An Offer They Can’t Refuse? The Security Council Tells North Korea to Re-Sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty


On October 9, 2006 North Korea conducted a nuclear test. Shortly after, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1718 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The resolution demanded, inter alia, that North Korea re-sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, from which it had withdrawn in 2003, while imposing limited economic sanctions. This resolution marks the first time the Security Council has explicitly attempted to force a nation to sign a treaty through the coercive power of a Chapter VII Security Council resolution. This Note argues that Resolution 1718 is both a legal and prudent response to the North Korean nuclear test, despite its intrusion into the normally consent-based field of treaty-making.