Nuclear arsenals increasing among smaller nuclear powers
While the U.S. and Russia both decreased the size of their nuclear stockpiles in 2017, China, India, North Korea, and Pakistan all increased theirs. A new SIPRI report recorded China, Pakistan, and India each adding ten nuclear warheads, bring their totals to around 280, 135, and 145, respectively. North Korea now has an estimated 10-20 nuclear warheads. All of these countries, including the U.S. and Russia have improved their missile delivery systems, most improving capabilities in land, air, and sea delivery domains. The overall number of nuclear warheads in the world decreased, however, as the U.S. removed 350 and Russia 150 from their arsenals, bringing their respective totals to 6,450 and 6,850. The UK, France, and Israel all maintained their warhead levels (300, 215, 80). “The renewed focus on the strategic importance of nuclear deterrence and capacity is a very worrying trend,” said the chair of the SIPRI governing board.