Nuclear fission was first achieved in 1934. By 1945 the USA had turned this knowledge into creating the most destructive weapon ever created and promptly detonated bombs on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki. 120,000 people perished at the time of the explosions but countless numbers suffered and died subsequently as a result of radiation.
Since then, countries around the world have raced to gain this destructive knowledge and to stockpile these weapons.
World leaders are secure in the knowledge that they can destroy their enemies at the touch of a button - as long as they themselves are not destroyed first, of course.