US President Donald Trump aims for a major nuclear deal with Russia and China, which he sees as a potential signature achievement in foreign policy, the media reported on Friday.
Administration officials told CNN that the White House is conducting intense inter-agency talks to develop options for the President to pursue such an agreement, building up another nuclear pact, the New START Treaty, expiring in 2021.
“The President made it clear that he believes arms control should include Russia and China, including all the weapons, all the warheads, all the missiles,” a senior White House official said. “We have the ambition to provide the President with options to give him as much space on the calendar as possible as quickly as possible.”
Major Nuclear Deal Donald Trump Aims With Other Countries
“This is something no administration has tried,” the official said, adding: “But I would argue that no government has tried, for example, what (Trump) tried with North Korea.” Administration officials said their goal was to revamp a dusty pact for a new age and increase global security. Major nuclear deal Donald Trump aims for with the other countries. The Trump administration did not set a negotiating timeline or raise the prospect with China and Russia.
State Secretary Mike Pompeo told Congress earlier this month that the US was in the treaty’s “very beginning of renewal talks.” The 2010 New START Treaty limits both the US and Russia to deploy 1,550 nuclear warheads over 700 delivery systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles, and bombers.
It also enables 18 on-site inspections each year that enable each side to keep a close eye on the capabilities of the other.
But the scale of those ambitions, Trump’s past criticism of New START as a “bad deal” and John Bolton’s role as national security adviser — a long-standing critic of arms control agreements — have some observers worried that the true goal of the administration might be to find a way out of a second nuclear pact that it sees as restrictive and outdated.