(Following is a draft version, which is subject to be updated or revised. Your comments and feedbacks are welcome!)
Back to the Contents
A) Accession to the NPT
Among the current 194 UN Member States, those remaining outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are: India and Pakistan, both of which tested and declared having nuclear weapons in 1998; Israel, which is widely believed to possess them; and South Sudan, which declared its independence and joined the United Nations in July 2011, and does not have any nuclear weapons. North Korea declared its withdrawal from the NPT twice, in 1993 and 2003, and has refused to return to the Treaty despite the UN Security Council resolutions demanding that it do so at an early date.
B) Compliance with Article 1 and 2 of the NPT and the UNSC Resolutions on Non-Proliferation
Since the NPT entered into force, no case of non-compliance with Article I and II of the Treaty has been officially reported by the UN or the rest of the international community. However, if North Korea’s withdrawal is not interpreted as legally valid or if it acquired nuclear weapons before announcing its withdrawal from the NPT, such acquisition of nuclear weapons would constitute a non-compliance with Article II. As for Iran, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clipper testified at the U.S. Senate hearing that the U.S. intelligence community “[does] not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.” At the same time, he stated that: “Tehran has developed technical expertise in a number of areas—including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles—from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons. These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons.”
UN Security Council Resolution 1787 in October 2006 stipulates the following:
“[T]he DPRK shall abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, shall act strictly in accordance with the obligations applicable to parties under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the terms and conditions of its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards Agreement (IAEA INFCIRC/403) and shall provide the IAEA transparency measures extending beyond these requirements, including such access to individuals, documentation, equipments and facilities as may be required and deemed necessary by the IAEA.”
The Security Council also decided that North Korea “shall abandon all other existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programme in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.”
However, North Korea has failed to respond to the UN Security Council’s decisions. Immediately after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2087 on January 23, 2013, condemning the North’s test launch of the long-range ballistic missiles—which North Korea insisted was a satellite rocket as part of its peaceful space program—in December 2012, North Korean National Defense Commission (NDC) issued a statement that North Korea “totally reject[ed] all the illegal resolutions on the DPRK adopted by the UNSC.” Then, North Korea conducted the third nuclear test in February 2013. Furthermore, in responding to the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2094 in March, stipulating to bolster the non-military sanctions against North Korea, the latter declared not to be bound by agreements concluded in the Six-Party Talks. North Korea is suspected to have restarted the 5MW graphite reactor, capable of producing weapon-grade plutonium, the operation of which had been suspended under the Initial Actions for the Implementation of the Joint Statement in February 2007. IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano stated at the IAEA Board of Governors in November 2013: “The Agency continues to monitor developments at the Yongbyon site, mainly through satellite imagery. Activities have been observed at the site, that are consistent with an effort to restart the 5MW(e) reactor. However, as the Agency has no access to the site, it is not possible for us to conclusively determine whether the reactor has been re-started.” Furthermore, ISIS, the U.S. research institute, analyzed that North Korea may have expanded its uranium enrichment capacity at Yongbyon. The ISIS also reported in December that: North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear center appeared to be increasingly active; steam was present at the fuel fabrication complex where the North produced fuel for the 5 MW reactor; and that one possible explanation for the steam could be re-activation in order to produce additional fuel for the reactor.
Regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, the UN Security Council has called for Iran to suspend, inter alia: all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development; and work on all heavy water-related projects, including the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water. Iran, however, has not complied with the subsequent UN Security Council resolutions; rather, it continued to produce enriched uranium, to install further cascades in its centrifuge enrichment plants, and to construct the heavy water reactor, according to the IAEA reports on Iran.
However, after Hassan Rouhani won the Iranian presidential election in June 2013, the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear issues has moved more positively. The Iranian and the U.S. presidents spoke by telephone in September, the first such exchange since 1979 Iranian Revolution. It was also reported that Iran proposed to suspend a production of 20% enriched uranium and to ratify the IAEA Additional Protocol during the meeting between Iran and the E3+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the EU) in October. The IAEA reported in November that Iran had installed or operated few new centrifuges, including more sophisticated IR-2m, during the proceeding three-month monitoring period, while “[t]he rate of production of UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235 and up to 20% remain[ed] similar to that indicated in the previous report.”
On November 24, the Joint Plan of Action was agreed between E3+3 and Iran in Geneva, in which they affirmed “[t]he goal for [their] negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful,” and listed the specific elements of a six-month, first step implementation plan, as well as the broader elements of a final, comprehensive solution, with negotiations to be concluded and implementation commenced within one year.
