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Which countries have nuclear weapons and what is the NPT ?

As the world becomes increasingly worried about the prospect of nuclear war, many are wondering which countries have nuclear weapons in their arsenal.

There are five nuclear weapon states included in the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT): China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States.

Other countries in possession of nuclear weapons are India, North Korea and Pakistan.

Israel is presumed to have nuclear weapons and is a non-signatory of the NPT along with India and Pakistan.

The NPT is an international multilateral treaty with the objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.

The treaty also wants to promote peaceful cooperation in the use of nuclear energy.

The goal is to achieve ‘general and complete disarmament’ of nuclear weapons according to the United Nations Office for Disarmament affairs.

The treaty opened for signature in 1968 is the only binding commitment across countries for the disarmament of nuclear weapons, more countries ratified the NPT than any other treaty aimed at the limitation and disarmament of weapons.

In total, 191 states have joined the Treaty including the five nuclear weapons states.

Although North Korea signed the NPT in 1985, it gave notice of withdrawal from in 2003, becoming the first state ever to withdraw from the treaty.

Of the nine countries in the world in possession (or presumed possession) of Nuclear weapons, the US and Russia account for an estimated 93% of the total 14,900 nuclear weapons on the planet.

Nuclear stockpiles reached their peak in the Cold War and in the past 25 years they have shrunk by over two-thirds – the rate of disarmament is faster than the rate of acquiring nuclear weapons.

The five nuclear weapon states are the five states known to have detonated a nuclear explosive before the NPT, although the majority of these are just in tests.

The US used nuclear weapons in WWII when they devastated Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The United States has provided weapons under NATO’s nuclear sharing concept – Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey host US nuclear weapons as part of the policy.

Belarus, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Ukraine all formerly possessed nuclear weapons but disposed of them or transferred them to other nuclear states.

Nuclear Weapon Stockpile by Country ::
Russia: 7,000
USA: 6,800
France: 300
China: 260
UK: 215
Pakistan: 130
India: 120
Israel: 80
North Korea: less than 15

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