Please enable JavaScript in your browser to view this site in optimal condition.
When displaying with JavaScript disabled, some functions may not be available or correct information may not be obtained.

Hiroshima for Global Peace

Hiroshima Report 2019Chapter 1. Nuclear Disarmament1

(1) Status of Nuclear Forces (estimates)

As of December 2018, eight countries have declared that they have nuclear weapons. According to Article IV-3 of the Nuclear Non[1]Proliferation Treaty (NPT), “a nuclear-weapon State is one which has manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to 1 January 1967.” China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States meet this requirement, and have acceded to the NPT as nuclear-weapon states (NWS) as defined by the treaty. The three other countries that have tested nuclear weapons and declared having them are India, Pakistan and North Korea. India and Pakistan have never been parties to the NPT. Israel, a non[1]NPT state, has maintained a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” by neither confirming nor denying having nuclear weapons, although it is widely considered that it has them (no conclusive evidence has emerged that Israel has conducted a nuclear test). In this report, these four additional states that have publicly declared or are believed to possess nuclear weapons are referred to as “other nuclear-armed states.” In 2003 North Korea declared withdrawal from the NPT, and acquisition of nuclear weapons.

The number of nuclear weapons, which grew to approximately 70,000 at the peak of the Cold War era, has been reduced steadily since the late 1980s. According to the estimates produced by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), however, an estimated 14,465 nuclear weapons still exist on the earth, and the U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles together constitute more than 90 percent of the total. 2 Compared to the approximately 8,100 nuclear weapons that were eliminated between 2010 and 2018, the 470 nuclear weapons eliminated between 2017 and 2018 indicates that the pace of reduction has been slowing. It is widely estimated that China, India and Pakistan have each added about 10 warheads annually for the past several years (see Tables 1-1 and 1-2).

Among nuclear-armed states, France declared it possesses 300 nuclear weapons,3 and the United Kingdom announced plans to reduce its total nuclear stockpiles to not more than 180 by the mid-2020s. Other countries have not declassified the exact number of nuclear weapons in their arsenal.4 Meanwhile, the United States has recently declassified information more actively. According to the most recent information released by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile dropped to 3,822 warheads (retired weapons awaiting dismantlement are not included in the totals) by September 2017—down 196 warheads from the last year of the Obama administration.5 Department of Defense also disclosed that the United States dismantled 354 nuclear weapons in 2017, up from 258 the year before.6

(2) Commitment to Achieving a World without Nuclear Weapons

A) Approaches toward a world without nuclear weapons

According to the preamble of the NPT, states parties “[declare] their intention to achieve at the earliest possible date the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to undertake effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament, [and urge] the co-operation of all States in the attainment of this objective.” Article VI of the Treaty stipulates that “[e]ach of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

As mentioned in the previous Hiroshima Reports, no country, including the nuclear[1]armed states, openly opposes the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons or the vision of a world without nuclear weapons. The commitment to nuclear disarmament has been reiterated in various fora, including the NPT review process and the UN General Assembly (UNGA). However, such statements do not necessarily mean that nuclear-armed states actively pursue realization of a world without nuclear weapons. The stalemate in nuclear disarmament continued again in 2018.

As for approaches to nuclear disarmament, the five NWS and India have argued for a step-by-step approach;7 non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS) allied with the United States (nuclear umbrella states) have proposed a progressive approach based on building-block principles; and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries have called for launching negotiations on a phased program for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a specified time frame.8 the 2018 NPT Preparatory Committee (PrepCom), the New Agenda Coalition (NAC) emphasized that “the measures agreed upon in 1995, 2000 and 2010 represent clear indicators of what States parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty have agreed as necessary for the implementation of the nuclear disarmament obligation in Article VI. States parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty remain fully accountable for the implementation of those agreed disarmament measures.”9 The NAM states consistently argued “the urgent necessity of negotiating and bringing to a conclusion a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified time frame.”10 At the PrepCom, Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono stated:

Threats of nuclear weapons still exist, however and the security environment is deteriorating. A sovereign State must protect lives and properties of her people. We need to seek security and nuclear disarmament simultaneously. We need to avoid the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and to deal with real security threats. We need to strike a balance of these two viewpoints, creating concrete and practical measures under the cooperation of both nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states. As the most universal framework that enables such balance, maintaining and strengthening the NPT will be the core of Japan’s efforts.

He also introduced the recommendations submitted by “the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Weapons” for building bridges between NWS and NNWS, and emphasized the necessity of (1) transparency, (2) a nuclear disarmament verification mechanism, and (3) interactive discussion involving both nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon States, and called for active efforts and discussion by the NPT state parties.11

The relationship between security and humanitarian dimensions in nuclear disarmament has been one of the important issues in recent discussions. The United States, which has emphasized the importance of security dimensions, submitted a working paper in which it proposed a Creating the Conditions for Nuclear Disarmament (CCND) approach. It argued:

If we continue to focus on numerical reductions and the immediate abolition of nuclear weapons, without addressing the real underlying security concerns that led to their production in the first place, and to their retention, we will advance neither the cause of disarmament nor the cause of enhanced collective international security… This new approach to disarmament diplomacy envisages all parties to the Treaty contributing to efforts to ease conflicts and rivalries that lead to the continued reliance on nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence… This concept of easing tension between and among States, including through effective measures that build trust and confidence, is the necessary starting point for fostering the conditions for nuclear disarmament, in accordance with Article VI of the Treaty.12

At the international conference in December 2018, U.S. Assistant Secretary Christopher Ashley Ford stated that Washington would establish a “Creating the Conditions Working Group (CCWG),” aiming to “identify aspects of the real world security environment that present major obstacles to further disarmament movement and to develop specific proposals for how those obstacles might be overcome.” According to his presentation, “the CCWG would consist of perhaps 25 to 30 countries selected on the basis of both regional and political diversity, and united both by the understanding that further progress on disarmament requires addressing the security issues which impede it, and by a shared commitment to finding ways to do so.”13 The NAC criticized the CCND approach, and argued: “it is the implementation of existing nuclear disarmament obligations and commitments that will contribute to improving the global environment.”14

On the other hand, countries which have strongly advocated the humanitarian dimensions of nuclear weapons, including NAC and NAM, argued that the security environment should not be used as an excuse for not implementing nuclear disarmament.

In May 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a report, titled Securing Our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament, in which, regarding nuclear issues, he emphasized the significance of resuming dialogue and negotiations for nuclear arms control and disarmament, extending the norms against nuclear weapons and their proliferation, and preparing for a world free of nuclear weapons.15 He also stated in his presentation on launch of the report:

I appeal to all states, including non-parties, to adhere to the non-proliferation and disarmament obligations and commitments under the NPT. All States, nuclear and non-nuclear, must work together to bridge the gulf that divides them. Some characterize the differences as a choice between humanitarian and security concerns. But that is a false dichotomy. Human security, national security and global security are indivisible. When people fear for their lives, their communities, societies and countries are at increased risk. When people enjoy safety, so do their countries and the world.16

B) Voting behavior on UNGA resolutions on nuclear disarmament proposals by Japan, NAC and NAM

In 2018, the UNGA again adopted resolutions titled: “United action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”17 proposed by Japan and others; “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”18 proposed by the New Agenda Coalition (NAC); and “Nuclear disarmament”19 by NAM members. The voting behavior of the countries surveyed in this project on the three resolutions at the UNGA in 2018 is presented below.

  • “United action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”
    • Proposing: Australia, Germany, Japan, Poland and others
    • 162 in favor, 4 Against (China, Russia, North Korea and Syria), 23 Abstentions (Austria, Brazil, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, the U.S. and others)
  • “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (NAC)

    • Proposing: Austria, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and others
    • 139 in favor, 23 Against (Belgium, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S.), 17 Abstentions (Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Pakistan and others.
  • “Nuclear disarmament” (NAM)

    • Proposing: Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines and others

    • 125 in favor, 40 Against (Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 18 Abstentions (Austria, India, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sweden and others) * Chile did not vote.

Regarding the resolution titled “United action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” among nuclear-armed states, France and the United States changed their positions from the previous year, when they voted in favor, and abstained in 2018. In addition, many countries taking an initiative to make the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) also abstained, arguing that the treaty was not mentioned in the resolution. Still, the overall number of countries in favor increased by six from the previous year.

The Humanitarian Group and Austria submitted working papers on humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons at the 2018 NPT PrepCom, respectively. In its working paper, the Humanitarian Group—including Austria, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa—“commit[ed] to further enhancing awareness of the humanitarian impact of and risks associated with nuclear weapons with a view to increasing the urgency with which a world without nuclear weapons is pursued and achieved”; and “call[ed] on the nuclear-weapon States…to take concrete interim measures with urgency to reduce the risk of nuclear weapon detonations and to increase their transparency and accountability in this regard.” It also expressed its recognition that “new evidence that has emerged about the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons lends further strength to the view that these weapons cannot be used in conformity with international law, in particular international humanitarian law”; and “the risk of nuclear weapons’ use can be avoided only through the total elimination of nuclear weapons and maintenance of a world free of nuclear weapons, which is an objective of the [NPT] and the [TPNW], the latter being an effective legal measure under Article VI of the [NPT].”20

On the other hand, NWS nuclear-weapon states have kept their distance from humanitarian issues in nuclear disarmament. At the 2018 NPT PrepCom, no NWS used the word “humanitarian “in speeches at the general debate and Cluster 1 on nuclear disarmament. Nor did they refer to the humanitarian dimensions on nuclear weapons in the joint statement of the NWS conference held in October.21 As for the UN General Assembly resolution, “United action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” led by Japan, proponents of the TPNW, including NGOs and Hibakusha, took issue with the removal of the word “any” in the 2017 resolution phrasing, which in 2016 read: “[e]xpressing deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.” They called the removal an unacceptable step backward. The term “any” again was not used in the resolution in 2018.

At the 2018 UNGA, Austria and other co-sponsors, as in the previous year, proposed a resolution titled “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.”22 The voting behavior of countries surveyed in this project on this resolution is presented below.

  • Proposing: Austria, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and others
  • 142 in favor, 15 Against (France, Israel, South Korea, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 26 Abstentions (Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, North Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan and others)

Furthermore, the voting behavior of the resolution titled “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world”23 led by South Africa was:

  • Proposing: Austria, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and others
  • 136 in favor, 36 Against (Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 14 Abstentions (China, India, Japan, North Korea, Pakistan, Sweden, Switzerland and others)

(3) Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)

The number of countries which have signed and/ or ratified the TPNW has steadily increased. As of the end of 2018, 19 countries have ratified (c.f., three countries in 2017) among the 69 signatories (56 countries in 2017). Austria, Mexico, New Zealand and others have already ratified the treaty. Signatory countries include Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa. The treaty enters into force after the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession is deposited.

At the 2018 UNGA, a resolution was adopted titled “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” which called for signing and ratifying the treaty.24 The voting behavior of countries surveyed in this project on this resolution is presented below.

  • Proposing: Austria, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa and others
  • 126 in favor, 41 Against (Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 16 Abstentions (North Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and others) *Syria did not vote

Proponents of the TPNW have emphasized its significance in moving toward the goal of a total elimination of nuclear weapons. For instance, Austria stated: “The treaty is an impressive manifestation of the view of the large majority of the world’s States that nuclear weapons, far from providing security, due to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of their use, are actually an existential threat for humanity.”25 It also argued that “[a]s an important contribution to implementing article VI, the TPNW is fully consistent with the NPT, the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and strengthens the implementation of Art. VI…TPNW is one of the effective legal measures necessary for the fulfilment of article VI.”26 The chairperson of the 2018 NPT PrepCom also mentioned: “It was asserted that the TPNW represented an effective measure under Article VI of the NPT by creating a legally binding prohibition on nuclear weapons. It was stressed that the TPNW complemented the NPT and was designed to strengthen existing disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation regimes.”27

On the other hand, nuclear-armed states and their allies maintained their position not to sign the TPNW. In October 2018, the five NWS issued a joint statement, in which they explained their opposition to the treaty:28

The TPNW fails to address the key issues that must be overcome to achieve lasting global nuclear disarmament. It contradicts, and risks undermining, the NPT. It ignores the international security context and regional challenges, and does nothing to increase trust and transparency between States. It will not result in the elimination of a single weapon. It fails to meet the highest standards of non-proliferation. It is creating divisions across the international non-proliferation and disarmament machinery, which could make further progress on disarmament even more difficult.

