Nuclear Non-Proliferation: A Hopeless Cause

North Korea’s announcement that it has nuclear weapons further proves the impossibility of man’s attempts to curb their deadly spread.

Mankind has lived on death’s doorstep for 50 years. Extinction by nuclear warfare has threatened life on Earth since 1955. Tragically, most people have failed to realize the gravity of this problem. Nuclear proliferation is the greatest threat to mankind, yet our attempts to curb it are failing abysmally.

The 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (npt) is the most valiant and significant attempt at global nuclear disarmament. One hundred and eighty-seven parties signed the 1970 treaty, including the five global nuclear powers at the time. That is more countries than have signed any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a fact the United Nations calls “a testament to the treaty’s significance” (

What is the objective of the npt? The UN answers: “to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament” (ibid.). Noble and far-reaching goals for sure. Have they been attained?

In 1955, the combined nuclear arsenal of America and the Soviet Union could kill every human being on Earth. Fifteen years later, as the npt entered into force, five nations possessed nuclear weapons—the U.S., Russia, France, Britain and China—further increasing mankind’s ability to wipe itself out.

Thirty-five years on from the npt, conditions have become significantly worse. There are now nine nuclear states, including the highly volatile North Korea.

According to Foreign Affairs, the world has more than 30,000 nuclear weapons, and enough highly enriched uranium and plutonium for 240,000 more (January/February 2004). The Washington-based Arms Control Association says that almost all of the 12,000 strategic nuclear weapons are in the hands of the five officially recognized nuclear powers. An estimated 300, however, are housed in the non-treaty countries of Israel, India, North Korea and Pakistan (the latter responsible for spreading the nuclear know-how to rogue elements all over the world).

It gets worse: Of the 12,000 strategic nuclear weapons owned by the five treaty nations, Russia is known to have about 5,000. But Moscow also has an additional stockpile of an estimated 11,000 non-operational nuclear weapons. On February 20, however, Agence France Presse reported that half of Russia’s nuclear arsenal is unaccounted for.

On top of that, even taking into consideration the 3,000 warheads the U.S. is said to have in reserve, if there are 30,000 nuclear weapons worldwide that still leaves perhaps 4,000 totally unaccounted for. Just one in irresponsible hands should be enough to cause alarm.

The fact is, no one really knows exactly how many nuclear weapons are on this globe—or where they all are.

Every time a nation adds nuclear weapons to its military arsenal, we see further proof of the failure of the npt and man’s attempts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. North Korea’s declaration in February that it has successfully constructed nuclear weapons is a particularly frightening blow and further proves the hopelessness of nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

Nukes ‘R’ Us

Following the Cold War, the nations possessing nuclear weapons were for the most part relatively stable countries with relatively stable leaders, who were perceived as being unlikely to actually use their weapons. The same cannot be said for North Korea, however. A nuclear-armed North Korea, under its unpredictable leader Kim Jong Il, many liken to a powder keg waiting to blow.

Some believe that North Korea purposefully projects itself as being unstable and unpredictable in order to command attention and respect from other nations. Many reason that it would be suicide for North Korea to detonate nuclear weapons, making it highly unlikely that it would ever do so. Even if this is true, it still does not alleviate the other frightening results of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

Last year, before North Korea had even declared that it had constructed nuclear weapons, Foreign Affairs called it “the most dangerous spot on Earth.” “If it follows its current course, North Korea will soon be able to produce dozens of such weapons annually,” it wrote. “Should it achieve this, South Korea and Japan will likely also go nuclear before the end of the decade. Taiwan could also follow suit …” (op. cit.).

In response to North Korea’s nuclear weapon, watch for Japan, South Korea, and even Taiwan to work toward developing nuclear weapons. An arms race in Asia is already underway. Watch for it to turn nuclear!

By the end of the decade, there could be six nuclear powers in this region alone.

