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"No one can solve this problem alone, but together we can change things for the better." 

– Setsuko Thurlow
Hiroshima Survivor
June 6, 2016
Fact Sheets & Briefs

Chemical Weapons Convention Signatories and States-Parties

June 2018 

Contact: Daryl KimballExecutive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) entered into force on April 29, 1997 and currently has 193 states-parties. One state has signed but not ratified (Israel). Three states have neither signed nor ratified (Egypt, North Korea, and South Sudan).

For a guide to the convention, see The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) at a Glance.

 

Country

Signature

Ratification/Accession

Afghanistan 1/14/93
9/24/03
Albania 1/14/93
5/11/94
Algeria 1/13/93
8/14/95
Andorra 2/27/03
Angola 9/16/15
Antigua & Barbuda 8/29/05
Argentina 1/13/93
10/2/95
Armenia 3/19/93
1/27/95
Australia 1/13/93
5/6/94
Austria 1/13/93
8/17/95
Azerbaijan 1/13/93
2/29/00
Bahamas 3/2/94
4/21/09
Bahrain 2/24/93
4/28/97
Bangladesh 1/14/93
4/25/97
Barbados
3/7/07
Belarus 1/14/93
7/11/96
Belgium 1/13/93
1/27/97
Belize 12/1/03
Benin 1/14/93
5/14/98
Bhutan 4/23/97
8/18/05
Bolivia 1/14/93
8/14/98
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1/16/97
2/25/97
Botswana
8/31/98
Brazil 1/13/93
3/13/96
Brunei Darussalem 1/13/93
7/28/97
Bulgaria 1/13/93
8/10/94
Burkina Faso 1/14/93
7/8/97
Burundi 1/15/93
9/4/98
Cambodia 1/15/93
7/19/05
Cameroon 1/14/93
9/16/96
Canada 1/13/93
9/26/95
Cape Verde 1/15/93
10/10/03
Central African Republic 1/14/93
9/20/06
Chad 10/11/94
2/13/04
Chile 1/14/93
7/12/96
China 1/13/93
4/25/97
Colombia 1/13/93
4/5/00
Comoros 1/13/93
9/17/06
Congo 1/15/93
12/4/07
Cook Islands 1/14/93
7/15/94
Costa Rica 1/14/93
5/31/96
Côte d'Ivoire 1/13/93
12/18/95
Croatia 1/13/93
5/23/95
Cuba 1/13/93
4/29/97
Cyprus 1/13/93
8/28/98
Czech Republic 1/14/93
3/6/96
Democratic Republic of Congo 1/14/93
10/12/05
Denmark 1/14/93
7/13/95
Djibouti 9/28/93
1/25/06
Dominica 8/2/93
2/12/01
Dominican Republic 1/13/93
3/26/09
Ecuador 1/14/93
9/6/95
El Salvador 1/14/93
10/30/95
Egypt    
Equatorial Guinea 1/14/93
4/25/97
Eritrea
2/14/00
Estonia 1/14/93
5/26/99
Ethiopia 1/14/93
5/13/96
Fiji 1/14/93
1/20/93
Finland 1/14/93
2/7/95
France 1/13/93
3/2/95
Gabon 1/13/93
9/8/00
Gambia 1/13/93
5/19/98
Georgia 1/14/93
11/27/95
Germany 1/13/93
8/12/94
Ghana 1/14/93
7/9/97
Greece 1/13/93
12/22/94
Grenada 4/9/97
6/3/05
Guatemala 1/14/93
2/12/03
Guinea 1/14/93
6/9/97
Guinea-Bissau 1/14/93
6/19/08
Guyana 10/6/93
9/12/97
Haiti 1/14/93
2/22/06
Holy See 1/14/93
5/12/99
Honduras 1/13/93
8/29/05
Hungary 1/13/93
10/31/96
Iceland 1/13/93
4/28/97
India 1/14/93
9/3/96
Indonesia 1/13/93
11/12/98
Iran 1/13/93
11/3/97
Iraq 1/13/09
Ireland 1/14/93
6/24/96
Israel 1/13/93
Italy 1/13/93
12/8/95
Jamaica 4/18/97
9/8/00
Japan 1/13/93
9/15/95
Jordan
10/29/97
Kazakhstan 1/14/93
3/23/00
Kenya 1/15/93
4/25/97
Kiribati
9/7/00
Kuwait 1/27/93
5/28/97
Kyrgyzstan 2/22/93
9/29/03
Laos 5/13/93
2/25/97
Latvia 5/6/93
7/23/96
Lebanon 11/20/08
Lesotho 12/7/94
12/7/94
Liberia 1/15/93
3/25/06
Libya 1/6/04
Liechtenstein 7/21/93
11/24/99
Lithuania 1/13/93
4/15/98
Luxembourg 1/13/93
4/15/97
Macedonia
6/20/97
Madagascar 1/15/93
10/20/04
Malawi 1/14/93
6/11/98
Malaysia 1/13/93
4/20/00
Maldives 10/1/93
5/31/94
Mali 1/13/93
4/28/97
Malta 1/13/93
4/28/97
Marshall Islands 1/13/93
5/19/04
Mauritania 1/13/93
2/9/98
Mauritius 1/14/93
2/9/93
Mexico 1/13/93
8/29/94
Micronesia 1/13/93
6/21/99
Moldova 1/13/93
7/8/96
Monaco 1/13/93
6/1/95
Mongolia 1/14/93
1/17/95
Montenegro
10/23/06
Morocco 1/13/93
12/28/95
Mozambique
8/15/00
Myanmar 1/14/93 08/07/15
Namibia 1/13/93
11/27/95
Nauru 1/13/93
11/12/01
Nepal 1/19/93
11/18/97
Netherlands 1/14/93
6/30/95
New Zealand 1/14/93
7/15/96
Nicaragua 3/9/93
11/5/99
Niger 1/14/93
4/9/97
Nigeria 1/13/93
5/20/99
Niue
4/21/05
North Korea    
Norway 1/13/93
4/7/94
Oman 2/2/93
2/8/95
Pakistan 1/13/93
10/28/97
Palau 2/3/03
Palestine 5/17/18
Panama 6/16/93
10/7/98
Papua New Guinea 1/14/93
4/17/96
Paraguay 1/14/93
12/1/94
Peru 1/14/93
7/20/95
Philippines 1/13/93
12/11/96
Poland 1/13/93
8/23/95
Portugal 1/13/93
9/10/96
Qatar 2/1/93
9/3/97
Romania 1/13/93
2/15/95
Russia 1/13/93
11/5/97
Rwanda 5/17/93
3/31/04
St. Kitts & Nevis 3/16/94
5/21/04
St. Lucia 3/29/93
4/9/97
St. Vincent & the Grenadines 9/20/93
9/18/02
Samoa 1/14/93
9/27/02
San Marino 1/13/93
12/10/99
Sao Tome and Principe 9/9/03
Saudi Arabia 1/20/93
8/9/96
Senegal 1/13/93
7/20/98
Serbia 4/20/00
Seychelles 1/15/93
4/7/93
Sierra Leone 1/15/93
9/30/04
Singapore 1/14/93
5/21/97
Slovak Republic 1/14/93
10/27/95
Slovenia 1/14/93
6/11/97
Solomon Islands
9/23/04
Somalia 5/29/13
South Africa 1/14/93
9/13/95
South Korea 1/14/93
4/28/97
South Sudan    
Spain 1/13/93
8/3/94
Sri Lanka 1/14/93
8/19/94
Sudan
5/24/99
Suriname 4/28/97
4/28/97
Swaziland 9/23/93
11/20/96
Sweden 1/13/93
6/17/93
Switzerland 1/14/93
3/10/95
Syria   9/12/13*
Tajikistan 1/14/93
1/11/95
Tanzania 2/25/94
6/25/98
Thailand 1/14/93
12/10/02
Timor Leste 5/7/03
Togo 1/13/93
4/23/97
Tonga 5/29/03
Trinidad & Tobago
6/24/97
Tunisia 1/13/93
4/15/97
Turkey 1/14/93
5/12/97
Turkmenistan 10/12/93
9/29/94
Tuvalu
1/19/04
Uganda 1/14/93
11/30/01
Ukraine 1/13/93
10/16/98
United Arab Emirates 2/2/93
11/28/00
United Kingdom 1/13/93
5/13/96
United States 1/13/93
4/25/97
Uruguay 1/15/93
10/6/94
Uzbekistan 11/24/95
7/23/96
Vanuatu
9/16/05
Venezuela 1/14/93
12/3/97
Vietnam 1/13/93
9/30/98
Yemen 2/8/93
10/2/00
Zambia 1/13/93
2/9/01
Zimbabwe 1/13/93
4/25/97

*Syria sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary General which said that Assad signed a legislative decree providing the accession of Syria to the Chemical Weapons Convention. In the letter, Assad said Syria would observe its CWC obligations immediately, as opposed to 30 days from the date of accession, as stipulated in the treaty.

    Source: Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

    Chemical/Biological Arms Control

    Country Resources:

    Subject Resources:

    Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: North Korea

    June 2018

     

    North Korea is estimated to have assembled 20-30 nuclear warheads, as of June 2019, and to have the fissile material for an estimated 30-60 nuclear weapons, as well as advanced chemical and biological weapons programs. In the past several years Pyongyang has accelerated the pace of ballistic missile testing, and twice in July 2017 tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. North Korea withdrew from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2003, but its withdrawal is disputed. Beginning in 2006, the UN Security Council has passed several resolutions requiring North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile activities and imposing sanctions on Pyongyang for its refusal to comply. As of early 2018, North Korea has shown interest in pursuing negotiations regarding disarmament. 

    Contents

    Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties​

    Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

    Nuclear Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

    • The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview
    • History and Diplomatic Initiatives
    • Delivery Systems
    • Fissile Material
    • Proliferation Record
    • Nuclear Doctrine

    Biological Weapons

    Chemical Weapons

    Additional Resources on North Korea

     

     

    Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

     

    Signed

    Ratified

    Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

    *North Korea maintains it withdrew from the NPT in 2003, but its withdrawal is questionable.

    ---

    1985*

    Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

    ---

    ---

    Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

    ---

    ---

    CPPNM 2005 Amendment

    ---

    ---

    Chemical Weapons Convention

    ---

    ---

    Biological Weapons Convention

    ---

    1987

    International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

    ---

    ---

    Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

    Group

    Status

    Australia Group

    Not a member

    Missile Technology Control Regime

    Not a member and has frequently exported missiles and related materials

    Nuclear Suppliers Group

    Not a member

    Wassenaar Arrangement

    Not a member

    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol

    None

    Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

    Not a participant

    Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation

    Not a participant

    Proliferation Security Initiative

    Not a participant

    UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673

    North Korea has not filed the requested reports on its activities to fulfill the resolution

    Nuclear Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

    The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview

    • North Korea currently is estimated to have 20-30 warheads, as of June 2019, and the fissile material for an estimated 30-60 nuclear weapons. It may have as many as 20-100 warheads by 2020. 
    • North Korea is estimated to possess 20-40 kilograms of plutonium and 250-500 kilograms of highly enriched uranium with an annual estimated production of fissile material for 6-7 weapons, but there is a high degree of uncertainty surrounding these estimates.
    • North Korea was party to the NPT, but withdrew in 2003. Not all states, however, recognize the legality of North Korea’s withdrawal from the treaty.
    • North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests as of September 2017. After the first test in 2006, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1718, enacting a variety of multilateral sanctions and demanding that Pyongyang return to the NPT and halt its nuclear weapons activities.