At the 2018 NPT PrepCom, France argued that “[i]t would be dangerous to believe that it is possible to consider the issues of nuclear disarmament without taking into account the security context.” Harshly criticizing the treaty, France said:

That is why France opposes the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which was hastily negotiated last year in total ignorance of the worsening strategic context and the role that nuclear deterrence continues to play in preserving international and regional security and stability, including in Europe and Asia. The TPNW could undermine the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime by creating an alternative and contrary standard. As it dissociates itself from the goal of general and complete disarmament, which is central to the Article VI of the NPT, the Treaty could lead to a race to develop conventional capabilities and consequently military escalation. As it is exclusively based on a humanitarian, and in fact largely moralistic approach, this Treaty deepens divisions and tends to undermine the very foundations of multilateralism, namely dialogue and cooperation with a view to reaching consensus.29

Other NWS—except China, which did not touch upon the TPNW in its statements at the PrepCom or UNGA—also insisted as follows:

  • Russia: “[W]e consider attempts to focus the disarmament process on unconditional abolition of nuclear arsenals as soon as possible to be premature and disorienting. There is no way to reach the goal of building a world free of nuclear weapons by the methods that formed the basis of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which now is open for signature.”30
  • U.K.: “[T]he UK has not and will not become a party to the treaty and does not recognise its prohibitions as representing an emerging rule of customary international law.”31
  • U.S.: “[T]he TPNW is clearly a colossal mistake — one that illustrates, once again, how good intentions and enthusiasm, even in the best of causes, can sometimes produce very perverse and problematic outcomes. If we really want to make the world a genuinely safer and saner place, and bring about the verified and sustainable elimination of nuclear weaponry, we all need to do rather better than that.32

Switzerland, which had approved the conclusion of the TPNW in July 2017, decided to analyze and evaluate it via an interdepartmental group whether the TPNW cohere with its national law and the NPT, as well as whether prohibition is the best method for achieving nuclear disarmament. Meanwhile, Ambassador Sabrina Dallafior, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Conference on Disarmament, said, “We are not sure that this treaty will really be a step towards the elimination of nuclear weapons because the countries which have the atomic bomb are not a party to it, although we are convinced that they should be implicated, them and their allies. This treaty should not be against them but with them.”33 In August 2018, the Swiss government issued a report, in which it decided not to sign the treaty—but, at the same time, considered that Switzerland should attend the first meeting of States Parties as an observer—since “in the current international context, the TPNW entails risks in terms of both the continued advancement of disarmament diplomacy and Switzerland’s security policy interests.”34 On the other hand, in December, the Swiss parliament adopted a resolution in which it urged the government to debate for signing and ratifying the TPNW.

In October, the Norwegian government in its national budget released a report on the TPNW, which concluded that Norway would not sign the treaty for now because it would contradict its policy relying on extended nuclear deterrence.

The UNGA resolution titled “Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons” was adopted, as was done in previous years.35 It says that “by commencing multilateral negotiations leading to an early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention” all states should implement the obligation in Article VI of the NPT. The voting behavior in 2018 was as follows:

  • Proposing: Egypt, Iran, the Philippines and others;
  • 138 in favor, 32 Against (Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Israel, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 17 Abstentions (Canada, India, Japan, North Korea and others)

In addition, a UNGA resolution titled “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons,” requesting “to the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations in order to reach agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances,” was also proposed and adopted.36 Voting behavior on this resolution was as follows:

  • Proposing: India and others;
  • 124 in favor, 50 Against (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, South Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), 13 Abstentions (Brazil, Japan, the Philippines, Russia and others).

(4) Reduction of Nuclear Weapons

A) Reduction of nuclear weapons


Russia and the United States continue to undertake reductions of their strategic nuclear weapons under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Since the entry into force of the Treaty in February 2011, neither side has alleged non-compliance.

The status of their strategic (nuclear) delivery vehicles and warheads under the New START has been periodically updated in the U.S. Department of State homepage (see Table 1-4 below). The United States also declared the number of each type of its strategic delivery vehicles (see Table 1-5). According to the data as of February 5, 2018—the deadline for reducing their strategic arsenals under the treaty—the number of Russian and U.S deployed strategic delivery vehicles and deployed/non-deployed strategic delivery vehicles/launchers, besides deployed strategic warheads, fell below the limit. The two countries declared they have met the limits for strategic nuclear forces.37

Since the treaty’s entry into force, Russia and the United States have implemented the on-site inspections it stipulates. 38 Neither side asserted any non-compliance until 2017. However, in April 2018 Russia criticized that “the United States reached the parameters set by the Treaty not only by actually reducing the arms but also by undertaking manipulations inconsistent with common practice for agreements…[I]t was done through converting a certain number of Trident-II SLBM launchers and В-52Н heavy bombers in such a way that precluded the Russian Federation from confirming that these strategic arms had been rendered incapable of employing SLBMs or nuclear armaments for heavy bombers as specified in the Treaty.”39

U.S. President Donald Trump, inaugurated in January 2017, has been critical of the New START. It was reported that in his first telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin in February 2017, President Trump denounced the treaty that caps their deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States.40 Reacting negatively to Putin’s suggestion that the two countries begin work to extend the treaty, Trump said New START “[is] a one[1]sided deal […and] another bad deal that the  country made…We’re going to start making good deals.”41 However, the United States had not appeared to be seriously contemplating a withdrawal from the treaty as of the end of 2018.

At the U.S.-Russian summit held on July 16, 2018, President Putin proposed a five-year extension of the New START, which is due to expire in 2021. In addition, he reportedly presented President Donald Trump with a series of requests, including new talks on controlling nuclear arms, prohibiting weapons in outer space, and reaffirming commitment to the INF Treaty.42 However, they could reach no agreement on each issue.43 U.S. Under Secretary of State Andrea Thompson said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “Russia continues to violate a series of arms control obligations that undermine the trust the United States can place in treaties, including some that have served U.S. and allied security interests for years.”44

Reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons and allegations of non-compliance of the INF Treat

Russia and the United States have mutually pointed out and criticized the other’s allegations of non-compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. On October 20, 2018, President Trump announced that he intended to withdraw from the treaty. He said: Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years…We’re the ones that have stayed in the agreement, and we’ve honored the agreement. But Russia has not, unfortunately, honored the agreement. So we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out…We’ll have to develop those weapons – unless Russia comes to us, and China comes to us, and they all come to us and they say, “Let’s really get smart and let’s none of us develop those weapons.” But if Russia is doing it and if China is doing it, and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable.45

On October 22-23, after talks with President Putin and other Russian top officials, Under Secretary of State Bolton told that a U.S. official notification of withdrawal would be filed “in due course.” In December, President Trump tweeted: “I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!” Next day, State Secretary Pompeo said, “[T]he United States today declares it has found Russia in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations as a remedy effective in 60 days unless Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance.”46

The reasons for the U.S. withdrawing from the INF Treaty are Russia’s alleged violations of the Treaty, and China’s enhancement of intermediate-range missiles (although the latter is not a state party to the INF Treaty). In July 2014 the United States first officially brought up the allegations of Russian non-compliance.

According to the report, titled “Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments”, issued by the U.S. Department of State in April 2018, the United States pointed out the INF Treaty’s provisions related to the allegations of Russia’s non-compliance.47 The report also mentioned that the United States had provided Russia: “Information pertaining to the missile and the launcher, including Russia’s internal designator for the mobile launcher chassis and the names of the companies involved in developing and producing the missile and launcher; Information on the violating GLCM’s test history, including coordinates of the tests and Russia’s attempts to obfuscate the nature of the program; …[and the U.S. assessment that] the Russian designator for the system in question is 9M729.48 According to a news article in February 2017, Russia has two battalions of SCC-8 GLCMs (each battalion equipped with four launchers): one is located at Russia’s missile test site at Kapustin Yar in southern Russia near Volgograd; and the other was shifted in December 2016 from that test site to an operational base elsewhere in the country.49 In March 2018, the commander of U.S. nuclear forces, John Hyten, said that Russia had increased its production and deployment of alleged cruise missiles system.50

For its part, Russia dismissed the U.S. claims and asserted that it is the United States that has violated the INF Treaty, claiming that:51

  • U.S. tests of target-missiles for missile defense have similar characteristics to intermediate-range missiles;
  • U.S. production of armed drones falls within the definition of ground-launched cruise missiles in the Treaty; and
  • The Mk-41 launch system, which the United States intends to deploy in Poland and Romania in accordance with the European Phased Adaptive Approach of the BMD, can also launch intermediate-range cruise missiles.

After the U.S. announcement of withdrawal from the INF Treaty, Moscow repeatedly warned it would develop land-based intermediate-range missiles as a countermeasure if Washington actually withdrew.

The United States has denied the Russian arguments about U.S. violations of the INF Treaty, and contemplated both diplomatic and defensive countermeasures.52 In its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the United States devised plans to develop nuclear SLCMs as well as low-yield nuclear warheads for SLBMs. According to the report, “SLCM will provide a needed non-strategic regional presence, an assured response capability, and an INF-Treaty compliant response to Russia’s continuing Treaty violation. If Russia returns to compliance with its arms control obligations, reduces its non-strategic nuclear arsenal, and corrects its other destabilizing behaviors, the United States may reconsider the pursuit of a SLCM.”53

Russia submitted a draft resolution to the First Committee of the UNGA in 2018, titled “Preservation of and compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.” The resolution was not adopted on December 21. The voting result was: 43 in favor, 46 Against (Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and others), and 78 Abstentions (India, Switzerland and others). Prior to the vote, the United States said that it would vote against the text because it is disingenuous for the Russian Federation, as it is in breach of the INF, to put forward a resolution on the Treaty it is violating.54

Other Nuclear-Weapon/Armed States

Among nuclear-armed states other than Russia and the United States, France and the United Kingdom have reduced their nuclear weapons unilaterally. The United Kingdom, which previously announced plans to reduce its nuclear forces to no more than 120 operationally available warheads and a total stockpile of no more than 180 warheads by the mid 2020s, declared in January 2015 that it had completed the reduction of the number of deployed warheads on each of its Nuclear-Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) from 48 to 40 as committed to in 2010, and the total number of operationally available warheads has therefore been reduced to 120.55 Among the five NWS, China has neither declared any concrete information on the number of deployed or possessed nuclear weapons, nor any plan for their reduction, while reiterating that it keeps its nuclear arsenal at the minimum level required for its national security. It is widely estimated that China has not dramatically increased its nuclear arsenal numerically, perhaps keeping increases in warhead numbers to about 10 annually. On the other hand, it is likely that China will continue qualitative advancements in its nuclear arsenal.

As for India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, there is no information, statement or analysis which suggests any reduction of their nuclear weapons or capabilities. To the contrary, as noted below, they are expanding their nuclear programs.

B) A concrete plan for further reduction of nuclear weapons

In 2018, there were no new proposals by nuclear-armed states to take new, concrete measures for further reductions of their nuclear arsenals. As mentioned above, there was little progress on U.S.-Russian further reductions of their strategic and non-strategic nuclear forces. Russia has insisted that the rest of the nuclear[1]armed states should participate in any future nuclear weapons reductions.

