Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Raven Winters

First Page



The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) took effect on March 5, 1970, with the following purposes: to prevent the proliferation of nuclear arms, promote nuclear disarmament, and encourage the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Even though the NPT was initially intended as a temporary solution to the threat of nuclear weapons, in 1995 the parties to the NPT voted to extend it indefinitely. For the most part, the NPT has been successful in achieving its goals. Recent challenges to the NPT, however--namely North Korea's withdrawal from the NPT in January 2003--have revealed several weaknesses inherent in the NPT. To strengthen the NPT, revisions should be made to the withdrawal provision of the NPT, nuclear disarmament must be made a priority, and the review process must be strengthened.