Vietnam on Friday (Sep 22)
signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York (United States)
, against the background
of repeated nuclear and missile tests by North Korea.The Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty was passed in July as the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons.
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 22, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Lucas Jackson
The treaty prohibits its signatories from development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance and encouragement to the prohibited activities.
For nuclear armed states joining the treaty, it provides for a time-bound framework for negotiations leading to verified and irreversible elimination of its nuclear weapons program.
So far 52 countries have signed the treaty, which will come into force after it receives signature and ratification by at least 50 countries.
Yet many countries have walked away from the ban, including nine nations believed to have nuclear weapons, which are the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, India, Pakistan, Israel and apparently, North Korea, as well as most members of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
According to Reuters, earlier this month, North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear weapons test. U.S. President Donald Trump told the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that if threatened, the United States would “totally destroy” the country of 26 million people and mocked its leader, Kim Jong Un, as a “rocket man,”.