Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*
LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - There are 29 states which have at one time or another set about becoming nuclear weapons powers or have explored the possibility. Most have failed or drawn back. Only the U.S., Russia, France, UK, China, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea have crossed the threshold. But only the first five have long range, nuclear-tipped, missiles. North Korea wants to walk in their footsteps.
The common belief that when a state has decided to do so it goes for it as fast as it can is wrong. Sweden, Japan, Algeria, Australia, Italy, Yugoslavia, West Germany, Egypt, Iraq, Switzerland, Syria, Brazil, Argentina, Taiwan, South Korea, Norway, South Africa, Pakistan and India all sought to acquire nuclear weapons but their pace and commitment were different.