However, China, France and the United Kingdom have not changed their positions that further significant reduction of Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals is needed, so as to commence a multilateral process of nuclear weapons reductions. For instance, China argued that “[c]ountries possessing the largest nuclear arsenals bear special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament and should take the lead in substantially reducing those arsenals in a verifiable, irreversible and legally binding manner, thus creating the conditions necessary for the ultimate goal of general and comprehensive nuclear disarmament. When conditions are ripe, other nuclear-weapon States should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament.”56 However, it has not mentioned the extent of reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons, by which China would then participate in a process of multilateral nuclear weapons reduction. Regarding this point, France clearly stated in February 2015:

“If the level of the other arsenals, particularly those of Russia and the United States, were to fall one day to a few hundred weapons, France would respond accordingly, as it always has.”57

As mentioned below, North Korea pledged “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” but has not presented a concrete plan on dismantling its nuclear arsenals.

C) Trends on strengthening/ modernizing nuclear weapons capabilities

While nuclear-armed states have reiterated their commitments to promoting nuclear disarmament, they continue to modernize and/or strengthen their nuclear weapons capabilities.


It is believed that China is actively modernizing its nuclear forces, details and numbers of which have never been declassified.

In its Annual Report on the Chinese Military in 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense reported that China is estimated to possess approximately 75-100 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)—DF-5A, DF-5B (with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV), DF-31/31A and DF-4. In the maritime realm, China has four operational JIN-class SSBN (Type 094) armed with JL-2 SLBMs, and a planned next generation Type 096 SSBN armed with a follow-on JL-3 SLBM will likely begin construction in the early-2020s.58 In November 2018, China reportedly conducted a flight test of the JL-3.59 The United States also estimates that China is developing a stealth strategic bomber expecting to have a nuclear mission.60

Regarding new developments in China’s nuclear forces, for example, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told reporters in April that China had deployed its first intermediate[1]range ballistic missile, the DF-26, which was capable of lofting both conventional and nuclear warheads.61 It was also reported that China had tested an air-launched ballistic missile—no other country has deployed this missile type— five times between 2016 and January 2018.62 A prototype of China’s new strategic bomber named Hong-20 is expected to make its first flight test in the near future.63 China is also aggressively developing a hypersonic flight vehicle. In August 2018, the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, announced it has successfully tested its first waverider hypersonic flight vehicle, the Xingkong-2 (or Starry Sky-2), which reached 30 kilometers in altitude at Mach 5.5-6.64


In 2018 no significant movement was reported regarding nuclear modernization by France. It introduced new M-51 SLBMs in 2010, with an estimated range of 8,000 km. They were loaded in the fourth Le Triomphant-class SSBN. The previous three Le Triomphant-class SSBNs remain equipped with M-45 SLBMs that have a range of 6,000km. France plans to replace those M-45s with M-51s by 2017-2018.65

In a speech on nuclear policies in February 2015, President François Hollande announced France would replace the last remaining Mirage 2000N fighters with Rafales, carrying the ASMPA (improved air-to-ground medium[1]range missile system), by 2018. He said he had instructed the Atomic Energy Commission to prepare the necessary adaptations of its nuclear warheads ahead of the end of their operational life, without nuclear testing; and he underlined France’s commitment not to produce new types of nuclear weapon. He also declassified in this speech that the French nuclear deterrent consists of 54 middle-range ALCMs and three sets of 16 SLBMs.66


Russia continued to develop new types of strategic nuclear forces to replace its aging systems. In August 2018, Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu announced that 90 percent of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces will be armed with modern weaponry by 2021, and over 60 percent of the Strategic Missile Forces will be armed with new weapon systems by late 2020.67 President Putin also asserted in his address in March that Russian nuclear forces, including strategic nuclear weapons, nuclear-propulsion cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons, have achieved significant technological developments.68

The following are Russia’s development and deployment of strategic nuclear forces reported in 2018:

  • ICBMs—The focus of the current phase of Russia’s modernization is the MIRVed ICBM RS-24 or Yars, which is a modified SS-27 Mod 1 (Topol-M). President Putin said that 14 missile regiments will receive new Yars systems to replace their old Topol systems.69 Russia is also developing an RS-28 ICBM that can carry 10 warheads per missile, for replacing SS-18 heavy ICBMs.70
  • SSBNs/SLBMs—A new Borei A-class SSBN will be operated by 2025, which can launch 20 Bulava SLBMs. The Bulava is capable of carrying up to 10 nuclear and hypersonic weapons.71 Development of the Borei-A SSBN and deployment of the fourth Borei-class SSBN has been delayed,72 but in September 2018 it was reported that the Borei-A SSBN will be deployed in 2024.73
  • Strategic Bombers—The Tu-22M3M, a modernized version of the Tu-22M, was reported to have been delivered to the Russian Air Forces. This bomber is expected to carry anti-ship missiles, including KH-32 with a range of 990 km.74

Looking ahead, attention is focused on the Avangard hypersonic boost glide weapon. Following the success of the launch test on December 26, 2018, President Putin said that it would enter service in 2019.75 The Avangard, with range of at least 5,500 km or more, flies at Mach 20 and has high mobility, so it would be difficult to intercept by ballistic missile defense.

It has also been a concern that Russia continues to develop the Status-6, a nuclear-powered torpedo with very long range of more than 10,000 km,76 which is designed to destroy coastal locations such as ports, cities, and economic infrastructure. The resulting explosion would create tsunamis of radioactive water and debris, carrying the devastation farther inland and rendering large areas unlivable for generations.77 On the other hand, the nuclear-propulsion cruise missiles appear to be facing developmental difficulties.78

The United Kingdom

In October 2017, the United Kingdom started to construct a new Dreadnought-class of four SSBNs as replacements of the existing Vanguard-class SSBNs, at a projected cost of £31 billion (with additional £10 billion contingency). The first new SSBN is expected to enter into service in the early 2030s. In parallel, the United Kingdom is participating in the U.S. current service-life extension program for the Trident II D5 missile. It is reported that a U.K. decision on a replacement warhead has been deferred until 2019/2020.79

The United States

Since the timing of renewal of the U.S. strategic delivery vehicles, which began deployment during the Cold War, is coming closer, the United States has contemplated development of succeeding ICBMs, SSBNs and strategic bombers (and Long Range Stand-Off Weapons(LRSO) for use thereon).80 In addition, with heightening U.S. threat perceptions vis-à-vis, among others, North Korea and Russia, interest in non-strategic nuclear forces has also been increasing both inside and outside of the U.S. administration.

In the NPR publicized in February 2018, the Trump administration reaffirmed the importance of the U.S. nuclear triad and its modernization plan designed by the previous administration as follows:81

  • Constructing 12 Colombia-class SSBNs, the first of which will start to operate in 2031;
  • Building 400 GBSD (new ICBMs) for replacing 450 Minuteman III; and
  • Developing and deploying B-21 next generation strategic bombers as well as LRSO.

Regarding non-strategic nuclear forces, the NPR 2018 states that: the United States will maintain, and enhance as necessary, the capability to forward deploy nuclear bombers and DCA around the world; and, in the near[1]term, the United States will modify a small number of existing SLBM warheads to provide a low-yield option, and in the longer term, pursue a modern nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM).82 In September, a group of Democratic members of Congress introduced a bill that would ban the Trump administration’s plans for a so-called low-yield nuclear weapon.83 A month earlier, the Congress had approved a budget for the new nuclear capability by an overwhelming majority.84


India seems to be energetically pursuing the possession of a strategic nuclear triad, that is: ICBMs and SLBMs to complement its nuclear bomber force. In January, May and December 2018, India conducted flight-tests of Agni-5 mobile ICBMs.85 It has also developed an Agni[1]6 ICBM with a range of 8,000-10,000 km. In the maritime realm, India’s second strategic nuclear submarine Aridhant was launched in November 2017. India also mentioned in November 2018 that its first domestically built nuclear-powered submarine had completed a “deterrence patrol.”86 It reportedly plans to build a bigger and more potent version of the indigenous nuclear submarine in the immediate future,87 and new SLBMs of K-15 (700 km) and K-4 (3,000km).


It is unclear whether the Israeli Jericho III IRBM remains under development or is already deployed. Along with the land- and air-based components of its nuclear deterrent, Israel is also believed to have deployed a nuclear[1]capable SLCM. It has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) relating to the purchase of three additional Dolphin-class submarines from Germany, which are capable to load the SLCM mentioned above.88


Pakistan89 has prioritized development and deployment of nuclear-capable short- and medium-range missiles for ensuring deterrence vis-à-vis India. Pakistan, for instance, conducted flight tests of Babur-3 SLCM in March90 and Babur GLCM in April 2018, respectively.91

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified at a February 2018 hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that: “Pakistan continues to produce nuclear weapons and develop new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical weapons, sea-based cruise missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, and longer-range ballistic missiles. These new types of nuclear weapons will introduce new risks for escalation dynamics and security in the region.92

North Korea

North Korea aggressively developed nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles until 2017. However, it initiated a peace offensive in 2018, and did not conduct any nuclear explosive or missile flight tests throughout the year.

Still, North Korea did not seem to completely freeze its nuclear and missile activities. In July 2018, U.S. State Secretary Pompeo testified at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that North Korea was still producing fissile material for nuclear bombs despite its pledge to denuclearize.93 In addition to plutonium production and uranium enrichment at the Yongbyon nuclear complex, is it assumed that North Korea operates at least one or two clandestine uranium enrichment facilities elsewhere. Reports in mid-2018 alleged that one such facility is located at a site called Kangson, in the city of Chollima, a short distance southeast of Pyongyang.94

Regarding ballistic missile development, it was reported in 2018 that North Korea: continued to operate a key facility to produce solid[1]rocket motors for missiles for at least the past eight years;95 expanded a factory complex that produces key engines for solid-fuel ballistic missiles;96 was constructing at least one and possibly two liquid-fueled ICBMs at a large research facility in Sanumdong, on the outskirts of Pyongyang;97 and expanded its ICBM base in December.98 In November 2018, a U.S. think tank published a report identifying 13 secret North Korean missile bases.99

(5) Diminishing the Role and Significance of Nuclear Weapons in National Security Strategies and Policies

A) The current status of the roles and significance of nuclear weapons

The U.S. Trump administration published its NPR in February 2018.100 In the report, the United States assesses that “global threat conditions have worsened markedly since the most recent, 2010NPR” (p.2) and “[d] espite concerted U.S. efforts to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in international affairs and to negotiate reductions in the number of nuclear weapons, since 2010 no potential adversary has reduced either the role of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy or the number of nuclear weapons it fields. Rather, they have moved decidedly in the opposite direction.” (p.7) This implies that the Trump administration prioritizes the role of nuclear deterrence in order to address an unstable security environment,101 while it follows many of the concrete nuclear postures and policies of the previous administration. One of the particular differences from the NPR 2010 was with regard to policies on arms control and non-proliferation, addressed in the last chapter of the NPR 2018. Meanwhile, at the 2018 NPT PrepCom, the U.S. reiterated that the NPR 2018 did not intend to expand the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. policy, but to keep the threshold for nuclear use high by ensuring that any potential adversary would find the prospect of nuclear use profoundly unattractive.

Russia’s President Putin warned in March 2018 that Russia would retaliate immediately against any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, and emphasized that Russia has developed nuclear forces which are capable of penetrating the U.S. missile defense system.102 On the other hand, at the 2018 NPT PrepCom, Russia stated: “The role of nuclear weapons in Russia’s Military Doctrine has been seriously reduced. Their possible use is limited only to following extraordinary circumstances: the use of WMD against Russia or its allies and a hypothetical situation when aggression against our country threatens the very existence of the State. In other words, these are provisions of a purely defensive nature. A concept of ‘non-nuclear deterrence’ was also included in Russia’s Military Doctrine.”103

Contrary to the previous year when North Korea, Russia and the United States conducted several nuclear-related activities that their adversaries saw as provocations, the behaviors of nuclear-armed states in 2018 were highly restrained, for instance: North Korea di not conduct nuclear or missile tests, and the United States did not dispatch strategic bombers or air craft carriers to the Korean Peninsula.

