President Donald Trump wants to expand and update the U.S. nuclear arsenal, he said in an interview with Reuters.
He said in the interview Thursday that he wants U.S. nuclear capability to be at the “top of the pack,” but that the country has “fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity.”
“I am the first one that would like to see everybody - nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power,” he said. “It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.”
Mr. Trump’s comments are similar to things he said during the campaign about the country’s nuclear capacities, but these were his most extensive comments on the subject since taking office.
He referred to the New START Treaty, an agreement between the U.S. and Russia implemented in 2011 to reduce each country’s strategic arms arsenals by 2018, a “one-sided deal.”
“Just another bad deal that the country made, whether it’s START, whether it’s the Iran deal ... we’re going to start making good deals,” he said.
And the week after North Korea conducted a missile test, Mr. Trump said he is “very angry” about the country’s tests.
“It’s very late,” he said, not ruling out the possibility of meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un at some point in the future. “We’re very angry at what he’s done, and frankly, this should have been taken care of during the Obama administration.”
He said accelerating a missile defense system for Japan and South Korea is an option to respond to North Korean aggression.
“There’s talks of a lot more than that,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens. But it’s a very dangerous situation, and China can end it very quickly in my opinion.”