Go to contents

Trump says the U.S. will build up nuclear arsenal

Posted October. 24, 2018 07:26,   

Updated October. 24, 2018 07:26


U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday(local tme) hinted at a nuclear weapons build-up, adding to the decision announced a couple of days ago that the U.S. will pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Although President Trump said the U.S. will do so only if Russia keeps violating the INF and China is not included in the agreement, concerns that the decision could revive a Cold War-era arms race are rising.

When asked if the U.S. is ready to bolster its nuclear arsenal, President Trump told reporters the same day at the White House before leaving for a campaign rally in Texas that “I’m terminating the agreement. Russia has not adhered to the agreement,” adding that the U.S. would build up its arsenal “until people (Russia and China) come to their senses.” President Trump also stressed that the U.S. has more money than anybody else.

In particular, President Trump emphasized that China must be included in the treaty. This remark bolsters the argument that Trump’s “threat to withdraw from the INF” is to check China's military build-up. But President Trump added the U.S. would stop arms buildup and reduce military arsenal if they (Russia and China) adhere to the treaty, suggesting that he would change the decision depending on China and Russia’s action.

“It’s a treat to whoever you want,” said Trump when asked if his decision to ditch the INF treaty is to threaten Russian President Vladimir Putin. “And it includes China, and it includes Russia, and it includes anybody else that wants to play the game. You can’t do that. You can’t play that game on me,” Trump warned.

Jeong-Hun Park sunshade@donga.com