WASHINGTON ― NATO announced Sept. 20 that the alliance has “regret that the conditions for achieving disarmament are not favorable today,” effectively denouncing the United Nation‘s newly touted treaty banning nuclear weapons.
NATO believes the treaty could create greater divisions and divergences among states when unity against proliferation and security threats are more necessary than ever.
“The ban treaty, in our view, disregards the realities of the increasingly challenging international security environment,” said the North Atlantic Council, the decision-making body for NATO. “Allies‘ goal is to bolster deterrence as a core element of our collective defence and to contribute to the indivisible security of the Alliance. As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance. Thus we would not accept any argument that this treaty reflects or in any way contributes to the development of customary international law.”
Dozens of countries signed the treaty Wednesday amid increased tension over North Korea’s nuclear tests, according to The Associated Press. The treaty will be operational 90 days after 50 countries ratify it, though the United States, Britain, France and other nuclear countries boycotted the event.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “a Comprehensive-Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) that is in force would be a milestone on the road to a world free of nuclear weapons.” Since the CTBT‘s adoption in 1996, 183 states have signed it, with 166 further ratifying it.
However, for the CTBT to enter into force, all 44 states that had formally participated in the 1996 Conference on Disarmament and possessed nuclear capabilities at the time must ratify it. North Korea, Pakistan and India have not signed the CTBT, and China, France, the U.S., Egypt and Israel have yet to ratify it.
“Sadly and dangerously, the destabilizing and provocative actions by the DPRK seek to undermine this norm ― and along with it, global stability,” said Guterres, using an acronym for North Korea.
He added that “fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings.” These statements come as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” should it further threaten the United States with its nuclear proliferation. North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un recently responded to Trump‘s U.N. speech by saying he would “surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Young Ho said Sept. 25 that Trump’s recent tweet that the North Korean leader “won’t be around much longer” amounted to a declaration of war against the North. The Asian nation in the past has threatened to detonate a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific region.