The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons says that he world’s nine nuclear-armed countries spent $82.4bn upgrading their atomic weaponry in 2021, with the United States alone accounting for more than half the total spending, followed by China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France. Al Jazeera reports that ICAN also estimates that North Korea spent $642m on nuclear weaponry in 2021 even as its economy struggled under United Nations sanctions and the pandemic-linked closure of borders, while the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute warned that the risk of nuclear weapons being deployed appear higher now than at any time since the height of the Cold War.