Trump’s tweet about nukes leaves crit­ics dumb­founded

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By REUTERS in Washington

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump called for an ex­pan­sion of Amer­ica’s nu­clear ca­pa­bil­i­ties on Thurs­day, in a tweet that alarmed non­pro­lif­er­a­tion ex­perts who said a boost to the United States’ ar­se­nal could fuel global ten­sions.

In his Twit­ter post, Trump said: “The United States must greatly strengthen and ex­pand its nu­clear ca­pa­bil­ity un­til such time as the world comes to its senses re­gard­ing nukes.” He gave no fur­ther de­tails. It was not clear what prompted his com­ment. How­ever, ear­lier on Thurs­day, Rus- sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin said that Rus­sia needed to “strengthen the mil­i­tary po­ten­tial of strate­gic nu­clear forces”.

On Fri­day, Putin said Trump’s tweet was “noth­ing spe­cial.”

Trump spokesman Ja­son Miller said Trump’s com­ments were not meant to be read as a new pol­icy pro­posal.

Ex­perts won­dered whether Trump’s tweet meant he wanted to breach lim­its im­posed on US strate­gic weapons.

“It is com­pletely ir­re­spon­si­ble for the pres­i­dent-elect to make changes to US nu­clear pol­icy in 140 char­ac­ters and without un­der­stand­ing the im­pli­ca­tions of state­ments like ‘ex­pand the ca­pac­ity’,” said Daryl Kim­ball, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Arms Con­trol As­so­ci­a­tion.

“He must have lead­ers around the world try­ing to guess what he means,” Kim­ball added.

“This is bush league.”

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