    History and Diplomatic Initiatives

    The Origin of the Program

    • North Korea, with the assistance of the Soviet Union, began constructing the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center in the early 1960s and by the early 1970s, had access to plutonium reprocessing technology from the Soviet Union. 
    • In December 1985, North Korea signed the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state.
    • However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discovered in 1992 that North Korea had diverted plutonium from its civilian program for weapons purposes.

    Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

    • In December 1991, the two Koreas signed a Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Under the declaration, both countries agreed not to “test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons” or to “possess nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities.” The parties also agreed to mutual inspections for verification, but they were never able to reach an agreement on implementation.
    • In light of North Korea's flagrant violations, this agreement holds little weight in Seoul, which has called for an end to the prohibition on South Korean reprocessing from its bilateral nuclear agreement with the United States.
    • North Korea formally declared the Joint Declaration void in January 2013.

    U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework

    • In 1994, former President Jimmy Carter and North Korean leader Kim Il Sung negotiated the U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework, in which North Korea committed to freeze its plutonium-based weapons program at Yongbyon in exchange for two light-water reactors and other forms of energy assistance. The deal eventually broke down and North Korea withdrew from the NPT.
    • For more information, see The U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework at a Glance.

    Six-Party Talks

    • In August 2003, in response to North Korea’s withdrawal from the NPT, Russia, China, Japan, the United States, and the two Koreas launched a multilateral diplomatic process, known as the six-party talks.
    • In September 2005, the six-party talks realized its first major success with the adoption of a joint statement in which North Korea pledged to abandon its nuclear weapons activities and return to the NPT in return for security assurances and energy assistance.
    • In building on the 2005 statement, North Korea took steps such as disabling its plutonium reactor at Yongbyon in 2007 and allowing IAEA inspectors into the country. In return, North Korea received fuel oil.
    • North Korea declared it would no longer be bound by agreements made under the six party talks in April 2009 after a period of increased tensions.
    • For more information, see: The Six Party Talks at a Glance

    Nuclear tests

    • On Oct. 9, 2006, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test with an estimated yield of about one kiloton.
    • North Korea then conducted its second nuclear test on June 25, 2009 with the underground detonation of a nuclear device estimated to have a yield of 2 to 6 kilotons.
    • On February 12, 2013, the Korean Central News Agency announced that North Korea successfully detonated a nuclear device at its underground test site. The explosive yield was estimated at approximately 15 kilotons. North Korea claimed the device was ‘miniaturized’, a term commonly used to refer to a warhead light enough to fit on the tip of a ballistic missile.
    • On January 6, 2016, Pyongyang announced its fourth nuclear test, declaring that it was a test of the hydrogen bomb design. The explosive yield was estimated at 15-20 kilotons.  Experts doubt that the test was a hydrogen bomb, but contend that the test could have used boosted fission, a process that uses lithium gas to increase the efficiency of the fission reaction for a larger explosion.
    • On September 9, 2016, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test, with an estimated explosive yield of 20-25 kilotons.
    • On September 3, 2017, North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test explosion, of what experts assess could be a hydrogen bomb with an estimated explosive yield of 140-250 kilotons.

    2018 Diplomatic Overture

    • Kim Jong Un’s 2018 New Year’s Address
      • In his annual New Year’s Address to the nation, Kim Jong Un declared that North Korea had accomplished the “perfecting” of its nuclear program and met its strategic objectives. Kim also called for improved inter-Korean relations.
    • Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang
      • After negotiations with South Korea, a delegation of North Korean athletes was allowed to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
      • Kim Jong Un continued his so-called “charm offensive” during the Games by sending his sister, Kim Yo Jong, to deliver a letter to South Korean president Moon Jae-in inviting him to visit Pyongyang.
    • Voluntary Moratorium on Testing
      • On April 20, 2018, Kim Jong-Un announced that North Korea would end all testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles and close the Punggye-ri nuclear test site
      • On May 24, 2018, North Korea appeared to blow up at least three tunnels at Punggye-ri, according to international journalists who were invited to witness the demolition.
    • April 2018 Inter-Korean Summit
      • On April 27, 2018, Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in met in Panmunjom for a high level summit, where they discussed issues such as denuclearization and a settlement to end the Korean War.
      • A joint declaration signed by both parties included agreements to facilitate "groundbreaking advancement" in inter-Korean relations, "to make joint efforts to practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean peninsula," and to cooperate to "establish a permanent peace regime on the Korean peninsula."
    • June 2018 Trump-Kim Summit
      • On June 12, 2018, Kim Jong Un and President Trump met in Singapore for high level talks that focused on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and improved bilateral relations.
      • The two leaders signed a joint statement agreeing to "establish new US-DPRK relations," "build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean peninsula" and recover POW/MIA remains. Kim also committed to "work toward complete denuclearization on the Korean peninsula" and Trump committed to provide security guarantees for North Korea.

    Delivery Systems

    Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) and Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM)

    • North Korea is actively expanding its ballistic missile arsenal and allegedly working toward developing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). As of June 2018, North Korea’s operational and developing intercontinental and intermediate-range missiles include:
      • Musudan BM-25 (Hwasong-10): The Musudan BM-25 is an intermediate-range ballistic missile with an expected range of 2500-4000km. It has been flight tested six times, most recently on June 21, 2016.
      • Hwasong-12: On May 14, 2017, North Korea tested another new ballistic missile, the Hwasong-12, which appears to be an intermediate-range, single-stage missile with an estimated range of 4,500 kilometers.
      • KN-08 (Hwasong-13): The KN-08 is an intercontinental ballistic missile under development with an estimated range of 5,500-11,500km. Given that the system has not been tested, however, the range estimates are highly speculative. It was first unveiled in April 2012 and has not yet been tested, although North Korea likely tested the rocket engine for this system.
      • KN-14 (Hwasong-13, KN-08 Mod 2): The KN-14 is an ICBM under development with an estimated range of 8,000-10,000km. Given that the system has not been tested, however, the range estimates are highly speculative. It was first unveiled in October 2015 and is believed to be a variant of the KN-08.
      • Hwasong-14: The Hwasong-14 is an ICBM, first tested July 4, 2017 and tested again on July 28, 2017. It is a two-stage, liquid-fueled missile. The tests were conducted at a lofted trajectory. The first test showed a range of about 6,700km at a standard trajectory. The second test showed a range of 10,400km, not taking into account the rotation of the earth.
      • Hwasong-15: The Hwasong-15 is an ICBM first tested November 29, 2017 at a lofted trajectory. On a standard trajectory, the missile would have an estimated range of 13,000km. It is a two-stage, liquid fueled system. Photos of the missile suggest that it has sufficient thrust and payload space to deliver a 1,000kg payload anywhere in the United States and could be fitted with decoys or penetration aids. The missile also features qualitative updates from the Hwasong-14, including an improved steering mechanism. 
      • Taepodong-2: The inaugural flight test of the Taepodong-2, ended in failure about 40 seconds after launch on July 5, 2006. Subsequent tests of the Taepodong-2 missile in April 2009 and April 2012 were also unsuccessful. The Taepodong-2 is believed to be capable of reaching the United States if developed as an ICBM.

    Space-Launched Vehicles (SLV)

    • Unha-3: North Korea's SLV is a three-stage liquid fueled system, likely based on the Taepodong-2.
    • In February 2012, North Korea agreed to cease long-range missile tests in exchange for food aid from the United States. North Korea stated that the agreement did not cover space launch vehicles and proceeded to launch the Unha in April 2012. The SLV exploded shortly after launch. The United States contended that the agreement did cover SLVs, causing the agreement, known as the Leap Day Deal, to fall apart.
    • On December 12, 2012, North Korea claimed that it successfully launched a satellite into space using its Unha rocket. It placed a second satellite into orbit in February 2016.

    Short and Medium Range Missiles 

    • North Korea’s short-range and medium-range missiles include:

    Submarines and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM)

    • North Korea is developing a submarine-launched ballistic missile, the KN-11, also known as the Pukkuksong-1 or Polaris-1. It has an estimated range of 1,200km. 
    • The KN-11 was first tested in December 2014, and images from the missile first emerged after a May 2015 test at the Sinpo site. Photos released by the KNCA portrayed the test as a submarine launch, but the missile was likely fired from a submerged barge.
    • The KN-11 was most recently tested on August 24, 2016. It is estimated to become operational by 2020
    • Since October 2014, activity at the Sinpo South Shipyard indicates that North Korea may be using an experimental SINPO-class submarine as a test bed for submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

    Fissile Material

    Plutonium

    • Experts assess that North Korea’s 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests likely used plutonium, which North Korea was known to have produced at weapons-grade levels.
    • North Korea announced its intention to restart its Yongbyon 5MWe Reactor for plutonium production in April 2013, after disabling it as a part of the six-party talks in 2007. North Korea declared the site to be “fully operational” by late August 2015. 
    • The reactor is capable of producing six kg of weapons-grade plutonium each year. 
    • Satellite imagery from April 2016, January 2017, and April 2018 confirmed increased activity at the reprocessing site.
    • As of January 2018, North Korea is estimated to possess 20-40 kg of plutonium.

    Highly Enriched Uranium

    • While Pyongyang has constructed a gas centrifuge facility, it is unknown if the facility is producing uranium enriched to weapons-grade.
    • In November 2010, North Korea unveiled a large uranium-enrichment plant to former officials and academics from the United States. The Yongbyon plant contained approximately 2,000 gas centrifuges that were claimed to be operating and producing low-enriched uranium (LEU) for a light-water reactor (LWR) that North Korea is constructing. This plant is estimated to be capable of producing two metric tons of LEU each year, enough to fuel the LWR reactor under construction, or to produce 40 kg of highly-enriched uranium (HEU), enough for one to two nuclear weapons.
    • As of January 2018, North Korea is estimated to possess 250-500 kg of uranium.

    Proliferation Record

    Missiles:

    • North Korea has been a key supplier of missiles and missile technology to countries in the Middle East and South Asia including Egypt, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen.
    • Such transfers are believed to be one of Pyongyang’s primary sources of hard currency.
    • Although clientele for North Korea's missile exports appear to have dwindled in recent years due to U.S. pressure and UN sanctions, Iran and Syria remain customers of North Korean missile assistance. A February 2016 Congressional report confirmed that both Syria and Iran have received missile technology from North Korea. While Syria has also engaged in nuclear technology cooperation with North Korea, the report found no evidence that Iran has done so.
    • Pyongyang is widely believed to have provided missile cooperation to Burma.

    Nuclear

    • North Korea has a history of circumventing sanctions to import and export dual-use materials relevant to nuclear and ballistic missile activities and to sell conventional arms and military equipment. A UN panel of exports reports annually on adherence to UN Security Council sanctions and illicit trafficking. A few examples include:
      • North Korea helped Syria to build an undeclared nuclear reactor in al-Kibar based on its own Yongbyon reactor. In 2007, the reactor, which was under construction, was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike.
      • In November 2012, North Korea allegedly attempted to sell graphite rods to Syria.

    Nuclear Doctrine

    North Korea declared in January 2016 it would not be the first to use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is under threat and stated North Korea will “faithfully fulfill its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for the global denuclearization.” Kim Jong Un reiterated this policy in May 2016 when he said that North Korea will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is “encroached upon by any aggressive hostile forces” with nuclear weapons. This sentiment was again repeated by Kim Jong Un during his 2018 New Year's Address

    North Korea’s constitution was amended in 2013 to describe itself as a “nuclear state and an unchallengeable military power.”

    Given that North Korea typically does not describe its nuclear activities accurately, it is unclear to what extent Pyongyang would abide by this declared doctrine.

