Jeffrey Robertson, "A North Korean nuclear test", Research Note Series, Parliament of Australia, 28 Sept 2006
On 10 January 2003, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (hereafter North Korea) withdrew from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). On 2 October 2003, North Korea declared it had completed reprocessing spent fuel rods, in order to obtain Plutonium-239, a fissile material used in the production of nuclear materials. On 10 February 2005, North Korea for the first time openly declared that it had produced nuclear weapons. Each of these events represents a line that has been crossed in defiance of requests by the international community. To date, diplomatic efforts have failed to convince North Korea that pursuing a nuclear capability is not in its interests. The next line to be crossed may be the testing of a nuclear weapon. This Research Note looks at this possibility and its implications.