Abstract

Of the nine countries known to have nuclear weapons, six are located in Asia and another, the United States, borders the Pacific Ocean. Russia and China were the first Asian nations with nuclear weapons, followed by Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Most of the world's nuclear powers are reducing their arsenals or maintaining them at historic levels, but several of those in Asia—India, Pakistan, and North Korea—continue to pursue relentless and expensive programs of nuclear weapons development and production. Hopefully, the nuclear agreement reached in July 2015 between Iran, the European Union, and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council will be a step toward eliminating nuclear weapons throughout Asia and the rest of the world. As we will discuss below, any country possessing a nuclear arsenal is on a path leading toward self-assured destruction, and is a threat to people everywhere on Earth.

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