    Biological Weapons

    • Pyongyang is believed to maintain a biological weapons capability.
    • The United States intelligence community continues to judge that North Korea has a biotechnology infrastructure to support such a capability, and has a munitions production capacity that could be used to weaponize biological agents.
    • North Korea maintains the modern Pyongyang Bio-technical Institute, purportedly a pesticide factory, equipped with dual-use equipment that can be used to maintain a biological weapons capability and, as of 2017, is likely intended to produce “military-size” batches of anthrax.

    Chemical Weapons

    Additional Resources on North Korea

    1. Factsheet: Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy 
    2. Factsheet: UN Security Council Resolutions on North Korea 
    3. Factsheet: The Six-Party Talks at a Glance 
    4. Factsheet: The U.S.-North Korean Agreed Framework at a Glance 
    5. Issue Brief, February 2017: Recalibrating U.S. Policy Toward North Korea
    Country Profiles

    Country Resources:

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    The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) at a Glance

    June 2018

    Contact: Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, 202-463-8270 x 107

    The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is a multilateral treaty that bans chemical weapons and requires their destruction within a specified period of time. The treaty is of unlimited duration and is far more comprehensive than the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which outlaws the use but not the possession of chemical weapons.

    CWC negotiations started in 1980 in the UN Conference on Disarmament.  The convention opened for signature on January 13, 1993, and entered into force on April 29, 1997.

    The CWC is implemented by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is headquartered in The Hague with about 500 employees. The OPCW receives states-parties’ declarations detailing chemical weapons-related activities or materials and relevant industrial activities. After receiving declarations, the OPCW inspects and monitors states-parties’ facilities and activities that are relevant to the convention, to ensure compliance.

    The CWC is open to all nations and currently has 193 states-parties. Israel has signed but has yet to ratify the convention. Three states have neither signed nor ratified the convention (Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan).

    Prohibitions

    The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits:

    • Developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, or retaining chemical weapons.
    • The direct or indirect transfer of chemical weapons.
    • Chemical weapons use or military preparation for use.
    • Assisting, encouraging, or inducing other states to engage in CWC-prohibited activity.
    • The use of riot control agents “as a method of warfare.”

    Declaration Requirements

    The CWC requires states-parties to declare in writing to the OPCW their chemical weapons stockpiles, chemical weapons production facilities (CWPFs), relevant chemical industry facilities, and other weapons-related information. This must be done within 30 days of the convention's entry into force for each member state.

    Chemical Weapons Stockpiles—States-parties must declare all chemical weapons stockpiles, which are broken down into three categories:

    • Category 1: chemical weapons based on Schedule 1 chemicals, including VX and sarin. (See below for an explanation of “scheduled” chemicals.)
    • Category 2: chemical weapons based on non-Schedule 1 chemicals, such as phosgene.
    • Category 3: chemical weapons including unfilled munitions, devices and equipment designed specifically to employ chemical weapons.

    Other weapons-related declarations states-parties must make include:

    • Chemical weapons production facilities on their territories since January 1, 1946.
    • Facilities (such as laboratories and test sites) designed, constructed, or used primarily for chemical weapons development since January 1, 1946.
    • “Old” chemical weapons on their territories (chemical weapons manufactured before 1925 or those produced between 1925 and 1946 that have deteriorated to such an extent that they are no longer useable).
    • “Abandoned” chemical weapons (abandoned by another state without consent on or after January 1, 1925).
    • Plans for destroying weapons and facilities.
    • All transfers or receipts of chemical weapons or chemical weapons-production equipment since January 1, 1946.
    • All riot control agents in their possession.

    Chemical Industry—The CWC requires states-parties to declare chemical industry facilities that produce or use chemicals of concern to the convention. These chemicals are grouped into “schedules,” based on the risk they pose to the convention. A facility producing a Schedule 1 chemical is considered a Schedule 1 facility.

    • Schedule 1 chemicals and precursors pose a “high risk” to the convention and are rarely used for peaceful purposes. States-parties may not retain these chemicals except in small quantities for research, medical, pharmaceutical, or defensive use. Many Schedule 1 chemicals have been stockpiled as chemical weapons.
    • Schedule 2 chemicals are toxic chemicals that pose a “significant risk” to the convention and are precursors to the production of Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 chemicals. These chemicals are not produced in large quantities for commercial or other peaceful purposes.
    • Schedule 3 chemicals are usually produced in large quantities for purposes not prohibited by the CWC but still pose a risk to the convention. Some of these chemicals have been stockpiled as chemical weapons.

    The CWC also requires the declaration of facilities that produce certain nonscheduled chemicals.

    Destruction Requirements

    The convention requires states-parties to destroy:

    • All chemical weapons under their jurisdiction or control.
    • All chemical weapons production facilities under their jurisdiction or control.
    • Chemical weapons abandoned on other states’ territories.
    • Old chemical weapons.

    Category 1 chemical weapons destruction must start within two years after the CWC enters into force for a state-party. States-parties must destroy 1 percent within three years of the CWC's entry into force, 20 percent within five years, 45 percent within seven years, and 100 percent within 10 years. States parties that signed the treaty when it entered into force in 1997 were supposed to complete destruction of category 1 chemicals by April 29, 2007.

    States-parties that signed the treaty when it entered into force were supposed to destroy their entire stockpiles by April 29, 2012. However, the OPCW may extend these deadlines due to “exceptional circumstances,” and in December 2006, the OPCW Executive Council granted nearly all possessors extensions of differing lengths. The only exception was Albania, which was the sole state-party nearing the complete destruction of its stockpile at that time,

    Category 2 and 3 chemical weapons destruction must start within one year after the CWC enters into force for a state-party.

    Destruction of CWPFs capable of producing Schedule 1 chemicals must start within one year after the CWC enters into force for a state-party. States-parties that signed the treaty when it originally entered into force had to complete of CWPFs producing schedule 1 chemicals by April 29, 2007.

    Destruction of other CWPFs must start within one year after the CWC enters into force for a state-party. States-parties that signed the treaty when it originally entered into force had to complete destruction by April 29, 2002.

    States-parties may request to convert CWPFs to facilities that they can use for nonprohibited purposes. Once their requests are approved, states-parties that signed the treaty when it originally entered into force were supposed to complete conversion by April 29, 2003.

    As of December 2016, 90 of the 97 CWPFs declared to the OPCW have either been destroyed (67) or converted for peaceful purposes (23).

    On-Site Activity

    The convention establishes three types of on-site activities that aim to generate confidence in states-parties’ CWC compliance. These include:

    • “Routine inspections” of chemical weapons-related facilities and chemical industry facilities to verify the content of declarations and to confirm that activities are consistent with CWC obligations.
    • “Challenge inspections” which can be conducted at any facility or location in states-parties to clarify questions of possible noncompliance. (To prevent abuse of this measure, the OPCW’s executive body can vote by a three-quarters majority to stop a challenge inspection from going forward.)
    • Investigations of alleged use of chemical weapons.

    Trade

    The convention encourages trade among states-parties, calling upon them not to maintain restrictions on one another that would hamper the trade of chemical-related items to be used for peaceful purposes. The convention does restrict trade with non-states-parties, outlawing the transfer of Schedule 1 and 2 chemicals.  To ensure that Schedule 3 transfers to non-states-parties are not used for purposes prohibited by the convention, the CWC requires exporting states-parties to obtain an end-use certificate from importing states.

    Penalties for Noncompliance

    If states-parties are found to have engaged in prohibited actions that could result in “serious damage” to the convention, the OPCW could recommend collective punitive measures to other states-parties. In cases of “particular gravity,” the OPCW could bring the issue before the UN Security Council and General Assembly.

    States-parties must take measures to address questions raised about their compliance with the CWC. If they do not, the OPCW may, inter alia, restrict or suspend their CWC-related rights and privileges (such as voting and trade rights).


    Sources: Arms Control Association, OPCW (http://www.opcw.org/news-publications/publications/facts-and-figures/)


    Possessor States' Category I Destruction Implementation

     

    Declared Category 1 Stockpile
    Declared Agents
    Remaining Stockpile
    Projection
    Albania

    16 metric tons

    Mustard

    None

    Completed destruction on July 11, 2007.

    India

    1,044 metric tons

    Sulfur Mustard

    None

    Completed destruction on March 16, 2009.

    Iraq

    Unknown Quantity

    Unknown

    None

    The OPCW announced the destruction of Iraq's chemical weapons remnants on March 13, 2018.

    Libya

    24.7 metric tons*

    Sulfur Mustard

    None

    Completed destruction of Category 1 chemicals on May 4, 2013

    Russia

    40,000 metric tons

    Lewisite, Mustard, Phosgene, Sarin, Soman, VX

    None

    Completed destruction on September 27, 2017.

    South Korea

    605 metric tons

    Unknown

    None

    Completed destruction on July 10, 2008.

    Syria

    1,308 metric tons

    Sulfur Mustard

    Declared stockpile has been eliminated but undeclared chemicals still exist

    No projected timeline for destruction of undecared chemicals.

    United States

    27,771 metric tons

    Binary nerve agents, Lewisite, Mustard, Sarin, Soman, VX

    2,616 metric tons (as of January 2018)

    Will not meet deadline; U.S. estimates September, 2023.

    *Libya's official 2004 declaration was 24.7 metric tons. Libya declared additional CW stocks in November 2011 and February 2012, bringing the total to 26.3 metric tons.

    Chemical/Biological Arms Control

    Subject Resources:

    Fact Sheet Categories:

    Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: Syria

    June 2018

     

    Syria is a non-nuclear-weapon state with an advanced chemical weapons program and a suspected biological weapons capability. Due to its past interest in acquiring a nuclear capability and since destroyed plutonium reactor, it poses a nuclear proliferation risk. The Syrian Civil War, which has been ongoing since 2011, has had a large impact on the country's WMD capabilities, including a reduction of its short-range ballistic and cruise missile inventory, an international spotlight on its arsenal and use of chemical weapons, and a suspected influx of military capabilities.

    Contents

    Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

    Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

    Chemical Weapons

    • The Arsenal, an Overview
    • Chemical Weapons Use and International Response

    Biological Weapons

    Missiles

    • Ballistic Missiles
    • Cruise Missiles

    Past Nuclear Weapon Program

    Proliferation Record

    Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

    Additional Resources on Syria

    Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

     

    Signed

    Ratified

    Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

    1968

    1969

    Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

    ---

    ---

    Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

    ---

    ---

    CPPNM 2005 Amendment

    ---

    ---

    Chemical Weapons Convention

    ____

    2013*

    Biological Weapons Convention

    1972

    ---

    International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

    2005

    ---

     

    *Syria sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary General on September 12, 2013, which said that Assad signed a presidential decree allowing Syria's accession to the CWC. Normally, the treaty enters into force 30 days after the deposit of the instrument of ratification, but Syria indicated in the letter that it would begin implementation of the treaty's obligations immediately.

    Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

    Group

    Status

    Australia Group

    Not a member

    Missile Technology Control Regime

    Not a member

    Nuclear Suppliers Group

    Not a member

    Wassenaar Arrangement

    Not a member

    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol

    Syria has not negotiated such an agreement

    Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

    Not a participant

    Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation

    Not a participant

    Proliferation Security Initiative

    Not a participant

    UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673

    Syria has filed reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions

    Chemical Weapons

    The Arsenal, an Overview

    • In July 2012, the Syrian government publicly acknowledged the existence of its chemical stockpile for the first time. The spokesman said Syria would only use such weapons in the event of foreign intervention in the armed conflict between the government and domestic opposition forces.
    • According to a 2011 report to Congress, on the acquisition of technology relating to WMDs, the National Director of Intelligence said that Syria’s stockpile is deliverable by “aerial bombs, ballistic missiles, and artillery rockets.”
    • Syria committed to eliminating its chemical weapons stockpile when it joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013 but experts are skeptical that Syria declared all of its weapons for elimination.
    • On September 19, 2013, Syria submitted detailed information to the OPCW including the names, types, and qualities of its chemical weapons and then submitted a formal declaration on October 24, 2013. The report declared approximately 1,300 metric tons on 20 different chemicals including sulfur mustard and precursor chemical, twelve storage facilities, and twenty-seven production facilities. 

