The 1930’s was a period of immense change. The great depression caused markets to crash and resulted in economic downfall, whilst Adolf Hitler seized the opportunity to rise to power. Many major conflicts occurred across the world including the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chaco War and the earth changing World War II. The decade also saw a host of technological advances including television, radio and nuclear fission.
During World War II, it was assumed that Nazi Germany was trying to produce nuclear weapons. To counter this The United States, Canada and The United Kingdom gathered their best scientists to produce such weapons before the Germans. Their efforts were successful and in August 1945 two nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan which ended the war in the Pacific.
Since then, the USA produced the first Hydrogen bomb in 1952 and Russia countered this by building one of their own. Over time, both the USA and Russia continually built nuclear weapons based on the threat each country posed upon one another. By 1986 it was estimated that throughout the world there were 40,000 nuclear warheads. These weapons had the capability of destroying the world many times over.
Today, there are eight states that have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. Five of these are considered ‘nuclear weapon states’ under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. This international treaty was devised to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, whilst promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Despite this, recent events have seen North Korea testing nuclear weapons and even threatening to launch nuclear strikes on the U.S. North Korea have broken many UN sanctions and are also known to have exported nuclear weapons to countries with a history of corruption, which might harbour terrorist cells.
Nuclear Weapon States
We’ve created a map to illustrate where these nuclear weapon states are. The map is featured below, is colour coded and fully interactive. Clicking on a shaded country will display its nuclear weapon states status. To find out more nuclear weapon states click here.