Russian state TV warn one nuclear rocket could destroy New York
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Nuclear missiles have unfortunately re-entered discussions around the war in Ukraine since February, as Russia becomes increasingly desperate. The country is nearing a tactical victory in Kherson, having surrounded Ukrainian forces in the area. Officials fear success will embolden Putin, but others have said the Russian premier is more likely to react with his nuclear deterrent if he feels he is losing the war.
Which country has the most nuclear weapons?
The first nuclear weapon was developed in the US on July 16, 1945, and used alongside another to end World War Two by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
For decades following, the US and Russia competed to build the world’s largest arsenal and proliferated significantly during the Cold War.
Since then, Russia has come out on top and, despite negotiations, currently possesses the most nuclear warheads.
The Arms Control Association (ACA) estimates that Russia has 6,257 in total.
The country divides its stockpile between retired, military-strategic, and strategic deployed warheads.
Russia has retired 1,760 and assigned the bulk – 4,487 – to military-strategic purposes, where both active and inactive warheads await use on military delivery vehicles.
Officials have mounted the remaining 1,458 on ballistic missiles ready for deployment.
The US is the only country that comes close to Russia, with 1,800 retired warheads, 3,750 military strategic and 1,389 deployed.
Another six countries have three-figure warhead supplies, each used for military-strategic purposes.
China, France and the UK have the third, fourth and fifth most, with 350, 290 and 275 each.
Pakistan, India and Israel have approximately 165, 156 and 90 each.
The global outlier is North Korea, as it has never publicly declared how large its nuclear stockpile is.
The ACA estimates the country has between 40 and 50 weapons and enough fissile material to build more.
Kim Jong Un’s administration could develop six to seven weapons a year, the ACA added.
And the country recently tested new ballistic missiles, launching three from Susan, Pyongyang’s international airport, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
The missiles – the first of their kind launched in two weeks – appeared to shift mid-flight after travelling 465 miles, showing a level of sophistication not previously associated with North Korea’s regime.
In a statement, the command said the tests likely wouldn’t pose a threat to the US or its allies.
Officials said: “We are aware of the multiple [North Korean] ballistic missile launches today and are assessing and consulting closely with our allies and partners.
“While this event does not pose an immediate threat to US personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launches highlight the destabilising impact of North Korea’s illicit weapons programme.”
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