Fact Sheet

Vietnam Overview

Vietnam Overview

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This page is part of Vietnam’s Country Profile.

Vietnam is not believed to possess nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, or programs for their development.

It is a party to most relevant nonproliferation treaties and agreements, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). However, Vietnam is not a member of any of the major export control regimes. Hanoi has submitted three national reports on the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540). Although currently the country lacks a unified or central authority to oversee strategic trade controls, Vietnam has been receptive to 1540-related international assistance. However, it is unlikely that Hanoi will put an overarching law for strategic trade controls in place in the near future.

Nuclear

Vietnam does not possess a nuclear weapons program. There is no publicly available evidence to suggest that Hanoi sought nuclear weapons historically, although declassified documents indicate the United States considered using nuclear weapons against North Vietnam in the last half of the conflict. 1 Vietnam became a non-nuclear weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1982. 2 Hanoi signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996, and ratified the CTBT in 2006 as an Annex-2 country. 3 Vietnam has a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which entered into force in 1990, and has concluded an IAEA Additional Protocol. 4 At the regional level, Vietnam is a member of the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Bangkok). 5

Vietnam is poised to be the first Southeast Asian country with nuclear power, although a number of capacity-related obstacles may delay this. 6 On 21 July 2011, the Prime Minister approved the National Master Plan for Powered Development for 2011-2020 with the Vision to 2030. 7 The plan calls for seven reactors to be built, with the first completed by 2030. At that point, Vietnam plans a nuclear power capacity of 10,700 MW or 10.1% of its electricity production. Russia’s Atomstroyexport will build Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant at Phuoc Dinh (Ninh Thuan 1), consisting of two 1000MWe reactors. Russia has agreed to provide the majority of financing for the project—up to $9 billion according to a November 2011 agreement—and will provide additional assistance such as training and fuel services, including construction of a Nuclear Science and Technology Center and spent fuel take-back for the reactors. Japan has agreed to construct a second nuclear power plant at Vinh Hai (Ninh Thuan 2), composed of two 1000MWe reactors, and to provide additional training and assistance. 8 However, on 18 January 2014, the Vietnamese Government announced the Russian nuclear power plant contract could be delayed until 2020 due to safety concerns following the Fukushima earthquake. This delay will most likely affect the construction of the second Japanese power plant as well. 9

Vietnam already maintains a research reactor at the Dalat Nuclear Research Center, which has operated since 1963. 10 This reactor originally operated using highly enriched uranium (HEU). By 2007, the reactor operated on mixed HEU and LEU assemblies, however Vietnam announced it would fully convert the reactor to low enriched uranium (LEU) at the Nuclear Security Summit in 2010. 11 This conversion was completed in December 2011. 12 In June 2013, the final 16kg of Vietnam’s HEU stock was shipped back to Russia. 13

In preparation for the construction of its nuclear power plants, Vietnam has expressed a willingness to improve its domestic capacity and to cooperate with the IAEA. Vietnam adopted an Atomic Energy Law in 2008 to provide a legal framework for its nuclear activities. 14 This law focuses on ensuring safety of persons, environment, and nonproliferation. The Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety and Control (VARANSAC) and the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VAEI) are the two main agencies, under the Ministry of Science and Technology, responsible for nuclear safety and security. Vietnam conducted a self-assessment of its nuclear infrastructure from December 2007 through December 2008, and in 2009 requested that the IAEA conduct an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission. 15 The INIR Mission report suggested areas of improvement including, among others, human resources development and nuclear power project management. As a result, Hanoi established the Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency (VAEA) in 2010 to oversee research, development, and project management; the National Nuclear Safety Committee; the National Steering Committee of the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant Project; the Master Plan for Nuclear Power Development in Vietnam up to 2030; and the Master Project for Human Resources Development and Training for Atomic Energy in Vietnam up to 2020. 16

