Since the issues associated with Weapons of Mass Destruction are of a global nature, we have compiled extensive case studies on "hot" areas around the world relating to WMD. We have also researched the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a Nobel Prize-winning Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to show how non-governmental players may affect the globe.
North Korea (DPRK) is believed to possess enough material to produce a small number of nuclear weapons. The DPRK has the most advanced missile technology among all nations of proliferation concern. It has tested missiles with ranges of up to 1,000 km and has tested a missile that could deliver a small payload to the US. North Korea is also the leading exporter of ballistic missiles worldwide, exporting to nations such as Egypt, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, and Syria. North Korea is also believed to possess large stocks of chemical weapons and also an infrastructure capable of producing biological weapons.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has repetitively been accused by the United States and members of the European Union for violating the safeguards agreements concluded by the IAEA. Iran has been repeatedly criticized for its ambitions to develop a nuclear weapon, though Iranian government officials claim they only pursue peaceful atomic technology. In February 2006, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) referred Iran to the UN Security Council for violation of its nuclear safeguards agreement. Many nations believe Iran to be a state-sponsor of terrorism, although Iranian officials dispute any link between the government and terrorist organizations.
With the ongoing War in Iraq, this country is at the spotlight of international concern. Although no weapons of mass destruction were found when the US invaded Iraq in 2003, Iraq has an undisputed history of possessing WMD. It is uncontested that Iraq at one point possessed large quanties of chemical weapons and used them against its own civilian population. Iraq also possessed a secret nuclear program that came very close to developing a workable bomb.
Pakistan possesses enough materials to assemble a small number of nuclear weapons in a matter of hours or days. It possesses between 585-800 kg of highly-enriched uranium and may possess enough weapons-grade plutonium for the production of 3-5 weapons. Pakistan's nuclear weapons are reportedly stored in component form, meaning that the fissile core is stored separately from the non-nuclear explosives. Pakistan has not acceded to the NPT or the CTBT.
The United States is the only nation to ever deploy a nuclear device in war. Critics of the United States contend that the US has continually criticized the efforts of other nations (such as the DPRK or Iran) to acquire nuclear technology, yet has plans to possibly use its own nuclear arsenal. In 2002, information was leaked from the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a classified document. The NPR assesses the current state of the US aresenal and addresses policy. The leaked information evinced the Bush administration's interest to pursue new nuclear technology, including new offensive nuclear strike systems, ballistic missile defences, and a revived nuclear infrastructure.
The IPPNW is a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 58 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens who share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation. In 1985, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in alerting the worldwide public to the harmful effects of nuclear warfare.