On Thursday, President Donald Trump said that he wanted to make sure that the United States’ nuclear arsenal is at the “top of the pack,” adding that the U.S. has fallen behind in its nuclear capabilities.
Trump made the comments during an interview with Reuters after he was asked about a statement he tweeted back in December about the United States needing to boost its nuke capacity “until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
“I am the first one that would like to see … 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,” Trump 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,” he continued.
According to the anti-nuclear group Ploughshares Fund cited by Reuters, Russia is leading the nuke count with 7,000 warheads while the United States has 6,800.
His interview with Reuters was Donald Trump’s first time speaking out about the nuclear arsenal since becoming President.
Trump stated that he believes that the “New START” deal that replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT) was “just another bad deal that the country made.”
The New START Deal, or the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms Deal, was signed in 2010 under the Obama administration. Trump said that he believes it is “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.
During the interview, Trump also stated that he believes China could solve the security threats North Korea poses “very easily if they want to” and denounced North Korea’s ballistic missile tests and its rapid missile defense building.
“There’s talks of a lot more than that,” Trump said about the missile defense system. “We’ll see what happens. But it’s a very dangerous situation, and China can end it very quickly in my opinion.”