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92% of the world's nuclear weapons are owned by Russia and the US, new report finds

THE US and Russia account for nearly all of the world’s nuclear weapons stockpile — 92 per cent of the global total, according to a new report.

The Stockholm International Peace Institution (Sipri) 2018 yearbook showed that nine countries — the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — held almost 15,000 nuclear warheads between them.

The organisation, which monitors the state of armaments, disarmament and international security, warned of a worrying shift away from non-nuclear options towards new nuclear programmes and missile development.

SIPRI spokesman Jan Eliasson said: “The renewed focus on the strategic importance of nuclear deterrence and capacity is a very worrying trend.

“The world needs a clear commitment from the nuclear-weapon states to an effective legally binding process towards nuclear disarmament.”

North Korea holds between 10 and 20 nuclear missiles compared with the US, which owns 6,450, and Russia, with 6,850. Israel, which has failed to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, has 80 nuclear warheads.

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