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World Gathers to Review Nuclear Treaty

Representatives from nearly 190 countries are beginning a monthlong review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Monday in New York, amid concerns over the nuclear intentions of Iran and North Korea.

Washington wants the treaty review, which is held every five years, to focus on suspicious nuclear activities in Iran and North Korea. But several nations complain the United States and other major powers have not moved fast enough towards disarming, and they want that issue in the forefront. Adding to concerns, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says confidence in the 35-year-old treaty is eroding.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty has been signed by 187 countries. It forbids non-nuclear states from acquiring nuclear weapons, and under its terms the world's five declared nuclear powers - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - are pledged to reduce their nuclear arsenals and disarm.

Israel, India and Pakistan have never signed the treaty. Iran now says it may resume nuclear work it agreed to put on hold while in negotiations with the European Union. And North Korea, which withdrew from the treaty in 2003, recently declared it has nuclear weapons.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP, Reuters.