B) Commitment to “sole purpose,” no first use, and related doctrines

In 2018, no nuclear-armed state drastically changed or transformed its policies regarding no first use (NFU) or the “sole purpose” of nuclear weapons. Among the NWS, only China has highlighted a NFU policy. The U.S. previous administration adopted a policy in the NPR 2010 that “[t]he fundamental role of [its] nuclear weapons remains to deter nuclear attack on the United States and its Allies and partners.”104 The NPR 2018 under the Trump administration stated: “The highest U.S. nuclear policy and strategy priority is to deter potential adversaries from nuclear attack of any scale. However, deterring nuclear attack is not the sole purpose of nuclear weapons…The United States would only consider the employment of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies, and partners. Extreme circumstances could include significant non-nuclear strategic attacks. Significant non-nuclear strategic attacks include, but are not limited to, attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities.”105

As for Russia, President Putin stated in March, “[O]ur military doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons solely in response to a nuclear attack, or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against the country or its allies, or an act of aggression against us with the use of conventional weapons that threaten the very existence of the state.”106

With regard to China’s NFU policy, which it reaffirmed in 2018, the United States considers that “[t]here is some ambiguity, however, over the conditions under which China’s NFU policy would no longer apply…China’s lack of transparency regarding the scope and scale of its nuclear modernization program raises questions regarding its future intent.”107

As for the other nuclear-armed states, India maintains a NFU policy despite reserving an option of nuclear retaliation vis-à-vis a major biological or chemical attack against it. On the other hand, Pakistan, which has developed short-range nuclear weapons to counter the ‘Cold Start doctrine’ adopted by the Indian Army,108 does not exclude the possibility of using nuclear weapons against an opponent’s conventional attack. North Korea refrained from nuclear saber-rattling in 2018, whereas it had repeated threats of preemptive nuclear attacks from 2016 through 2017.

C) Negative security assurances

No NWS significantly changed its negative security assurance (NSA) policy in 2018: China is the only NWS that has declared an unconditional NSA for NNWS; other NWS add some conditionality to their NSA policies. The United Kingdom and the United States declared they would not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against NNWS that are parties to the NPT and in compliance with their non[1]proliferation obligations. The U.K.’s additional condition is that: “while there is currently no direct threat to the United Kingdom or its vital interests from States developing capabilities in other weapons of mass destruction, for example chemical and biological, we reserve the right to review this assurance if the future threat, development and proliferation of these weapons make it necessary.”109 The United States in its NPR 2018 clarifies: “Given the potential of significant non-nuclear strategic attacks, the United States reserves the right to make any adjustment in the assurance that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of non-nuclear strategic attack technologies and U.S. capabilities to counter that threat.”110

In 2015, France slightly modified its NSA commitment, which is that: “France will not use nuclear weapons against states not armed with them that are signatories of the NPT and that respect their international obligations for non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”111 The condition it added in 2015 was that its commitment does not “affect the right to self-defence as enshrined in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.”112 Russia maintains the unilateral NSA under which it will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the NNWS parties to the NPT unless it or its allies are invaded or attacked by a NNWS in cooperation with a NWS.

Except under protocols to the nuclear-weapon[1]free zone (NWFZ) treaties, NWS have not provided legally-binding NSAs. At various fora, including the NPT review process, the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and the UN General Assembly, NNWS, mainly the NAM states, urged NWS to provide legally-binding security assurances. At the 2018 NPT PrepCom, Iran proposed to adopt a separate “decision on negative security assurances” at the upcoming 2020 NPT RevCon, in which the Conference confirms that: all the NWS unequivocally undertake to refrain, under any and all circumstances and without discrimination or exception of any kind, from the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against any NNWS party to the NPT; and all the NWS solemnly undertake to pursue negotiations on providing universal, legally binding, effective, unconditional, non-discriminatory and irrevocable security assurances to all NPT NNWS against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under all circumstances, within the CD, and bring them to a conclusion no later than 2023.113 Among NWS, only China argues that the international community should negotiate and conclude at an early date an international legal instrument on providing unconditional NSAs. Meanwhile, France stated that it “considers [the] commitment [on security assurances in its statement in April 1995] legally binding, and has so stated.”114

As written in the previous Hiroshima Reports, while one of the purposes of the NSAs provided by NWS to NNWS is to alleviate the imbalance of rights and obligations between NWS and NNWS under the NPT, India, Pakistan and North Korea also offered NSAs to NNWS. India declared that it would not use nuclear weapons against NNWS, except “in the event of a major attack against India, or Indian forces anywhere, by biological or chemical weapons, India will retain the option of retaliating with nuclear weapons.” Pakistan has declared an unconditional NSA. In addition, North Korea has stated an NSA vis-a-vis NNWS so long as they do not join nuclear weapons states in invading or attacking it.

D) Signing and ratifying the protocols of the treaties on nuclear-weapon-free zones

The protocols to the nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) treaties include the provision of legally[1]binding NSAs. At the time of writing, only the Protocol of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and Caribbean (the Treaty of Tlatelolco) has been ratified by all NWS, as shown in Table 1-6 below. No new progress regarding additional ratifications by NWS has made in 2018. Among others, as for the Protocol to the Southeast Asian NWFZ Treaty, the five NWS have continued consultation with the state parties to the Treaty to resolve remaining differences, but they have yet to sign the Protocol.115

Some NWS have stated reservations or added interpretations to the protocols of the NWFZ treaties when signing or ratifying them. NAM and NAC have called for the withdrawal of any related reservations or unilateral interpretative declarations that are incompatible with the object and purpose of such treaties.116 However, it seems unlikely that any of the NWS will accept such a request. Upon ratification of the Protocol to the Central Asian NWFZ Treaty, for example, Russia made a reservation of providing its NSA in the event of an armed attack against Russia by a state party to the Treaty jointly with a state possessing nuclear weapons. Russia also “reserves the right not to consider itself bound by the Protocol, if any party to the Treaty ‘allows foreign military vessels and aircraft with nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices aboard to call at its ports and landing at its aerodromes, or any other form of transit of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices through its territory.’”117

E) Relying on extended nuclear deterrence

The United States and its allies, including NATO countries, Australia, Japan and South Korea, maintained their respective policies on extended nuclear deterrence. No significant change in their related policies was found in 2018. Currently, the United States deploys approximately 150 B-61 nuclear gravity bombs in five NATO countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey), and thus maintains nuclear sharing arrangements with them NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group also supports the U.S. extended nuclear deterrence. While no U.S. nuclear weapon is deployed outside of American territory, except in the European NATO countries mentioned above, the United States has established consultative mechanisms on extended deterrence with Japan and South Korea.

The United States reaffirms its commitments on extended deterrence in the NPR 2018.118 In the summit declaration in July 2018, the heads of NATO member countries stated: “As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance. The strategic forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States, are the supreme guarantee of the security of Allies.”119 Japan also reaffirmed in the “National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2019 and beyond” that: “In dealing with the threat of nuclear weapons, U.S. extended deterrence, with nuclear deterrence at its core, is essential: Japan will closely cooperate with the United States to maintain and enhance its credibility.”120

On the matter of the NATO nuclear sharing arrangements, especially the U.S. deployment of its tactical nuclear weapons in five NATO countries, some NNWS criticize this situation as a clear violation of non-proliferation obligations under Article I of the NPT by those transferor NWS and under Article II by those recipient NNWS. Russia and China have called on NATO to withdraw the U.S. tactical nuclear weapons from the European NATO countries, and to end the nuclear sharing policy.

(6) De-alerting or Measures for Maximizing Decision Time to Authorize the Use of Nuclear Weapons

In 2018, there were no significant changes in nuclear-armed states’ policies on alert and/or operational status of their respective nuclear forces.121 Russian and U.S. strategic ballistic missiles have been on high alert status,122 either launch on warning (LOW) or launch under attack (LUA). In the NPR 2018, the United States— while mentioning that “[t]his posture maximizes decision time and preserves the range of U.S. response options”—reaffirmed to maintain the existing alert posture, and mentioned: “The de-alerting of U.S. ICBMs would create the potential for dangerous deterrence instabilities by rendering them vulnerable to a potential first strike and compelling the United States to rush to re-alert in a crisis or conflict.”123

Forty U.K. nuclear warheads and 80 French ones are also kept on alert under their continuous SSBN patrols, albeit at lower readiness levels than those of the two nuclear superpowers.124 It is assumed that China’s nuclear forces are not on a hair-trigger alert posture because it claims to keep nuclear warheads de-mated from delivery vehicles.125 There is little definitive information regarding the alert status of other nuclear-armed states’ nuclear forces. It is widely considered that India’s nuclear forces are not on a high alert status. In February 2014, Pakistan stated that it “would not delegate advance authority over nuclear arms to unit commanders, even in the event of crisis with India, […and] all weapons are under the central control of the National Command Authority, which is headed by the prime minister.”126

A number of NNWS have urged the NWS to alter their alert posture. Among them, Chile, Malaysia, Nigeria, New Zealand and Switzerland, as the “De-alerting Group,” proactively proposed that alert levels be reduced. At the 2018 NPT PrepCom, the Group urged the NWS to urgently take steps to reduce operational readiness.127 The Group, together with other countries, submitted to the UN General Assembly in 2018 a draft resolution, titled “Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems,” which was adopted by 175 countries’ approval.128 Five countries (including France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) were against, and five countries (including Israel, South Korea and North Korea) abstained.

Proponents of de-alerting have often argued that such measures are useful to prevent accidental use of nuclear weapons.129 On the other hand, NWS emphasize that they have taken adequate measures for preventing accidental use, and express confidence regarding the safety and effective control of their nuclear arsenals.130 Beyond the NWS, India and Pakistan extended their bilateral Agreement on Reducing the Risk of Accidents Relating to Nuclear Weapons in February 2017. Pakistan, which values SRBM forces for deterrence vis-à-vis India, emphasizes that its nuclear weapons and fissile material are unlikely to fall under the control of any extremist element since their nuclear arsenals are under robust, safe and complete civilian command[1]and-control system through the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).131 Although the U.S. past administrations had treated Pakistani nuclear weapons as adequately controlled, the Trump administration has expressed concerns about Pakistan’s development of tactical nuclear weapons and fissile material, which might be more susceptible to terrorist theft,132 and called on Pakistan to take appropriate preventive measures.133

(7) CTBT

A) Signing and ratifying the CTBT

As of December 2018, 167 of the 184 signatories have deposited their instruments of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Tuvalu signed and Thailand ratified in 2018. Among the 44 states listed in Annex 2 of the CTBT, whose ratification is a prerequisite for the treaty’s entry into force, five states (China, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the United States) have signed but not ratified, and three (India, North Korea and Pakistan) have not even signed. Among the countries surveyed, Saudi Arabia and Syria, have not signed the CTBT either. At the Geneva Conference on Disarmament in May 2018, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Han Tae Song said that, “Discontinuation of nuclear tests and follow up measures are an important process for global disarmament and DPRK will join international disarmament efforts for a total ban on nuclear tests.”134 However, he did not clarify whether Pyongyang would join the CTBT. In October, Pakistan proposed a bilateral arrangement on a nuclear test ban with India,135 but its intention is not clear.

As for efforts to promote CTBT entry into force during 2018, the Ninth Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT, under joint chairpersons of Australia and Japan, met on September 27. In its joint statement, participating countries reaffirmed their efforts for early entry into force and universalization of the CTBT as well as its verification system, and demanded North Korea’s signature and ratification of the CTBT.136 In July, Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono and CTBTO Director General Lassina Zerbo presented a joint appeal for revitalizing an effort of early entry into force of the CTBT.137

As for outreach activities for promoting the Treaty’s entry into force, a document, “Activities Undertaken by Signatory and Ratifying States Under Measure (K) of the Final Declaration of the 2015 Article XIV Conference in the Period June 2015-May 2017,”138 distributed at the Article XIV Conference, summarized activities conducted by ratifying and signatory states. It highlighted:

  • Bilateral activities related to Annex 2 states (conducted by Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Turkey, the UAE, the U.K. and others);
  • Bilateral activities related to non-Annex 2 states (conducted by Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, the U.K. and others);
  • Global-level activities (conducted by Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Turkey, the UAE, the U.K., the U.S. and others); and
  • Regional-level activities (conducted by Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Turkey, the UAE and others),

B) Moratoria on nuclear test explosions pending CTBT’s entry into force

The five NWS plus India and Pakistan maintain a moratorium on nuclear test explosions. Israel, which has kept its nuclear policy opaque, has not disclosed the possibility of conducting nuclear tests.

