Starting from January 1st, 2018, here's our list of global events impacting - for better or for worse - the strategic nuclear landscape.
North Korea's second MLRS test
September 9, 2019
The North Korean state media announced that the second test of its new multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) has been conducted. Neither US President Donald Trump nor any members of his administration have reacted to these tests.
North Korea tests an MLRS and an SRBM
August 16, 2019
North Korea continued to test its new short-range ballistic missile. However, this time the country also tested a new multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) whose test was personally overseen by Kim Jong-un. This was the sixth missile test since July 25th.
Russian test fails
August 12, 2019
The Russian nuclear-powered missile, first announced in March 2018, failed during a test and emitted radiation, killing at least seven people.
North Korea tests SRBMs
May 4, 2019
North Korea conducted a series of tests, calling it a "firepower strike drill". Analysts suggest North Korea tested its new short-range ballistic missile, the KN-23. The country also tested several short-range missiles and rockets between July and August 2019. The US response has, however, been muted.
Donald Trump meets Kim Jong-Un Again
February 27-28, 2019
United States President Donald J. Trump and North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un meet for the second time in Vietnam. The second round of talks, dubbed as the Hanoi Summit, failed to achieve any outcomes as both sides could not reach an agreement on denuclearisation. After the summit, President Trump confirmed that the sanctions against North Korea were still in place.
US manufactures low-yield warheads
January 30, 2019
The US' low-yield nuclear warheads, first announced in the Nuclear Posture Review, start rolling off the production line.
India completes nuclear triad
November 6, 2018
The Union Government of India announced that the INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear-capable submarine, completed its first deterrent patrol, hence completing India’s nuclear triad.
US withdraws from the INF treaty
October 20, 2018
President Donald Trump announced in a campaign rally that the United States will be withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty which was signed in 1987. The treaty eliminated ground-launched missiles with a range between 3000 and 5,500 kilometres. The announcement came after Russia was accused of alleged treaty violation. In an interview later, National Security Adviser John Bolton said that an INF treaty must include countries like China, Iran and North Korea that have developed intermediate-range missiles.
Donald Trump meets Kim Jong-Un
June 12, 2018
United States President Donald J. Trump and North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un meet for the first time in Singapore. Dubbed as the Trump-Kim summit, the two leaders gave a joint statement. Soon after the summit, President Trump announced the cancellation of joint military exercises with South Korea to avoid provoking North Korea.
US withdraws from JCPOA
June 12, 2018
The United States formally announced that it will be withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), popularly known as the Iran Deal. The JCPOA was an agreement signed between Iran and the P5 countries and the European Union, in order to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons program and allow Iran to pursue its peaceful nuclear program without facing sanctions.
Putin announces new nuclear weapons
March 1, 2018
Russian President Vladimir Putin in his annual press conference revealed an array of new nuclear weapons and delivery systems, including a new ICBM, a hypersonic glide vehicle, a nuclear-powered cruise missile and an unmanned submarine carrying a 100-megaton nuclear payload.
US reviews nuclear posture
March 1, 2018
The United States Department of Defense released the Nuclear Posture Review, which outlined the current administration’s views on nuclear weapons and their employment. The document called for including new, low-yield nuclear warheads to be employed to deter regional nuclear aggression.
2 minutes to midnight
January 25, 2018
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists turned the Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes to midnight, the closest to doomsday since the end of the Cold War.
January 3, 2018
In response to Kim Jong-un’s speech, United States President Donald Trump tweeted that he too has the “nuclear button,” but one that is much bigger and more powerful than Kim Jong-un’s.
North Korea completes nuclear deterrent
January 1, 2018
In his annual New Year’s Address, North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un said that North Korea had successfully completed its nuclear deterrent against the United States, and that he alone has the ability to control his country’s nuclear weapons with the “nuclear button” on his desk at all times.