nuclear weapons

  • Source: "North Korea disarmament challenges"  

     North Korea now has between 20 and 60 nuclear bombs, including a hydrogen bomb. Here’s how we handle nations with nuclear bombs. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was created in the early 1970’s as a compact between the five nuclear powers (US, USSR, UK< France and China) and everyone else. At its core, the nuclear powers promise to share peaceful atomic energy technology with the non-nuclear states, as long as the non-nuclear states agree not to pursue nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) was created to monitor the non-nuclear states and help them with their peaceful atomic energy efforts. North Korea kicked out the IAEA in 2009.

    Precedents: India, Pakistan ad Israel have nuclear weapons and are not part of the Treaty. South Africa is the only nation to have actual nuclear weapons and then give them up completely under the NPT (early 90’s). Libya had the beginnings of a nuclear program and gave it up in the early 2000’s in exchange for sanctions being lifted. Iran is currently being monitored by the IAEA. Best precedent occurred after the fall of the USSR in 1991. Working together, the US and a newly democratic Russia dismantled hundreds o f nuclear bombs and centralized the rest, moving them by rail from newly independent nations like Ukraine and centralizing the remaining devices in Russia. Obviously, we can’t expect Russia cooperation now to help with North Korea. China will have to step up.