North Korea, at the Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea on May 20, 2018, decided to withhold nuclear and ICBM testing, and shut down its Punggye-ri nuclear test site for ensuring transparency of halting nuclear tests. On May 24, North Korea dynamited the Punggye-ri tunnels. However, it is not clear whether the nuclear test site was irreversibly destroyed because no inspectors or experts were invited to this event of “destruction.” Although Chairman Kim Jong-un reportedly stated at the South-North Korean summit meeting in September that the Punggye-ri nuclear test site would be shown to experts, no such visit took place in 2018.139 If the explosions in May were conducted just near the entrance of the tunnels, it is likely that they could be used again after boring.140 The United States mentioned nuclear test[1]related policies in the NPR 2018, as follows: maintaining the capability to resume underground nuclear explosive testing if called upon to do so; not seeking Senate ratification of the CTBT, but continuing to observe a nuclear test moratorium; remaining ready to resume nuclear testing if necessary to meet severe technological or geopolitical challenges.141 In addition, according to the NNSA report released in November 2017, “NNSA maintains the readiness to conduct an underground nuclear test, if required, for the safety and effectiveness of the Nation’s stockpile, or if otherwise directed by the President,” and indicates “general testing estimates”—24-36 months for the previous administration—as follows:142

  • 6 to 10 months for a simple test, with waivers and simplified processes;
  • 24 to 36 months for a fully instrumented test to address stockpile needs with the existing stockpile; and
  • 60 months for a test to develop a new capability

Former administrator of the NNSA Linton Brooks said that the purpose of conducting a “simple test” is to demonstrate “political resolve.”143

C) Cooperation with the CTBTO Preparatory Commission

Regarding the countries surveyed in this study, the status of payments of contributions to the CTBTO, as of 2018, is as follows.144

  • Fully paid: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UAE, the U.K. and the U.S.
  • Partially paid: Chile, Mexico
  • Not paid: Brazil
  • Voting right in the Preparatory Commission suspended because arrears are equal to or larger than its contributions due for the last two years: Iran and Nigeria

D) Contribution to the development of the CTBT verification systems

The establishment of the CTBT verification system has steadily progressed. The pace of establishing the International Monitoring System (IMS) stations in China, Egypt and Iran—in addition to those of India, North Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia which have yet to sign the CTBT—has been lagging behind, compared to that in the other signatory countries.145 Regarding China, however, two radionuclide stations and two primary seismic stations were certified by the CTBTO in the end of January 2018. In all, five among 11 planned monitoring stations in China have been certified.146

In May-June 2018, the Second CTBT Science Diplomacy Symposium was held, in which discussion sessions, keynote speeches, hands[1]on simulation exercises and a field trip were carried out for developing verification and monitoring technologies.147

Regarding individual contributions of ratifying countries, the EU approved in February 2018 to provide a voluntary contribution of 4.5 million Euro to the CTBTO. Collectively, the EU Member States provide 40% of the CTBTO’s regular budget.148 In February 2017, Japan announced a voluntary contribution of US$ 2.43 million to the CTBTO “to further boost its verification abilities to detect nuclear explosions anywhere on the planet.” The funding is to be used especially to procure and deploy a mobile noble gas detection system (US$ 1.64 million),149 which is installed in the northern part of Japan for the first two years.150 Observation of noble gas started in Horonobe (January 2018) and Mutsu (March 2018), respectively.

E) Nuclear testing

No country conducted a nuclear test explosion in 2018. North Korea, which carried out six tests from 2006 to 2017, announced that it no longer needed a nuclear test and nuclear test site because of completing its development of nuclear forces.

Regarding experimental activities other than a nuclear explosion test, the United States continues to conduct various non-explosive tests and experiments under the Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP), in order to sustain and assess its nuclear weapons stockpile without the use of underground nuclear tests, such as subcritical tests and experiments using the Z machine, which generates X-rays by fast discharge of capacitors, thus allowing for exploring the properties of plutonium materials under extreme pressures and temperatures. The U.S. NNSA had released quarterly reports on such experiments, but as of December 2018 has not updated it since the first quarter of FY 2015. On the other hand, according to a newsletter published by the NNSA in March 2018, the United States conducted a subcritical test, named “Vega,” on December 13, 2017.151 The first subcritical test under the Trump administration, it involved new explosives used to create powerful impacts on plutonium, and an examination of a plutonium implosion.152

France clarified that it has conducted “activities aimed at guaranteeing the safety and reliability of its nuclear weapons [including] a simulation program and hydrodynamic experiments designed to model materials’ performance under extreme physical conditions and, more broadly, the weapons’ functioning.”153 However, no further detail was reported. Meanwhile, France and the United Kingdom agreed to build and jointly operate radiographic and hydrodynamic testing facilities under the Teutates Treaty concluded in November 2010.154 The status of the remaining nuclear-armed states’ non-explosive testing activities in this respect is not well-known since they do not release any information. Meanwhile, it was reported:

China is aggressively developing its next generation of nuclear weapons, conducting an average of five tests a month to simulate nuclear blasts…Between September 2014 and last December, China carried out around 200 laboratory experiments to simulate the extreme physics of a nuclear blast, the China Academy of Engineering Physics reported in a document released by the government earlier this year and reviewed by the South China Morning Post this month…The tests are conducted using a large, sophisticated facility known as a multi-stage gas gun, which simulates the extreme heat, pressure and shock waves produced in a real nuclear blast. The experiments with the gas gun provide scientists with the data they need to develop more advanced nuclear weapons.155

In December 2018, it was reported that China is trying to build a Chinese version of U.S. “Z machine,” a pulsed-power facility used in the development of new warhead designs by testing how particles react under extreme radiation and magnetic pressure.156

While the CTBT does not prohibit any nuclear test unaccompanied by an explosion, the NAM countries have demanded that nuclear-armed states, inter alia, refrain from conducting nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions, and to close and dismantle, in a transparent, irreversible and verifiable manner, any remaining sites for nuclear test explosions and their associated infrastructure.157 Different from the CTBT, which prohibits any nuclear test “explosion,” the TPNW bans “nuclear tests,” which can be interpreted to mean that it bans tests that do not produce an explosion. On the other hand, the TPNW does not stipulate measures for verifying the testing ban.

(8) FMCT

A) Efforts toward commencing negotiations on an FMCT

In the “Decision 2: Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament” adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, participating countries agreed on “[t]he immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non[1]discriminatory and universally applicable convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” However, substantive negotiations have not yet commenced. The 2018 session of the CD adopted a decision to establish five subsidiary bodies to the seven agenda items (Cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament; Prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters; Prevention of an arms race in outer space; Effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; New types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons, and radiological weapons; Comprehensive programme of disarmament; and Transparency in armaments).158 Although progress toward a commencement of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) negotiation was expected by structured technical discussions under the subsidiary body, the CD in 2018 again ended without adopting a program of work that included the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on a FMCT negotiation, due to Pakistan’s strong objection, as was the case in previous years. Pakistan has insisted that not just newly produced material but also existing stockpiles of such materials should be subject to the scope of negotiations on a treaty.

China expresses support for the commencement of negotiations on an FMCT prohibiting the future production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, but it does so less actively than the other NWS. In a working paper submitted to the 2018 NPT PrepCom, China argued that “The Conference on Disarmament is the sole appropriate forum for the negotiation of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”159 Israel has a similar posture.

Concerned states have pursued various measures for commencing FMCT negotiations at the CD. Among them, the 2016 UN General Assembly decided to establish a High-Level FMCT Expert Preparatory Group, “to consider and make recommendations on substantial elements of a future non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, on the basis of CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein.” The Group, consisting of experts from 25 countries, convened two-week meetings in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and adopted a final report in June 2018.160 The report contains four sub-sections covering treaty scope, definitions, verification, legal and institutional arrangements, and other elements (such as a treaty’s preamble, and transparency and confidence building measures), and provides a list of possible treaty elements and some of the considerations that negotiators may wish to take into account.

B) Moratoria on production of fissile material for nuclear weapons

Among nuclear-armed states, China, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea have not declared a moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. India, Pakistan and North Korea are highly likely to continue producing fissile material for nuclear weapons and expanding production capabilities.161 In 2018 North Korea offered to destroy nuclear-related facilities in Yongbyon in exchange for corresponding measures by the United States, but it is widely considered that the North enriches uranium at additional facilities in other locations. China is widely considered not to be producing fissile material for nuclear weapons currently.162

None of the nuclear-armed states have declared the amount of fissile material for nuclear weapons which they possess (except for the U.S. declassifying the amount of its past production of HEU and plutonium). Estimates by research institutes are summarized in Chapter 3 of this Report.

(9) Transparency in Nuclear Forces, Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapons, and Nuclear Strategy/Doctrine

In the Final Document of the 2010 NPT RevCon, the NWS were called upon to report on actions taken toward “accelerat[ion of] concrete progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament” to the 2014 PrepCom (Action 5). All states parties to the NPT, including the NWS, were also requested to submit regular reports on implementing nuclear disarmament measures agreed at the previous RevCon (Action 20), and the NWS were asked to agree on a standard reporting form, as a confidence-building measure (Action 21).

In accordance with these recommendations, the NWS submitted their respective reports on implementation of the NPT’s three pillars (nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy) to the 2014 NPT PrepCom and the 2015 RevCon, using a common framework, themes and categories. No similar report was submitted by any NWS to the 2018 NPT PrepCom, however. Only six NNWS (Australia, Austria, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Switzerland) submitted their respective implementation reports on the NPT.163

At the 2018 NPT PrepCom, there were some proposals for improving transparency through regular reporting by the NPT states parties, especially the NWS, to the NPT review process. For instance, the NPDI proposed a new draft form for standard nuclear disarmament reporting based on 64 Actions agreed at the 2010 NPT RevCon, and called for not just NWS but also NNWS to report on the status of their implementations during the 2020 NPT review cycle. The NPDI, furthermore, encouraged the regular submission of transparency reports by these States during the 2020 review cycle. 164

Previously, at the 2012 NPT PrepCom, the NPDI proposed a draft form for reporting on nuclear warheads, delivery vehicles, fissile material for nuclear weapons, and nuclear strategy/ policies.165 Using the draft form, the following table summarizes the degree of transparency taken by the nuclear-weapon/armed states.

(10) Verifications of Nuclear Weapons Reductions

Russia and the United States have implemented verification measures, including on-site inspections, under the New START.166 Since its entry into force, they have conducted on-site inspections as stipulated in the treaty.167

One of the noticeable activities on verification is the “International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV),” launched by the United States in December 2014. With 27 participating countries (and the EU and Vatican),168 the IPNDV continues to study verification measures and technologies on dismantlement of nuclear weapons, as well as fissile material derived from dismantled nuclear warheads.

For Phase II (2018-2019) following Phase I (2015-2017),169 the IPNDV will deepen its understanding of effective and practical verification options to support future nuclear disarmament verification and demonstrate its work through tangible activities such as exercises and demonstrations. For these purposes, the following three working groups will be established: Verification of Nuclear Weapons Declarations; Verification of Reductions; and Technologies for Verification.170

In July 2018, the second Joint Working Group Meeting was held in Seoul, at which 20 participating countries and the EU discussed procedures and technologies that can be applied at each of the 14 steps of the nuclear weapons dismantlement “lifecycle.”171 The sixth Plenary Meeting was held in the United Kingdom in December 2018.