    Chemical Weapon Use

    • The Syrians have used chemical weapons including sarin, chlorine gas, and sulfur mustard, throughout the duration of the Syrian civil war.
    • On April 12, 2018, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley accused Syria of using chemical weapons at least 50 times since the beginning of the war. Civil Society groups report the number to be much higher, attributing 85 attacks (April 4, 2018) to the Syrian regime or nearly 200 attacks (April 8, 2018) when adding unattributed attacks.
    • In March 2013, after reports of three instances of chemical weapons use, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon established the OPCW Fact Finding Mission to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but not to determine who was responsible for the attacks. As of June 2018, the FFM has investigated over 80 cases of alleged chemical weapons use in Syria since 2014 and established the use of likely use of chemical weapons in 16 instances.
    • UN Security Council Resolution 2235, adopted August 7, 2015, established the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism to determine the entities responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The JIM's mandate expired in November 2017 after several attempts to extend it failed. In seven reports, the JIM found Syria responsible for four chemical attacks and ISIS responsible for two chemical attacks.
    • See the Timeline of Syrian Chemical Weapons Activity for more information on chemical weapons use and the international response.

    Biological Weapons

    • In July 2012, a spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the country possesses biological warfare materials, but little is known about the extent of the arsenal.
    • The U.S. Director of National Intelligence’s annual report on the acquisition of materials related to WMD production in 2011 confirms that the country’s biotechnical infrastructure could support the development of biological weapons. 
    • The 2018 U.S. Department of State report on compliance with arms control agreements did not list BWC-related concerns regarding Syria and the last year it was listed was 2015.
    • On July 14, 2014, Syria declared the existence of production facilities and stockpiles of purified ricin, a lethal bio-toxin, although little is known about the continued existence of such facilities in 2018.

    Missiles

    Ballistic Missiles 

    • Syria’s missile inventory has decreased dramatically since the beginning of the civil war in 2012 and updated information is limited. By 2015, over 90 percent of its missile stockpile had been used, according to an Israeli source. The country has reportedly been unable to produce any new missiles in the meantime, though it is likely that Iranian and Russian military supplies, possibly including missiles and production facilities, have been moved into Syria.
    • Syria relies on foreign suppliers, such as Iran and North Korea, for key technology to produce liquid-fueled ballistic missiles. Reportedly, in the late 1980s, Syria attempted to buy more accurate missiles from China, but there are conflicting reports as to whether or not Beijing ever delivered the weapons.
    • As of August 2012, Syria’s exclusively short-range ballistic missile inventory included:
      • SS-21-B (Scarab-B): Battlefield short-range, road mobile ballistic missile with an estimated range of 120km.
      • SS-1-C (Scud-B): Short-range road mobile ballistic missile with an estimated range of 300km.
      • SS-1-D (Scud-C): Short-range road mobile ballistic missile with an estimated range of 500-700km.
      • SS-1-E (Scud –D): Short-range road mobile ballistic missile with an estimated range of 700km.
      • CSS-8 (Fateh 110A): short-range road mobile ballistic missile with a range of 210-250km.

    Cruise Missiles 

    • Syria is known to possess several highly accurate anti-ship cruise missiles that could carry chemical warheads, as of August 2012, including:
      • SS-N-3B Sepal (SS-C-1B): Submarine-launched cruise missile with an estimated range of 300-400km.
      • SS-N-2C Styx (SS-C-3): Submarine-launched cruise missile with an estimated range of 80km.
      • SS-N-26: Land-launched cruise missile with an estimated range of 300km.

    Past Nuclear Weapons Program

    • Syria currently does not possess nuclear weapons or fissile material stockpiles that could be utilized for a nuclear weapons program.
    • It is widely assumed that Syria cooperated with North Korea to build a reactor that could produce plutonium for weapons. However, an Israeli air strike destroyed the al-Kibar facility in the Deir az-Zour region in 2007 before it became operational. The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed the attack in March 2018. Syria claims that the destroyed facility was not a nuclear reactor.
    • Syria does possess a Chinese-supplied research reactor that is currently under IAEA safeguards and is estimated to contain less than 1 kilogram of highly-enriched uranium.
    • The IAEA still has unanswered questions about the reactor but has little access to it due first to Syrian resistance and then the civil war.
    • Due to deteriorating security conditions, the agency suspended its physical verification of the reactor in June 2013. Syria invited IAEA inspectors back in February and May 2014, but the agency said in its September 2014 report on the implementation of Syria's safeguards agreement that the agency cannot send inspectors into the country because of the security situation.

    Proliferation Record

    • Given Syria’s domestic capability to produce ballistic missiles with little foreign assistance and their suspected ties with terrorist organizations, the United States has expressed concern that the country could pose a risk for proliferating its ballistic missiles and technology to others.
    • Syria has also attempted to purchase dual-use materials illicitly to advance its programs. In February 2007, the United States, along with three other countries in the Proliferation Security Initiative, interdicted a shipment of equipment relevant for testing ballistic missile components that was en route to Syria.
    • It is widely held that Syria acts as a transit country for Iranian armaments to Hezbollah, the Shia militant group that operates out of southern Lebanon. 
    • Israel accused Syria of supplying Hezbollah with Scud missiles in 2010, although this has not been confirmed.
    • Given the current armed conflict in Syria, the international community also is concerned that advanced conventional armaments or chemical weapons could be knowingly or unknowingly trafficked out of the country to non-state actors.

    Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

    Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty

    • In 2010, Syria was one of two countries that abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution that urged the Conference on Disarmament (CD) to begin negotiations on “a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”, or Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). Syria was one of seven countries to abstain from a similar UN General Assembly resolution in 2016. 
    • At the 2012 Conference on Disarmament, Syria advocated against negotiating a FMCT, stating that the issue was not ready for negotiations and that the CD should instead focus on nuclear disarmament.

    WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East

    • Syria has consistently supported UN resolutions and NPT actions on establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East despite its use of chemical weapons and suspicions about a past covert nuclear weapons program.  
    • At the 2017 UNGA First Committee, Syria reaffirmed its desire to see a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, stating that Syria’s 2013 accession to the CWC and “destruction” of all weapons “demonstrates its commitment to the establishment of a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction.” Further, Syria expressed “grave” concern over “the obstacles placed by Israel in the way of making the Middle East a zone free of nuclear weapons.” 

    Iran Nonproliferation Act

    • In 2005, the United States added Syria to the Iran Nonproliferation Act, legislation designed to prevent Iran from obtaining technology related to weapons of mass destruction, missiles, and other conventional armaments.

    Additional Resources on Syria

    1) Factsheet: Timeline of Syria Chemical Weapons Activity 

    2) News: U.S. Says Chemical Weapons Used in Syria 

    3) News: Plan Set to Rid Syria of Chemical Arms 

    Country Profiles

    Country Resources:

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    Chemical and Biological Weapons Status at a Glance

    June 2018

     

    Despite the progress made by international conventions, biological weapons (BW) and chemical weapons (CW) still pose a threat.

    More progress has been made by Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) states-parties and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the destruction of declared CW stockpiles. Progress on the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), however, has been slower due to the lack of a formal verification mechanism.

    There are 180 states parties to the BWC, including Palestine, and six signatories (Central African Republic, Egypt, Haiti, Somalia, Syria, and Tanzania). Eleven states have neither signed nor ratified the BWC (Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Israel, Kiribati, Micronesia, Namibia, Niue, South Sudan and Tuvalu).

    For more information about the BWC, please see BWC at a Glance.

    There are 193 states parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Israel has signed but not ratified the convention and Egypt, North Korea, South Sudan have neither signed nor ratified the CWC.

    For more information about the CWC, please see CWC at a Glance and Chemical Weapons: Frequently Asked Questions.

    Below is a list of states believed to currently possess or have once possessed biological and/or chemical weapons and their current status. Some states have officially declared BW or CW programs, while other programs have been alleged to exist by other states. Therefore, both official declarations and unofficial allegations of chemical and biological weapons programs are included below.

    ALBANIA

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: Although it joined the CWC in 1994, Albania did not acknowledge its possession of 16 metric tons of mustard agent (as well as small quantities of lewisite and other chemicals) until 2003. The OPCW declared Albania’s destruction complete in July 2007.

    CHINA

    Biological Weapons

    State declaration: China states that it is in compliance with its BWC obligations and that it has never had an active BW program.

    Allegations: According to the United States, China’s BW activities have been extensive and a 1993 State Department Compliance Report alleged that activities continued after China joined the BWC. The 2010 report indicates that little information is known about China’s activities, and that recent dual-use activities may have breached the BWC. Existing infrastructure would allow it to develop, produce, and weaponize agents. The 2017 report does not discuss China’s BWC compliance or noncompliance.

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: China states that it is in compliance with the CWC. China declared in 1997 that it had a small offensive CW program that has now been dismantled, which has been verified by over 400 inspections by the OPCW as of 2016.

    Allegations: The U.S. alleged in 2003 that China has an “advanced chemical weapons research and development program.” However, these allegations have decreased in magnitude in recent years and the State Department’s 2017 report on compliance with the CWC cited no such concerns.

    Other information: Approximately 350,000 chemical munitions were left on Chinese soil by Japan during the Second World War. Work with Japan to dispose of these is ongoing.

    CUBA

    Biological Weapons

    State declaration: Cuba denies any BW research efforts.

    Allegations: A 2003 State Department Compliance Report indicated that Cuba had “at least a limited developmental offensive biological warfare research and development effort.” The 2010 report claimed that “available information did not indicate Cuba’s dual-use activities during the reporting period involved activities prohibited by the BWC.” The 2017 report did not mention any problems with Cuba’s compliance with BWC.

    Allegations of BW programs have been made by Cuban defectors in the past.

    Other information: Cuba has a relatively advanced biotechnology industrial capabilities.

    EGYPT

    Biological Weapons

    State declaration: Two vague statements alluding to a BW capability were made by President Saddat and one of his ministers in 1972, but Egypt has not officially declared a biological weapons stockpile.

    Allegations: There have been various allegations that Egypt possesses biological weapons. Some argue that Egypt’s reluctance to ratify the BWC signals that it does possess biological weapons. The 2014 State Department compliance report notes that Egypt has "continued to improve its biotechnology infrastructure" over the past three years, including through research and development activities involving genetic engineering, as of 2013's end, "available information did not indicate that Egypt is engaged in activities prohibited by the BWC." The 2017 State Department report does not mention any problems with Egypt’s compliance with the BWC.

    Chemical Weapons

    Allegations: There is strong evidence that Egypt employed bombs and artillery shells filled with phosgene and mustard agents during the Yemen Civil War from (1963 – 1967) but it is unclear if Egypt currently possesses chemical weapons. In 1989, the United States and Switzerland alleged that Egypt was producing chemical weapons in a plant north of Cairo. As a non-party to the CWC, Egypt has not had to issue any formal declarations about CW programs and capabilities.

    INDIA

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: India declared in June 1997 that it possessed a CW stockpile of 1,044 metric tons of mustard agent. India completed destruction of its stockpile in 2009.

    IRAN

    Biological Weapons

    State declaration: Iran has publicly denounced BW.

    Allegations: The Defense Intelligence Agency alleged in 2009 that Iran’s BW efforts “may have evolved beyond agent R&D, and we believe Iran likely has the capability to produce small quantities of BW agents but may only have a limited ability to weaponize them.”

