The threat of nuclear war is now the highest since the end of the Cold War as Russia, the United States and China strengthen their arsenals, warns a chilling report

NUCLEAR war is now more likely than at any time since the end of the Cold War, according to a chilling new report.

The world’s superpowers are warned to be ready to increase their nuclear arsenals, replacing old technologies with terrifying new weapons.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has published new report as they warned, the risk of “nuclear weapons being used appears higher now than at any time since the height of the Cold War”.

Russia, USA, China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are the world’s nine nuclear powers.

And with tensions raging over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Xi Jinping’s ambitions to take Taiwan and Kim Jong-un’s quest for even more nuclear bombs, the world is on edge. of the razor.

Nine nuclear powers could also soon become ten – with Iran also seeking to get its hands on its own nuclear weapons.

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Nuclear weapons have only ever been used in combat once before, as the United States dropped two bombs on Japan in a controversial move credited with ending World War II.

Weapons are the most destructive devices ever made by mankind – casting the shadow of Armageddon over the world since 1945.

Nuclear weapons are capable of leveling cities, killing millions, rendering irradiated areas uninhabitable, changing the weather, and causing health problems for generations.

And terrifying new weapons remain in development, with Russia boasting of its Satan 2 “nation killer” and China fearing it may have fired a game-changing hypersonic missile.

SIPRI has warned that there are around 12,705 nuclear weapons ready and stored around the world – with the United States and Russia having the largest arsenals.

The global stockpile fell slightly in 2022 – but experts warned this was simply due to the dismantling of older nuclear weapons.

And as some warheads are retired from service, nations are trying to strengthen and upgrade their weapons.

SIPRI warns that the number of nuclear weapons “is likely to increase over the next decade”.

He estimates that around 2,000 nuclear weapons – almost all of which belonged to Russia or the United States – were kept on “high operational alert”.

The risk of nuclear weapons use seems higher today than at any time since the height of the Cold War

Dan Smith

Dan Smith, Director of SIPRI, said: “While there have been significant gains in nuclear arms control and nuclear disarmament over the past year, the risk of nuclear weapons being used appears more higher now than at any time since the height of the Cold War.”

SIPRI warns that China is “in the midst of a substantial expansion of its arsenal of nuclear weapons”.

Satellite images show 300 new missile silos being built, new missile launchers and submarines deployed, and Beijing reportedly allocating more warheads to its forces.

Meanwhile, North Korea is said to have actually assembled 20 warheads – estimates from previous years counting only potential weapons based on their nuclear material.

Wilfred Wan, Director of SIPRI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme, said: “All nuclear-weapon states are increasing or improving their arsenals and most are sharpening nuclear rhetoric and the role nuclear weapons play in their strategies. military”.

The report notes that Iran and the United States may try to restart negotiations to revive the nuclear deal that was scrapped by former US President Donald Trump.

Iran pledged in the deal not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.

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Israel, however, has warned that Iran is already getting dangerously close to developing a nuclear weapon – despite Tehran’s denials.

Hans M. Kristensen, Senior Fellow in SIPRI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Program, said: “There are clear indications that the reductions that have characterized global nuclear arsenals since the end of the Cold War are over.

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