World is closer to nuclear war NOW than at any time since WW2, UN arms chief warns – The Sun
THE risk of nuclear war is at its highest level since World War Two, a UN arms chief has warned.
Renata Dwan, director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research, said all states with nuclear weapons are modernising them, increasing the threat of apocalypse.
She said it’s important “to recognise that the risks of nuclear war are particularly high now, and the risks of the use of nuclear weapons, are higher now than at any time since World War Two”.
Her warning comes the so-called Doomsday Clock which shows how close we are to nuclear war is at its highest level of threat – even above where it stood during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Dwan called for there to be “urgent action” when it comes to dealing with nuclear weapons.
She said the desire for change is shown by the fact that 122 countries have signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, partly out of frustration at the lack of action.
The nuclear ban treaty, officially called the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, was backed by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.
The treaty has so far gathered 23 of the 50 ratifications that it needs to come into force, including South Africa, Austria, Thailand, Vietnam and Mexico.
But it is strongly opposed by the UN Security Council members the United States and Russia as well as other states with nuclear arms.
“How we think about that, and how we act on that risk and the management of that risk, seems to me a pretty significant and urgent question that isn’t reflected fully in the Security Council,” she said.
ON THE BRINK
The so-called Doomsday Clock currently remains at minutes to midnight.
During the Cuban missile crisis, the clock remained at seven minutes to midnight during the closest the world has come to nuclear war.
Devised in 1947 by the respected journal the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the symbolic clock face signifies the likelihood of the apocalypse.
The closer the time to midnight, the closer the world is considered to be to catastrophe and last year it was moved to its current setting.
The last time it indicated the same level of danger was the same as in 1953, when the US and Russia tested a hydrogen bombs for the first time, within months of each other.
The clock was moved back to 17 minutes to midnight in 1991 when the United States and the Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
NEW ARMS RACE
The two countries have now begun programmes to modernise their deadly nuclear weapons arsenals as tensions continue to rise.
Vladimir Putin recently announced that the feared Satan-2 nuclear missile has been successfully tested and is nearly ready to be deployed.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has launched the Nuclear Posture Review in a £30billion shake-up of the US arsenal.
It calls for “significant investment” in deterrence weapons that to combat the “unprecedented threat” from North Korea, Russia and China.
Both countries have torn up the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty after accusing each other of violations.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council – America, Russia, China, the UK and France – all publicly admit to having nuclear weapons.
Pakistan, India and Israel are generally acknowledged to have sizeable arsenals.
North Korea claims to have developed a bomb and is widely believed to have a rocket able to deliver one.
A deal aimed at Iran abandoning its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons collapsed after the United States pulled out.
Source: Read Full Article