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North Korea tested underwater nuclear drone

  • Published
    25th Mar, 2023
Context

North Korea had tested an underwater nuclear attack drone able to unleash a “radioactive tsunami”.

About the move:
  • North Korea has blamed recent U.S.-South Korea exercises for a deteriorating regional security situation.
  • Thus claimed that it has tested for an underwater nuclear drone attack which can cause tsunami.
  • The new weapon, ‘called Haeil’ which means tsunami in Korean, can be deployed at any coast and port or towed by a surface ship for operation.
  • It is designed to create massive radioactive waves through submarine explosions.
  • Objective: The mission is to “stealthily infiltrate into operational waters and make a super-scale radioactive tsunami to destroy naval striker groups and major operational ports of the enemy.

Details of the test:

  • It reportedly cruised underwater for 59 hours at a depth of 80 to 150 metres.
  • The drone detonated after reaching the target location.
  • North Korea also launched four strategic cruise missiles affixed with mock nuclear warheads.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty:

  • The NPT is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to foster the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of disarmament.
  • It was signed in 1968 and entered into force in 1970. Presently, it has 191 member states.
  • India is not a member.
  • The treaty requires countries to give up any present or future plans to build nuclear weapons in return for access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
  • It represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States (NWS) (those who manufactured/exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive devices before 1st January, 1967).

Need for Global Nuclear order:

  • Rising energy demands have led to a growing number of countries pursuing nuclear energy, and many countries wish to be energy-independent, in order to ensure a sustainable and dependable domestic energy supply.
  • Thus, the international community should focus on reconciling the states’ desire for energy independence with their desire to both reduce the intrusiveness of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and diminish the possibility of proliferation.
  • Although the non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) welcome New START and other initiatives, they are willing to see more concrete actions on reducing the role of nuclear weapons in national security doctrines, reducing alert levels, and increasing transparency.
  • More regions in the world, preferably comprising NWS, should enter into an arrangement of establishing Nuclear-weapon-free zones.

North Korea and Nuclear weapons:

  • North Korea is a party to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and Geneva Protocol, but is suspected of maintaining an offensive weapons program in defiance of the BTWC.
  • North Korea's interest in a nuclear weapons program dates to the end of World War II.
  • North Korea has continuously tested its nuclear missile amid the global concerns.
  • It has an offensive standoff with South Korea and United States (US).

THAAD, which stands for Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, is a system that’s already deployed in Guam on an “expeditionary” basis, and is now being deployed in South Korea to protect against any incoming missiles from the North.

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