On 30 March 2010, the United States and Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Cooperation in the Civil Nuclear Field, as a preliminary step to the negotiation of a 123 bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement. 17 At the East Asian Summit in Brunei in October 2013, both parties initialed a 123 agreement with the intent to establish the legal framework for nuclear commerce between the United States and Vietnam; the formal 123 agreement was signed on 6 May 2014. 18 The Obama Administration did not impose the “gold standard” provision on Vietnam. 19 The “gold standard” provision refers to the U.S.-UAE 123 agreement, under which the UAE agreed not to pursue indigenous uranium enrichment or plutonium reprocessing capabilities. 20 Despite Congressional pressure to uniformly apply the “gold standard” to new 123 agreements, the Administration is so far negotiating agreements on a case-by-case basis. 21 Although a Vietnamese official stated that “Vietnam does not plan to enrich uranium, which is a very sensitive issue,” Hanoi did not wish to agree to the inclusion of a no-enrichment and reprocessing pledge in the 123 agreement. 22 Like many non-nuclear weapon states, Vietnam believes that the NPT affords it the right to all capabilities associated with the peaceful nuclear fuel cycle. 23 On 7 January, the U.S. and Taiwan reached a nuclear cooperation deal that will last for an indefinite period of time without congressional review. Although the US-Vietnam nuclear cooperation agreement does not meet the gold standard, Vietnam also wishes to have indefinite extensions. 24 As of October 2014, the US-Vietnam nuclear cooperation agreement has gone into effect and will last 30 years unless it is renewed. Separate from the agreement, Vietnam signed a nonbinding memorandum stating that Hanoi does not intend to seek enrichment and reprocessing capabilities. 25

Preliminary surveys indicate that Vietnam has uranium ore in the northern and central parts of the country estimated in the amount of 210,000 tons of U3O8. 26 The Vietnamese government signed an MOU with NWT Uranium Corporation of Canada to conduct exploration and assessment of these areas. 27 Vietnam concluded a nuclear cooperation agreement with Japan in October 2011 that includes the exploration and mining of uranium resources. An agreement with India includes a uranium ore processing technology study. 28

Biological

There is no evidence that Vietnam ever developed a biological weapons program, and Hanoi acceded to the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC) in 1980. 29 However, then U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig accused the Soviet Union of supplying tricothecene mycotoxin to Vietnam for military purposes from 1975 to 1984. 30 Tricothecene mycotoxin, a toxin made by fungal molds that infects grain, allegedly caused ‘Yellow Rain,’ a sticky yellow substance that refugees claim was used against them by the Vietnamese government. However, Matthew Meselson, a Harvard biologist, argued that yellow rain could have been produced by deposits of bee feces. 31 The issue remains controversial today. 32

The Vietnamese government has since 1994 identified biotechnology as a national development priority. 33 Agriculture accounts for roughly 20% of Vietnam’s GDP, and the Vietnamese government has actively pursued capacity-building in agricultural biotechnology. 34 In particular, Vietnam hopes to build its capacity to develop genetically modified crops, new microorganism strains, and other biological agro-products to support the country’s agricultural sector. 35 Vietnamese officials have also publicly acknowledged Vietnam’s need for more stringent biosecurity regulations and controls, which continue to lag behind those of other countries in the region. 36 Vietnam has publicly stated an intent to build a more robust legal biosafety framework, in addition to improving its intellectual capital and encouraging greater investment. 37 In 2006, the Ministry of Health of Vietnam issued two circulars guiding the import of medical and biological products. 38 Vietnam is not a participant in the Australia Group, but is a party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. 39

Missile

According to a compilation of UN Register of Conventional Arms reports, Vietnam imported two S300 PMU1 air defense batteries (12 launchers), and sixty two S-300 missiles, a long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system produced by NPO Almaz [now Almaz-Antey]. 40 In 2011, the purchase was confirmed when Vietnam leaked images of the S-300 PMU1 in a military calendar. 41 Tuoi Tre, a Vietnamese Daily published by the Communist Youth Union, also displayed images of the SAMs stating they were to be “used to prevent air or sea attacks by foreign enemy/enemies.” 42 Vietnam also deploys 3M-54 Klub submerged launched cruise missiles for its Kilo class submarines. 43 As of 2008, Jane’s reports that Vietnam currently deploys Russian-supplied Scud, Styx (anti-ship), Switchblade, and Stooge missiles, and North Korean-supplied Scud C variants. 44 In July 2013, India extended a $100 million USD credit line to Vietnam to purchase military equipment. While this particular line of credit will be used for four patrol boats, Vietnam has expressed interest in acquiring India’s Brahmos missile. 45