As the elements of a first step, they agreed, inter alia, the following measures.
² From the existing uranium enriched to 20%, retaining half as working stock of 20% oxide for fabrication of fuel for the TRR, and diluting the remaining 20% UF6 to no more than 5%
² Not enriching uranium over 5% for the duration of the 6 months
² Not making any further advances of its activities at the Natanz and Forsow enrichment plants, and the heavy water reactor at Arak (IR-40)
² No new locations for the enrichment
² No reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of reprocessing
² Enhancing monitoring by the IAEA (mentioned later)
² Pausing efforts to reduce Iran’s crude oil sales, enabling Iran’s current customers to purchase their current average amount of crude oil, and suspending the EU and U.S. sanctions on associated insurance and transportation services
² Suspending U.S. and EU sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical export, and on Gold and precious material
² Suspending U.S. sanctions on Iran’s auto industry, and licensing the supply and installation in Iran of spare parts for safety of flight for Iranian civil aviation
² No new nuclear-related UN Security Council sanctions and EU nuclear-related sanctions; the U.S. refraining from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions
² Establishing a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade for Iran’s domestic needs using Iranian oil revenues held abroad
Envisaging a final step, comprehensive solution, the following elements were agreed:
Ø Having a specified long-term duration to be agreed upon
Ø Reflecting the rights and obligations of parties to the NPT and the IAEA Safeguards Agreements
Ø Lifting UN Security Council, multilateral and national nuclear-related sanctions comprehensively
Ø Involving a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical-needs, with agreed limits on scope and level of enrichment activities, capacity, and stocks of enriched uranium
Ø Fully resolving concerns related to the reactor at Arak. No reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of reprocessing
Ø Fully implementing the agreed transparency measures and enhanced monitoring. Ratifying and implementing the Additional Protocol by Iran
Ø Including international civil nuclear cooperation
On November 28, Iran informed the IAEA that it will invite IAEA inspectors to visit the heavy water reactor at Arak in December 2013, for the first time in two years.
Towards addressing the concern that a state may abuse the right of the states parties by withdrawing from the NPT, after acquiring nuclear weapons in violation of the Treaty, some states—mostly Western countries, including Japan—have proposed to make a withdrawal more difficult; to prevent the right of withdrawal from being abused; and to take measures for preventing nuclear material acquired while still a member of the NPT from being used for nuclear weapons after a withdrawal from the Treaty. Other states—mainly the NAM countries, including Brazil and Iran—are against such proposals. They argue that there is no need to revise or reinterpret the Article X on a withdrawal of the NPT, which is the right of the states parties.
C) Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones
The treaties establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs) have entered into force in Latin America (Tlatelolco Treaty), the South Pacific (Rarotonga Treaty), Southeast Asia (Bangkok Treaty), Africa (Pelindaba Treaty), and Central Asia (Central Asian NWFZ Treaty). In addition, Mongolia declared its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1992, and the UN General Assembly has been adopting a resolution entitled “Mongolia's International Security and Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Status” since 1998, in support of Mongolia’s declaration. All the states eligible to join the NWFZ in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Central Asia are parties to the respective NWFZ treaties.
A Conference on a Middle East zone free of WMD, agreed at the 2010 NPT RevCon, could not be convened in 2013. At the 2013 NPT PrepCom, Jaakko Laajava, Finland’s undersecretary of state for foreign and security policy and the Facilitator of the Middle East Conference, proposed to hold a consultative meeting by the regional countries prior to the Conference. While Israel accepted to participate in the meeting, Arab states including Egypt argued that they could not do so unless a date for the Conference was set and details of the consultative meeting were clarified. Furthermore, Egypt decided to walkout of the 2013 PrepCom, “aim[ing] to send a strong message of dissatisfaction with the lack of seriousness in dealing with the issue of establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons.”
At the UN General Assembly in September 2013, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy proposed the following steps toward establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East: firstly, regional countries and NWS issue letters to the U.N. secretary-general, backing the concept of declaring the region a WMD-free zone; secondly, regional countries that have yet to sign or ratify key nuclear, chemical or biological weapons-ban treaties would commit to doing so by the end of 2013; and thirdly, the regional countries and three NPT depositary states would proceed to hold a Middle East Conference in Helsinki. The Arab League supported (but did not “endorse”) the Egyptian proposal.
