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Nuclear disarmament group ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its decade-long campaign to rid the world of the atomic bomb as nuclear-fuelled crises swirl over North Korea and Iran.

Members of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in Melbourne on Saturday.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, has defied United Nations sanctions prohibiting his isolated country's repeated nuclear weapons and missile testing, and he has threatened to strike the US heartland with the "nuclear sword of justice".

Sunao Tsuboi, a 92-year-old survivor of the Hiroshima bombing, said he was overjoyed to hear of the Nobel Peace award going to those who were also working toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Nobel Committee chairman Berit Reiss-Andersen told NTB news agency that she strongly disagrees with the foreign minister's opinion.

In its announcement, the Norwegian Nobel Committee referred to the organization's support for the International Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was approved by the United Nations in July.

Although the Nobel committee was explicit in saying it was not sending a political message to a specific leader, it was clear that there were implications for both Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who have invoked the threat of nuclear force.

The Norwegian committee that chooses the Nobel Peace Prize victor sorted through more than 300 nominations for this year's award, which recognizes both accomplishments and intentions. She also praised their efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition. Many would prefer to see Canada sign on to a ringing declaration of opposition to nuclear weapons, even if the agreement can at best be described as aspirational. The award was hailed by anti-nuclear campaigners around the world.

"Prime Minister [Erna Solberg] and I have congratulated ICAN, but we can not support a United Nations ban on nuclear weapons when none of the nuclear weapons countries are involved", Brende told local TV 2 channel, as cited by Norwegian media.

The Methodist Church has consistently stated that nuclear weapons are incompatible with ethical principles and worldwide law, advocating for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons through resources and support of community action. Representatives from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan and several other global powers signed the treaty, which proved effective for about a decade before World War II commenced.

Gordon Edwards, head of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, says the award to ICAN is "wonderful news". She believes it is highly important that awareness is raised that the treaty on prohibition of nuclear weapons has declared that kind of behaviour illegal.

"Nuclear weapons have the risk of literally ending the world", added the Swedish national, who took charge of ICAN in 2014.

A campaign group seeking a global ban on nuclear arms won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, given the award by a Nobel Committee that cited the spread of weapons to North Korea and said the risk was growing of nuclear war. Under the accord, Iran pledged never to "seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons" and said it was pursuing an "exclusively peaceful" nuclear energy program. "Japan should play the role of connecting them", he said.