Hanoi is not believed to have an indigenous ballistic missile manufacturing capability. 46 Vietnam is not a member of the MTCR or the Wassenaar Arrangement, as it is not a significant producer of missile-related technology. 47

Chemical

Vietnam cites its historical conflict with the United States as its reason for supporting the universal elimination of chemical weapons (CW). 48 During Operation Ranch Hand, from 1962 to 1971, the U.S. military used more than 18 million gallons of herbicide in Vietnam. 49 Such herbicides are not scheduled chemicals controlled by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and are therefore not considered chemical weapons under international law, but their reported health effects on the Vietnamese population and U.S. soldiers have made their use controversial. 50 In August 2012, the U.S. announced a cleanup effort at a site near Da Nang which is contaminated with dioxin, commonly known as Agent Orange. 51 The cleanup program, lead by USAID, will cost $43 million over four years and the government is considering cleanup efforts at other sites. 52

Vietnam signed the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 1993 and ratified it in 1998. 53 In 2005, Vietnam issued a decree that implemented the CWC. 54 The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has conducted industrial inspections in Vietnam since 2003, and co-hosted capacity-building workshops and seminars in Southeast Asia with Vietnam. 55

Vietnam’s chemical industry, which is composed primarily of non-state sector establishments, accounts for only a small percentage of Vietnam’s total industry. 56 Although Vietnam’s chemical enterprises depend upon outdated infrastructure and are relatively inefficient, they are capable of producing fertilizers, pesticides and petrochemicals. 57 Vietnam also exports chemicals for industrial use, and has a licensing system in place to support the country’s export control obligations under the CWC. The Vietnam Chemicals Agency (Vinachemia) is the implementing agency for Vietnam’s CWC commitments, including export licensing. 58 Vietnam is not a participant in the Australia Group (AG), although the group did visit Vietnam as part of its outreach briefing efforts in 2012-2013. 59

