World nuclear arsenal expected to increase, “a worrying trend”

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A leading international think-tank has warned it expects the world’s nuclear weapons arsenal to grow for the first time in decades, the Guardian reports. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) gave its warning just as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has increased the risk that an atomic bomb may soon be used.

In its warning Monday, Sipri attested that nuclear states are upgrading their arsenals and that the prior reductions in world nuclear arsenals are being reversed. The Sipri warning came despite the fact that only last year the UN’s five permanent members of the security council, including the US and Russia, issued a statement saying a nuclear war must never be allowed to take place, the Guardian reports.

There are five countries considered to be nuclear weapons states (Russia, China, UK, US and France) that are parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Three other states, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, are not parties to the NPT but have conducted overt nuclear tests. Israel is also understood to have nuclear weapons, although it has not declared them.

“All of the nuclear-armed states are increasing or upgrading their arsenals and most are sharpening nuclear rhetoric and the role nuclear weapons play in their military strategies,” Dr Wilfred Wan, director of Sipri’s weapons of mass destruction program, said in this year’s Sipri yearbook. “This is a very worrying trend.”

In a separate statement, Hans M Kristensen, an associate senior fellow with Sipri’s weapons of mass destruction program, added: “There are clear indications that the reductions that have characterized global nuclear arsenals since the end of the cold war have ended.”

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