History Main / TheRestOfTheNuclearClub

20th Mar '17 4:49:03 PM karstovich2
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The reasons to do this are actually quite practical (and complex); it's more than just a way to avoid having to deal with the politics of being a nuclear power. A nuclear arsenal serves as a useful deterrent against Israel's many rather hostile Arab neighbors. It also provides a convenient justification to those Arab states to ''not'' attack Israel -- they really don't want to, having figured out some time before 1973 that fighting Israel is a fool's errand, but they have to keep up the appearance of hostility to Israel, if only because Israel provides an excellent boogeyman to allow these governments to keep power. A nuclear counterattack would be truly devastating. It shows, too -- notice how Saddam Hussein, for instance, was totally willing to use chemical weapons against Iran and the Kurds but never considered using them against Israel, even during the UsefulNotes/GulfWar.

And keeping that nuclear arsenal a secret would prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, as most other Middle Eastern states don't feel a pressing need to acquire nuclear weapons. This keeps the Middle East a non-nuclear area as a whole on paper. If Israel ever went public, several Arab countries and Iran would withdraw from the NPT -- and they'd be allowed to do so, this qualifying as a direct threat to their physical security. They don't ''want'' to, but they totally will -- the Middle East is funny like that. Secrecy also allows Israel to accept aid from the US, as US law prohibits foreign aid payments to countries which proliferate nuclear weapons technology outside the scope of the NPT (even if it's not a signatory). Finally, it provides Israel plausible (if cynical) deniability in case it decides one of its neighbors' reactors needs an extremely destructive visit from a squadron of F-16s; they can thus claim that they're preserving the regional balance of power.[[note]]They technically are; it's just that the balance of power happens to be heavily slanted in Israel's favor when it comes to nuclear weapons.[[/note]]

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The reasons to do this are actually quite practical (and complex); it's more than just a way to avoid having to deal with the politics of being a nuclear power. A nuclear arsenal serves as a useful deterrent against Israel's many rather hostile Arab neighbors. It also provides a convenient justification to those Arab states to ''not'' attack Israel -- they really don't want to, having figured out some time before 1973 that fighting Israel is a fool's errand, but they have to keep up the appearance of hostility to Israel, if only because Israel provides an excellent boogeyman to allow these governments to keep power. A nuclear counterattack would be truly devastating. It shows, too -- notice too--notice how Saddam Hussein, for instance, was totally willing to use chemical weapons against Iran and the Kurds but never considered using them against Israel, even during the UsefulNotes/GulfWar.

And keeping that nuclear arsenal a secret "secret" would prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, as most other Middle Eastern states don't feel a pressing need to acquire nuclear weapons. This keeps the Middle East a non-nuclear area as a whole on paper. If Israel ever officially went public, several Arab countries and Iran would withdraw from the NPT -- and NPT--and they'd be allowed to do so, this qualifying as a direct threat to their physical security. They don't ''want'' to, but they totally will -- the will--the Middle East is funny like that. Secrecy "Secrecy" also allows Israel to accept aid from the US, as US law prohibits foreign aid payments to countries which proliferate nuclear weapons technology outside the scope of the NPT (even if it's not a signatory). Finally, it provides Israel plausible (if cynical) deniability in case it decides one of its neighbors' reactors needs an extremely destructive visit from a squadron of F-16s; they can thus claim that they're preserving the regional balance of power.[[note]]They [[note]][[MetaphoricallyTrue They technically are; are]]; it's just that the balance of power happens to be heavily slanted in Israel's favor when it comes to nuclear weapons.[[/note]]
18th Mar '17 7:57:19 AM erforce
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-->-'''''TheSumOfAllFears''''', tagline.

