Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), formally called the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, is the cornerstone of the international effort to halt the proliferation, or spread, of NUCLEAR WEAPONS (State Department, United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, Vol. 21, part 1 , pp. 48394). The NPT was first signed in 1968 by three nuclear powershe United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdomnd by nearly 100 states without nuclear weapons. It came into force in 1970, and by the mid 1990s it had been signed by 168 countries.
The NPT distinguishes between nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states. It identifies five nuclear-weapon states: China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Article II forbids non-nuclear-weapon states that are parties to the treaty to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices. Article III concerns controls and inspections that are intended to prevent the diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or explosive devices. These safeguards are applied only to non-nuclear-weapon states and only to peaceful nuclear activities. The treaty contains no provisions for verification of the efforts by nuclear-weapon states to prevent the...
(The entire section is 547 words.)
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