President Donald Trump expressed his intent to build up the country's nuclear arsenal and ensure that it is "top of the pack."
In an interview with Reuters Feb. 23, Trump explained the U.S. has fallen behind in the production of nuclear weapons, and he would like to expand the country's capabilities. He also mentioned that he would like a world free from nuclear weapons, but added it is not a possibility as of now.
"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," he told Reuters.
"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 said, reports The Telegraph.
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Trump had not mentioned the U.S. nuclear arsenal since taking over as president but had tweeted about the competition of buildup for nuclear weapons in December 2016.
"The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes," wrote Trump.
The U.S. has 6,800 warheads and Russia has 7,000 according to the Ploughshares Fund, an anti-nuclear group.
The new strategic arms limitation treaty, known as New START, requires that the U.S. and Russia limit their arsenal of nuclear weapons to equal levels for 10 years. The activation date for the treaty is Feb. 5, 2018, according to Reuters.
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Trump categorized New START as a "one-sided deal" last month, according to CNN.
When asked if he would bring this issue to Russian President Vladimir Putin's attention, Trump said he would do so "if and when we meet," according to Reuters. He said he had no meetings scheduled as of yet with the Russian president.
The U.S. is currently undergoing a $1 trillion, 30-year modernization of its aging ballistic missile submarines, bombers and land-based missiles.