North Korea

Nuclear-armed state

Possesses 30-40 nuclear weapons

Has not yet joined the TPNW

Summary

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

 

Nuclear-weapon programme

North Korea possesses approximately 30–40 nuclear weapons, which it may be able to launch from missiles. It conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017. In 2019, North Korea spent an estimated US$620 million to build and maintain its nuclear weapons.

 

National position

North Korea voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution in 2020 that welcomes the adoption of the treaty 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.

 

Treaty negotiations

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

In October 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 in December 2016.

Nuclear-armed state

Possesses 30-40 nuclear weapons

Has not yet joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Summary

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

 

Nuclear-weapon programme

North Korea possesses approximately 30–40 nuclear weapons, which it may be able to launch from missiles. It conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017. In 2019, North Korea spent an estimated US$620 million to build and maintain its nuclear weapons.

 

National position

North Korea voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution in 2020 that welcomes the adoption of the treaty 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.

 

Treaty negotiations

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

In October 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 in December 2016.

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