Trump to Reuters: US should expand nuclear arsenal
- Author: Leroy Wright Feb 24, 2017,
Feb 24, 2017, 4:04
President Trump says he wants to expand the US nuclear arsenal to ensure the country is "top of the pack".
In an interview with Reuters, the president stated that the United States had fallen behind on atomic weapons but did not detail what kind of expansion, if any, the military would pursue.
He added that "it would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes". Russian Federation is said to have 7,300 nuclear warheads to the US' 6,970.
"President Trump's assertions about nuclear weapons policy conveniently ignore the facts", former Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.), the executive director of the center, said in a statement. "In denouncing New START once again, Trump is slamming the door on the possibility for extending it, and reversing course on America's commitment to reducing nuclear arsenals". "President Trump needs to work with Russia's President Putin to build down, not build up their excessive nuclear arsenals and stop stirring up nuclear tensions".
In the Reuters interview, Trump described new START as a "one-sided" agreement.
Trump has told Putin he does not want to renew a 2010 nuclear arms reduction treaty between Washington and Moscow because the deal was bad for the United States.
Asked about Trump's statements about nuclear weapons, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump was responding to a question about other countries increasing their nuclear arms.
Trump made the comments during an interview with Reuters that also touched on issues involving Russia, China and North Korea. "We're going to start making good deals".
Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, says both the United States and Russian Federation already have far more nuclear weapons than could ever be necessary. "But it's a very risky situation, and China can end it very quickly in my opinion". Trump suggested accelerating plans to deliver a missile defense system to our allies Japan and South Korea.
China has made clear that it opposes North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and has repeatedly called for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and a return to negotiations between Pyongyang and world powers.
Trump did not completely rule out possibly meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at some point in the future under certain circumstances but suggested it might be too late.