Liberty Nation GenZ: News for Kids

News and Current Events Through the Lens of America’s Founding Principles

🔍 Search

Five Countries Agree: Nuclear War Must Be Avoided

No one wins in a nuclear war.

By:  |  January 10, 2022  |    599 Words
GettyImages-636132296 Atomic Bomb exploding over Nagasaki in 1945

Atomic Bomb exploding over Nagasaki in 1945 (Photo by: Prisma Bildagentur/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

What can you think of that is about the size of a minivan? While you may be able to come up with several answers to this question, it is unlikely that a nuclear weapon was one of your answers. The heaviest nuclear weapon, the B53, weighed in at about 8,850 pounds and was about the size of a minivan!

If detonated, atomic weapons cause widespread destruction and death. Five of the countries that possess nuclear weapons – United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France – have agreed that this kind of warfare would be a disaster. They have promised to make it their primary responsibility to avoid war between the countries that own nuclear weapons.

The History of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear weapons technology was first developed in the 1930s and 1940s. The first use was during World War II. In August 1945, the U.S. detonated nuclear weapons over Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 people. After seeing the devastating effects of the super-bombs, it became essential to control and monitor the production of this mighty weapon. Today there are over 10,000 nuclear weapons all around the world.

No One Can Win

The United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France are the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, also called the P5. Together, the countries decided that no one would win in a nuclear war. Instead, the group determined that their top goal should be to reduce the risks that could lead to the use of these dangerous weapons. The plan is to create a secure environment and only use atomic warfare as a defensive move.

Here is a statement from the meeting between the five countries: “As nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that nuclear weapons — for as long as they continue to exist — should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war.”

This statement is about the doctrine of “mutually assured destruction.” That’s the idea that if one country launches a nuclear attack to destroy its enemy, it would also be destroyed in a counter-attack. This idea was popular during the Cold War, when the U.S. and Russia were developing their nuclear technology. Since each country would destroy each other, they would avoid attacking in the first place. Today, the threat of nuclear weapons is still used to deter countries from going to war too easily.

Tensions Over Russia and Ukraine

Russian President Putin Holds Annual Press Conference

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

Recently, Russia threatened to deploy nuclear missiles in Europe. The threat was made because of tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine became an independent country in 1991, and now it is thinking about joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). NATO is a military alliance that includes 27 European countries, two North American countries, and one Eurasian country.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, wants to make sure Ukraine does not become a part of NATO. Throughout 2021, Russia has been stationing soldiers on the border of Ukraine. This is causing the Ukrainians to fear an attack.

Britain’s prime minister advised there would be serious consequences if Russia tried to attack Ukraine. Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, responded rather aggressively by stating that they would only use the nuclear missiles if NATO countries did not deny plans to use the weapons themselves.

Maybe this talk of nuclear attacks started to worry world leaders, because Russia and other members of the P5 soon declared that the results of nuclear warfare would not benefit anyone.

Test your knowledge with a quiz based on this article!

Share this Article

Behind the News

Digging Deeper