Here are the nine countries that have nuclear weapons

There are currently nine countries in the world with nuclear weapons, including the UK, China, France, the United States and Russia.

These five nations are officially recognised as possessing nuclear arms by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) - with the US and Russia holding the vast majority between them.

But there are also four other countries that have the devastating weapons but hold them illegally. 

These are India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea.

The first nuclear weapons were developed by the US during World War Two as part of the Manhattan Project in reaction to the Nazi threat in Germany.

America received cooperation from the UK and Canada.

The latest nation to build nuclear weapons is North Korea, which carried out its first nuclear test in 2006.

It has since threatened nuclear action against the US and South Korea, and has broken international law with its testing of powerful nuclear weapons.

There were thought to be 13,865 nuclear warheads in 2019, down from 14,465 in 2018.

The statistics used in this piece come from the 2019 report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The institute notes that ‘deployed warheads’ are those placed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces.

Other warheads relate to those which have been stored or reserve warheads and retired warheads awaiting dismantlement.  

All estimates are approximate and figures for North Korea are uncertain and therefore not included in total figures.

The United States has the most number of deployed nuclear warheads - 1,750 - with a further 3,800 kept in a stockpile and 2,385 retired, making a total of 6,185. The US is the only country ever to have used a nuclear weapon when it bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in Japan, in World War Two (Picture: AP)
America
The United States has the most number of deployed nuclear warheads - 1,750 - with a further 3,800 kept in a stockpile and 2,385 retired, making a total of 6,185. The US is the only country ever to have used a nuclear weapon when it bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in Japan, in World War Two (Picture: AP)
Russia has a slightly higher total number of warheads, with 6,500. However, slightly fewer (1,600) are deployed compared to America. A further 2,730 are in reserve and 2,170 warheads are due to be dismantled after being retired. A lot of Russia’s weapons were collected during the Cold War against America when both nations rushed to increase their arsenals <em>Picture: US President Vladimir Putin (AP)</em>
Russia
Russia has a slightly higher total number of warheads, with 6,500. However, slightly fewer (1,600) are deployed compared to America. A further 2,730 are in reserve and 2,170 warheads are due to be dismantled after being retired. A lot of Russia’s weapons were collected during the Cold War against America when both nations rushed to increase their arsenals Picture: US President Vladimir Putin (AP)
France has around 280 nuclear warheads, which are positioned on submarines and aircraft. In 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron said he was committed to long-term modernisation of the countries nuclear forces. <em>Picture: French President Emmanuel Macron (AP)</em>
France
France has around 280 nuclear warheads, which are positioned on submarines and aircraft. In 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron said he was committed to long-term modernisation of the countries nuclear forces. Picture: French President Emmanuel Macron (AP)
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The United Kingdom has 200 nuclear weapons - with 120 of them deployed. These Trident intercontinental ballistic missiles are based on submarines, with the UK declaring it is prepared to use them first in order to defend its people. <em>Picture: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (AP)</em>
The UK
The United Kingdom has 200 nuclear weapons - with 120 of them deployed. These Trident intercontinental ballistic missiles are based on submarines, with the UK declaring it is prepared to use them first in order to defend its people. Picture: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (AP)
China has 290 warheads in its arsenal, which are made up of land-based, submarine and aircraft weapons - although none of them are deployed. The country is currently building a land-based ballistic missile that has a longer target range (<em>Picture: China President Xi Jinping (Getty)</em>
China
China has 290 warheads in its arsenal, which are made up of land-based, submarine and aircraft weapons - although none of them are deployed. The country is currently building a land-based ballistic missile that has a longer target range (Picture: China President Xi Jinping (Getty)
Israel refuses to confirm it has any nuclear weapons but it is thought to be in possession of around 80 to 90 weapons, according to Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The weapons are allegedly land-based, on submarines and also on aircraft. <em>Picture: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AP)</em>
Israel
Israel refuses to confirm it has any nuclear weapons but it is thought to be in possession of around 80 to 90 weapons, according to Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The weapons are allegedly land-based, on submarines and also on aircraft. Picture: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AP)
India has 130-140 nuclear warheads, none of which are deployed. It’s nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine “INS Arihant” became operational in 2018, giving the country a “nuclear triad” – the ability to launch nuclear strikes by land, air and sea. <em>Picture: India Prime Minister Narendra Modi (AP)</em>
India
India has 130-140 nuclear warheads, none of which are deployed. It’s nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine “INS Arihant” became operational in 2018, giving the country a “nuclear triad” – the ability to launch nuclear strikes by land, air and sea. Picture: India Prime Minister Narendra Modi (AP)
Pakistan has 140-150 nuclear warheads, according to a 2018 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Pakistan is working on sea-launched cruise missiles to complete its own triad. <em>Picture: Pakistan</em> <em>Prime Minister Imran Khan (Getty)</em>
Pakistan
Pakistan has 140-150 nuclear warheads, according to a 2018 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Pakistan is working on sea-launched cruise missiles to complete its own triad. Picture: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Getty)
North Korea is estimated to have 20-30 rudimentary nuclear weapons but it’s rumoured to be increasing its stock of weapon-usable plutonium. In 2018, its leader Kim Jong-un promised to produce more warheads and ballistic missiles but it’s not yet certain if they’ve produced a nuclear warhead that can be carried by a ballistic missile. <em>Picture: Trump and Kim Jong-un (Getty)</em>
North Korea
North Korea is estimated to have 20-30 rudimentary nuclear weapons but it’s rumoured to be increasing its stock of weapon-usable plutonium. In 2018, its leader Kim Jong-un promised to produce more warheads and ballistic missiles but it’s not yet certain if they’ve produced a nuclear warhead that can be carried by a ballistic missile. Picture: Trump and Kim Jong-un (Getty)

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