Nine countries in the world, the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, have nuclear weapons.
New DelhiChina, Pakistan and India have 350, 1,165 and 156 nuclear warheads, respectively, as of January this year, and the three countries appear to be expanding their nuclear arsenals. This is according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Nine countries officially have nuclear weapons
According to SIPRI, Russia and the United States have more than 90 percent of the world’s 13,080 nuclear weapons. As of January last year, China, Pakistan and India had 320, 160 and 150 nuclear warheads, respectively, a SIPRI survey said on Monday. Nine countries in the world, the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, have nuclear weapons. “China is modernizing and expanding its nuclear arsenal, and India and Pakistan are also expanding their nuclear arsenals,” the study said.
There was tension between India and China
On May 5, 2020, more than a year had passed since the military standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies in East Ladakh, during which there were casualties on both sides. India and Pakistan issued a joint statement on February 25 this year declaring a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) following discussions between the directors general of their military operations. The SIPRE study also discusses the stockpiles of raw materials that countries need to build their nuclear weapons.
Nuclear-powered countries are increasing plutonium
“The raw material of nuclear weapons is isolated material, be it highly enriched uranium (HEU) or isolated plutonium … India and Israel mainly produce plutonium, and Pakistan mainly produces HU,” but now it is increasing its capacity to produce plutonium. The study noted that China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States have produced both HU and plutonium for their nuclear weapons use.
India-Pakistan does not provide information on arms
“The governments of India and Pakistan make statements about some of their missile tests, but they do not provide information on the location or size of their (nuclear) arsenals,” it said. The survey, published in the SIPRI Yearbook 2022, found that about 2,000 of the world’s 13,060 global nuclear warheads were placed on “high-efficiency alert”.
India ranks second in arms purchases
It added that between 2016 and 2020, Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China were the five largest arms importers in the world. During this period, Saudi Arabia accounted for 11 percent of global imports and India 9.5 percent.