These days, all the movements happening at the geographical level have troubled the world a lot. One issue does not end when some other big problem starts appearing in front. The storm, fueled by reports of the Taliban’s re-occupation of Afghanistan after 20 years, is not yet over with a new claim being made that North Korea has restarted one of its nuclear reactors—Yangbyan—while giving up on sanctions. In this reactor, plutonium is prepared for nuclear weapons. Referring to satellite images, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has claimed in its latest report that nuclear activities have been started in this North Korean reactor since July.
A big news worrying India is that more than a hundred (119) missile silos are being built in the desert near Yumen city of Ganzhou, China’s western province. These bases are to be used to house liquid fueled intercontinental missiles. This news is disturbing in the atmosphere of tension between the two countries in recent years. Since India itself is a nuclear-rich country, it also has to think and prepare for similar nuclear arrangements to prepare for the competition with the enemy neighbours. At the same time, some similar apprehensions about the Taliban are also in discussion. Some estimates are saying that the Taliban, dear to China and Pakistan, may be trying to gain access to nuclear weapons.
If this happens, then this could become the first case of access and possession of nuclear weapons by a terrorist network. So what could be the end of the world? It cannot be imagined. On the other hand, the whole world is familiar with the ongoing tussle with the US of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who expelled the International Atomic Energy Agency from his country in 2009. Three years ago in 2018, Kim Jong Un had challenged America saying that a nuclear button was present on his table and his hand remained on it. Then Donald Trump also replied in his own language that his nuclear button also works and is bigger (powerful). The war of words over the ‘nuclear button’, coined as a symbol of nuclear war, had raised fears even at that time that the escalation between North Korea and America would not take any major form.
No guarantee of Chinese goods and thinking: A few months ago, a report published in an American newspaper claimed that more than a hundred missile silos are being built in the desert near Yumen city of China. These bases are to be used to house liquid fueled intercontinental missiles. Such missiles are equipped with nuclear weapons. They can hit long distances with the help of immense energy. The importance of these bases is that the missiles kept in them are not only easily maintained and repaired, but they can also be fired from here. The construction of these bases has been recorded as a significant change in China’s nuclear policy.
These missiles, capable of carrying many nuclear weapons at once, can hit not only India but even America. By the way, the creation of such missiles is considered a means of nuclear deterrence. That is, on the basis of their presence or by showing their fear, a country is able to prevent such attacks from enemy countries, but seeing the recent stand of China, it is not guaranteed that it will use these nuclear missiles only for deterrence. wants to do This is being interpreted to mean that China is now adopting such a competitive policy, which can create an imbalance in the world regarding nuclear weapons. Moving away from the nuclear policy of minimum deterrence, its policy of increasing the arsenal of nuclear weapons is to develop a nuclear triad (the ability to launch nuclear weapons from land, sky and sea). This shows the aggression in his attitude. Now that China is modernizing its military, it is likely that the number of its nuclear weapons will double to the current number.
After all, who instigated the nuclear race: The important question related to the fears of nuclear arms race in North Korea, Taliban and Pakistan is whether only China has a role in creating a new nuclear arms race. Estimates say that the US still has 3,800 nuclear warheads. Of these, 1,750 weapons are deployed on various fronts. Keep in mind that America is the only country to have the first nuclear power in the world, which used nuclear weapons for the first and last time (in Hiroshima-Nagasaki). The United States is claimed to have produced a total of 66,500 nuclear weapons in the past 75 years, of which several thousand nuclear weapons were destroyed under various treaties. Apart from this, America has retired about two thousand nuclear weapons. The then Soviet Union (today Russia) also did not lag behind America in terms of nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union amassed thousands of nuclear weapons in the years since the US conducted its first nuclear test in 1949, four years later. In 1986, the Soviet Union was also sitting on a stockpile of more than forty thousand nuclear weapons. However, after the end of the Cold War, Russia reduced the number of these weapons and brought them to 6,300. Currently, Russia claims to have deployed about 1,570 nuclear weapons, while 2,700 weapons are in reserve.
India’s policy most reliable: Our country, which conducted its first nuclear test in 1974, India has not yet ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) or the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but no country has its 150 nuclear weapons. But the policy of no first use is maintained. India’s policy is considered credible in the world, but no one has much faith in the intentions of neighboring Pakistan (which is estimated to have around 160 nuclear weapons) which conducted nuclear tests in 1998. On the matter, the minister of Pakistan has also been threatening the use of nuclear weapons. Not only this, there is also a fear that Pakistan is following the policy of accumulating more nuclear weapons in the next ten years and is engaged in preparing nuclear weapons based on plutonium and uranium. Now its open ties with the Taliban seem to multiply this nuclear threat manifold. Given such nuclear-rich neighbours, India’s nuclear policy seems to be the need of the hour. However, in the eyes of China, its competition is now with America-Russia.
The Chinese rulers have also been saying that they have a much smaller number of nuclear weapons than Russia-US. In such a situation, regardless of the opinion of Western countries, China should make weapons according to its security needs. Since most countries have been interpreting the need for nuclear weapons in order to maintain the balance of power, it is unlikely that in the near future there will be an effective stop to this series.
How long will the NSG bully last: To say that radioactive materials, such as uranium used in nuclear reactors, cannot be easily sold or bought compared to other materials. Even if it is for peaceful use, one has to apply to its supplier group to buy uranium, as there is no open market for it. In fact, the technology to build nuclear reactors is with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a group of 46 countries, which runs under the policies set by the industrialized countries.
India has to go to this group to get fuel (uranium) for its reactors. Most of the developing countries criticize this policy because they have to bow before this group even to meet their energy needs. In such a situation, getting uranium to make nuclear weapons for any country is even more difficult. In such a situation, it is the Allied countries who secretly obtain this fuel and technology, as in the case of North Korea, it is blamed on China. But there is also a side of nuclear weapons that after the end of the Cold War era, the greater purpose of these weapons has become to threaten each other.
If India tries to keep its neighbors calm by showing its nuclear weapons, Pakistan shows its arrogance that India should not forget that Pakistan is now a nuclear-rich country. But these weapons also hide a sinister truth within themselves. That is, if it ever happened that a terrorist group like the Taliban or a clumsy country used them somewhere, then today’s weapons are so destructive that not only a single atom bomb will kill millions of lives in one stroke, but also the environment. And the generations to come will also suffer a great loss. Even if not used in such conditions, nuclear weapons are more destructive than before.