Countries With Chemical Weapons

chemical weapons

The 1925 Geneva Protocol banned the use of chemical weapons in warfare. By 1993 the Chemical Weapons Convention asked signatory nations to destroy their existing chemical weapons stockpiles and stop producing new ones.

Of the signatories, the United States and Russia are the two countries with the largest chemical weapon stockpiles. Currently, they are in the process of destroying them. Among the signatory states that have not yet ratified the Convention we find Israel and Myanmar. States that have not signed the Convention include Angola, Egypt, North Korea, South Sudan, and Syria.

Source: International Business Times: Not Just Syria: Which Other Countries Have Chemical Weapons? [Interactive Map]

 

The Economic Freedom Index 2013

economic freedom index

The Economic Freedom Index, compiled by the Heritage Foundation, is a measure of the economic freedom given to citizens in each of the 185 countries where it is measured. A total of ten components of economic freedom are considered, all grouped under four categories: rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency, and open markets.

The highest ranking country in the list is Hong Kong, with a score of 89.3, affording its citizens the highest degree of economic freedom in the world. Hong Kong is followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, Denmark, and the United States, among the top ten.

On the opposite side, the most repressed countries in terms of economic freedom include North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Eritrea, and Burma.

Source: International Business Times: US Economic Freedom Is At Lowest Point Since 2000 [MAP]

 

Deaths by Hepatitis vs. Deaths by HIV by Country

hepatitis and hiv world HIV killed 1.47 million people in 2010. Viral hepatitis killed as many as 1.44 million people in the same year. Even though the number of deaths caused by viral hepatitis follows close that of HIV, its impact goes largely ignored worldwide.

According to The Economist, viral hepatitis killed more people in 117 out of 187 countries, including China, India, Japan, and the UK. In the map above, countries in dark red show a higher ratio of deaths by viral hepatitis to deaths caused by HIV. Those countries include Egypt, Mongolia, UK, Turkey, Yemen, Iraq, South and North Korea, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Poland, and Germany.

Source: The Economist: The other killer – Hepatitis kills more people than HIV in most countries

 

 

Total Population Undernourished in 2012

undernourishment hunger map 2012About 870 million people are still undernourished around the world, specially in developing countries. Undernourishment is defined as the lack of sufficient caloric intake.

The situation is specially serious in Africa. In countries like Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, etc. more than 35% of the population is undernourished. Other countries where a high percentage of the population is undernourished include North Korea, Laos, Paraguay, Haiti, to name a few.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: The FAO Hunger Map 2012

 

Elimination of Chemical Weapons Worldwide

elimination of chemical weapons worldThe Organization for the Proliferation of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was created to oversee the elimination of existing chemical weapons and monitor the chemical industry to prevent the production of additional chemical weapons. The OPCW was created in 1997 in The Hague, Netherlands, with support from the United Nations (UN).

The OPCW has 188 members states, signatories of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Nations that did not sign the CWC include Syria, Egypt, South Sudan, Somalia, Angola, and North Korea. Myanmar signed it, but it has not ratified it to date.

As of 2012, 71% of global stockpiles of chemical weapons have been destroyed, 46% of the total amount of chemical munitions have been eliminated, and 100% of the chemical plants producing chemical weapons have been decommissioned.

Source: Ria Novosti News Agency: Infographics – Elimination of Chemical Weapons in the World

 

North Korean Missiles

maximum range of north korean missiles

North Korea possesses a variety of missiles with different range capabilities. On one hand, there is the Scud-V with a range of less than 1,000 Km. that will easily reach South Korea, on the other there is the Taepodong-3 with a range of 10,000 Km. that could potentially reach the U.S. and Canada, as well as Europe.

In terms of balance in the conflict zone, North Korea outnumbers South Korea and the US forces combined in number of troops, tanks, aircraft and navy vessels.

Source: News Agency Ria Novosti

Suggested reading: The Brookings Institution: North Korea and Nuclear-Armed Missiles:  Calming the Hyperbole

 

Number of Nuclear Tests Since 1945

North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on February, 2013. Two nuclear test preceded this one, the first in 2006, and the second in 2009.

However, the nation that has performed the largest number of nuclear tests since 1945 is the United States, a total of 1,032. In the same period, the USSR/Russia performed a total of 715 nuclear tests, and France performed a total of 210 nuclear tests.

Source: Statista: North Korea Conducts Third Nuclear Test

 

 

Dangerous Countries for Travelers

This map published by CBS News warns travelers not to visit certain dangerous countries, or to exercise caution when visiting some of them.

Countries to be avoided at all cost include Niger, Chad, Sudan, Mali, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

Countries where travel should be done with a high degree of caution include Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, Nicaragua, to name a few.

North Korea vs. South Korea

In this visualization created by The Guardian, we can see how North Korea compares to South Korea in terms of population, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), life expectancy, freedom of the press, military spending, internet connectivity, infant mortality, among other indicators.

North Korea is a poor country with half the population of South Korea. It is one of the worst countries in terms of corruption and freedom of the press. Its military spending constitutes approximately 22.3% of its GDP, compared to 2.8% for South Korea.

Additional resource: IndexMundi: South Korea vs. North Korea – Country Comparisons

 

Vulnerability to Climate Change

The Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) created the GAIN Index to measure the vulnerability of countries to climate change, combined with how well prepared these countries are to face the global challenges associated with it.

Countries at extreme risk include North Korea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Burundi, Chad, Sudan and Zimbabwe. At the other end of the spectrum, countries with the lowest risk include Denmark, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, the UK, New Zealand, Norway, to name a few.

For a complete list of countries and index methodology visit: The Global Adaptation Institute: The GAIN Index