i n g i n t h e r e g i o n .

The S e i s m o l o g i c a l S t a t i o n a t R a r a t o n g a r e p o r t e d t h a t a n u c l e a r e x p l o s i o n

o f a b o u t 7 0 k t m a g n i t u d e had been c o n d u c t e d on 6 December 1 9 8 4 . The s t a t i o n a l s o

r e p o r t e d t h a t i t had r e c o r d e d on 1 December an e v e n t w h i c h c o u l d have been a

low y i e l d n u c l e a r e x p l o s i o n .

" T h i s makes f o r s u r e s e v e n , p o s s i b l y e i g h t , F r e n c h n u c l e a r t e s t s t h i s

y e a r " , s a i d Mr Hayden.

" T h i s c o n t i n u e d d e f i a n c e o f t h e f i r m l y e x p r e s s e d demands o f a l l t h e

c o u n t r i e s o f t h e Sout h P a c i f i c r e g i o n i s d e e p l y o f f e n s i v e t o A u s t r a l i a n s , t o o u r

r e g i o n a l n e i g h b o u r s and t o d e c e n t p e o p l e e v e r y w h e r e . The F r e n c h a c t i o n shows a

c o n t e mp t f o r t h e v i e w s and i n t e r e s t s o f S o u t h P a c i f i c p e o p l e w h i c h can o n l y

e x a c e r b a t e p o l i t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s b et w e e n F ra n c e and t h e p e o p l e s o f t h e Sout h

P a c i f i c " , Mr Hayden s a i d .

Mr Hayden s a i d t h a t t h e l a t e s t t e s t , w h i c h was c o n d u c t e d soon a f t e r

109 c o u n t r i e s had v o t e d i n t h e F i r s t C o mmi t t e e on t h e UN G e n e r a l A s s e m b l y f o r ,

and n o t one c o u n t r y a g a i n s t , an A u s t r a l i a / N e w Z e a l a n d r e s o l u t i o n c a l l i n g f o r

p r a c t i c a l wor k t o w a r d s a t r e a t y t o ban a l l n u c l e a r t e s t s by a l l S t a t e s i n a l l

e n v i r o n m e n t s a l s o r e f l e c t e d how f a r o u t o f t o u c h w i t h w o r l d o p i n i o n t h e F re n c h

n u c l e a r t e s t i n g p r o gr a m was.

R e f e r r i n g t o p r e s s r e p o r t s e a r l i e r t h i s week on comments a t t r i b u t e d t o

t h e Fr e n c h Con sul G e n e r a l , Mr L e d u n , t o t h e e f f e c t t h a t F r a n c e m i g h t r e l o c a t e

i t s n u c l e a r t e s t i n g s i t e t o t h e K e r g u e l e n I s l a n d s i n t h e I n d i a n O c e a n , Mr Hayden

c a l l e d on F ra n c e t o cease e x p o r t i n g i t s p o l i t i c a l p r o b l e m s t o o t h e r r e g i o n s o f

t h e w o r l d . He added t h a t i f F r a n c e i n s i s t e d on c o n t i n u i n g t o t e s t n u c l e a r

weapons i n s h o u l d do so i n m e t r o p o l i t a n F r a n c e . A u s t r a l i a ' s o b j e c t i v e , h o w e v e r ,

was a g l o b a l ban on n u c l e a r t e s t s e v e r y w h e r e .