North Korea

Nuclear-armed state

Possesses 45 nuclear weapons

Has not yet joined the TPNW

Status

North Korea has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

 

National position

North Korea has voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution in since 2020 that welcomes the adoption of the TPNW and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”. In 2018 and 2019, it abstained from voting on the same resolution.

A message projected onto the United Nations headquarters in New York in 2022 calls on North Korea to join the TPNW. Photo: ICAN

 

Nuclear-weapon programme

North Korea possesses approximately 45 nuclear weapons, which it may be able to launch from missiles. It conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017, and is the only state to have conducted such tests in the 21st century.

In 2020, North Korea spent an estimated US$667 million to build and maintain its nuclear forces.

 

TPNW negotiations

North Korea did not participate in the negotiation of the TPNW at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and thus did not vote on its adoption.

In 2016, North Korea voted in the first committee of the UN General Assembly in favour of a draft resolution that ultimately established the formal mandate for states to commence negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

However, it did not participate in the vote on the same resolution when it was adopted at a plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly later that year.

Nuclear-armed state

Possesses 45 nuclear weapons

Has not yet joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Status

North Korea has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

 

National position

North Korea has voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution in since 2020 that welcomes the adoption of the TPNW and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”. In 2018 and 2019, it abstained from voting on the same resolution.

A message projected onto the United Nations headquarters in New York in 2022 calls on North Korea to join the TPNW. Photo: ICAN

 

Nuclear-weapon programme

North Korea possesses approximately 45 nuclear weapons, which it may be able to launch from missiles. It conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017, and is the only state to have conducted such tests in the 21st century.

In 2020, North Korea spent an estimated US$667 million to build and maintain its nuclear forces.

 

TPNW negotiations

North Korea did not participate in the negotiation of the TPNW at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and thus did not vote on its adoption.

In 2016, North Korea voted in the first committee of the UN General Assembly in favour of a draft resolution that ultimately established the formal mandate for states to commence negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

However, it did not participate in the vote on the same resolution when it was adopted at a plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly later that year.

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