Sherif Elgebeily (CCPL)
South China Morning Post
7 January 2015
Almost two years since the last round of United Nations sanctions, North Korea has tested its first hydrogen bomb. The reaction from the UN Security Council, predictably, has been one of outrage, judging the test to constitute such a flagrant violation of UN sanctions and threat to peace and security that an emergency meeting was convened within three hours.
This frantic appeal to emotion elicits fear within the international community but overlooks one simple fact: Pyongyang has as much of a legal right to nuclear proliferation as any other state.
It is no coincidence that the five permanent members of the Security Council all possess nuclear weapons. Nor should it be overlooked that Japan – a current non-permanent member and convenor of numerous emergency meetings on North Korea – held sufficient weapons-grade plutonium in 2013 for an estimated 5,000 nuclear bombs.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks to the press in New York before a Security Council meeting about North Korea.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) entered into force in 1970 with the aim of total prevention of nuclear weapon acquisition by non-nuclear weapon states. Despite the clear inequality of the subsequent creation of a nuclear-capable “members’ club”, 191 states have so far acceded, including North Korea in 1985. In 2003, when it withdrew from the treaty, it was – legally speaking – exercising its sovereign power... Click here to read the full article.