The same article highlighted an even more frightening scenario: “… Pyongyang [North Korea], already the world’s leading supplier of missiles, could become a sort of nukes ‘r’ us, supplying weapons to whoever could pay—including terrorists.”

This is a real possibility. Former cia officer Michael Swetnam verbalized the threat: “What we’re afraid of now with places like North Korea is that this crazy guy, Kim Jong Il … might sell a real working nuclear weapon to some terror group just because he’s a nutcase. That scares us. That scares us badly” (, February 21). Don’t think it’s implausible for al Qaeda to buy nuclear weapons. The group has previously announced that it aspires “to kill 4 million Americans, including 1 million children” (Foreign Affairs, op. cit.). A simple manner for al Qaeda to attain this goal would be to detonate a nuclear suitcase bomb in any reasonably sized American city.

North Korea could become a nukes ‘r’ us for more than just al Qaeda. Consider the well-financed terrorist groups of Hezbollah and Hamas. Pyongyang’s declaration must have been music to their ears as well.

The 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has clearly failed. This failure will grow increasingly obvious with time. Almost twice as many nations have nuclear weapons today as when the treaty came into force. What’s worse, the unstable and roguish nation of North Korea is now part of that group.

Matthew 24

Nuclear weapons are a hot topic in the news—yet how many fully realize their potential? How many believe they WILL actually be used? Many politicians and analysts tend to view nuclear weapons more as geopolitical instruments than catastrophic weapons of mass destruction.

Nuclear weapons have become a primary means by which a country can project power on the global scene—especially smaller nations with few other resources, like North Korea.

As long as nuclear weapons remain a symbol of geopolitical power, mankind’s non-proliferation efforts will continue to fail. In the years ahead, the number of nations with nuclear weapons is likely to grow. We must beware that we don’t take this fact lightly, naively believing that nuclear weapons are par for the course and a simple factor of today’s politics. Bible prophecy powerfully demonstrates that today’s nuclear weapons will not remain dormant political instruments!

World conditions surrounding Jesus Christ’s Second Coming are discussed in the Olivet prophecy, found in Matthew 24. Request our Matthew 24 reprint article to prove that Christ is discussing the times we live in today.

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved …” (verses 21-22). These verses talk of a time when there is the potential to destroy all living creatures—a time of tribulation exceedingly worse than at any other point in history.

Human annihilation has been a real threat for 50 years!

Note the wording of verse 22: “[E]xcept those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved ….” Without intervention from a higher power to shorten the time, mankind would ultimately destroy itself. The widespread detonation of nuclear weapons is the primary way mankind will get to this point. If not for divine intervention, mankind will wipe itself off the face of this Earth!

Even the human-devised doomsday clock is just minutes away from midnight. This is where today’s nuclear proliferation is leading!

To quote from our booklet The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (free upon request), “The scale of war Christ prophesied in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 simply could not have been fulfilled at any other time in man’s history! Humanity has never built or designed weapons that he did not eventually use. Man will find a use for the deadly nuclear weapons and other destructive devices created since World War ii” (emphasis mine). Other accounts in the Bible also tell us a future nuclear holocaust is inevitable. Notice Habakkuk 3, Jeremiah 2:14-15, Amos 5:1-3 and Revelation 6 as a start.

Prophecy shows that mankind’s efforts to curb nuclear proliferation will fail!

We cannot afford to take these events lightly. Ensure you are not making this common mistake. Matthew 24 discusses the end-time events just prior to the Second Coming. The entire chapter is in the context of Christ’s return.

This fact shines a light of hope onto the atrocities mentioned in this chapter. The world events discussed in Matthew 24 are tragic, but they are leading to the most joyous and exciting event ever—the return of Christ.

The loving God of this universe is not a hopeless God. Nothing He does is hopeless and without cause. The intensifying world events that surround us prove that Christ’s Second Coming is imminent. His return will be the dawning of an exciting, happy, industrious, nuclear-free age.