The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty may be the cornerstone of international law relating to nuclear weapons, but disagreements over its meaning abound.
Taiwan is effectively a legal black hole in the realm of nonproliferation cooperation. The international community needs to find a way to ensure a sustainable commitment to nonproliferation by those, like Taiwan, who are outside the international system.
During a visit to Russia, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il said he would be ready to discuss Pyongyang's nuclear production if international six-party talks, which ended in 2008, resume.
The existing nuclear order faces unprecedented changes. In navigating this changing landscape, the International Atomic Energy Agency faces three principal challenges.
The realization that both the United States and the Soviet Union shared an interest in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons led to a 1968 agreement that existing nuclear weapons states would work toward nuclear zero if other states agreed not to develop nuclear weapons.
Although Beijing agreed not to export nuclear reactors to Pakistan when it joined the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2004, it is currently planning the construction of two reactors at the Chasma site in Pakistan.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan provides Beijing with an opportunity to pause and contemplate conditioning its nuclear cooperation with Pakistan on improvements in nuclear safety and security.
The question of Indian membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group is reportedly on the agenda for the Group's annual plenary. As the NSG considers adding new members, the question of conditions for membership becomes paramount.
The 2008 Nuclear Suppliers Group decision to permit civil nuclear trade with India, a country that never joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, undermines the credibility of the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
It remains to be seen whether a progressive international nuclear order can be built when states differ over which rules should be strengthened and how they should be enforced, and when some rulers reject the norms that others respect.