Due to its adversarial relationship with the United States and the Soviet Union, China developed nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles during the 1960s and 1970s in order to have its own deterrent. By the beginning of the 1980s, China had completed a series of liquid-fueled ballistic missiles, in particular the DF-5 ICBM, that covered all of the North American continent.Since then, China has begun to develop a second generation of ballistic missiles; these are powered by solid fuel and and can be moved by road, and so have enhanced responsiveness and survivability. By the end of 1980s, China had developed the JL-1 SLBM and its variant, the DF-21MRBM, although the Xia-class SSBN (Type 092), which was the platform of the JL-1, was unsuccessful and has never been a real strategic asset. China is now attempting to develop the DF-31 ICBM and its variant, the JL-2 SLBM, which will be stable retaliatory forces. The Jin-class new generation SSBN (Type 094), which carries the JL-2, is also under development. As a latecomer to the nuclear club, China resisted joining international non-proliferation regimes, especially the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), under which China accused the United States and the Soviet Union of being a“ nuclear dictatorship.” However, in 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, China joined the NPT and changed its position to support international non-proliferation. In spite of its position, China has continuously exported nuclear technology and ballistic missiles and missile-related materials to Pakistan and other countries. This behavior of China has been regarded by the United States as causing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction(WMDs). Since late 1980s, the United States has organized a Missile Technology Control Regime(MTCR) with the G8 member countries and legislated domestic laws prohibiting proliferatiig behaviors by other countries. The United States has taken unilateral economic sanctions against countries violating US laws. And since 1991, China has been a main target of these US economic sanctions. In the 1990s, China itself made efforts to legislate its domestic regulations controlling exports relating to WMDs, but since 2001, under the Bush administration, the United States has takensanctions against China as many as 19 times. Hence, it can be said that China’s behavior in terms of nuclear proliferation has resulted in a bilateral dispute between the United States and China.
In October 2006, North Korea went ahead with nuclear tests in spite of international opposition.The international community had made every effort to stop North Korea from possessing nuclear weapons, but these efforts ended in failure. This study seeks to look at the measures the international community had been taking to control North Korea’s nuclear program, analyze why the measures could not work effectively, and examine future problems in controlling North Korean nuclear activity. The first North Korean nuclear crisis took place in the early 1990s, and ended when the United States and North Korea signed a bilateral Agreed Framework following their negotiations in1994. North Korea agreed to abandon its original nuclear development program on the condition that the world community provided light-water reactors, which were considered to be relatively difficult to divert to military use. The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization(KEDO) was formed with Japan, the United States and South Korea as the primary members to implement the supply of light-water reactors. These efforts paved the way for the rest of the world to control North Korea’s nuclear activities. In 2002, however, the second nuclear crisis occurred. North Korea made it known that it was proceeding with a program to produce highly enriched uranium. Subsequently, the international community launched six-party talks involving North Korea, South Korea, the United States, Japan, China and Russia, with the intention of preventing North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons. In October 2006, North Korea conducted nuclear tests in the face of worldwide opposition. The global society failed to stop North Korea’s nuclear activities. International efforts were not sufficient to deal with the first nuclear crisis, although North Korea’s nuclear activities were controlled to a certain extent via the agreement with the United States. North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are intended to counter US threats. If the US–North Korean agreement had not been reached, North Korea’s nuclear activities would not have been controlled within any framework. The current ongoing six-party talks will not produce dramatic results unless bilateral negotiations between the United States and North Korea make remarkable progress. The six-party talks have the possibility of acting as an essential framework to maintain East Asian security, as well as managing North Korean nuclear issues. However, the immediate problem is controlling North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Given this situation, the six-party talks will function only when the bilateral framework between the United States and North Korea works. Once this development has taken place, the six-party talks will then be able to function as a broader framework for further negotiation.
