As you’ve probably heard, North Korea just conducted its second nuclear weapons test of the year and its fifth overall. It was the country’s most powerful to date.
This latest test is deeply troubling, for a number of reasons. Nuclear weapons anywhere are a threat to people everywhere, and the emergence of another nuclear power can only make the world more dangerous.
But this nuclear test also proves our whack-a-mole approach to nonproliferation isn’t working. So long as the international community tolerates the existence of these horrific weapons, we will keep bouncing from nuclear crisis to nuclear crisis. It’s time to change our approach.
We’ve got to stop focusing on the symptoms and treat the disease — by reducing and ultimately eliminating all nuclear weapons globally. That is the only lasting way to rid the world of the nuclear threat. That won’t happen overnight, but if the success of the Iran deal taught us anything, it’s the true power of international leadership, diplomacy and pressure.
Today, our leaders took an important first step. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stood side-by-side to denounce North Korea’s nuclear test. But this must be backed up by concrete steps to address the catastrophic threat posed not by some weapons, but all of them.
For an in-depth analysis of North Korea’s latest nuclear test, check out this great article by Jennifer Knox, our Research and Operations Assistant.
Research and Policy Associate