A new document from the US military has found the risk of nuclear conflict across the globe is on the rise.
The disturbing paper was shared by the Federation of American Scientists on Tuesday this week and is a section of a recent manual providing updates on the state of worldwide armed forces activity.
In particular, the document states there is an 'increased potential' of nuclear warfare between US and nations such as Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.
According to the report, Russia and China are the most advanced with their nuclear armament, both countries already have access to or are developing nuclear weapons which can be fired from the ground, submarine or air.
North Korea, though not as advanced as Russia or China in nuclear arms, has been 'accelerating' its development of nuclear weaponry and has increased its missile flight testing.
The rate at which North Korea is testing missiles and their transparency on the world stage that they are building their nuclear arms is one of the key concerns in the paper.
Daily Star reported back in April that North Korea could be 'ready for nuclear war with US with 242 atomic weapons in arsenal by 2027'.
Iran also has the technology required to develop nuclear arms and would be able to build them within the space of a year if they wished to do so.
The Pentagon document claims that the US has made attempts to de-escalate the chances of nuclear conflict, but acknowledges that ‘no potential adversary has reduced either the role of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy or the number of nuclear weapons it fields’.
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The document follows on: “Rather, they have moved decidedly in the opposite direction.
“As a result, there is an increased potential for regional conflicts involving nuclear-armed adversaries in several parts of the world and the potential for adversity nuclear escalation in crisis or conflict.”
Russia and the US withdrew from their 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019.
This treaty had required the US and Soviet Union to eliminate all of their nuclear missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometres.
The two countries extended the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) for five years in 2021.
The paper is clear that the main focus for nuclear threat is Russia and China, but it also makes special mention to North Korea's acceleration in its pursuit of nuclear weapons whose missile firing tests have secured them the attention of the world stage.
The report states: “North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons capabilities poses the most immediate and dire proliferation threat to international security and stability.”
On Iran, the report considers how their aggressive strategies and activities to destabilise neighbouring governments raises questions about their long-term commitment to forego nuclear weapons.
The 2020 report into nuclear arms stated that the US nuclear weapons program is a deterrent and missiles should only be utilised in 'extreme circumstances' to defend the country and allies.
The 2020 report even removed inflammatory language mentioning using nukes to 'prevail in conflict', removing the option to use them unless absolutely necessary.
Global nuclear armament is a pressing and rising threat to national security and safety and this new Pentagon report highlights how the increasing advancements in nuclear technologies pose a serious risk of nuclear warfare in the future.
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