The issue of countries owning nuclear weapons has sometimes made for uncomfortable discussions in different world leaders' forums. It is not just a matter of what a nuclear meltdown can do to the environment that raises concerns but the outcome of an all out war with countries possessing weapons of mass destruction. With different countries having major policy deviation points and states considered to support terrorism having access to some of these weapons, it is important that the matter is put into perspective. Since the end of world war two, some states have taken to development of nuclear weapons to match perceived enemy states' capabilities. The nuclear arms race era saw some major world powers develop and test several nuclear warheads in readiness for another war.
The United states was the first nation to develop a nuclear bomb and it did so racing against time, fearing that the Nazi Germany could beat them to it. Its number of nuclear warheads grew considerably at the heights of its cold war with the Soviet Union. There was always the possibility of a third world war and it therefore increased it's nuclear capacity in readiness for combat with the then Powerful Soviets. In 1970 when the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty came into effect, it reduced the number of its warheads which currently stands at approximately 7,200. This treaty prohibited countries which had not already developed nuclear weapons from doing so while the ones which had to reduce their capacity. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia remained to be the most powerful among the former constituent states of the union and took possession of the nuclear weapons developed during the cold war era. Its relationship with the U.S is still frosty and the element of power play still goes on up to today. It currently has about 7,500 nuclear warheads. The trend shown by the U.S and Russia still provides a cause for worry because they seem to still have a high number of nuclear weapons and may continue to increase capacity as long as their relationships remain as cold as it is. The fact that Russia now has the most nuclear warheads of any country in the world may prompt the U.S to develop more in order to match up the capacity of its perceived enemy.
The India-Pakistan war created bad blood between these two neighboring nations. India developed nuclear weapons before Pakistan and because of the tensions between them, Pakistan went ahead and did the same. Currently India is estimated to be having nearly 110 nuclear warheads while Pakistan has about 120. The tension between these two countries is still headed for the worst given that Pakistan seems to be enhancing its nuclear capacity and India is likely to follow suit.
The fact that North Korea currently has nuclear weapons makes things worse for the Korean peninsula. Its nuclear warheads stand at less than 10 while its neighbor, South Korea, has none. South Korea has the potential of developing nuclear weapon but are currently not showing any interest.
Countries With Nuclear Weapons
|Rank||Country||Size of Nuclear Arsenal|
|9||North Korea||Under 10|