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-->-'''''TheSumOfAllFears''''', -->-'''''Film/TheSumOfAllFears''''', tagline.
20th Feb '17 5:36:41 PM nombretomado
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Israel being a nuclear power is frequently referred to as "[[OpenSecret the worst kept secret]] in nuclear politics". While the Israeli government refuses to officially admit that they have nuclear weapons, multiple leaks have confirmed to anyone interested that hell yes, they do. The program was first exposed by ''[[BritishNewspapers The Times]]'', with the help of whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who helped work on the program. He was abducted in Rome by Mossad (in a HoneyTrap ploy which is an OldShame of ''The Times'', who were supposed to be protecting him) and faced nearly two decades of solitary confinement in Israel.

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Israel being a nuclear power is frequently referred to as "[[OpenSecret the worst kept secret]] in nuclear politics". While the Israeli government refuses to officially admit that they have nuclear weapons, multiple leaks have confirmed to anyone interested that hell yes, they do. The program was first exposed by ''[[BritishNewspapers ''[[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers The Times]]'', with the help of whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who helped work on the program. He was abducted in Rome by Mossad (in a HoneyTrap ploy which is an OldShame of ''The Times'', who were supposed to be protecting him) and faced nearly two decades of solitary confinement in Israel.
8th Feb '17 8:54:16 PM Gregzilla
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-->-'''Bashar Al-Assad''', after [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Orchard Operation Orchard.]]

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-->-'''Bashar Al-Assad''', after [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Orchard Operation Orchard.]]
Orchard]]



During UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, the Third Reich commissioned a heavy water production scheme for potential nuclear weapons use. That is, until the [[LaResistance Norwegian resistance]] movement successfully sabotaged it in 1943. Even without the sabotage, the Third Reich would still have been a long way off producing any warheads. According to [[http://www.luft46.com Luft46]], which has deleted the article in the meantime, they might or they might not have had a quasi-gun-type nuclear device (stacked plates of uranium separated by hydrogen-rich kerosene, to be compacted together in a critical mass upon impact instead of being fired at each other) in construction stage by the early months of 1945. Even then, the Nazi nuclear program was limited by a number of key factors; the lack of space to test a weapon, Hitler's lack of interest (which meant little funding), the loss of many prime scientists to other programs or Nazi repression, a perilous military situation (which necessitated frequent relocations of the project), and finally, a lack of delivery systems. Indeed, the Nazis' ''only'' aircraft close to nuclear capability was the Heinkel He-177 ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinkel_He_177 Greif]]'' long-range bomber, a notoriously unreliable tub of a plane that would have been just as likely to crash into Germany as drop a bomb on Moscow or London.

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During UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany the Third Reich Reich]] commissioned a heavy water production scheme for potential nuclear weapons use. That is, until the [[LaResistance Norwegian resistance]] movement successfully sabotaged it in 1943. Even without the sabotage, the Third Reich would still have been a long way off producing any warheads. According to [[http://www.luft46.com Luft46]], which has deleted the article in the meantime, they might or they might not have had a quasi-gun-type nuclear device (stacked plates of uranium separated by hydrogen-rich kerosene, to be compacted together in a critical mass upon impact instead of being fired at each other) in construction stage by the early months of 1945. Even then, the Nazi nuclear program was limited by a number of key factors; the lack of space to test a weapon, Hitler's lack of interest (which meant little funding), the loss of many prime scientists to other programs or Nazi repression, a perilous military situation (which necessitated frequent relocations of the project), and finally, a lack of delivery systems. Indeed, the Nazis' ''only'' aircraft close to nuclear capability was the Heinkel He-177 ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinkel_He_177 Greif]]'' long-range bomber, a notoriously unreliable tub of a plane that would have been just as likely to crash into Germany as drop a bomb on Moscow or London.
29th Dec '16 9:38:52 AM nombretomado
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During TheApartheidEra, South Africa developed a small number of nuclear weapons, probably no more than ten. The very isolation that drove them to develop the weapons also limited their means of delivery to the aging English Electric Canberra. It also limited their design options; all South African nukes were of the inefficient and dangerous but simple and dirt-cheap (for a nuke) [[TypesOfNuclearWeapons gun-type]], rather than the implosion-type all other nuclear powers use for most of their weapons. In 1979, an American satellite detected what may have been South African (or joint Israeli-South African) nuclear test, now known as the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_Incident Vela Incident]]. Rumours of collaboration with Israel's nuclear program abound but have never been proven; such a relationship is unsurprising because both Israel and South Africa were "pariahs of the West" who weren't aligned with the communists ''or'' the Americans, and they were known to cooperate on conventional weapons development. All weapons were dismantled shortly before the end of Apartheid, and South Africa went on to help establish the African nuclear-weapon-free zone.