In May 1998, India and Pakistan carried out a series of nuclear tests and declared themselves “nuclear powers” — a move that shocked the international community and added a newdimension to the rivalries between these two neighbors. This article will attempt to analyze what led both to this nuclearization and what kind of influence it had on the whole world as well as on the region. From a strategic viewpoint, India had pushed ahead with its nuclear program in order to counter the threat of China, not of Pakistan, whereas Pakistan’s program was aimed at reducing the threat posed by India. That is to say, the power imbalance in the region (China > India > Pakistan) encouraged these two countries to go nuclear. India and Pakistan have faced increased security-related concerns since the collapse of the alliance structure that built up during the Cold War. In addition to these security interests, rising nationalism in the midst of globalization has created a political trend that has encouraged nuclearization. Now, in retrospect, we can ask the question: which side has benefited most from nuclearization?Regionally, Pakistan seems to have seized more advantages militarily and diplomatically, especially regarding the Kashmir issue. Globally, however, nuclearization has helped India to rise in the world: most major powers, including the United States, cannot help regarding and treating India as a global player. In contrast, the international community regards Pakistan with suspicion in the wake of revelations about the “nuclear black market.” In fact, this nuclearization, which drew international concern about the risk of nuclear war, has not only contributed to sustaining the ongoing peace process since 2003, but has also created aninternational environment in which each side stops short of resorting to war even in times of crisis. “Rising India” will also hesitate to draw a sword. Unfortunately, however, it is difficult to conclude that a stable“ nuclear peace” has been established between India and Pakistan considering their geopolitical and strategic characteristics, lack of a relationship of mutual trust, persistent cross-border terrorism, and the fragile state foundations of Pakistan.
It has long been believed that Israel has acquired a significant number of nuclear weapons and various types of delivery systems. However, Israel has maintained a policy of nuclear ambiguity or opacity, under which it has not officially admitted or denied its possession of nuclear weapons.Its refusal to concede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the United States’ attitude of turning a blind eye to Israel’s nuclear arsenal pose a serious challenge to the international nonproliferation regime. Iran’s challenge to the NPT regime differs both from the Israeli and North Korean cases. Since the Iranian opposition group disclosed Iran’s secret nuclear program in 2002, further doubtsabout the real purpose of this program have been raised, and now it is believed that Iran is about to cross the nuclear threshold. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolutions ordering Iran to suspend all sensitive nuclear activities and imposed sanctions on the country.Despitethis, Iran has intensified its enrichment activities on the grounds that under the NPT it is the unalienable right of a sovereign state to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In the Middle East both Iraq and Libya have in the past tried to develop nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Some other states in the region havereportedly acquired chemical and/or biological weapons. The main driving force for the acquisition of WMDs is the complexity of the regional security environment. As well as the Palestine problem and the Arab–Israeli conflict, which have caused a number of confrontations, there are also a number of other sources of instability that have created multidimensional antagonism in the region. In addition, political leaders have competed with each other to acquire political symbols relating to Arabism and Islamism. Their intense competitions have accelerated rivalries over nuclear and other WMDs as symbols of power in the region. The notion of a Middle East nuclear-free zone, or a WMD-free zone, has been on international and regional agenda for more than 30 years, but no progress towards realizing this has been made.In order to prevent further nuclear proliferation, the idea of a nuclear-free zone should be addressed more seriously.
The history of the nuclear age of international politics is customarily divided into two phases with the establishment of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1971 as the epoch-makingevent. This paper argues that the really significant event was China’s decision to go nuclear in the latter half of the 1960s. In terms of the profound impact on the other Asian countries, China’s bomb was uniquely different from those of the preceding four nuclear powers, since it forced its neighbors either to arm themselves with their own bombs or to rely more on the nuclear umbrella provided by one of the existing nuclear powers. Japan elected to ensure that the United States was firmly committed to defending Japan against attacks from any nuclear power, including China, while chosing not to make or possess nuclear bombs of its own. China’s nuclear arsenal ushered in the second nuclear age also in the sense that it heralded similar attempts by economically less advanced nations in Asia and Africa. The cases of North Korea and Iran represent the most recent and ongoing examples of that kind.