THE DANGEROUS OUTSIDER: HISTORICIZING AND INTERROGATING THE NON-NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT)
Keywords:disarmament international politics, non-nuclear proliferation treaty, North Korea, nuclear states
The Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which is one of the world’s most widely adopted security conventions, which also proved to be one of the most controversial treaty. Its provisions define the core bargain between those few Nuclear weapon states and numerous Non-Nuclear weapon states. The paper examines the NPT and undertakes an excursus on the dangers posed to the international nuclear control effort by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Using secondary sources of information, the paper examines the NPT by tracing its historical basis. This enabled the study to interrogate the NPT, in spite of its major achievements, questions and criticisms are being raised about the implementation of the NPT and its overall strength. The past years have seen a series of efforts by multilateral institutions to enforce the treaty by combining restrictive measures and proposals for long-term arrangements. These efforts have not yielded results so far. The existing Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) are not required by the treaty to give up nuclear weapons but rather to negotiate in good faith. This has questioned the credibility of the nuclear states to press others to drop their nuclear ambitions. More ominous still, is the risk of the qualitative escalation of proliferation of nations following North Korea’s withdrawal and series of test. The findings of the study reveal that the potential danger posed by North Korea are in threefold; firstly, if there is war in the Korean peninsula it could use nuclear weapons against its neighbors. Secondly, North Korea could help other states build a nuclear reactor that could produce materials for nuclear weapon. And lastly, North Korea’s nuclear programme could breakdown the international regime intended to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. The paper concludes that the case of North Korea has proved that arms control by example is an important adjunct to specific nonproliferation treaties and cooperative measures. Although it cannot by itself stop states or leaders determined to violate an international agreement or tacit understanding, it can enhance the moral authority of the major powers to press others to drop their nuclear ambitions.
Efanodor-Obeten, O. H. | Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Edo University Iyamho, Edo State, Nigeria
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