While the numbers may differ, depending on the source, it appears that Russia has the most nuclear weapons of similarly armed nations in the world, USA Today reported Saturday.
Using numbers from the Arms Control Association, Russia leads the United States with 6,257 nuclear weapons to 5,550.
China is third with about 350 nuclear weapons, followed by France and the United Kingdom both having over 200 each, Pakistan and India with about 160 each, Israel with 90, and North Korea with between 40-50, according to that organization.
Statista estimates Russia with a bit fewer at 5,977 compared to 5,428 for the United States, and lists North Korea with only 20 out of its 12,705 total.
Regardless of the actual numbers, tensions between the United States with both Russia and China led to a February spike in Google searches for "nuclear weapons" and "nuclear war" immediately before Russian invaded Ukraine on Feb. 25, according to the article.
In 2015, the Union of Concerned Scientists published a fact sheet that estimated the time it would take for a land-based Russian nuclear warhead to reach the United States to be just 30 minutes, and as little as 10-15 minutes for a submarine-launched missile strike.
The New START Treaty limits the number of nuclear armed units to be on alert through 2026, according to the State Department.
The specifics include: 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments; 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments (each such heavy bomber is counted as one warhead toward this limit); and 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments, according to the State Department.
The treaty includes "detailed procedures" for implementation and verification of the terms in the agreement.
Both the United States and Russia are required under the New START Treaty to keep each other advised to the location and technical characteristics of weapons systems and facilities specified in the agreement, which was signed by 191 countries.
The USA Today report said that preventing or intercepting a nuclear strike would be hard, due to the speed of the weapons and the need to intercept them at certain points in their flight, including at launch, when they are out in space and the point at which they reenter the atmosphere.
There is also a "shortfall" danger that hitting the incoming missile incorrectly could send it off course, striking another country, the report said.
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