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Glossary

Nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon: A device that releases nuclear energy in an explosive manner as the result of nuclear chain reactions involving fission, or fission and fusion, of atomic nuclei. Such weapons are also sometimes referred to as atomic bombs (a fission-based weapon); or boosted fission weapons (a fission-based weapon deriving a slightly higher yield from a small fusion reaction); or hydrogen bombs/thermonuclear weapons (a weapon deriving a significant portion of its energy from fusion reactions).
Biological weapon (BW)
Biological weapons use microorganisms and natural toxins to produce disease in humans, animals, or plants.  Biological weapons can be derived from: bacteria (anthrax, plague, tularemia); viruses (smallpox, viral hemorrhagic fevers); rickettsia (Q fever and epidemic typhus); biological toxins (botulinum toxin, staphylococcus enterotoxin B); and fungi (San Joaquin Valley fever, mycotoxins). These agents can be deployed as biological weapons when paired with a delivery system, such as a missile or aerosol device.
Chemical Weapon (CW)
The CW: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons defines a chemical weapon as any of the following: 1) a toxic chemical or its precursors; 2) a munition specifically designed to deliver a toxic chemical; or 3) any equipment specifically designed for use with toxic chemicals or munitions. Toxic chemical agents are gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical substances that use their toxic properties to cause death or severe harm to humans, animals, and/or plants. Chemical weapons include blister, nerve, choking, and blood agents, as well as non-lethal incapacitating agents and riot-control agents. Historically, chemical weapons have been the most widely used and widely proliferated weapon of mass destruction.
Nonproliferation
Nonproliferation: Measures to prevent the spread of biological, chemical, and/or nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. See entry for Proliferation.
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
The NPT: Signed in 1968, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the most widely adhered-to international security agreement. The “three pillars” of the NPT are nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Article VI of the NPT commits states possessing nuclear weapons to negotiate in good faith toward halting the arms race and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The Treaty stipulates that non-nuclear-weapon states will not seek to acquire nuclear weapons, and will accept International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on their nuclear activities, while nuclear weapon states commit not to transfer nuclear weapons to other states. All states have a right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and should assist one another in its development. The NPT provides for conferences of member states to review treaty implementation at five-year intervals. Initially of a 25-year duration, the NPT was extended indefinitely in 1995. For additional information, see the NPT.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
The CTBT: Opened for signature in 1996 at the UN General Assembly, the CTBT prohibits all nuclear testing if it enters into force. The treaty establishes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) to ensure the implementation of its provisions and verify compliance through a global monitoring system upon entry into force. Pending the treaty’s entry into force, the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO is charged with establishing the International Monitoring System (IMS) and promoting treaty ratifications. CTBT entry into force is contingent on ratification by 44 Annex II states. For additional information, see the CTBT.
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires each state party to declare and destroy all the chemical weapons (CW) and CW production facilities it possesses, or that are located in any place under its jurisdiction or control, as well as any CW it abandoned on the territory of another state. The CWC was opened for signature on 13 January 1993, and entered into force on 29 April 1997. For additional information, see the CWC.
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)
The BTWC: The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC) prohibits the development, production, or stockpiling of bacteriological and toxin weapons. Countries must destroy or divert to peaceful purposes all agents, toxins, weapons, equipment, and means of delivery within nine months after the entry into force of the convention. The BTWC was opened for signature on April 10, 1972, and entered into force on March 26, 1975. In 1994, the BTWC member states created the Ad Hoc Group to negotiate a legally binding BTWC Protocol that would help deter violations of the BTWC. The draft protocol outlines a monitoring regime that would require declarations of dual-use activities and facilities, routine visits to declared facilities, and short-notice challenge investigations. For additional information, see the BTWC.
Export control
National laws or international arrangements established to restrict the sale of certain goods to certain countries, or to ensure that safeguards or end-use guarantees are applied to the export and sale of sensitive and dual-use technologies and materials. See entry for Dual-use
UNSC Resolution 1540
Resolution 1540 was passed by the UN Security Council in April 2004, calling on all states to refrain from supporting, by any means, non-state actors who attempt to acquire, use, or transfer chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or their delivery systems. The resolution also called for a Committee to report on the progress of the resolution, asking states to submit reports on steps taken towards conforming to the resolution. In April 2011, the Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the 1540 Committee for an additional 10 years.
Nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon: A device that releases nuclear energy in an explosive manner as the result of nuclear chain reactions involving fission, or fission and fusion, of atomic nuclei. Such weapons are also sometimes referred to as atomic bombs (a fission-based weapon); or boosted fission weapons (a fission-based weapon deriving a slightly higher yield from a small fusion reaction); or hydrogen bombs/thermonuclear weapons (a weapon deriving a significant portion of its energy from fusion reactions).
Non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS)
Non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS): Under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), NNWS are states that had not detonated a nuclear device prior to 1 January 1967, and who agree in joining the NPT to refrain from pursuing nuclear weapons (that is, all state parties to the NPT other than the United States, the Soviet Union/Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China).
Ratification
Ratification: The implementation of the formal process established by a country to legally bind its government to a treaty, such as approval by a parliament. In the United States, treaty ratification requires approval by the president after he or she has received the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate. Following ratification, a country submits the requisite legal instrument to the treaty’s depository governments Procedures to ratify a treaty follow its signature.

