This op-ed originally appeared in The National Interest.
Twenty years ago, the United States took a leading role in negotiations to ban the practice of conducting nuclear-weapon test explosions, which enables states to prove new and more deadly nuclear-warhead designs. The result was the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which was opened for signature on September 24, 1996.
Since then, treaty has been signed by 183 states and has established a powerful taboo against nuclear testing. Only one country—North Korea—has conducted nuclear-weapon test explosions in this century.
But the door to the resumption of nuclear testing remains open because eight key states, including the United States, must still ratify the treaty in order to trigger its formal entry into force.
In the meantime, it is clearly in the interests of the United States to seek ways to reinforce the global norm against nuclear testing and make it more difficult for other states, including China, Iran and Russia, from conducting nuclear test explosions in the future.
That is why President Barack Obama is pursuing UN Security Council support for a resolution to reinforce the norm against nuclear testing. The proposed resolution, now under discussion with other council member states, would also support ongoing efforts to maintain the monitoring system established to detect and deter clandestine testing...
To read the full op-ed, visit NationalInterest.org.