Despite difficulties to break the impasse, states and actors involved have sought a possibility to convene the Conference. The Middle Eastern countries, including Israel and Iran, were reported to have met in Glion, Switzerland on October 21-22, for discussions on convening the Conference, though details of the meeting are not clear. A second meeting was held in Glion on November 25-26. The Arab states and Israel discussions explored an agreement on a modality of the Middle East Conference. However, there seems to remain a wide gap between them. “While Arab states insist that the focus must remain on nuclear, biological and conventional weapons and delivery systems, Israel says the role of unconventional systems cannot be discussed outside of the broader context of threats to national security in the Middle East.”
On Northeast Asia and South Asia, initiatives for establishing NWFZs have been proposed by the private sectors in the respective regions. Yet there is no indication that any state party in these regions is taking any serious initiative toward such a goal.
(Drafted by Hirofumi Tosaki, CPDNP)
 James R. Clipper, “Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community,” Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, March 12, 2013.
 S/RES/1718, 14 October 2006. The UN Security Council Resolution 1874 in June 2009 also demanded that North Korea “immediately comply fully with its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 1718 (2006).”
 “DPRK NDC Issues Statement Refuting UNSC Resolution,” KCNA, January 24, 2013, http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2013/201301/news24/20130124-10ee.html.
 Jeffery Lewis and Nick Hansen, “Start-Up of North Korean Experimental Light Water Reactor Could Begin by Mid-2013 if Fuel is Available,” 38 North, 1 May 2013, http://38north.org/2013/05/yongbyon050113/; Nick Hansen and Jeffrey Lewis, “North Korea Restarting Its 5 MW Reactor,” 38 North, 11 September 2013, http://38north.org/2013/09/yongbyon091113/.
 Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General, “Introductory Statement to Board of Governors,” November 28, 2013, http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/statements/2013/amsp2013n26.html.
 David Albright and Robert Avagyan, “Recent Doubling of Floor Space at North Korean Gas Centrifuge Plant: Is North Korea Doubling Its Enrichment Capacity at Yongbyon?” ISIS Imagery Brief, August 7, 2013, http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/recent-doubling-of-floor-space-at-north-korean-gas-centrifuge-plant/10.
 David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini, “Increased Activity at the Yongbyon Nuclear Site,” ISIS Imagery Brief, December 5, 2013.
 UNSCR 1737, 23 December 2006. Similar demands were made in the UNSC Resolutions 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), 1835 (2008), and 1929 (2010) adopted in response to Iran’s nuclear issue.
 See, for example, GOV/2012/37, 30 August 2012.
 GOV/2013/56, 14 November 2013.
 “Joint Plan of Action,” Geneva, 24 November 2013, http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/nov/24/iran-nuclear-deal-joint-plan-action.
 NPT News in Brief, Reaching Critical Will, Vol. 11, No. 9 (2 May 2013), p. 4; NPT News in Brief, Reaching Critical Will, Vol. 11, No. 10 (3 May 2013), p. 3.
 53/77D, 4 December 1998. As mentioned before, in September 2012, Mongolia and the 5 NWS signed a political declaration that formally recognizes Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status.
 Elaine M. Grossman, “Finnish Envoy Proposes Quick-and-Easy Confab on Mideast WMD Ban,” Global Security Newswire, May 2, 2013, http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/finnish-envoy-proposes-quick-and-easy-confab-mideast-wmd-ban/.
 NPT/CONF.2015/PC.II/WP.34, 19 April 2013.
 “Statement by the Arab Republic of Egypt,” Cluster II Specific Issues, 2013 NPT PrepCom, April 29, 2013.
 Elaine M. Grossman, “Arab League Backs Steps toward Banning Mideast WMDs,” Global Security Newswire, November 11, 2013, http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/arab-league-backs-steps-toward-banning-mideast-wmds/.
 “Israel Reported to Discuss Joining Nuke-Free Mideast Conference,” Time of Israel, October 31, 2013, http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-reported-to-discuss-joining-nuke-free-mideast-conference/.
 Elaine M. Grossman, “Israel, Arab States Talking -- But Still Deadlocked on Mideast WMD Ban,” Global Security Newswire, December 5, 2013, http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/israel-arab-states-talking-still-deadlocked-mideast-wmd-ban/. Iran did not attend the second meeting due to busy working for the another meetings with E3+3.
 Pakistan had proposed to establish a NWFZ in South Asia until May 1998 when it conducted nuclear tests.