See entries for Entry into force and Signature.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
IAEA: Founded in 1957 and based in Vienna, Austria, the IAEA is an autonomous international organization in the United Nations system. The Agency’s mandate is the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, technical assistance in this area, and verification that nuclear materials and technology stay in peaceful use. Article III of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires non-nuclear weapon states party to the NPT to accept safeguards administered by the IAEA. The IAEA consists of three principal organs: the General Conference (of member states); the Board of Governors; and the Secretariat. For additional information, see the IAEA.
Entry into force
The moment at which all provisions of a treaty are legally binding on its parties. Every treaty specifies preconditions for its entry into force. For example, the NPT specified that it would enter into force after the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union (the Depository governments) and 40 other countries ratified the treaty, an event that occurred on March 5, 1970. See entries for Signature, Ratification.
Additional Protocol
The Additional Protocol is a legal document granting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) complementary inspection authority to that provided in underlying safeguards agreements. The principal aim is to enable the IAEA inspectorate to provide assurance about both declared and possible undeclared activities. Under the Protocol, the IAEA is granted expanded rights of access to information and sites, as well as additional authority to use the most advanced technologies during the verification process. See entry for Information Circular 540.
Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (SEANWFZ)
The Treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (SEANWFZ) prohibits the development, manufacture, acquisition, or testing of nuclear weapons anywhere within the region. It also prohibits the transport of nuclear weapons through the region, as well as the dumping at sea, discharging into the atmosphere, or burying on land of any radioactive material or waste. In addition, the treaty requires all parties to apply International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to all their peaceful nuclear activities. For additional information, see the SEANWFZ.
Spent nuclear fuel
Spent nuclear fuel: Irradiated nuclear fuel. Once irradiated, nuclear fuel is highly radioactive and extremely physically hot, necessitating special remote handling. Fuel is considered “self protecting” if it is sufficiently radioactive that those who might seek to divert it would not be able to handle it directly without suffering acute radiation exposure.
Research reactor
Research reactor: Small fission reactors designed to produce neutrons for a variety of purposes, including scientific research, training, and medical isotope production. Unlike commercial power reactors, they are not designed to generate power.
Highly enriched uranium (HEU)
Highly enriched uranium (HEU): Refers to uranium with a concentration of more than 20% of the isotope U-235. Achieved via the process of enrichment. See entry for enriched uranium.
Low enriched uranium (LEU)
Low enriched uranium (LEU): Refers to uranium with a concentration of the isotope U-235 that is higher than that found in natural uranium but lower than 20% LEU (usually 3 to 5%). LEU is used as fuel for many nuclear reactor designs.
Nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plant: A facility that generates electricity using a nuclear reactor as its heat source to provide steam to a turbine generator.
Nuclear Cooperation (Section 123) Agreement
Nuclear Cooperation (Section 123) Agreement: Named after Section 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act of 1954, this type of agreement governs U.S. peaceful nuclear cooperation with foreign states, and must be in place for certain types of transactions to occur.
Enriched uranium
Enriched uranium: Uranium with an increased concentration of the isotope U-235, relative to natural uranium. Natural uranium contains 0.7 percent U-235, whereas nuclear weapons typically require uranium enriched to very high levels (see the definitions for “highly enriched uranium” and “weapons-grade”). Nuclear power plant fuel typically uses uranium enriched to 3 to 5 percent U-235, material that is not sufficiently enriched to be used for nuclear weapons.
Reprocessing
Reprocessing: The chemical treatment of spent nuclear fuel to separate the remaining usable plutonium and uranium for re-fabrication into fuel, or alternatively, to extract the plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.
Fuel Cycle
Fuel Cycle: A term for the full spectrum of processes associated with utilizing nuclear fission reactions for peaceful or military purposes. The “front-end” of the uranium-plutonium nuclear fuel cycle includes uranium mining and milling, conversion, enrichment, and fuel fabrication. The fuel is used in a nuclear reactor to produce neutrons that can, for example, produce thermal reactions to generate electricity or propulsion, or produce fissile materials for weapons. The “back-end” of the nuclear fuel cycle refers to spent fuel being stored in spent fuel pools, possible reprocessing of the spent fuel, and ultimately long-term storage in a geological or other repository.
