Nuclear Weapons Current Affairs

9 nuclear countries have total 14,935 nuclear warheads: SIPRI

According to updated count by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the number of nuclear warheads with nine nuclear countries has reduced from 14,935 at start of 2017 to 14,465 at start of 2018. These nine countries are United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. SIPRI is an independent think tank that uses open sources to compile such data since 1966.

SIPRI’s report Highilgihts

Out of 14,465 nuclear warheads at the beginning of 2018, 3750 are actually deployed. This compared with 14,935 warheads at the start of 2017. Russia (with 6850 nuclear warheads) and US (with 6450 warheads) hold 92% of world’s total nuclear warheads. However, they have long-term programmes under way to replace and modernise their nuclear warheads and nuclear weapons production facilities.

World’s nuclear powers are reducing their nuclear arsenals but they are also modernising, putting fresh and worrying focus on strategic deterrence. The reduction is due to arms control commitments by US and Russia in 2010 Treaty on Measures for Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START Treaty).

Britain has 215 nuclear warheads, France has 300, China has 280, India 130-140, Pakistan 140-150, Israel 80 and North Korea 10-20. These countries are either deploying or planning to deploy new nuclear weapons system. North Korea also demonstrated unexpected rapid progress in testing of two new types of long-range ballistic missile delivery systems for delivery of its nuclear weapons.

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UNSC approves resolution for global implementation CTBT to ban nuclear weapons tests

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has approved a resolution urging quick global implementation of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban treaty (CTBT) to ban tests of nuclear weapons.

The resolution has welcomed progress made towards universalization of the Treaty with 14 votes in favour of it and one abstention (Egypt).

Key Facts

  • The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions for both civilian and military purposes. It was adopted by the UNGA under resolution 50 (1996).
  • The Treaty will enter into force 180 days after the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification by all.
  • So far, 183 countries have signed the CTBT and 166 States have deposited their instruments of ratification.
  • The treaty already has a network of monitoring stations but does not have power to go on site to inspect for tests until it enters into force.
  • But for that, the holdouts among the 44 countries that are designated nuclear capable, the United States, Egypt, China, India, Israel, Iran, North Korea and Pakistan must ratify it.

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