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During TheApartheidEra, UsefulNotes/TheApartheidEra, South Africa developed a small number of nuclear weapons, probably no more than ten. The very isolation that drove them to develop the weapons also limited their means of delivery to the aging English Electric Canberra. It also limited their design options; all South African nukes were of the inefficient and dangerous but simple and dirt-cheap (for a nuke) [[TypesOfNuclearWeapons gun-type]], rather than the implosion-type all other nuclear powers use for most of their weapons. In 1979, an American satellite detected what may have been South African (or joint Israeli-South African) nuclear test, now known as the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_Incident Vela Incident]]. Rumours of collaboration with Israel's nuclear program abound but have never been proven; such a relationship is unsurprising because both Israel and South Africa were "pariahs of the West" who weren't aligned with the communists ''or'' the Americans, and they were known to cooperate on conventional weapons development. All weapons were dismantled shortly before the end of Apartheid, and South Africa went on to help establish the African nuclear-weapon-free zone.
6th Oct '16 10:07:41 AM FFShinra
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!![[UsefulNotes/TheThirdEyeOfBharat India]] - ''The Smiling Buddha''

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!![[UsefulNotes/TheThirdEyeOfBharat India]] - ''The Smiling Buddha''
Third Eye Of Bharat''
26th Aug '16 3:21:17 AM Morgenthaler
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One wonders if they regret giving them up, particularly Ukraine. Several [[{{Realpolitik}} Neorealist]] international relations scholars -- most notably John Mearsheimer -- have advocated rearming Ukraine as a deterrent to war in Europe. However, given that their analyses were made in the late '80s and early '90s and assumed that [[TheBerlinRepublic the reunited Germany]] would be tempted to flex its muscles militarily, this theory is not given much credence these days. As it turns out, the Germans hate war viscerally[[note]]pretty much the entire world ganging up to kick your ass the last two times you went past the saber-rattling stage tends to do that to you[[/note]] and [[TheNewTens prefer to flex their muscles economically]]; as the strongest economy and de facto political leader of the EuropeanUnion, Germany has no need to act aggressively. The actual threat has come not from the West, but from the East, with an aggressive Russia invading Ukraine in violation of the agreements made at the time of disarmament.

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One wonders if they regret giving them up, particularly Ukraine. Several [[{{Realpolitik}} Neorealist]] international relations scholars -- most notably John Mearsheimer -- have advocated rearming Ukraine as a deterrent to war in Europe. However, given that their analyses were made in the late '80s and early '90s and assumed that [[TheBerlinRepublic [[UsefulNotes/TheBerlinRepublic the reunited Germany]] would be tempted to flex its muscles militarily, this theory is not given much credence these days. As it turns out, the Germans hate war viscerally[[note]]pretty much the entire world ganging up to kick your ass the last two times you went past the saber-rattling stage tends to do that to you[[/note]] and [[TheNewTens prefer to flex their muscles economically]]; as the strongest economy and de facto political leader of the EuropeanUnion, Germany has no need to act aggressively. The actual threat has come not from the West, but from the East, with an aggressive Russia invading Ukraine in violation of the agreements made at the time of disarmament.
7th Aug '16 6:17:44 PM Morgenthaler
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----
<<|AtomicHate|>>

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----
<<|AtomicHate|>>
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19th Jun '16 1:54:27 PM GoldenSeals
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So how does that leave the aspiring/failed powers?

