1 Introduction Thispaper attempts to precisely attend to the task “In 2003, North Korea withdrewfrom the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
Develop a general argument forwhy states participate (or not) in arms-control agreements. In light of thisframework, discuss the North Korean decision and assess the probability of thiscountry re-joining the NPT in the future.” I choose this topic due to the internationaland domestic concerns of arms control that states face. After the Cold War, therewas a clear agenda to control nuclear weapons and political rivalries, it onlymakes sense that states would want to join together and participate in makingagreements for the purpose of preventing conflicts and preserving peace. Thisraises an important question onto why states such as North Korea choose notcomply with arms agreements that is aimed at lessening nuclear concerns andpromoting cooperation. Due to the constraints that these agreements contain andthe disproportionate balance of power, my prediction is that North Korea willnot re-join the NPT.
Thispaper continues as follows: first I will go into a brief overview on armscontrol after the Cold War and the need for wanting agreements. Secondly, Iwill explain what the NPT is and the importance of such agreements. Here, mymain theoretical argument is surrounding on the effectiveness of arms controlagreements and its institutional design which explains the reasoning on why statesjoin arms control agreements. With the present scope of this topic, I will notbe able to touch on every relevant aspect but will expand on my analysis andempirical evidence to the best of my ability. Third, I will examine the reasoningfor why North Korea pulled out of the NPT and the probability of themre-joining in the future. Lastly, the paper will conclude with a short summary,and leave room for potential future research and discussion. 2Argument and Analysis2.
1 TheoryArmscontrol has developed a great deal in theory and in practice during and afterthe Cold War. After the Cold War, theissue of arms control was strategically being planned consciously during thepostwar period as an alternative to disarmament. This was being done as a meansof reducing the likelihood of war and to keep states from advancing in theirarms production.
Advocates of arms control came together as an approach tolimit the hostility between nations1. It is very unlikely andunrealistic that arms production could be stopped completely. The results wouldbe dangerous for any nation to seek the complete elimination of weapons, and itwould not necessarily reduce the likelihood of war if there are already presenttensions within states. Arms control agendas seek to create a stable balance ofpower in which the forces that cause states to go to war can be properlycontrolled and continually regulated2.
The emphasis in armscontrol is focused on overall stability instead of completely eliminating arms,and proponents do recognize that an increase in weaponry is sometimes requiredto preserve a balance of power. Moreover, following a seriesof arms and military treaties over the years, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferationof Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is seen as a landmark treaty which had the objectiveto “prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promotecooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal ofachieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament3.” The Treaty entered intoforce in 1970 and has a review every five years.
So far a total of 191 Stateshave joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon states. Morecountries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmamentagreement, which highlights the Treaty’s significance4. Additionally,the NPT central bargain is that non-nuclear weapon states agree to neveracquire nuclear weapons and in exchange that current nuclear-weapon states agreeto share the benefits of “peaceful nuclear technology and to pursue nucleardisarmament aimed at the ultimate elimination of their nuclear arsenals”5.
When looking at the overallgoal of preventing proliferation, it cannot be accomplished by one or a fewstates acting alone, no matter how powerful those states may be. Largearms control agreements, such as the NPT, require the assistance, commitment,and cooperation of the international community acting together cohesively inorder to limit the spread and monitor the use of the technologies relatedto acquiring nuclear weapons6.Furthermore,governments that are concerned about the dangers from the use of nuclearweapons by either states, insurgency groups, terrorists, will doing everythingin its power to strengthen the NPT and nothing to weaken it.
The NPT embodiesthe commitment of the vast majority of the world’s states to prevent the spreadof nuclear weapons into the possession of additional countries. 1Comw.org. (2017). Arms Control in an Age of Strategic and Military Revolution.online Available at: http://www.
comw.org/pda/0511rm11.html Accessed 5 Dec.2017. 2 Americanforeignrelations.
com.(2017). The cold war – Arms Control and Disarmament. onlineAvailable at:http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/A-D/Arms-Control-and-Disarmament-The-cold-war.
html#ixzz514knynBOAccessed 12 Dec. 2017.3 UN.org.(2017).
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) – UNODA.online Available at: https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/npt/Accessed 5 Dec.
2017.4 TheNuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) at a Glance. (2012). Arms ControlAssociation. online Available at: https://www.armscontrol.
org/factsheets/nptfactAccessed 5 Dec. 2017.5 Futter,A. (n.d.
). The politics of nuclear weapons. SAGE Publications,p.
141.6 Holdren,J. (2005). Why is the Non-Proliferation Treaty important? — John P. Holdren| Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
onlineBelfercenter.org. Available at:https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/question-1-why-non-proliferation-treaty-important-john-p-holdrenAccessed 5 Dec.