    The 2010 report assesses that there is evidence showing Iran continues dual-use activities, but there is no conclusive evidence showing BWC violations. The 2017 State Department report on compliance with the BWC does not mention any problems with Iran’s compliance with the BWC.

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: Iran has denounced the possession and use of CW in international forums.

    Allegations: Pre-2003 U.S. intelligence assessments alleged that Iran had a stockpile of CW. This stockpile is thought to have included blister, blood, and choking agents and probably nerve agents. After 2003, however, the United States stopped making such allegations. The United States claimed it was unable to ascertain if Iran is meeting its obligations under the CWC, according to a State Department 2017 report on compliance with the CWC.

    Other information: Iran suffered tens of thousands of casualties from Iraqi use of chemical weapons during the1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. Iran’s CW program is believed to have been started after Iraqi CW use. There are no known credible allegations that Iran used any chemical weapons against Iraq in response.

    IRAQ

    Biological Weapons

    State declaration: Iraq admitted to testing and stockpiling BW in the mid-1990s. These stockpiles appear to have been destroyed prior to the 2003 invasion. There have been no declarations about BW after 2003.

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: Iraq had an extensive chemical weapons program before the Persian Gulf War dating back to the 1960s under which it produced and stockpiled mustard, tabun, sarin, and VX. Iraq delivered chemical agents against Iranian forces during the Iran-Iraq War using aerial bombs, artillery, rocket launchers, tactical rockets, and helicopter-mounted sprayers and it also used chemical weapons against its Kurdish population in 1988. Its program was largely dismantled by United Nations weapons inspectors in the 1990s.

    Iraq declared in August 1998 that it had dismantled all of its chemical weapons in partnership with the UN Special Commission established for that purpose.

    Iraq then submitted an additional declaration to the OPCW of an unknown quantity of chemical weapons remnants contained in two storage bunkers in March 2009. Destruction activities were delayed due to an unstable security situation, but began in 2017. On March 13, 2018, the OPCW announced that all of Iraq's chemical weapons had been destroyed.

    ISRAEL

    Biological Weapons

    State declaration: Israel has revealed little in terms of its biological weapons capabilities or programs.

    Allegations: There is belief that Israel has had an offensive BW program in the past. It is unclear if this is still the case.

    Chemical Weapons

    Allegations: Some allege that Israel had an offensive CW program in the past. It is unclear if Israel maintains an ongoing program.

    LIBYA

    Biological Weapons

    State declaration: Libya announced in December 2003 that it would eliminate its BW program.

    Allegations: Between 1982 and 2003 there were many allegations of a Libyan biological weapons program, although later inspections failed to reveal any evidence to support these claims.

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: In 2003, Libya announced it would be abandoning its CW program and in 2004 it declared possession of chemical agents and facilities. Libya declared 24.7 metric tons of mustard agent in bulk containers. In addition, it declared one inactivated chemical weapons production facility, two chemical weapons storage sites, 1,300 metric tons of precursor chemicals, and 3,563 unfilled aerial bombs. Libya completed the destruction of its Category 1 chemical weapons in January 2014. With assistance from the OPCW and other member states, Libya removed all of the remaining chemical weapons from its territory for destruction in August 2016. In January 2018, the OPCW declared that Libya's entire chemical weapons arsenal had been destroyed.

    For more information on Libya's disarmament see Chronology of Libya's Disarmament and Relations with the United States.

    NORTH KOREA

    Biological Weapons

    Allegations: The 2010 State Department report on compliance with the BWC remarks that North Korea may “still consider the use of biological weapons as a military option.” In a 2012 Ministry of National Defense White Paper, South Korea asserted that “North Korea likely has the capability to produce[…] anthrax, smallpox, pest, francisella tularensis, and hemorrhagic fever viruses.”

    Chemical Weapons

    Allegations: North Korea is widely believed to possess a large chemical stockpile including nerve, blister, choking, and blood agents. The 2012 unclassified intelligence assessment provided to Congress states that North Korea has a "long standing CW program" and "possesses a large stockpile of agents." In February 2017, North Korean agents used VX, a nerve agent, to assassinate Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong Un in Malaysia.

    RUSSIA

    Biological Weapons

    State declaration: In January 1992, Boris Yeltsin acknowledged that the Soviet Union had pursued an extensive and offensive BW program throughout the 1970s and 1980s. However, since joining the BWC in 1992, Russia has repeatedly expressed its commitment to the destruction of its biological weapons.

    Allegations: The Soviet Union’s extensive offensive germ program included weaponized tularemia, typhus, Q fever, smallpox, plague, anthrax, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, glanders, brucellosis, and Marburg. The Soviet Union also researched numerous other agents and toxins that can attack humans, plants, and livestock.

    The United States has repeatedly expressed concern about Russia’s inherited biological weapons program and uncertainty about Russia’s compliance with the BWC.

    The 2010 State Department report on compliance with the BWC details that Russia continues to engage in dual-use biological research activities, yet there is no evidence that such work is inconsistent with BWC obligations. It assesses that it remains unclear whether Russia has fulfilled its obligations under Article I of the convention. The 2017 report states that “Russia’s annual BWC CBM submissions since 1992 have not satisfactorily documented whether the BW items under these programs were destroyed or diverted to peaceful purposes, as required by Article II of the BWC.”

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: Russia possessed the world’s largest chemical weapons stockpile: approximately 40,000 metric tons of chemical agent, including VX, sarin, soman, mustard, lewisite, mustard-lewisite mixtures, and phosgene.

    Russia has declared its arsenal to the OPCW and commenced destruction. Along with the United States, Russia received an extension when it was unable to complete destruction by the 2012 deadline imposed by the CWC. A 2016 OPCW report indicated that as of 2015, Russia had destroyed about 92 percent of its stockpile (around 36,7500 metric tons). On September 27, 2017, the OPCW announced that Russia completed destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal.

    Allegations: The U.S. has some reservations about Russian compliance with the CWC, as expressed in the 2017 State Department report on CWC compliance which stated “The United States cannot certify that Russia has met its obligations under the Convention,” and asserted that Russia had not made a complete declaration of its stockpile.

    The UK accused Russia of assassinating a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, in the UK using the chemical agent Novichok on March 4, 2018.

    SOUTH KOREA

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: South Korea declared a chemical weapons stockpile of unspecified agents when it joined the CWC in 1997 and completed destruction of its declared arsenal on July 10, 2008. It does not admit publically that it possessed chemical weapons and was noted in OPCW materials as a “state party.”

    SUDAN

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: After acceding to the CWC in 1999, Sudan declared only a small selection of unspecified riot control agents.

    Allegations: There are unconfirmed reports that Sudan developed and used CW in the past. The U.S. bombed an alleged CW factory in 1998. There have been no serious allegations in recent years. Sudan was not included in the 2017 State Department report on compliance with the CWC.

    SYRIA

    Biological Weapons

    State declaration: In July 2012, a spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the country possesses biological warfare materials, but little is known about the extent of the arsenal. On July 14, 2014, Syria declared the existence of production facilities and stockpiles of purified ricin, although little is known about the continued existence of such facilities in 2017.

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: On September 20, 2013, Syria submitted a declaration of its chemical weapons and facilities to the OPCW after years of denying the program's existence. The OPCW announced that the entirety of Syria’s declared stockpile of 1,308 metric tons of sulfur mustard agent and precursor chemicals had been destroyed in January 2016. However, reports continue to surface of chemical weapon use in Syria, raising questions about the accuracy of its initial declaration.

    Allegations: Syria had an extensive program producing a variety of agents, including nerve agents such as sarin and VX, and blistering agents, according to governments and media sources. There were also some allegations of deployed CWs on SCUD missiles. Several UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) reports have found that the Syrian government was responsible for chemical weapons attacks in Syria, including in April 2014, March 2015, March 2016, and April 2017 and that the Islamic State was responsible for chemical weapons attacks in Syria in August 2015 and September 2016.

    For more information about Syrian chemical weapon use see Timeline of Syrian Chemical Weapons Activity, 2012-2018.

    TAIWAN

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: Taiwan has declared that it possesses small quantities of CW for research but denies any weapons possession.

    THE UNITED STATES

    Biological Weapons

    State declaration: The United States unilaterally gave up its biological weapons program in 1969. The destruction of all offensive BW agents occurred between 1971 and 1973. The United States currently conducts research as part of its biodefense program.

    Allegations: According to a compliance report published by the Russian government in August 2010, the United States is undertaking research on Smallpox which is prohibited by the World Health Organization. Russia also accused the United States of undertaking BW research in order to improve defenses against bio-terror attacks which is “especially questionable from the standpoint of Article I of the BTWC.”

    Chemical Weapons

    State declaration: The United States declared a large chemical arsenal of 27,770 metric tons to the OPCW after the CWC came into force in 1997. Along with Russia, the United States received an extension when it was unable to complete destruction of its chemical stockpiles by 2012. A 2016 OPCW report declared that the United States had destroyed approximately 90 percent of the chemical weapons stockpile it had declared as the CWC entered into force; nearly 25,000 metric tons of the declared total of 27,770. The United States has destroyed all of Category 2 and Category 3 weapons and is projected to complete destruction of its Category 1 weapons by 2023.

    Allegations: A 2010 Russian report alleged that the United States has legislation which could inhibit inspections and investigations of U.S. chemical facilities. Russia has also accused the United States of not fully reporting chemical agents removed from Iraq between 2003 and 2008 and sent to the United States for testing and subsequent destruction.

    Chemical/Biological Arms Control

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    The Six-Party Talks at a Glance

    June 2018

    Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

    The six-party talks were a series of multilateral negotiations held intermittently since 2003 and attended by China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, and the United States for the purpose of dismantling North Korea’s nuclear program. The talks were hosted in Beijing and chaired by China. North Korea decided to no longer participate in the six-party process in 2009. In subsequent years, other participants, notably China, have called periodically for a resumption of the process. 

    Leading up to the Six-Party Talks

    The United States and North Korea negotiated the 1994 Agreed Framework amidst rising concerns about Pyongyang’s nuclear activities, including North Korea’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). The agreement halted that decision and as part of the accord, North Korea pledged to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for energy aid, including two proliferation-resistant light-water reactors.

    The Agreed Framework collapsed in October 2002 due to alleged violations from both sides. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly claimed that in a bilateral meeting, North Korea had admitted it possessed a uranium-enrichment program, which Pyongyang denied, and which would violate the deal. The United States was slow to deliver the energy aid promised in the agreement. The construction of the future light-water reactors was far behind schedule. The first reactor was initially slated for completion in 2003 but was not likely to be operational until 2008 at the earliest. See the U.S.-North Korean Agreed Framework at a Glance for more information. In January 2003, North Korea declared its withdrawal from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). For more information, see Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy.

    In early August 2003, North Korea declared its willingness to attend six-party talks to be held in Beijing. In between periods of stalemate and crisis, the six-party talks arrived at critical breakthroughs in 2005, when North Korea pledged to abandon “all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs” and return to the NPT, and in 2007, when the parties agreed on a series of steps to implement that 2005 agreement. While the steps were never fully realized, and North Korea remains outside of the NPT, Pyongyang did disable the nuclear reactor that produced plutonium for its weapons program.

    First Round

    The First Round of talks began August 27, 2003 in Beijing. The initial North Korean position called for a normalization of relations and a non-aggression pact with the United States, without which, Pyongyang maintained, a dismantling of its nuclear program would be out of the question. The United States had previously rejected a non-aggression pact proposal earlier that summer and remained firm on that point during the talks; this stumbling block precluded any substantive agreement in the First Round. On the second day of talks, the North Korean delegate, Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Yong Il stated that North Korea would test a nuclear weapon soon to prove that it had acquired that ability.

    Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi outlined six points of consensus that had been reached by the end of the round. These included a commitment to work to resolve the nuclear issue through peaceful means and dialogue, pursuing a nuclear-free Korean peninsula while bearing in mind the security of North Korea, and avoiding acts that would aggravate the situation further.

    Second Round

    While China called for a return to the forum, South Korea, Japan, and the United States met separately to discuss joint strategies for the next round and possibilities for a verifiable inspection system. In late October 2003, China secured an agreement from North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to return to the six-party talks, after U.S. President George W. Bush expressed an openness to providing informal security assurances short of a non-aggression pact or peace treaty. The United States, however, still would not allow its diplomats to hold direct talks with North Korean negotiators and demanded unilateral concessions on the part of Pyongyang. The central U.S. demand was that North Korea declare its willingness to the “complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement” of its nuclear programs, a policy that had come to be known as CVID.

    The Second Round of talks began February 25, 2004. On the second day of talks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Russian lead negotiator, Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Losiukov, both reported that North Korea had offered to destroy its nuclear weapons program, but would not discontinue its peaceful nuclear activities. This represented a partial reversal from its January offer. While both China and Russia supported an agreement on this new basis, the United States, Japan, and South Korea insisted that the North eliminate all of its nuclear facilities and programs. U.S. officials believed that the North Korean civil nuclear program was impractical for economic use and was likely a front for other activities.

    The Chairman’s paper that was eventually circulated at the end of the discussions in lieu of a joint statement did not include any initial steps agreements, but reaffirmed all parties’ commitment to a nuclear-weapons-free Korean peninsula.

    Third Round

    On June 23, 2004, the six states reconvened to begin the Third Round of negotiations. Expectations were muted by uncertainties generated by the Presidential election in the United States later that year.

    In the run up to the talks, the United States circulated its first set of formal proposals for a step-by-step dismantling of the North Korean nuclear program. (See ACT, July 2004.) The proposal granted North Korea a three-month preparatory period to freeze its programs, and also requested the transmittal of a full account of activities. South Korea presented a similar proposal that largely adhered to the base U.S. demand for CVID. At the opening ceremony of the Third Round, North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan reiterated that his country was willing to accept a “freeze for compensation” program that would lead to renunciation of its nuclear weapons program.

    Again lacking the consensus necessary for a joint statement, a Chairman’s statement was issued instead. In addition to reaffirming commitments made previously, the parties stressed the need for a “words for words” and “action for action” process towards resolution of the crisis.

    Fourth Round

    Nearly a year of uncertainty divided the Third and Fourth Rounds of the six-party talks. In part, this was due to the Presidential election in the United States, which took place in early November 2004 and resulted in a second term of office for George W. Bush. North Korea stated that it intended to wait for a restatement of the second Bush administration’s policies before deciding on whether to attend the next round of talks.

    In early February 2005, North Korea declared itself in possession of nuclear weapons and said it would not attend future six-party talks. It accused the United States of attempting to overthrow its government and referred to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s statement in her confirmation hearing that North Korea was an “outpost of tyranny.” Finally, following a July 2005 meeting in Beijing with the new U.S. lead negotiator Christopher Hill, North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan announced that his country would be willing to attend a new round of talks during the week of July 25, 2005.

    One of the inducements which drew North Korea back to the negotiating table was a U.S. recognition of North Korea as a sovereign state coupled with a statement that it had no intention to invade North Korea. These were reiterated on the first day of negotiations. The resulting talks were considerably longer than previous rounds, lasting a full 13 days. The United States softened its opposition to a North Korean civil energy program, while a joint statement based on resurrection of a 1992 Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula that barred the testing, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons was discussed. The United States also engaged in lengthy bilateral discussions with the North Korean delegation, lifting prior restrictions prohibiting U.S. negotiators from engaging the North Koreans directly.

    On September 19, 2005, the six parties achieved the first breakthrough in resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis, issuing a joint statement on agreed steps toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula “in a phased manner in line with the principle of commitment for commitment, action for action.”

    North Korea committed itself to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing programs, returning to the NPT and accepting IAEA inspections. In return, the other parties expressed their respect for North Korea’s assertion of a right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy and agreed to discuss the provision of a light water nuclear reactor “at an appropriate time.” The United States and South Korea both affirmed that they would not deploy nuclear weapons on the peninsula, and stated, along with Russia, China, and Japan, their willingness to supply North Korea with energy aid. The United States and Japan, further, committed themselves to working to normalizing relations with North Korea.

    The day after the Joint Statement was agreed, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry declared that the United States should provide a light water reactor “as early as possible.” (See ACT, November 2005.) Although Pyongyang appeared to back away from that demand in the following days, disagreements over the timing of discussions on the provision of such a reactor remained.

    Fifth Round

    The next round of talks began on November 9, 2005 and lasted three days. The Six Parties expressed their views on how the Joint Statement should be implemented, but no new achievements were registered and substantial negotiations were neither attempted nor envisioned. U.S. lead negotiator Christopher Hill said, “We were not expecting to make any major breakthroughs.” The meeting concluded without setting a date for the next round of talks.

    Following the end of the first session, the negotiating climate deteriorated significantly. U.S. sanctions on North Korean trading entities as well as Banco Delta Asia of Macau provoked strong condemnation from Pyongyang. North Korea boycotted the six-party talks once again, and conducted multiple missile tests in July and its first nuclear test on October 9, 2006.

    In response, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1718 on October 14, requiring North Korea to refrain from further nuclear or missile testing, abandon its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missile programs, and immediately rejoin the six-party talks.

    Further discussions resumed in February 2007 which concluded in an agreement on initial steps to implement the 2005 Joint Statement.  The February 13 agreement called for steps to be taken over the next 60 days in which North Korea committed to shutting down and sealing the Yongbyon nuclear facilities and to discussing a list of its nuclear-related activities with the other parties. The United States and Japan committed to engaging in talks to normalize relations, while all parties would work to provide 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil, all within the 60 day period. The United States also agreed to begin the process of removing North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism and terminating the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act with regards to North Korea. The agreement set a March 19, 2007 date for a Sixth Round of talks and outlined a framework for follow-on actions by the six parties to implement the September 2005 Joint Statement.

    Sixth Round

    The next round of talks began on time but came to no substantive agreement in its initial sessions after the North Korean delegation walked out over delays in the release of funds from the sanctioned Banco Delta Asia. Diplomats had been optimistic that issues surrounding the bank had been temporarily resolved, but a technical delay in the transmittal of funds led to the announcement of another adjournment.

    The IAEA confirmed in July 2007 that the 5 megawatt Yongbyon nuclear reactor had been shut down and sealed. When talks resumed in September-October 2007, a second phase implementation plan was agreed upon which called for the disablement of three key nuclear facilities at the Yongbyon complex and the provision of a list of North Korean nuclear activities, both by the end of the year. North Korea further committed to not transferring nuclear materials, technology, or know-how to other parties. The other parties agreed to increase aid to North Korea to a total of 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil or fuel oil equivalents and to a continuation of the diplomatic normalization processes.

    Following numerous delays in implementation, U.S. and North Korean negotiators met in Singapore in April 2008 and agreed on three steps through which North Korea would detail or address its nuclear activities: a declaration provided by North Korea regarding its plutonium program, the publication of a U.S. "bill of particulars" detailing Washington's suspicions of a North Korean uranium-enrichment program and Pyongyang's nuclear proliferation to other countries, and a North Korean understanding of the U.S. concerns. (See ACT June, 2008.)

    Further six-party talks continued in June 2008, ending with the transmittal of North Korea’s declaration of nuclear activities. At the same time, U.S. President Bush announced that he had removed North Korea from the Trading with the Enemy Act and had notified Congress of the country’s removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

    Difficulties in agreeing on a verification system delayed the second action until October 11, 2008. The need for a verification system had been reaffirmed in a July 12 joint communiqué issued by the six parties. An August 11, 2008 proposal from the United States to allow verification inspections at sites throughout North Korea was rejected emphatically. Insisting that inspections be limited to Yongbyon, North Korea announced that it was reversing disablement actions and said it would restart its reprocessing plant. A verbal agreement was established after Hill visited Pyongyang in early October. The agreement allowed for inspections outside of Yongbyon when China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States agreed by consensus.

    Progress again foundered in November when North Korea denied that it had committed in the verbal agreement to allowing the collection of samples at Yongbyon. Another session of six-party talks in December yielded no new consensus. North Korea maintained that if sampling were to take place, it would not be during second phase implementation.

    On April 5, 2009, after repeated warnings from the United States, Japan and South Korea, Pyongyang test-fired a modified Taepo Dong-2 three-stage rocket, ostensibly as part of its civilian space program. The UN Security Council issued a presidential statement April 13 calling the test a violation of Resolution 1718, and expanded sanctions on North Korean firms shortly afterwards. North Korea responded on April 14, declaring that it would no longer participate in the six-party talks and that it would no longer be bound by any of the previous agreements reached in the discussions.

    Since the last round of talks, each of the parties involved has at times called for their resumption. In December 2010, China, Japan, South Korea and the United States called for an emergency session of the six-party talks. In 2014, a North Korean special envoy told Russian President Vladimir Putin that North Korea would be ready to resume the six-party talks. China has continued to call from their resumption, as recently as August 2017. However, there has been little progress towards continuing the six-party talks recently.

    Agreements and Declarations from the Six-Party Talks

    Research by Xiaodon Liang

    Strategic Arms Control and Policy

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    Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) at a Glance

    June 2018

    Contact: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107; Kingston Reif, Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy, (202) 463-8270 x104

    A fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) is a proposed international agreement that would prohibit the production of the two main components of nuclear weapons: highly-enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium. Discussions on this subject have taken place at the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD), a body of 65 member nations established as the sole multilateral negotiating forum on disarmament. The CD operates by consensus and is often stagnant, impeding progress on an FMCT.

    Those nations that joined the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-weapon states are already prohibited from producing or acquiring fissile material for weapons. An FMCT would provide new restrictions for the five recognized nuclear weapon states (NWS—United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, and China), and for the four nations that are not NPT members (Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea).

    Background

    Efforts to curb the spread of nuclear material and technology began only a short time after the world was introduced to the destructive potential of atomic weaponry. In 1946 the Acheson-Lilienthal Report, authored in part by Manhattan Project physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, advocated for an Atomic Development Agency to regulate fissile material and ensure that state rivalries over the technology did not occur. Ultimately, neither Dean Acheson or David Lilienthal presented the U.S. plan to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC). Instead, Bernard Baruch presented the Baruch Plan, which also would have established an Atomic Development Authority that answered to the UN Security-Council. The plan called for the United States to disassemble its nuclear arsenal, but only after an agreement had been reached assuring the United States that the Soviets would not be able to acquire a bomb. The plan failed to achieve consensus within the UNAEC.

    Much later, UN resolution 78/57 L, which passed unanimously in 1993, called for a “non-discriminatory, multi-lateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”

    In March 1995, the CD took up a mandate presented by Canadian Ambassador Gerald Shannon. The Shannon Mandate established an ad hoc committee that was directed to negotiate an FMCT by the end of the 1995 session. A lack of consensus over verification provisions, as well as desires to hold parallel negotiations on outer space arms control issues, prevented negotiations from getting underway. China and Russia articulated a desire to hold parallel negotiations on Preventing an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS), a point which has further stalled efforts to begin FMCT negotiations.

    The U.S. and an FMCT

    The George W. Bush administration submitted an FMCT proposal at the CD in 2006 which proposed a fifteen year ban on the production of HEU and plutonium, two key components of nuclear weapons. The proposal did not include any verification measures, and would have applied to only the five recognized NWS.