* Iran has number three. They have the funds. They possibly have the industrial infrastructure, though the jury is still out on that. It is in the technical know-how most people feel that it will be decided, although the management issue might pose problems (since it's a highly politicized project, and Iran's government is highly factionalized).

For those who have the basis, depending on how you define it, breakout capability could refer to anything from "could build a bomb in six months" to "could build a bomb in six months once they built the infrastructure, which would take at most a year or two more." Japan, Germany, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Canada, South Korea, and the Netherlands all have the infrastructure in place (although Germany is seriously considering dismantling it, and Japan would of course [[NuclearWeaponsTaboo have to be in really dire straits before it even thought about building a bomb]]), while Brazil, Argentina, Taiwan, and Australia would need a few years to build up the infrastructure and collect enough U-235 or plutonium, and they probably lack the know-how, something which they could (probably) rectify. Saudi Arabia barely has the infrastructure or know-how at all, but with its money, it could possibly buy its way into the breakout-capacity club, and the House of Saud is well aware that science is not something to meddle in lest they anger their Islamists even more. With that being said, there are fears that an Iranian bomb could provide the impetus for a Saudi nuclear program. There are also [[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-24823846 reports]] that Saudi Arabia had extensively bankrolled the Pakistani nuclear program, in an arrangement that would have the Pakistanis deliver warheads if the Saudis felt their security needs required their own nuclear arsenal.

Breakout capacity has come to the fore in recent years on account of the aforementioned Iran thing. The most important one is probably the positions of the US and Israel on the right moment to attack Iran: while the US has frequently reiterated that it would be willing to make a military strike if Iran ''developed'' a nuclear weapon (i.e. built the damn thing), Israel has just as frequently reiterated that it is unwilling to let Iran get into a situation where it had the ''ability to develop'' a nuclear weapon (i.e. developed breakout capacity). This is what Benjamin Netanyahu's [[MemeticMutation cartoon-bomb poster]] speech at the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations General Assembly in October 2012 was about, although he explained it rather poorly.

During the 2012-13 crisis on the Korean peninsula, some South Korean politicians suggested that the state could start a nuclear program, though thankfully cooler heads prevailed. South Korea is under the nuclear umbrella of the USA in any case, and its only potential enemy, North Korea, is so close to it that an actual nuclear detonation on the peninsula would have disastrous effects on the South. Not to mention, as the Republic of Korea claims sovereignty over the entire Korean peninsula, despite obviously not having ''de facto'' control over the whole peninsula, it would be a bit like Britain nuking Northern Ireland, India or Pakistan nuking Kashmir, China nuking Xinjiang or Tibet, or Russia nuking Chechnya.

It has been suggested by some (including Creator/VictorDavisHanson and the aforementioned John Mearsheimer) that if those breakout club members allied with the United States thought, for whatever reason, that the US wouldn't come to their defense (particularly Germany in regards to Russia, South Korea in regards to North Korea, and Japan in regards to [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs China/North Korea/Russia]]) they would rapidly nuclearize by necessity.



to:

Depending on how you define it, breakout capability could mean building a bomb in only six months to building all the infrastructure over the course of a couple of years and ''then'' building a bomb in six months. So how does that leave the aspiring/failed powers?

aspiring nuclear powers?
* Iran has number three. They have the funds. They possibly have the industrial infrastructure, though the jury is still out on that. It is in the technical know-how most people feel that it will be decided, although the management issue might pose problems (since it's a highly politicized project, and Iran's government is highly factionalized).

