Is there any difference for terrorist to test their nuke in a lofty tone without a official status in UN like the North Korea or to be inconspicuous country like the India

If there are too much difference to make things more complicated and threaten the terriost, is there a international law to prevent global nuclear war when the terrorist are able steal nuke technology from a lot of country that have nukes?

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    An international law baring something like nuclear war would have zero effect on a country that wanted to initiate a nuclear war. Why would you think a terrorist detonating a warhead would cause any nuclear power to retaliate against another nuclear power (why wouldn't they just try to kill the terrorists that stole the technology)? Additionally, it is probably much harder than you think to get your hands on the materials necessary to make a nuke (the USA successfully destroyed Iranian computers with the Stuxnex virus (allegedly)) – user1873 Jul 11 '14 at 2:05
  • Why a global nuclear war should start if the terrorists steal the weapons and how a law can help? – Anixx Mar 9 '15 at 7:00

There is no (nor could there be) a law that would prevent global nuclear war. Should a nation with nuclear weapons decide that it wanted to start launching nukes, then those nukes are getting launched regardless of any relevant legal issues.

International law is, unfortunately, more about re-enforcing the hierarchy of power between nations. They are tools used by the dominant nations to keep the "status quo." When a situation arises where following those laws conflicts with their own national interests, those laws will be reinterpreted, modified, or outright ignored.

That being said, global nuclear war itself is generally the opposite of "status quo," so it is unlikely that these dominant nations would purposefully take action leading to it. A rogue actor that manages to detonate a nuclear weapon is unlikely to initiate a global nuclear conflict, simply because it is not in any nation's best interest.

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    +1 for International law is, unfortunately, more about re-enforcing the hierarchy of power between nations. – SoylentGray Jul 11 '14 at 17:40

Nuclear Weapons are extremely complex and require precise calibration to yield the desired result. Current civilian and even military technology is still beyond the capabilities of a relatively small group to develop a device that could have a yield that was similar to the ones detonated at the end of WWII. Most scientists in the field knew this and argued that when the case was being presented against Iraq in 2003. But the threat is so great that those who do not understand the complexity can easily be persuaded that the need to act, "Just in case," is there.

There is a Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons but that is really only binding to signatories but which the UN would likely enforce in any case. There is also the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty which prohibits certain types of tests, most of which are the types most easily conducted and providing the most useful data on these types of devices.

The IAEA was established to monitor and regulate international activities in the fields of Nuclear research. This agency understands the types of facilities needed to create both weapon grade and fuel grade radioactive material. They regularly monitor satellite images, and reports of suspicious activity. The chance of a terrorist group being able to develop and assemble such a device undetected is almost completely impossible.

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