    The Obama administration’s support of an FMCT was displayed prominently in a speech President Obama delivered in Prague in 2009, including dropping the previous administration’s opposition to FMCT verification. Obama stated that, “the United States will seek a new treaty that verifiably ends the production of fissile materials intended for use in state nuclear weapons.” A group of governmental experts issued a report in 2015 making recommendations on taking forward an FMCT. In March 2016, the United States formulated a proposal at the Conference on Disarmament to establish a working group to negotiate an FMCT.

    The Trump administration stated that it would support the negotiation of an FMCT at the 2018 NPT Preparatory Committee. 

    Global Fissile Stockpile Estimates

    The United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia have all declared that they have stopped producing fissile material for nuclear weapons. It is widely believed that China has also stopped producing fissile material for nuclear weapons, ceasing production of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in 1987, and plutonium in 1991.

    According to the International Panel on Fissile Material’s (IPFM) 2015 Global Fissile Material Report, the global stockpile of HEU in 2015 consisted of roughly 1,340 ± 125 tons, which would be enough material to create 76,000 first simple, first generation nuclear weapons. Roughly 99% of the HEU stock is owned by nuclear weapon states, and Russia and the United States have the largest stocks. India, Pakistan, and North Korea are believed to have ongoing production operations for HEU.

    IPFM estimates the global stockpile of separated plutonium at 520 ± 10 tons, of which, less than half was produced for use in weapons. About 88% of plutonium is held by states with nuclear weapons that are NPT signatories, and most of the remaining 12% is held by Japan, which has over 47 tons of plutonium. Though the five NWS no longer produce weapons-grade plutonium, production continues in India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan. 

     

    Fissile Material Production End Dates

     

    Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)

    Weapon Grade Plutonium

    United States

    1992

    1987

    Russia

    1987-88

    1994

    United Kingdom

    1963

    1989

    France

    1996

    1992

    China

    1987-89*

    1990*

    India

    Ongoing

    Ongoing

    Israel

    Status Unknown

    Ongoing

    Pakistan

    Ongoing

    Ongoing

    North Korea**

    Status Unknown

    Ongoing

     

    *While information on China’s fissile material stocks have remained a secret, China is widely believed to have stopped production of fissile material.

    Points of Contention

    In order for negotiations to begin on an FMCT, Pakistan will have to remove its opposition vote, and a consensus to move forward with negotiations must be reached. Pakistan has been primarily concerned that an FMCT would lock them into a disadvantageous position relative to India’s superior nuclear stockpile. Consequently, Islamabad would like an FMCT to include current fissile material stockpiles, instead of just capping future production, a position shared by several other countries.

    Strategic Arms Control and Policy

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    Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: Iran

    May 2018

     

    Iran is not a nuclear-weapons state and, though it has pursued a program to develop nuclear warheads in the past, has adhered to the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) since adoption in October 2015, as verified by all quarterly IAEA reports. Under the JCPOA, for well over a decade, it will take Iran 12 months to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one bomb. The deal also bars Iran from selling conventional arms for five years from the start of implementation, though branches of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps continue to allegedly smuggle arms to Iranian proxies in Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere. Iran’s active ballistic missile program is one of the largest deployed missile forces in the Middle East, with over 1,000 short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles as well as a space-launch vehicle that could potentially be converted into an ICBM.

    Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

     

    Signed

    Ratified

    Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

    1968

    1970

    Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

    1996

    - - -

    Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

    - - -

    - - -

    CPPNM 2005 Amendment

     

    - - -

    - - -

    Chemical Weapons Convention

    1993

    1997

    Biological Weapons Convention

    1972

    1973

    International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

    - - -

    - - -

    Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

    Group

    Status

    Australia Group

    Not a member

    Missile Technology Control Regime

    Not a member

    Nuclear Suppliers Group

    Not a member

    Wassenaar Arrangement

    Not a member

    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol

    Signed an additional protocol in Dec. 2003 and implemented it voluntarily until February 2006 after the IAEA Board of Governors resolution referring Tehran to the UN Security Council. As part of the July 2015 nuclear deal, Iran will implement its Additional Protocol and seek to ratify it within eight years.

    Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

    Not a participant

    Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation

    Not a participant

    Proliferation Security Initiative

    Not a participant

    UN Security Council Resolutions 1540

    Iran has filed the requested reports on its activities to fulfill the resolution.

    Nuclear Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

    The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview

    Iran does not possess nuclear weapons but it conducted activities in the past relevant to developing a nuclear warhead, including uranium enrichment and studies on ballistic missile mating and re-entry. In July 2015, after a decade of intermittent negotiations, Iran along with the “P5+1” (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) concluded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), frequently referred to as the Iran nuclear deal. The Iran nuclear deal restricts Iran’s nuclear activities and puts in place monitoring and verification measures in addition to Iran’s safeguards. On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the JCPOA and reinstate U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. For more on the deal see the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action at a Glance.   

    Delivery Systems

    Ballistic Missiles

    • Iran’s missile program is largely based on North Korean and Russian designs and has benefitted from Chinese technical assistance.
    • With approximately 1,000 short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, the program is one of the largest deployed ballistic missile forces in the Middle East.
    • Iran’s current focus is on enhancing the accuracy of medium-range systems - not increasing range.
    • Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Iran would refrain from manufacturing ballistic missiles exceeding a range of 2,000km, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Revolutionary Guard, told reporters on Oct. 31, 2017. The limitation is not legally binding.
    • UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA in 2015, annulled a 2010 resolution that prohibited Iranian tests of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and “calls upon” Iran not to test any ballistic missiles that are “designed to be nuclear capable.” Resolution 2231 also kept in place sanctions preventing Iran from transferring materials and technologies relevant to developing ballistic missiles.
    • Iran has continued ballistic missile testing in the wake of the nuclear deal. In response, the United States has designated additional entities for contributing to Iran’s ballistic missile program.
    • Iran’s short-range and medium-range missiles include:
      • Fateh-110: The Fateh-110 is an operational short-range missile with an estimated range of 200-300km.
      • Shahab-1: The Shahab-1 is an operational, short-range missile with an estimated range of 300km.
      • Qiam-1: The Qiam is an operational short-range missile with an estimated range of 500-1000km.
      • Shahab-2: The Shahab-2 is an operational short-range missile with an estimated range of 500km.
      • Fateh-313: The Fateh-313 is an operational short-range missile with an estimated range of 500km.
      • Zolfaghar: The Zolfaghar is an operational missile with an estimated range of 700km.
      • Shahab-3: The Shahab-3 is an operational missile with an estimated range of 800-1,000km. A liquid-fueled missile based on the North Korean No-Dong, it is Iran’s most sophisticated missile.
      • Emad-1: The Emad-1 is a single-stage medium-range ballistic missile under development with a range of up to 2,000 km. First tested in 2015, Iran claims the Emad-1 is a high-precision missile.
      • Ghadr-1: The Ghadr-1 is a medium-range missile under development with an estimated range of up to 2,000 km. The missile is a modified version of the Shahab-3.
      • Sejjil-2: The Sejiil is an intermediate-range missile under development with an estimated range of 1,500-2,500km. First tested in 2007, the Sejill is a two-stage solid fuel-propelled missile. The Sejjil-2 has not been tested since 2011 and reports indicate Iran has a hard time producing the solid-fueled motors because of sanctions. This technology could help improve the mobility of Iran’s missile force. 

    Space-Launched Vehicles (SLV)

    • Safir: The Safir is a two-stage, liquid-fueled space launch vehicle (SLV) that Iran has used to successfully launch four satellites into space between February 2009 and February 2012. Two Safir launches subsequently failed, once in 2013 and again in 2014. In February 2015, Iran successfully launched a satellite for the fifth time. A 2009 report by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) assessed that the Safir “can serve as a test bed for long-range ballistic missile technologies” and could serve as an ICBM if converted to a ballistic missile.
    • Simorgh: The Simorgh is a two-stage SLV that Iran has displayed, but not launched. It is larger than the Safir. The first Simorgh launch was announced for 2010.

    Cruise Missiles

    • Iran possesses the following cruise missiles:
      • Kh-55: An air-launched nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of up to 3,000 km which was illegally procured from the Ukraine in 2001.
      • Khalid Farzh: Iran’s most advanced missile with a range of about 300 km capable of carrying a 1,000 kg warhead.
      • Nasr-1: A domestically produced missile which is claimed to be capable of destroying warships and military targets up to 3,000 tons.

    Fissile Material

    • During the latter half of 2002, the IAEA began investigating two secret Iranian nuclear facilities: a heavy-water production plant near Arak and a gas centrifuge uranium-enrichment facility near Natanz.
    • In September of 2009, the discovery of Fordow, a secret nuclear facility under construction near Qom, deepened international suspicions about Iran’s uranium enrichment activities.
    • In 2010, Iran scaled up some of its uranium enrichment from less than 5 percent to 20 percent, the level required for Iran’s research reactor.
    • Under the Iran deal, Iran’s enriched uranium is capped at 3.67 percent.
    • Much of the uranium-enrichment program is based on equipment and designs acquired through former Pakistani nuclear official A.Q. Khan’s secret supply network.
    • Iran relies on its IR-1 centrifuge, a variant of Pakistan’s P-1 centrifuge, known to be crash-prone and unreliable. 
    • Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran is permitted a strictly limited amount of R&D on advanced centrifuges.  

    The Road to the JCPOA

    • In 2006, the Security Council adopted a number of resolutions calling on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment-related activities and cooperate fully with the IAEA.
    • When Iran refused to comply, the UNSC introduced four rounds of sanctions targeting Iranian entities and individuals believed to be involved in Iran’s proliferation-related activities.
    • In 2009, Russia, France, and the United States negotiated a fuel swap deal with Iran to transfer low-enriched uranium (LEU) out of the country in exchange for fuel for a reactor that produces medical isotopes. The deal fell through when Iran tried to change the terms.
    • In 2012, the P5+1 continued diplomatic efforts and met with Iran on four separate occasions. These talks were suspended for the 2013 Iranian elections though they did lay the groundwork for what would become the JCPOA.
    • After President Rouhani was elected in June of 2013, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met for a bilateral exchange. A day later, President Obama called President Rouhani, marking the highest level contact between the U.S. and Iran since 1979.
    • Negotiations to curb the Iranian nuclear program took place in October and November 2013 and an interim agreement was reached November 24. Implementation of the interim agreement began on January 20, 2014. The interim agreement was extended twice before the comprehensive agreement was finalized. Along the way all parties implemented changes and did not violate the interim agreement. Learn more about the interim agreement here.
    • The final agreement is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and was finalized on July 14, 2015. The implementation schedules and enforcement options are governed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which was adopted on July 20, 2015. Learn more about the JCPOA.   
    • According to U.S. government estimates, under the JCPOA, for well over a decade, it will take Iran 12 months to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one bomb.
    • The IAEA reports quarterly on Iran's adherence to the JCPOA. Two reports in 2016 noted slight excesses in heavy-water. Iran rectified this by selling or shipping abroad part of its stocks. The P5+1 and Iran subsequently clarified the heavy-water limit.
    • On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the JCPOA and reinstate U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. 

    Proliferation Record

    • In 2000, Iran exported rockets and several ballistic missile components to Libya.
    • Iran has been accused of violating a Security Council resolution barring arms transfers to Hezbollah.
    • Since 2007, the Security Council has barred Iran from selling conventional arms and also prohibits any country from importing arms from Iran without prior UN Security Council approval. Under UN Security Council Resolution 2231 the embargo on Iran’s export of conventional arms will remain in place for five years from JCPOA Adoption Day (October 2015). This embargo may be lifted earlier if the IAEA reaches a “Broader Conclusion” that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful.
    • According to a 2012 report by a designated panel of experts, Iran has been a major supplier of weapons to the Syrian government. The report describes three illegal transfers, two to Syria and one to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
    • Unit 190, a branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, is responsible for smuggling arms to Iranian proxies in Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere.

