U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the world may soon face what he calls a "cascade" of countries acquiring nuclear weapons.
Speaking at a security conference in Germany today (Sunday), Mr. Annan said for decades the world has depended on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
He said the only way to deal with the nuclear threat now is through joint action.
Referring to a U.N. security report issued in November, the secretary-general outlined an action plan calling for tougher inspection rules, financial incentives for rogue states to avoid uranium enrichment, and closer cooperation between the U.N. Security Council and the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Mr. Annan's warning comes as North Korea says it has nuclear arms and the West struggles to win assurances from Iran on its nuclear activities.