Regarding nuclear disarmament verification measures, respective U.K.-U.S. and U.K.- Norway joint developmental work was continued.172 The EU, in its working paper submitted to the 2018 NPT PrepCom, argued for the importance of establishing a technology and regime for nuclear disarmament verification by both nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states.173 In addition, some NNWS call for the involvement of the IAEA regarding, for instance, development and conclusion of legally binding verification arrangements, which would apply to all fissile material permanently removed from nuclear weapons programs. 174

In May 2018, the first meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts to consider the role of verification in advancing nuclear disarmament— in accordance with the UNGA resolution adopted in 2016—was held by governmental officials from 25 countries. Totally three meetings were to be convened during the period until spring of 2019.175

(11) Irreversibility

A) Implementing or planning dismantlement of nuclear warheads and their delivery vehicles

As with their previous nuclear arms control agreements, the New START obliges Russia and the United States to dismantle or convert strategic (nuclear) delivery vehicles beyond the limits set in the Treaty, in a verifiable way. The New START does not stipulate that retired nuclear warheads be dismantled, but the two states have partially dismantled retired nuclear warheads as unilateral measures.

Neither country has provided comprehensive information regarding the dismantlement of nuclear warheads, including the exact numbers of dismantled warheads. However, the United States has disclosed the number of nuclear warheads dismantled per year. According to information from the Defense Department, the United States dismantled 354 nuclear weapons in 2017, up from 258 the year before.176 France and the United Kingdom also continue to dismantle their retired nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles.

B) Decommissioning/conversion of nuclear weapons-related facilities

Few remarkable activities or progress were reported in 2018 in terms of decommissioning or conversion of nuclear weapons-related facilities.177 As mentioned above, North Korea declared to close its nuclear test site, but whether the “shutdown” is complete and irreversible has yet to be confirmed.

In 1996, France became the only country to decide to completely and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear test sites. They were fully decommissioned in 1998.178

C) Measures for fissile material declared excess for military purposes, such as disposition or conversion to peaceful purposes

In October 2016, Russian President Putin issued a Presidential Decree on suspending implementation of the Russian-U.S. Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA),179 which entered into force in July 2011. Russia argued that it suspended the PMDA in response to U.S. “hostile actions toward Russia” and a “radical change of circumstances”180 since the agreement was signed in 2000. On the other hand, the United States criticized again in its report on implementation of arms control and nonproliferation, published in April 2018, that although there was no indication of a Russian violation, its decision to suspend the PMDA raises concerns regarding its future adherence to obligations under this Agreement.181

The Trump administration, like its predecessor, has sought to end construction of the mixed[1]oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication Facility (MFFF) at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, and to pursue the dilution and disposal approach, due to increasing cost and delaying schedule of the MFFF’s construction. The Congress has not approved this approach, and allocated a budget for the construction of the MFFF.182 However, the NNSA formally terminated its construction in October 2018.183

Meanwhile, the United States continues to dismantle nuclear warheads at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pantex facility, by removing the plutonium cores from retired warheads. In Energy Department facilities, there are 54 metric tons of surplus plutonium, an amount that is increasing.184

(12) Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education and Cooperation with Civil Society

Regarding cooperation with civil society in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, involvement of civil society in the process of formulating the TPNW was notable.186

At the 2018 NPT PrepCom, Ireland submitted a working paper on roles of gender in the NPT.187 Japan, which has attached importance to such activities, held a discussion meeting with 20 high school students as Youth Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons, and Japanese and other countries’ officials and experts on disarmament issues (including Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia and South Africa) at the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament in August 2018. Japan also hosted the “Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament,” and submitted its recommendations as a working paper to the 2018 NPT PrepCom.188

Side events held during the NPT PrepCom and the First Committee of the UNGA, where NGOs can participate, are also important elements of the efforts toward civil society cooperation.189

During the 2018 NPT PrepCom, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and others hosted such events. And during the 2018 UNGA, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sweden and others hosted such events.

Regarding cooperation with civil society, one of the important efforts for governments is to provide more information on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation matters. Among the countries surveyed in this report, the following set up a section or sections on disarmament and non-proliferation on their official homepages (in English) and posted enlightening information: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Finally, a few countries started to legislate “divestment” against organizations or companies involved in producing nuclear weapons. According to the ICAN annual report published in March 2018, 329 banks, insurance companies, pension funds and asset managers from 24 countries that invest significantly in the top 20 nuclear weapon producers (located in France, India, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States190) from January 2014 through October 2017, and in total, more than $ 525 billion was made available to the nuclear weapon producing companies.191 The report also profiles 23 financial institutions that have adopted, implemented and published a policy that comprehensively prevents any financial involvement in nuclear weapon producing companies.192 Besides, Switzerland and Luxembourg enacted national laws that restrict financing for nuclear weapons production. Norwegian and Swedish state[1]owned pension funds do not invest in companies deemed to be involved in developing and producing nuclear weapons.193

(13) Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremonies

On August 6, 2018, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony was held in Hiroshima. Representatives from 85 countries and the EU, along with Japan, participated, including:

  • Ambassadorial-level — Australia, Austria, Belgium, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States
  • Non-Ambassadorial-level — Brazil, Canada, Germany, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, and Russia (Note: underline added to denote countries whose ambassadorial-level representatives have attended the ceremony in the past three years)
  • Not attending —Chile, China, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the UAE, and North Korea (Note: underline added to denote countries whose representatives have attended the ceremony at least once in the past three years)

As for the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony on August 9, 2018, UN Secretary-General Guterres and representatives from 71 countries, including followings, participated:

  • Ambassadorial-level—Australia, Chile, France, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States
  • Non-Ambassadorial-level—Austria, Brazil, China, India, Israel, Korea, the Netherlands, Russia, and Sweden
  • Not attending—Belgium, Canada, Iran, North Korea, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UAE

At various fora, Japan has proposed that the world’s political leaders visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to witness the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons with their own eyes. In 2018, the following leaders visited Hiroshima: Prime Minister of Lithuania, and Presidents of Tajikistan and Sri Lanka.194 In May, Chile’s President Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria visited Nagasaki.

[1] This chapter is written by Hirofumi Tosaki.

[2] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI Yearbook 2018: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), chapter 6.

[3] In addition, France reports that “[i]t has no undeployed weapons. All of its weapons are deployed and operational.” NPT/CONF.2015/10, March 12, 2015.

[4] On this point, Bruno Tertrais explains the reasons as following: “Stockpiles include weapons which are not entirely functional (when exactly does an atomic device become a ‘nuclear weapon’?), or which are used for non[1]destructive testing. As a result, giving an exact number can be difficult, misleading, and/or be accurate just for a given day.” Bruno Tertrais, “Comments on Hiroshima Report of March 2013,” Hiroshima Report Blog: Nuclear Disarmament, Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security, October 29, 2013, http://hiroshima-report. blogspot. jp/2013/10/op-ed-bruno-tertrais-comments-on.html.

[5] Hans M. Kristensen, “Despite Rhetoric, US Stockpile Continues to Decline,” Federation of American Scientists, March 22, 2018,

[6] Department of Defense, “Stockpile Numbers: End of Fiscal Years 1962-2017,” Portals/23/Documents/frddwg/2017_Tables_UNCLASS.pdf.

[7] Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in June 2018, “We believe that such initiatives are premature,” the diplomat said. “We call for the nuclear disarmament task to be addressed in a sensible and realistic way. Movement towards nuclear disarmament should be reasonable and gradual.” “Diplomat Says too Early to Embark on Global Nuclear Disarmament Process,” Tass, June 14, 2018, politics/1009436.

[8] Regarding each country’s approach, see the Hiroshima Report 2017.

[9] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.13, March 15, 2018.

[10] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.17, March 23, 2018.

[11]     “Statement by H.E. Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs,” General Debate, 2018 NPT PrepCom, April 24, 2018. See also the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament, Building Bridges to Effective Nuclear Disarmament: Recommendations for the 2020 Review Process for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, March 2018, files/000403717.pdf

[12] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.30, April 18, 2018. On the other hand, the U.S. general statement at the 2018 PrepCom focused almost solely on nuclear non-proliferation. This implies that the U.S. current administration does not consider the other two so-called pillars of the NPT—nuclear disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy – to have equal importance. “Statement by the United States,” General Debate, Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference [hereafter 2018 PrepCom], April 23, 2018.

[13] Christopher Ashley Ford, Assistant Secretary, “The P5 Process and Approaches to Nuclear Disarmament: A New Structured Dialogue,” Conference on “The Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime—Towards the 2020 NPT Review Conference,” Wilton Park, December 10, 2018,

[14] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.13, March 15, 2018.

[15]     Office for Disarmament Affairs, Securing Our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament, 2018, pp. 15-24.

[16] António Guterres, “Remarks at the University of Geneva on the launch of the Disarmament Agenda,” May 24, 2018,[1]remarks.

[17] A/RES/73/62, December 5, 2018.

[18] A/RES/73/70, December 5, 2018.

[19] A/RES/73/50, December 5, 2018.

[20] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.9, March 9, 2018. See also a working paper submitted by Austria (NPT/ CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.10, March 12, 2018).

[21] “P5 Joint Statement on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” October 24, 2018,

[22] A/RES/73/47, December 5, 2018.

[23] A/RES/73/68, December 5, 2018

[24] A/RES/73/48, December 5, 2018.

[25] “Statement by Austria,” General Debate, 2018 NPT PrepCom, April 23, 2018.

[26] Ibid. See also “Statement by New Zealand,” General Debate, 2018 NPT PrepCom, April 23, 2018.

[27] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.41, May 16, 2018.

[28] “P5 Joint Statement on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” October 24, 2018,

[29] “Statement by France,” Cluster I, 2018 NPT PrepCom, April 25, 2018.

[30] “Statement by Russia,” General Debate, 2018 NPT PrepCom, April 24, 2018.

[31] “Statement by the United Kingdom,” General Debate, 2018 NPT PrepCom, April 24, 2018.

[32] Christopher Ashley Ford, “The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: A Well-Intentioned Mistake,” Advancing Disarmament in an Increasingly Dangerous World, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 30, 2018,

[33] Frédéric Burnand, “Why Switzerland Hasn’t (yet) Signed the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons,” Swissinfo, March 19, 2018,[1]treaty-banning-nuclear-weapons–yet-/43982398.

[34]     Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, “Report of the Working Group to Analyse the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” June 30, 2018, documents/aussenpolitik/sicherheitspolitik/2018-bericht-arbeitsgruppe-uno-TPNW_en.pdf; “The Federal Council Decides Not to Sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the Present Time,” Portal of the Swiss Government, August 15, 2018, msg-id-71821.html.

[35] A/RES/73/64, December 5, 2018

[36] A/RES/73/74, December 5, 2018

[37]     “New START Treaty Aggregate Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms,” Fact Sheet, February 22, 2018,

[38] “New START Treaty Inspection Activities,” U.S. Department of State, newstart/c52405.htm.

[39]     Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation, “Russia’s Assessment of the US Department of State’s Report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” April 24, 2018, publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3192916. See also Vladimir Isachenkov, “Russia Challenges US Compliance with Nuclear Arms Treaty,” Associated Press, September 9, 2018, d9eeccab26d64019ab3ea1954eb89280.

[40]     Jonathan Landay and David Rohde, “Exclusive: In Call with Putin, Trump Denounced Obama-era Nuclear Arms Treaty – Sources,” Reuters, February 10, 2017,[1]putin-idUSKBN15O2A5

[41] Steve Holland, “Trump Wants to Make Sure U.S. Nuclear Arsenal at ‘Top of the Pack,’” Reuters, February 23, 2017,[1]arsenal-at-top-of-the-pack-idUSKBN1622IF.

