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UN body: If nuclear deterrence fails, outcome will be catastrophic

22 April 2017 20:16


A United Nations institute has warned that worsening relations between nuclear-powered countries and their ever-increasing dependency on technologies for atomic bombs would significantly increase the risk of nuclear accidents in the world.

The UN Institute for Disarmament Research said in its report published on Friday that there will be “catastrophic” consequences when the time reaches that the nuclear deterrence does not work, whether deliberately or accidentally.

“Nuclear deterrence works, up until the time it will prove not to work,” the report said, adding, “The risk is inherent and, when luck runs out, the results will be catastrophic.”

“The threat of a nuclear weapon detonation event in 2017 is arguably at its highest in the 26 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union,” it said.

The major report warned that relations between nuclear-power countries had deteriorated in recent times and that had triggered fresh concerns that the doomsday would finally come and governments would use the weapon in dire situations.

It said nuclear deterrence in countries such as North Korea, Pakistan and India was at the “greatest risk of breaking down,” making a reference to Pyongyang’s increasing number of tests and Pakistan and India’s growing disputes over Kashmir, which could eventually break out into a real nuclear war.

Despite efforts in previous administrations in the United States and Russia for nuclear disarmament, the current governments have suggested that they would expand their arsenal of destructive weapons. That has intensified fears that the current cold war between Washington and Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine could go nuclear.

The UN report said terrorists were becoming increasingly capable of acquiring nukes through various methods.

“The more arms produced, particularly in countries with unstable societies, the more potential exists for terrorist acquisition and use of nuclear weapons.”

It also warned that terrorists had become more sophisticated in their way of hacking the controlling system of weapons, adding that the chance for such sabotage activities had increased as more countries keep replacing their military officers with computers, therefore ruling out a potential safety check on the weapons.

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