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New nuclear arms race looms in Asia

As the shackles of arms control treaties fall apart, Russia, the United States and China are gearing up for more nukes in a replay of Cold War power relations

Any nuclear accident is worrying, but the one that took place in Russia's far north earlier this month carries a special warning. It was a stark and sobering reminder that we are lurching swiftly back towards the kind of nuclear arms race between major powers that made the darkest days of the Cold War so dangerous. And this time, the biggest dangers are in Asia.

According to Washington, the accident occurred during testing of a new Russian nuclear-propelled cruise missile. Called Burevestnick by the Russians and Skyfall by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), it is one of several new missile programmes announced by President Vladimir Putin last year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2019, with the headline 'New nuclear arms race looms in Asia'. Print Edition | Subscribe