[42]     Bryan Bender, “Leaked Document: Putin Lobbied Trump on Arms Control,” Politico, August 7, 2018,

[43] On the other hand, Russian ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov told that “important verbal agreements were reached at the Helsinki summit on arms control issues, including preservation of the New START and INF Treaty.” At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September, Senator Bob Menendez urged the Trump administration to shed light on what the two leaders discussed and whether there were any agreements.” Cristina Maza, “Trump-Putin Summit: What Secret Agreements Did They Make on Arms Control? Senators Ask,” Newsweek, September 18, 2018,[1]secret-agreements-did-they-make-arms-control-senators-1126938.

[44] Andrea Thompson, “Statement for the Record,” Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, September 18, 2018.

[45] White House “Remarks by President Trump Before Air Force One Departure,” October 20, 2018

[46] Michael R. Pompeo, “Press Availability at NATO Headquarters,” Brussels, December 4, 2018, https:// See also Julian Borger, “US Says it Will Pull Out of INF Treaty if Russia Does Not Comply Within 60 Days,” Guardian, December 4, 2018, https://www.

[47] U.S. Department of State, “Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” April 2018, htm. See also Hiroshima Report 2015 and Hiroshima Report 2016.

[48] U.S. Department of State, “Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” April 2018, htm.

[49] Michael R. Gordon, “Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump,” New York Times, February 14, 2017,

[50] “U.S. Says Russia Deployment Of ‘Banned’ Cruise Missile Increasing,” Radio Free Europe, March 20, 2018, html.

[51]     Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation, “Russia’s Assessment of the US Department of State’s Report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” April 24, 2018, cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3192916.

[52] See Hiroshima Report 2018.

[53] U.S. Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review, February 2018, p. 55

[54] “General Assembly Rejects Resolution Calling for Strengthening Russian-United States Compliance with Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty,” United Nations Meetings Coverage, December 21, 2018, https://

[55] “UK Downsizes Its Nuclear Arsenal,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 45, No. 2 (March 2015), http://www.

[56] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.32, April 19, 2018.

[57] “Statement by France,” General Debate, First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference, May 3, 2017.

[58] U.S. Department of Defense, Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018, May 2018, pp. 29, 36-37.

[59]     Bill Gertz, “China Flight Tests New Submarine-Launched Missile,” Washington Free Beacon, December 18, 2018,

[60] U.S. Department of Defense, Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018, p. 34.

[61] “China Deploy Advanced DF-26 Missile,” Associated Press, April 26, 2018, https://www.defensenews. com/global/asia-pacific/2018/04/26/china-deploys-advanced-df-26-missile/.

[62] Alicia Sanders-Zakre, “China Develops, Deploys New Missiles,” Arms Control Today, June 1, 2018,

[63]     Mike Yeo, “In first, China Confirms ‘New Long-Range Strategic Bomber’ Designation,” Defense News, October 11, 2018,[1]strategic-bomber-designation/.

[64]     Liu Xuanzun, “China Tests Hypersonic Aircraft That Can ‘Break Any Missile Defense System,’” Global Times, August 5, 2018,

[65] See, for example, “France Submarine Capabilities,” Nuclear Threat Initiative, August 15, 2013, http:// articles/france-submarine-capabilities/

[66] François Hollande, “Nuclear Deterrence—Visit to the Strategic Air Forces,” February 19, 2015, http:// html#Chapitre1.

[67]     “Defense Chief Sets Sights on Beefing Up Russia’s Nuclear Triad with Advanced Weaponry,” Tass, January 10, 2018,

[68] “Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly,” March 1, 2018, news/56957.

[69] “Putin Says New Russian Missiles, Bombers to Be Deployed This Year,” Radio Free Europe, May 16, 2018,

[70] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2018,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 74, No. 3 (2018), p. 189.

[71]     Amanda Macias, “Russian Submarine Fleet Capable of Launching Missiles Armed with Hypersonics and Nukes Will be Ready for War by 2024,” CNBC, September 21, 2018, russia-sub-fleet-capable-of-launching-hypersonics-will-be-ready-by-2024.html.

[72] Kristensen and Norris, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2018,” p. 190.

[73]     Macias, “Russian Submarine Fleet Capable of Launching Missiles.”

[74]     Alex Lockie, “Russia Upgraded a Nuclear Bomber — and Its Missiles are a Nightmare for US Navy Aircraft Carriers,” Business Insider, August 7, 2018,[1]has-missile-made-for-us-navy-carriers-2018-8.

[75] “Russia Tests Avangard Hypersonic System on Putin’s Orders,” Tass, December 26, 2018, http://tass. com/defense/1037974.

[76] “Is Russia Working on a Massive Dirty Bomb,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces, November 10, 2015,

[77] Kyle Mizokami, “How Can We Stop Russia’s Apocalypse Nuke Torpedo?” National Interest, August 17, 2018,[1]apocalypse-nuke-torpedo/.

[78]     “Russia’s Nuclear Cruise Missile Is Struggling to Take Off, Imagery Suggests,” NPR, September 25, 2018,[1]imagery-suggests.

[79] Claire Mills and Noel Dempsey, “Replacing the UK’s nuclear deterrent: Progress of the Dreadnought class,” UK Parliament, House of Commons Briefing Paper, June 19, 2017.

[80] Regarding the U.S. nuclear modernization program, see, for instance, Amy F. Woolf, “U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues,” CRS Report, March 6, 2018, pp. 9-41; “U.S. Nuclear Modernization Program,” Fact Sheet and Brief, Arms Control Association, December 2016, https://www.

[81] NPR 2018, pp. 48-51.

[82] Ibid., pp. 54-55.

[83]     Rebecca Kheel, “Dems Introduce Bill to Ban Low-Yield Nukes,” Hill, September 18, 2018, https://thehill. com/policy/defense/407263-dems-introduce-bill-to-ban-low-yield-nukes.

[84]     Travis J. Tritten, “Congress Funds Pentagon’s New Low-Yield Nuclear Warhead,” Washington Examiner, September 13, 2018,[1]funds-pentagons-new-low-yield-nuclear-warhead.

[85] Dinakar Peri, “India Successfully Test-Fires Nuclear-Capable Agni-5,” The Hindu, June 4, 2018, http:// ece; “India Successfully Test-Fires Nuclear-Capable Agni-5 Missile,” The Times of India, December 10, 2018, articleshow/67025807.cms.

[86] “India Says Nuclear Submarine Makes First Patrol, Modi Warns Against ‘Misadventure’,” Reuters, November 5, 2018,[1]makes-first-patrol-modi-warns-against-misadventure-idUSKCN1NA1HK.

[87]     Franz-Stefan Gady, “India Launches Second Ballistic Missile Sub,” Diplomat, December 13, 2017, https://; Dinakar Peri and Josy Joseph, “A Bigger Nuclear Submarine is Coming,” The Hindu, October 15, 2017, national/a-bigger-nuclear-submarine-is-coming/article19862549.ece.

[88] “Israel Signs MoU to Purchase Dolphin-class Submarines from Germany,” Naval Technology, October 25, 2017,

[89] On Pakistan’s nuclear forces, see Hans M. Kristensen, Robert S. Norris & Julia Diamond, “Pakistani Nuclear Forces, 2018,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 74, No. 5 (2018), pp. 348-358.

[90]     Ankit Panda, Pakistan Conducts Second Test of Babur-3 Nuclear-Capable Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile,” Diplomat, April 16, 2018,[1]babur-3-nuclear-capable-submarine-launched-cruise-missile/.

[91]     Ankit Panda, “Pakistan Tests Enhanced-Range Variant of Babur Nuclear-Capable Land-Attack Cruise Missile,” Diplomat, April 16, 2018,[1]of-babur-nuclear-capable-land-attack-cruise-missile/.

[92] Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the Us Intelligence Community,” February 13, 2018.

[93] Hearing, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, July 25, 2018, an-update-on-american-diplomacy-to-advance-our-national-security-strategy-072518.

[94] Joby Warrick and Souad Mekhennet, “Summit Collapse Foils Chance to Press North Korea on Suspicious Sites,” Washington Post, May 25, 2018,[1]collapse-foils-chance-to-press-north-korea-on-suspicious-sites/2018/05/25/d5a14044-602d-11e8-9ee3- 49d6d4814c4c_story.html; Ankit Panda, “Revealing Kangson, North Korea’s First Covert Uranium Enrichment Site,” Diplomat, July 13, 2018,[1]first-covert-uranium-enrichment-site/.

[95] Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Dan Dueweke, “Expansion of North Korea’s Solid Fuel Ballistic Missile Program: The Eight Year Old Case of the Chemical Materials Institute,” 38 North, July 25, 2018, https://

[96] Jonathan Cheng, “North Korea Expands Key Missile-Manufacturing Plant,” Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2018,

[97] Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick, “U.S. Spy Agencies: North Korea is Working on New Missiles,” Washington Post, July 30 2018,[1]north-korea-is-working-on-new-missiles/2018/07/30/b3542696-940d-11e8-a679-b09212fb69c2_story.html.

[98]     Zachary Cohen, “New Satellite Images Reveal Activity at Unidentified North Korean Missile Base,” CNN, December 5, 2018, index.html. See also Jeffrey Lewis and Dave Schmerler, “North Korean Missile Base at Yeongjeo-dong,” Arms Control Wonk, December 6, 2018,[1]missile-base-at-yeongjeo-dong/.

[99]     Joseph Bermudez, Victor Cha and Lisa Collins, “Undeclared North Korea: The Sakkanmol Missile Operating Base,” Beyond Parallel, Center for Strategic and International Studies, November 12, 2018, https://

[100] Regarding basic policies of other nuclear-armed states, see Hiroshima Report 2017.

[101]     The NPR 2018 also mentioned, with implying the significance of its nuclear deterrence for the international security and stability: “Since the introduction of U.S. nuclear deterrence, U.S. nuclear capabilities have made essential contributions to the deterrence of nuclear and non-nuclear aggression. The subsequent absence of Great Power conflict has coincided with a dramatic and sustained reduction in the number of lives lost to war globally.” (p. 17)

[102] “Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly,” President of Russia, March 1, 2018, http://en.kremlin. ru/events/president/news/56957.

[103] “Statement by Russia,” Cluster 1, 2018 NPT PrepCom, April 26, 2018

[104] U.S. Department of Defense, “Report on Nuclear Employment Strategy,” June 19, 2013, p. 4.

[105] NPR 2018, pp. 20-21. Although not stated in the NPR, non-nuclear strategic attacks are considered to be caused by bio-chemical, conventional attacks, and even cyber attacks. On the other hand, the United States has not excluded a possibility of using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear attacks.

[106] “Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly,” President of Russia, March 1, 2018, http://en.kremlin. ru/events/president/news/56957.

[107] U.S. Department of Defense, Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018, May 2018, pp. 75-76.

[108] “Short-Range Nuclear Weapons to Counter India’s Cold Start Doctrine: Pakistan PM,” Live Mint, September 21, 2017,

[109] NPT/CONF.2015/29, April 22, 2015.

[110] U.S. Department of Defense, NPR 2018, p. 21.

[111] In its report submitted to the 2014 PrepCom (NPT/CONF.2015/PC.III/14, April 25, 2014), France stated that it “has given security assurance to all non-nuclear-weapon States that comply with their non-proliferation commitments.”

[112] NPT/CONF.2015/10, March 12, 2015.

[113] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.28, April 13, 2018.

[114] NPT/CONF.2015/PC.III/14, April 25, 2014.

[115] As mentioned in the Hiroshima Report 2016, both ASEAN member states and NWS implied that they continued consultations over possible reservations by NWS.

[116] See, for instance, NPT/CONF.2018/WP.19, March 23, 2018.

[117]     “Putin Submits Protocol to Treaty on Nuclear-Free Zone in Central Asia for Ratification,” Tass, March 12, 2015,

[118] NPR 2018, pp. 34-37.

[119] “Brussels Summit Declaration,” Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels, July 11-12, 2018, official_texts_156624.htm.