    Biological Weapons

    • Iran has ratified the Biological Weapons Convention but the United States maintains Iran’s biotechnology infrastructure gives it the ability to produce small quantities of biological weapons agents for offensive purposes.
    • According to a 2004 CIA report, Iran has previously conducted offensive biological weapons agent research and development and continues to seek dual-use biotechnology.
    • U.S. officials have accused Iran of “probably” pursuing an offensive biological weapons capability in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention in 2011. Iran denies the allegation.

    Chemical Weapons

    • Iran has signed and ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention.
    • A 2009 unclassified U.S. intelligence report says that “Iran maintains the capability to produce chemical warfare agents” as well as the ability “of weaponizing [chemical weapons] agents in a variety of delivery systems."
    • Having suffered chemical weapon attacks during the eight year Iran-Iraq war, Iranian officials frequently speak about the dangers of chemical weapons.
    • The United States has sanctioned companies for providing dual-use chemicals to Iran.

    Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

    Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone

    • Iran was one of the first states to formally call for a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, joining with Egypt to propose the goal to the UN General Assembly in 1974. Tehran consistently makes statements at disarmament fora expressing its support for the zone concept.  

    Conference on Disarmament

    • At the 2012 Conference on Disarmament, Iran said it was not opposed to negotiations of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) but that it should not infringe on any state’s right to use fissile material for peaceful purposes or naval propulsion.

    Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

    • Iran played an active role in the negotiations for a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in March and June-July 2017, calling often for a comprehensive and verifiable treaty.
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    The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at a Glance

    May 2018

    Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

    The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a detailed, 159-page agreement with five annexes reached by Iran and the P5+1 (China France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) on July 14, 2015. The nuclear deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015. Iran’s compliance with the nuclear-related provisions of the JCPOA will be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) according to certain requirements set forth in the agreement. On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the JCPOA and reinstate U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. 

    The following is a summary of the timeline and key components of the multi-year agreement.

    Timeline for Implementation

    July 14, 2015, Finalization Day: conclusion of the agreement. Finalization day triggers Iran and the United States to begin domestic review processes of the JCPOA. Iran also begins providing the IAEA with information necessary for the agency to complete its investigation into past activities related to nuclear weapons development. 

    October 18, 2015, Adoption Day: 90 days after the passage of the UN Security Council Resolution endorsing the deal (July 20, 2015). Adoption day triggers Iran and the P5+1 to take steps (outlined below) to meet the commitments to fully implement the JCPOA. 

     January 16, 2016, Implementation Day: the IAEA certifies that Iran has taken the key steps to restrict its nuclear program and has put in place increased monitoring. The IAEA's report on implementation day triggers U.S., EU, and UN sanctions relief. 

    • October 2023, Transition Day: Eight years after adoption day (or the IAEA reaching its broader conclusion on Iran's nuclear program, whichever is sooner). Adoption day triggers the UN to lift missile restrictions, Iran to seek ratification of its additional protocol, the EU to terminate all remaining nuclear sanctions, United States to remove certain entities from the sanctioned list, and the United States to seek legislative termination of certain sanctions.
    • October 2025, Termination Day: Ten years after adoption day. Termination day terminates Resolution 2231 and the Security Council closes Iran's nuclear file. 

     

     

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    Hotline Agreements

    April 2018

    Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy , (202) 463-8270 x102

    A hotline is a quick communication link between heads of states, which is designed to reduce the danger of an accident, miscalculation or a surprise attack, and especially an incident that might trigger a nuclear war.

    1963 Memorandum of Understanding
    On June 20, 1963, the United States and the Soviet Union signed the "Memorandum of Understanding Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Regarding the Establishment of a Direct Communications Link," also known as the hotline agreement, which was designed to help speed up communications between the two governments and prevent the possibility of accidental nuclear war. It is no coincidence that the agreement came just a few months after the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear conflict. The new agreement was designed to forestall such a crisis in the future.

    The hotline agreement held each government responsible for the arrangements for the communications link on their territories respectively. The hotline would comprise of a full-time duplex wire telegraph circuit with two terminal points with teletype equipment routed between Washington and Moscow via London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki and a full-time duplex radiotelegraph routed through Stockholm-Helsinki-Moscow. In case the wire circuit was interrupted, messages would be transmitted via radio circuit.

    It is a misleading belief that the hotline was a red telephone that sat in the Oval Office of the White house. The first generation of the hotline had no voice element and actually resided in the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon. “It was decided that if the leaders spoke over the telephone they would have to rely too heavily on rapid translation. Printed messages would provide greater clarity and give either party time to reflect before replying.” The Washington–London link was originally carried over the TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable. Such a design prevented spontaneous verbal communications, which could lead to misunderstanding and misperceptions.

    A secondary radio line was routed between Washington, D.C. and Moscow via Tangier. American teletype machines had been installed in the Kremlin to receive messages from Washington; Soviet teletypes were installed in the Pentagon. Both nations also exchanged encoding devices in order to decipher the messages. The transmission of a message from one nation to another would take just a few minutes. The messages then were translated.

    First Use of the Hotline
    The hotline significantly reduced the time required for direct communication between the heads of the two governments from hours to minutes. In August 1963, the system was ready to be tested. On August 30, 1963 the United States sent its first message to the Soviet Union over the hotline: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back 1234567890."

    The message used every letter and number key on the teletype machine in order to see that each was in working order. The return message from Moscow was in Russian, but it indicated that all of the keys on the Soviet teletype were also functioning.

    The hotline was first used by the United States and Russia in 1967 during the Six Day War between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria to clarify the intentions of fleet movements in the Mediterranean that could have been interpreted as hostile. Thereby, the Soviet Union and the United States intended to reassure each other that they did not wish to be militarily involved in the crisis and did not make efforts to bring about a ceasefire. Throughout the duration of the Six Days War, the two sides used the hotline almost two dozen times for a variety of purposes. Richard Nixon also used it during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and again during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. During the Reagan Administration, the hotline was used several more times. However, an official listing of the instances when the states used the hotline never has been released to the public.

    Modern Version of U.S.–Russian Nuclear Hotline
    In the 1970s, the hotline was improved with better technologies. In 1971, the two sides signed the hotline modernization agreement. Under this agreement, the United States was to provide one circuit via the Intelsat system, and the Soviet Union a circuit via its Molniya system. The 1963 radio circuit was terminated, and the wire telegraph was retained as a back-up.

    The hotline had undergone several more upgrades to include facsimile transmission and was renamed as the Nuclear Risk Reduction Center (NRRC) in 1987. The Center used both U.S. and Soviet satellites to transmit facsimile data. Later that year, the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was signed making the NRRC system the official channel for all data exchanges and notifications required under the treaty. Use of the NRRC network was expanded even further with the signing of START I in 1991, and its entry into force in 1994.

    "Although used primarily for the exchange of notifications under existing bilateral and multilateral treaties, the NRRC has periodically proved its use in other areas as well. In January 1991, goodwill notifications were used to exchange information on the re-entry of the Salyut 7 space station. Later that same year the NRRCs served as a means of emergency communications during a major fire in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow." The hotline between Moscow and Washington still exists, despite improved relations and the end of the Cold War. Over the years, it has been upgraded keeping apace with the technological development. The former C.I.A. director and defense secretary, Robert Gates, has said that the hotline will remain an important tool for "as long as these two sides have submarines roaming the oceans and missiles pointed at each other."

    Other Bilateral Hotline Agreements
    Once the hotline between Washington and Moscow proved to be useful, other states established hotlines. In 1966, France signed an accord establishing a direct communications link between Paris and Moscow. Under the 1967 British-Soviet agreement, a direct communications line was set up between Moscow and London.

    Russia–China Nuclear Hotline
    In 1998, Beijing established head-of-state hotlines with Russia and the United States. In April 1996, during Russian President Yeltsin’s third summit meeting in Beijing, the two sides agreed to maintain regular dialogues at various levels and through multiple channels, including a governmental telephone hotline. On May 3, 1998, a hotline between China and Russia finally began operating. This is the first time Beijing has established a hotline with the head of a foreign state. Ten years later, in March 2008, a hotline between the Chinese and Russian Defense Ministries was established to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two states. The Russian and Chinese were exchanging their views on the international and regional situation as well as other issues of common concern.

    U.S.–China Nuclear Hotline
    In April 1998, China’s minister of Foreign Affairs Tang Jiaxuan and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright signed an agreement to establish a hotline between the governments of the two countries. The hotline was activated during President Clinton’s visit to China in June 1998.


    India–Pakistan Nuclear Hotline
    In 2004 India and Pakistan agreed to set up a telephone hotline between the most senior officials in their foreign ministries respectively to prevent a nuclear incident. The two states have fought three wars since they both gained independence in 1947, and were dangerously teetering on the brink of nuclear conflict in 2002. In 2004, along with the establishment of the hotline, both states limited command and control structures, and reaffirmed that each side would continue to uphold the moratorium on nuclear tests.


    After the 2008 Mumbai attacks from Pakistan had upset the relations between the two states. Three years later in 2011, India and Pakistan set up a “terror hotline”. The hotline warns each party state of possible militant attacks and moves them to restore the trust between each other.

     

    North Korea-South Korea Hotline

    The Seoul-Pyongyang “hotline” comprises 33 telephone lines that connect North and South Korea through the Panmunjom Joint Security Area within the Demilitarized Zone. Five are used for daily communications, 21 for negotiations, and 7 for transportation and commerce. The first hotline, established in September 1971, was designed to allow the North and South Korean Red Crosses to negotiate. The two countries agreed to build more telephone connections in a July 4, 1972 Joint Communiqué. North Korea has periodically stopped responding to phone calls when tensions have spiked between the two countries. The most recent disconnection began in February 2016, after South Korea closed a jointly-operated manufacturing park in the Kaesong Industrial Region.

     

    On January 3, 2018, North Korean officials once again responded to a phone call on a Panmunjom hotline from South Korea, breaking a two-year silence. Earlier in the day, North Korea announced the channel would be reopened, and the South’s Ministry of Unification later confirmed that they had held a twenty-minute phone conversation.

    Two months later, at talks in Pyongyang on March 5, 2018, delegations from North and South Korea reached an agreement to reopen the first hotline between the presidents of each country, Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in. The presidents will hold a phone conversation on the hotline before their face-to-face meeting at the April 27 inter-Korea Summit.

    South Korea–China Defense Hotline
    In 2008, South Korea and China set up telephone hotlines between their navies and air forces to help prevent accidental clashes. However, the hotline has reportedly been used only a handful of times, and never to test procedures in a simulated crisis. South Korea and China agreed on July 31, 2012 to establish an additional high-level hotline between their defense chiefs in an effort to strengthen military cooperation, officials in Seoul said.

    India-China Hotline
    In April 2010, the prime ministers of China and India agreed to set up a hotline to better avoid flare-ups over a longstanding border dispute across the Himalayas, and to strengthen their diplomatic ties. "The agreement to establish a hotline is an important confidence-building measure and it opens up a direct channel of communication between the two leaders," India's foreign secretary, Nirupama Rao, told reporters at a press conference in Beijing.

    Vietnam-China Hotline
    A hotline between the Vietnamese and the Chinese Ministries of Foreign Affairs was established in March 2012. In their talk on the line, the ministers affirmed their will to strengthen the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. 

    Research Assistance by Daria Medvedeva

    Strategic Arms Control and Policy

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