New Delhi, September 25: The number of nuclear weapons in the world has drastically come down since the cold war era when the United States and Russia sat atop a gigantic nuclear stockpile that had the potential to end the world thousands of times over. Despite the de-escalation, the two countries still have half the number of world’s total nuclear weapons. Also Read - Nagasaki Seeks Nuclear Weapons Ban on 74th Atomic Bombing Anniversary
A CNN report said that nine countries have nuclear capabilities, and eight out of them have the technology to weaponise. North Korea is an emerging country on the nuclear world map; but it still lacks the full capacity to deliver payloads as its technology is under-developed. South Africa had the capability, but willingly gave it up. Though Israel has not acknowledged its nuclear capability, it is believed to have 80 nukes. (Also read: Pakistan Nuclear Weapons at Risk of Theft: Report) Also Read - Pakistan Could Soon Emerge as World's 5th Largest Nuclear State: Report
The report said that the world has 15,000 nuclear weapons. 9,400 out of the total are military arsenals, while the remaining are awaiting dismantlement. 4,000 are operational; 1,800 on short notice. Russia has the biggest number of weapons: 4,300. The United States has 4,000 nukes. Also Read - Will Lift North Korea Sanctions When US is Sure There Are no More Nukes: Donald Trump
The number is still very low if compared with the number during the cold war. In the 80s, the Soviet Union had 40,000 nuclear weapons. The United States had 24,000 warheads. Russia had stored these weapons at 500 facilities; now it stores in just 48 facilities.
The number of weapons developed by North Korea is still unknown. A prominent expert believes that the country may have fissile material for 30-60 weapons, but they may not be operational weapons.