By Codell Christensen, The Guardian
Due to the rapid acceleration of North Korean nuclear weapon development in recent years, many countries are considering ways to preserve their future security.
Some countries are even considering defending themselves by developing nuclear weapons of their own. However, for some countries, developing nuclear weapons would violate the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, known as the NPT. It was enforced by March 5, 1970 with the purpose of organizing disarmament and ensuring the progression of peaceful nuclear technology.
South Korea has the potential to produce more than 4,300 nuclear bombs, and Japan has a total of 47 tons of plutonium, as well as already existing long-range missile technology, according to an October report from the New York Times. With Nuclear capabilities and the threat of an assault from North Korea, both South Korea and Japan could develop nuclear weapons in the future.
China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. are all recognized by NPT as nuclear-capable countries, as well as treaty members. The countries with nuclear capabilities which are not members of the NPT include India, North Korea and Pakistan.
As far as relationships between countries go, China has been extremely important to North Korean trade in the past. China has massively cut its fuel exports to North Korea and is supporting a tougher resolution by the United Nations Security Council for dealing with its neighboring country. In the wake of more hostile treatment from China, North Korea is further developing its relationship with Russia.
Both South Korea and Japan have shown their support for the U.S. since the country relisted North Korea as a sponsor of terrorism.
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