For those who have the basis, depending on how you define it,
factionalized). The U.S. seems only to want to prevent them from outright developing nukes; Israel seems to be unwilling to even let Iran get as far as breakout capability could refer to anything from "could build a bomb in six months" to "could build a bomb in six months once they built the infrastructure, which would take at most a year or two more." capacity.
*
Japan, Germany, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Canada, South Korea, and the Netherlands all have the infrastructure in place (although Germany for breakout capability. Germany, though, is seriously considering dismantling it, and Japan would of course [[NuclearWeaponsTaboo have to be in really dire straits before it even thought about [[NuclearWeaponsTaboo actually building a bomb]]), while bomb]].
*
Brazil, Argentina, Taiwan, and Australia would need a few years to build up the infrastructure and collect enough U-235 or plutonium, and they fissile material. They also probably lack the know-how, something which but they could (probably) rectify. probably rectify that quickly.
*
Saudi Arabia barely has the infrastructure or know-how at all, the know-how, but with its it does have a lot of money, meaning it could possibly buy its way into the breakout-capacity club, and the House of Saud is well aware that science is not something to meddle in lest they anger their Islamists even more. With that being said, there club. There are fears that an Iranian bomb could provide the impetus for a Saudi nuclear program. There are also program, and [[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-24823846 reports]] reports suggest]] that Saudi Arabia had extensively bankrolled the Pakistani nuclear program, in an arrangement that would have the Pakistanis deliver warheads if the Saudis felt provided extensive funding to Pakistan for their security needs required their own nuclear arsenal.

Breakout
program (possibly in exchange for Pakistani warheads to be delivered to the Saudis on demand). However, it's full of hardline Islamists who don't necessarily trust {{science|isbad}}.
* South Korea, and many other countries under the U.S. umbrella of protection, don't really have breakout
capacity has come to the fore in recent years on account of the aforementioned Iran thing. The most important one is probably the positions of the US and Israel on the right moment to attack Iran: while the US has frequently reiterated because they don't feel that it would be willing they need it. But given their proximity to make a military strike if Iran ''developed'' a nuclear weapon (i.e. built the damn thing), Israel has just as frequently reiterated that it is unwilling North Korea, there have been calls in South Korea to let Iran get into a situation where it had the ''ability to develop'' a nuclear weapon (i.e. developed breakout capacity). This is what Benjamin Netanyahu's [[MemeticMutation cartoon-bomb poster]] speech at the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations General Assembly in October 2012 was about, capacity on their own, although he explained it rather poorly.

During the 2012-13 crisis on the Korean peninsula, some South Korean politicians suggested that the state could start a nuclear program, though thankfully
cooler heads prevailed. South eventually prevailed (if only because bombing North Korea is under the nuclear umbrella of the USA in any case, and its only potential enemy, North Korea, is so close akin to it that an actual nuclear detonation on the peninsula would have disastrous effects on the South. Not to mention, as the Republic of Korea claims bombing themselves -- they do claim sovereignty over the entire Korean peninsula, despite obviously not having ''de facto'' control over the whole peninsula, it after all). This sort of thinking exposes a wider trend that some countries don't necessarily trust the U.S. not to {{sacrific|iallamb}}e them for their own protection, even if they're nominally under the nuclear umbrella; this would be a bit like Britain nuking Northern Ireland, India or Pakistan nuking Kashmir, China nuking Xinjiang or Tibet, or Russia nuking Chechnya.

It has been suggested by
drive some (including Creator/VictorDavisHanson and the aforementioned John Mearsheimer) that if those countries to get to breakout club members allied with the United States thought, for whatever reason, that the US wouldn't come to capacity on their defense (particularly Germany in regards to Russia, South Korea in regards to North Korea, and Japan in regards to [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs China/North Korea/Russia]]) they would rapidly nuclearize by necessity.


