Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Political Science

First Advisor

Jerel Rosati


With the exception of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, nuclear weapons have never been used in a war despite the conditions of international relations characterized by constant conflict and instability. The norm of nuclear nonproliferation institutionalized by the NPT has been the major force behind this remarkable achievement. Yet, there have been increasing concerns about the erosion of the NPT regime due to noncompliance with the treaty's fundamental nonproliferation obligations by some 'states of concern,' seeking to possess and develop nuclear weapons. In particular, North Korea's unrestricted development of nuclear weapons and Iran's continuing assertion of its 'inalienable right' to pursue peaceful nuclear activities in defiance of a number of UN Security Council resolutions have posed fundamental challenges to the NPT. The dissertation examines two major questions: why and under what conditions are rules and norms of the global nuclear nonproliferation regime violated by some 'states of concern,' notably North Korea and Iran? How do we best explain the different dynamics of the nuclear nonproliferation negotiations between the major powers and these defector states within the framework of the NPT regime? By examining both questions in sequence, this research seeks to shed light on how differences in Pyongyang's and Tehran's rationales and major policy objectives to deviate from the global nuclear nonproliferation norm in the first place would have a bearing on the differences in their multilateral negotiations with the major powers (the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear crisis and the P5-plus-1 on Iran's) later on.


© 2011, Jihyun Kim