Latest: Michael D. Higgins congratulates Nobel Peace Prize winners

Update 5.27pm: The President of Ireland has sent congratulations on behalf of the people of Ireland to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons on winning the Nobel Peace Prize 2017.

Michael D. Higgins said this will have enlarged the hope that those opposed to nuclear weapons got with the recent vote by 122 countries of the United Nations in favour of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

When the required number of nations sign the Treaty, the Treaty will become an instrument of international law.

President Higgins said the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is not only an award to all the organisations in that collective but also to all the members and their supporters.

Earlier: The International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

At a time of heightened nuclear tensions arising from North Korea's military tests, the Nobel committee made the award and lauded the campaign to rid the planet of the weapons of mass destruction.

The committee, meeting in Norway's capital Oslo, also called on existing nuclear nations to take steps to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

The campaign was hailed "for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons".

The North Korean regime led by Kim Jong Un has conducted several increasingly sophisticated nuclear tests and also expanded its missile programme to include weapons allegedly capable of striking parts of the United States.

US president Donald Trump has ridiculed Mr Kim as Rocket Man and has warned North Korea he will take all measures needed to stop the programme.

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