own.
3rd May '16 1:52:21 AM ArcticYoshi45
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In theory, only the Permanent Five (P5) members of the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations Security Council -- the US, UsefulNotes/{{Russia}}, UsefulNotes/UnitedKingdom, UsefulNotes/{{France}}, and UsefulNotes/{{China}} -- are even ''allowed'' to have nuclear weapons, per the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). That said, international law being what it is -- ''i.e.'', highly voluntary -- several states currently have, previously had, or may be or have been developing nuclear weapons. For the most part, the non-P5 states that have or had nuclear weapons either did not sign the Treaty in the first place (UsefulNotes/{{India}}, UsefulNotes/{{Pakistan}}, UsefulNotes/{{Israel}}, UsefulNotes/SouthAfrica) or withdrew from it (UsefulNotes/NorthKorea).[[labelnote:How is this possible?]] Withdrawal from the NPT is forbidden unless a state feels that "extraordinary events" have made remaining within the treaty very dangerous to its supreme interests. Generally speaking, this is understood to mean "Ohmigod, my neighbor has nukes and wants to use them against me" or "Ohmigod, my neighbor who's way bigger than I am looks like it's getting ready to invade and I need a deterrent". In such a circumstance, the state needs to give 90 days' notice. UsefulNotes/{{NATO}} insists, somewhat controversially, that in a state of "general war" the treaty no longer applies, which justifies nuclear-weapons sharing, as explained below. Whether a nation can actually be restricted from withdrawing from a treaty is also controversial, given the history of weaker nations being forced, [[AnOfferYouCan'tRefuse often at literal gunpoint]], to accept treaties favorable to stronger nations. As Korea has often been the victim of such treatment, this is a fact that neither half of the now-divided Korea has forgotten. Suffice it to say, everyone gave North Korea a pass because they wanted to give North Korea a wide berth, and that in general, withdrawal from the NPT would create innumerable practical problems for any state that wishes to withdraw; it amounts to a declaration that the country has nukes and is liable to get that country treated as (even more of) a pariah.[[/labelnote]] The states that are suspected of developing weapons are generally parties to the NPT, and the shadiness about them is caused by their attempts to circumvent the controls they agreed to under the terms of the NPT.

to:

In theory, only the Permanent Five (P5) members of the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations Security Council -- the US, UsefulNotes/{{Russia}}, UsefulNotes/UnitedKingdom, UsefulNotes/{{France}}, and UsefulNotes/{{China}} -- are even ''allowed'' to have nuclear weapons, per the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). That said, international law being what it is -- ''i.e.'', highly voluntary -- several states currently have, previously had, or may be or have been developing nuclear weapons. For the most part, the non-P5 states that have or had nuclear weapons either did not sign the Treaty in the first place (UsefulNotes/{{India}}, UsefulNotes/{{Pakistan}}, UsefulNotes/{{Israel}}, UsefulNotes/SouthAfrica) or withdrew from it (UsefulNotes/NorthKorea).[[labelnote:How is this possible?]] Withdrawal from the NPT is forbidden unless a state feels that "extraordinary events" have made remaining within the treaty very dangerous to its supreme interests. Generally speaking, this is understood to mean "Ohmigod, my neighbor has nukes and wants to use them against me" or "Ohmigod, my neighbor who's way bigger than I am looks like it's getting ready to invade and I need a deterrent". In such a circumstance, the state needs to give 90 days' notice. UsefulNotes/{{NATO}} insists, somewhat controversially, that in a state of "general war" the treaty no longer applies, which justifies nuclear-weapons sharing, as explained below. Whether a nation can actually be restricted from withdrawing from a treaty is also controversial, given the history of weaker nations being forced, [[AnOfferYouCan'tRefuse [[AnOfferYouCantRefuse often at literal gunpoint]], to accept treaties favorable to stronger nations. As Korea has often been the victim of such treatment, this is a fact that neither half of the now-divided Korea has forgotten. Suffice it to say, everyone gave North Korea a pass because they wanted to give North Korea a wide berth, and that in general, withdrawal from the NPT would create innumerable practical problems for any state that wishes to withdraw; it amounts to a declaration that the country has nukes and is liable to get that country treated as (even more of) a pariah.[[/labelnote]] The states that are suspected of developing weapons are generally parties to the NPT, and the shadiness about them is caused by their attempts to circumvent the controls they agreed to under the terms of the NPT.
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