Uranium
Uranium is a metal with the atomic number 92. See entries for enriched uranium, low enriched uranium, and highly enriched uranium.
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)
The BTWC: The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC) prohibits the development, production, or stockpiling of bacteriological and toxin weapons. Countries must destroy or divert to peaceful purposes all agents, toxins, weapons, equipment, and means of delivery within nine months after the entry into force of the convention. The BTWC was opened for signature on April 10, 1972, and entered into force on March 26, 1975. In 1994, the BTWC member states created the Ad Hoc Group to negotiate a legally binding BTWC Protocol that would help deter violations of the BTWC. The draft protocol outlines a monitoring regime that would require declarations of dual-use activities and facilities, routine visits to declared facilities, and short-notice challenge investigations. For additional information, see the BTWC.
Toxin
Toxin: A poison formed as a specific secretion product in the metabolism of a vegetable or animal organism, as distinguished from inorganic poisons. Such poisons can also be manufactured by synthetic processes.
Scud
Scud is the designation for a series of short-range ballistic missiles developed by the Soviet Union in the 1950s and transferred to many other countries. Most theater ballistic missiles developed and deployed in countries of proliferation concern, for example Iran and North Korea, are based on the Scud design.
Ballistic missile
A delivery vehicle powered by a liquid or solid fueled rocket that primarily travels in a ballistic (free-fall) trajectory.  The flight of a ballistic missile includes three phases: 1) boost phase, where the rocket generates thrust to launch the missile into flight; 2) midcourse phase, where the missile coasts in an arc under the influence of gravity; and 3) terminal phase, in which the missile descends towards its target.  Ballistic missiles can be characterized by three key parameters - range, payload, and Circular Error Probable (CEP), or targeting precision.  Ballistic missiles are primarily intended for use against ground targets.
Wassenaar Arrangement (WA)
Representatives of 33 states met in Vienna, Austria in July 1996, and established this arrangement intended to contribute to regional and international security by promoting transparency and greater responsibility with regard to transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies. This organization was the successor to the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM). See entry for COCOM. For additional information, see the Wassenaar Arrangement.
Chemical Weapon (CW)
The CW: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons defines a chemical weapon as any of the following: 1) a toxic chemical or its precursors; 2) a munition specifically designed to deliver a toxic chemical; or 3) any equipment specifically designed for use with toxic chemicals or munitions. Toxic chemical agents are gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical substances that use their toxic properties to cause death or severe harm to humans, animals, and/or plants. Chemical weapons include blister, nerve, choking, and blood agents, as well as non-lethal incapacitating agents and riot-control agents. Historically, chemical weapons have been the most widely used and widely proliferated weapon of mass destruction.
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires each state party to declare and destroy all the chemical weapons (CW) and CW production facilities it possesses, or that are located in any place under its jurisdiction or control, as well as any CW it abandoned on the territory of another state. The CWC was opened for signature on 13 January 1993, and entered into force on 29 April 1997. For additional information, see the CWC.
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
The OPCW: Based in The Hague, the Netherlands, the OPCW is responsible for implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). All countries ratifying the CWC become state parties to the CWC, and make up the membership of the OPCW. The OPCW meets annually, and in special sessions when necessary. For additional information, see the OPCW.
Export control
National laws or international arrangements established to restrict the sale of certain goods to certain countries, or to ensure that safeguards or end-use guarantees are applied to the export and sale of sensitive and dual-use technologies and materials. See entry for Dual-use
Australia Group (AG)
Australia Group (AG): Established in 1985 to limit the spread of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) through export controls on chemical precursors, equipment, agents, and organisms. For additional information, see the Australia Group.

