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Countries with Nuclear Weapons Capability

  • Acknowledged: U.K., China, France, India, Pakistan, Russia, United States, Israel, North Korea1
  • Seeking: Syria, Iran2
  • Abandoned: South Africa constructed but then voluntarily dismantled six uranium bombs. Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine; when Soviet Union broke up, these former states possessed nuclear warheads that they have since given up and declared themselves non-nuclear weapon states.
1. North Korea tested its first nuclear device on October 9, 2006; a second test took place in 2009. The 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) recognizes five nuclear weapon states (France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States)
2. In Aug. 2005, U.S. intelligence estimated that Iran would possess nuclear weapons in the next decade. In Jan. 2006, Iran announced its decision to restart nuclear research. Both Syria and Iran have undertaken questionable nuclear activities and been referred to the United Nations Security Council due to judgments of noncompliance with their IAEA safeguards agreements.

Source: U.S. State Department, TIME magazine and the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

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