Palau Ratifies the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

08.08.07 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

On August 1, the Pacific island nation of Palau became the 139th country to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that would ban all nuclear explosions.

Among states that possess nuclear weapons, only France, Russia and the United Kingdom have ratified the Treaty. To enter into force, the CTBT Organization explained in an August 7 news release, the Treaty must be ratified by ten other countries including the United States, China, Iran, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea, none of which has shown any eagerness to proceed.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library last week released declassified recordings of President Kennedy discussing the debate over a nuclear test ban in 1963.

Detailed background on the history and status of the nuclear test ban debate is available from the Congressional Research Service in “Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty” (pdf), updated July 12, 2007.