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  27. Toko Sekiguchi, “Japan, Vietnam to Move Forward on Nuclear Deal,” The Wall Street Journal, 31 October 2011, http://online.wsj.com; “Nuclear Power in Vietnam,” World Nuclear Association, January 2012, www.world-nuclear.org.
  28. H.E. Ambassador Ha Huy Thong, “The Second Special Session of the Conference of the State Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention,” 7-18 April 2008, www.opcw.org.
  29. Jonathan B. Tucker, “The ‘Yellow Rain’ Controversy: Lessons for Arms Control Compliance,” Nonproliferation Review, Spring 2001, pp. 25-42.
  30. Jonathan B. Tucker, “Conflicting Evidence Revives ‘Yellow Rain’ Controversy,” CNS Research Story of the Week, 5 August 2002, www.nonproliferation.org.
  31. Eliot Marshall, “Bugs in the Yellow Rain Theory,” Science, 24 June 1983, pp. 1356-1358.
  32. Jonathan B. Tucker, “Conflicting Evidence Revives ‘Yellow Rain’ Controversy,” CNS Research Story of the Week, 5 August 2002, www.nonproliferation.org.
  33. Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, “Nghị quyết số 18/NQ-CP về việc phát triển công nghệ sinh học ở Việt Nam đến năm 2010 [Resolution No. 18 NQ/CP on Development of Biotechnology in Vietnam to 2010]” 11 March 1994, via: www.thuvienphapluat.vn.
  34. Central Intelligence Agency, “The World Factbook: Vietnam,” 8 February 2012, www.cia.gov; Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, “Quyết định số: 212 /2005/QĐ-TTg về việc ban hành Quy chế quản lý an toàn sinh học đối với các biến đổi gen; sản phẩm, hàng hóa có nguồn gốc từ sinh vật biến đổi gen [Decision No. 212/2005/QD-TTg on Promulgating the Regulation on Management of Biological Safety of Genetically Modified Organisms; Products and Goods Originating from Genetically Modified Organisms]” 26 August 2005, www.monre.gov.vn.
  35. Speech of Dr. Bui Ba Bong, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development of Vietnam, Workshop on “Development of an Expert Teaching Team for Risk Assessment and Management of Non-Target and Biodiversity Impacts of GM Crops,” Nha Trang, 22 May 2007.
  36. Speech of Dr. Bui Ba Bong, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development of Vietnam, Workshop on “Development of an Expert Teaching Team for Risk Assessment and Management of Non-Target and Biodiversity Impacts of GM Crops,” Nha Trang, 22 May 2007; Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, The National Action Plan to 2010 for Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, October 2004.
  37. Speech of Dr. Bui Ba Bong, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development of Vietnam, Workshop on “Development of an Expert Teaching Team for Risk Assessment and Management of Non-Target and Biodiversity Impacts of GM Crops,” Nha Trang, 22 May 2007; Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, The National Action Plan to 2010 for Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, October 2004.
  38. United Nations, “Vietnam's Country Report on the Implementation of Resolution 1540 (2004) of the United Nations Security Council,” www.un.org.
  39. The Australia Group, “Australia Group Participants,” www.australiagroup.net; Convention on Biological Diversity, “Parties to the Protocol and signature and ratification of the Supplementary Protocol,” http://bch.cbd.int.
  40. Carlyle A. Thayer, “Vietnam People’s Army: Development and Modernization,” Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, August 2009, www.american.edu.
  41. Greg Torode, “Hanoi Sends Message with Military Calendar,” South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), 12 January 2011, www.scmp.com.
  42. “Vietnam's State-of-the-art Missile System,” Tuoi Tre News, 20 June 2011, http://tuoitrenews.vn.
  43. “Vietnam Navy Receives First Russian-Made Submarine,” Thanh Nien News, 15 January 2014, www.thanhniennews.com.
  44. Duncan Lennox, ed., “Country Inventories – In Service,” Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue Forty-eight, January 2008, p. 25.
  45. Sandeep Dikshit, “India Offers $100-m Credit Line to Vietnam,” The Hindu, 28 July 2013, www.thehindu.com.
  46. Duncan Lennox, ed., “Offensive Weapons Tables,” Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue Forty-eight, January 2008, pp. 527-537.
  47. Missile Technology Control Regime, “MTCR Partners,” www.mtcr.info; Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, “Participating States,” www.wassenaar.org.
  48. William A. Buckingham, Jr., Operation Ranch Hand: The Air Force and Herbicides in Southeast Asia 1961-1971 (Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, United States Air Force, 1982), www.afhso.af.mil.
  49. “Chemical Weapon as Defined by the CWC,” Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, www.opcw.org.
  50. Thomas Fuller, “4 Decades on, U.S. Starts Cleanup of Agent Orange in Vietnam,” The New York Times, 9 August 2012, www.nytimes.com.
  51. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, “Status of Participation in the Chemical Weapons Convention at 21 May 2009,” www.opcw.org.
  52. United States Agency for International Development, “Environmental Remediation: Project Timeline,” 5 December 2013, www.usaid.gov.
  53. Government of Vietnam, “Decree No. 100/2005/ND-CP of 3 August 2005, on the Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction,” 3 August 2005, www.dncustoms.gov.vn.
  54. H.E. Ambassador Ha Huy Thong, “The Second Special Session of the Conference of the State Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention,” 7-18 April 2008, www.opcw.org.
  55. Tran Ngo Thi Minh Tam, Technical Efficiency of The Vietnam's Manufacture of Chemical and Chemical Products: A Dual Approach, Working Paper Series No. 2007/17 (Hanoi: DEPOCEN, 2004).
  56. Tran Ngo Thi Minh Tam, Technical Efficiency of The Vietnam’s Manufacture of Chemical and Chemical Products: A Dual Approach, Working Paper Series No. 2007/17 (Hanoi: DEPOCEN, 2004).
  57. CNS interview with Vinachemia officials, March 2011, Hanoi, Vietnam. The Vietnam Chemicals Agency (Vinachemia) is under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
  58. The Australia Group, “Australia Group Participants,” www.australiagroup.net; Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI Yearbook 2013: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 448-449.
  59. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, “Status of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention,” www.opbw.org.

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