A nuclear weapon is a super powerful bomb that can be launched from a long distance.
When it explodes, it destroys everything for miles around!
In 1945, it was used by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing over 200,000 people.
But why have such a dangerous weapon?
Between 1945 and 1964, 5 countries – the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France – made more and more powerful nuclear weapons.
The aim was to dissuade other countries from attacking them! But these bombs represent a terrible danger for humanity…
… So, in 1968, an international treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons was signed by nearly every country in the world.
Countries who already had nuclear weapons promised not to help other countries to get them and to negotiate the progressive disarmament for everyone.
Countries that didn’t have them promised not to make them.
The problem is that since then, India, Pakistan and Israel, who hadn’t signed the treaty, now have nuclear weapons…
And North Korea, who pulled out of the treaty in 2003, has carried out several big nuclear tests.
Today, the number of these weapons has increased. There are about 16,000, owned by 9 countries.
Associations like ICAN – the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner – are working hard to get the numbers down and one day, ban them altogether.