[120] “National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2019 and beyond,” December 18, 2018.

[121] See also the Hiroshima Report 2017.

[122] Hans M. Kristensen, “Reducing Alert Rates of Nuclear Weapons,” Presentation to NPT PrepCom Side Event, Geneva, April 24, 2013; Hans M. Kristensen and Matthew McKinzie, “Reducing Alert Rates of Nuclear Weapons,” United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, 2012.

[123] NPR 2018, p. 22.

[124] See Kristensen, “Reducing Alert Rates of Nuclear Weapons”; Kristensen and McKinzie, “Reducing Alert Rates of Nuclear Weapons.”

[125] On the other hand, the U.S. Defense Department’s annual report on China’s military and security mentioned: “PLA writings express the value of a “launch on warning” nuclear posture, an approach to deterrence that uses heightened readiness, improved surveillance, and streamlined decision-making processes to enable a more rapid response to enemy attack. These writings highlight the posture’s consistency with China’s nuclear “No First Use” policy, suggesting it may be an aspiration for China’s nuclear forces. China is working to develop a space-based early warning capability that could support this posture in the future.” U.S. Department of Defense, Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018, May 2018, p. 77.

[126]     Elaine M. Grossman, “Pakistani Leaders to Retain Nuclear-Arms Authority in Crises: Senior Official,” Global Security Newswire, February 27, 2014,

[127] “Statement by Malaysia on Behalf of the De-alerting Group,” Cluster 1, 2018 NPT PrepCom, April 25, 2018.

[128] A/RES/73/60, December 5, 2018.

[129]     For example, Patricia Lewis,, published a report, in which they studied 13 cases of inadvertent near misuse of nuclear weapons, and concluded, inter alia, that “the world has, indeed, been lucky.” They argue, “For as long as nuclear weapons exist, the risk of an inadvertent, accidental or deliberate detonation remains. Until their elimination, vigilance and prudent decision-making in nuclear policies are therefore of the utmost priority. Responses that policy-makers and the military should consider include buying time for decision[1]making, particularly in crises; developing trust and confidence-building measures; refraining from large-scale military exercises during times of heightened tension; involving a wider set of decision-makers in times of crisis; and improving awareness and training on the effects of nuclear weapons.” Patricia Lewis, Heather Williams, Benoît Pelopidas and Sasan Aghlani, “Too Close for Comfort: Cases of Near Nuclear Use and Options for Policy,” Chatham House Report, April 2014.

[130] See the Hiroshima Report 2017

[131] “Short-Range Nuclear Weapons to Counter India’s Cold Start Doctrine: Pakistan PM,” Live Mint, September 21, 2017,

[132]     “US Worried Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Could Land Up in Terrorists’ Hands: Official.” Economic Times, August 25, 2017,

[133] “Remarks by President Trump on the Strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia.” White House, August 21, 2017,[1]south-asia/.

[134]     “North Korea Will Join ‘Efforts for a Total Ban on Nuclear Tests,’” Reuters, May 15, 2018, https://www.[1]tests-idUSKCN1IG28E.

[135] “Pakistan Proposes N-Test Ban Arrangement with India,” The Nation, October 11, 2018, https://nation.

[136] “Joint Ministerial Statement on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty,” Ninth Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT, New York, September 26, 2018.

[137]     “Joint Appeal by Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization,” Vienna, 5 July 2018.

[138] CTBT-Art.XIV/2017/4, September 14, 2017.

[139]     The CTBTO expressed its intention to provide resources and expertise to confirm an actual dismantlement of the North Korea’s nuclear test site if Pyongyang decided to open the site to experts. CTBTO executive secretary Lassina Zerbo also mentioned that the CTBTO has a capacity to verify the nuclear test site in North Korea, and such verification contributes to increasing credibility of the North’s denuclearization as well as improving the CTBTO’s verification capability. Umer Jamshaid, “CTBTO Willing To Join Int’l Efforts Seeking N.Korea Denuclearization – Executive Secretary,” UrduPoint Network, October 15, 2018, en/world/ctbto-willing-to-join-intl-efforts-seeking-n-456466.html; Lassina Zerbo, “The Nuclear Test Ban and the Verifiable Denuclearization of North Korea,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 48, No. 9 (November 2018).

[140] U.S. experts pointed out: “Analysis of ground photos and video taken at North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site (courtesy of Sky News) from the recent site closing event can confirm only that the test tunnel entrances were sealed. At most, two other point detonations were carried out (as was claimed) in each of the three tunnels, while the tunnel branches probably remain intact.” Frank V. Pabian, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu, “More Potential Questions About the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site Destruction,” 38 North, June 11, 2018,

[141] NPR 2018, p. 63.

[142] National Nuclear Security Administration, Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan: Fiscal Year 2018, November 2017, p. 3-26.

[143] Masakatsu Ota, “Trump Administration Moving to Beef Up Nuclear Test Readiness,” Kyodo News, December 4, 2017,

[144]     CTBTO, “CTBTO Member States’ Payment as at 31-Dec-2018,”

[145]     CTBTO, “Station Profiles,”

[146] CTBTO, “Remarkable Progress: China and the CTBT,” February 2, 2018, press-centre/highlights/2018/remarkable-progress-china-and-the-ctbt/; “4 China-hosted nuclear activity monitoring stations certified by CTBTO,” Xinhua, February 1, 2018, 02/01/c_136940100.htm.

[147] CTBTO, “2nd CTBT Science Diplomacy Symposium,” May 31, 2018,

[148] CTBTO, “European Union Champions the CTBTO—Voluntary Contribution of Over 4.5 Mio EUR,” April 30, 2018,[1]voluntary-contribution-of-over-45-mio-eur/.

[149] “Japan Gives US$ 2.43 Million to Boost Nuclear Test Detection,” CTBTO, February 23, 2017, https://

[150] “Transportable Radioxenon Systems (Txls) Enhance the CTBTO’s Radionuclide Monitoring Technology in Japan,” January 23, 2018,

[151]     Garry R. Maskaly, “Vega & the Lyra Series,” Stockpile Stewardship Quarterly, NNSA, Vol. 8, No. 1 (March 2018), p. 6,

[152]     “US Held Subcritical Nuclear Test Last Dec.,” NHK, October 10, 2018, nhkworld/en/news/20181010_27/.

[153] NPT/CONF.2015/PC.III/14, April 25, 2014.

[154] NPT/CONF.2015/29, April 22, 2015.

[155] Stephen Chen, “China Steps Up Pace in New Nuclear Arms Race with US and Russia as Experts Warn of Rising Risk of Conflict,” South China Morning Post, May 28, 2018, society/article/2147304/china-steps-pace-new-nuclear-arms-race-us-and-russia-experts-warn.

[156] Stephen Chen, “Operation Z Machine: China’s Next Big Weapon in the Nuclear ‘Arms Race’ Could Create Clean Fuel – Or Deadly Bombs,” South China Monitoring Post, December 12, 2018,

[157] NPT/CONF.2018/PC.II/WP.18, March 23, 2018.

[158] “Conference on Disarmament Decides to Establish Five Subsidiary Bodies on Agenda Items to Advance the Substantive Work,” United Nations Office at Geneva, February 16, 2018,

[159] NPT/CONF.2018/WP.32, April 19, 2018.

[160]     A/73/159, July 13, 2018. See also “High Level Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) Expert Preparatory Group,” The United Nations Office at Geneva, B8A3B48A3FB7185EC1257B280045DBE3?OpenDocument; Paul Meyer, “UN High-level Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty Expert Preparatory Group Report: Little Prospect for Progress,” IPFM Blog, September 26, 2018, Participating countries are Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Pakistan refused to participate in the Group. At the Informal Consultative Meeting by the Chairperson of the High-level FMCT Expert Preparatory Group in March 2017, Pakistan argued that it could not join any discussion, pre-negotiation, negotiation or preparatory work on the basis of the Shannon Mandate: that is, considering a treaty which only prohibits future production and leaves the existing stocks untouched.

[161] See the Hiroshima Report 2017.

[162] See, for instance, Hui Zhang, “China’s Fissile Material Production and Stockpile,” Research Report, International Panel on Fissile Materials, No. 17 (2017).

[163] Among these countries, Australia, Austria, Canada, Japan and New Zealand also submitted their respective report to the 2017 NPT PrepCom.

[164] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.26, April 11, 2018.

[165] NPT/CONF.2015/PC.I/WP.12, April 20, 2012.

[166]     The INF Treaty in 1987 is the first nuclear arms reduction treaty stipulating the intrusive verification system, including on-site inspections.

[167] “New START Treaty Inspection Activities,” U.S. Department of State, newstart/c52405.htm.

[168] In addition to three NWS (France, the United Kingdom and the United States), Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and others participated in the IPNDV. China and Russia attended in the Phase I, but did not join in the Phase II.

[169]     In the summary report of the Phase I, the INPDV identified several specific verification areas for additional analysis as following: Declarations, including within the wider nuclear disarmament process and as complements to more specific monitoring and inspection of nuclear weapon dismantlement; Data handling requirements across the inspection process; Information barrier technologies; Technologies enabling measurements of Special Nuclear Material (SNM) and High Explosives (HE), as well as the development of nuclear weapon templates; and Testing and exercising potentially promising technologies and procedures.

[170]     The U.S. Department of State, “The International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification: Phase II,” December 8, 2017,

[171] See the IPNDV website (

[172] See the Hiroshima Report 2017.

[173] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.6, March 8, 2018.

[174] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.23, March 26, 2018. See also the Hiroshima Report 2017.

[175]     The 25 participating countries are: five NWS, 18 NNWS (Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, South Africa and Switzerland) and two non-NPT states parties (India and Pakistan). See also Wilton Park, “Verification in Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament: Preparing for the UN Group of Governmental Experts,” January 24-26, 2018.

[176] Department of Defense, “Stockpile Numbers: End of Fiscal Years 1962-2017,” Portals/23/Documents/frddwg/2017_Tables_UNCLASS.pdf.

[177] On activities or progress before 2018, see the Hiroshima Report 2017.

[178] NPT/CONF.2015/10, March 12, 2015.

[179] Under the agreement, each country is to dispose no less than 34 metric tons of weapon-grade plutonium removed from their respective defense programs by irradiating it as MOX in existing light-water reactors fuel.

[180] Maggie Tennis, “INF Dispute Adds to U.S.-Russia Tensions,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 47, No. 5 (June 2017), pp. 29-30.

[181] U.S. Department of State, “Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments.”

[182] Kingston Reif, “MOX Facility to Switch to Plutonium Pits,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 48, No. 5 (June 2018), p. 29.

[183] Timothy Gardner, “Trump Administration Kills Contract for Plutonium-to-Fuel Plant,” Reuters, October 13, 2018,

[184] Scot J. Paltrow, “America’s Nuclear Headache: Old Plutonium with Nowhere to Go,” Reuters, April 20, 2018,

[185] “United States to Down-Blend HEU for Tritium Production,” IPFM Blog, October 1, 2018, http://

[186] See the Hiroshima Report 2018.

[187] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.38, April 24, 2018.

[188] NPT/CONF.2020/PC.II/WP.37, April 20, 2018.

[189] At the 2018 NPT PrepCom, the Hiroshima Prefectural Government hosted a side event, titled “Identifying concrete steps to move forward nuclear disarmament,” in which the Hiroshima Governor, as well as several experts, participated as panelists.

[190] As for other nuclear possessors, government agencies directly carry out most of the maintenance and modernization of their nuclear forces.

[191] See IKV Pax Christi and ICAN, “Don’t Bank on the Bomb: A Global Report on the Financing of Nuclear Weapons Producers—2018,” March 2018, pp. 6-7. The report annotates that it does neither list every single investment into the companies listed as part of the nuclear weapon industry nor include investments made by governments, universities, or churches, only financial institutions. (Ibid., p. 10.)

[192] Ibid., p. 7.

[193] Ibid.

[194] See the Hiroshima City’s homepage, index.html.

< BackNext >