Trump threatens to build up nuclear arsenal

President Donald Trump on Monday told reporters the United States will
build up its nuclear stockpile "until people come to their senses," days
after announcing he was pulling the country out of a nuclear agreement
with Russia.

Speaking outside the White House, Trump criticized Russia for not
adhering to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was
signed between former President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union President
Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The treaty banned all land-based cruise
missiles with a range of between 310 miles and 3,417 miles.

"This should have been done years ago," Trump said Monday about his
decision to withdraw from the INF. "Until people come to their senses,
we have more money than anybody else by far. We'll build [the United
States' nuclear arsenal] up until they come to their senses.

"When they do, then we'll all be smart and we'll all stop. And by the
way, not only stop, we'll reduce, which I would love to do. But right
now, they have not adhered to the agreement."

Trump announced Saturday the United States will pull out of the agreement unless other countries quit violating the INF.

"Russia has violated the agreement. They've been violating it for many
years and I don't know why President [Barack] Obama didn't negotiate or
pull out," Trump said Saturday. "We're not going to let them violate a
nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we're not allowed to,"
Trump said. "We're the ones that have stayed in the agreement and we've
honored the agreement but Russian has not, unfortunately .... so were
going to terminate the agreement."

On Sunday, Russia condemned Trump's plan. Russian Deputy Foreign
Minister Sergey Ryabkov said it would be a "very dangerous step."

"Apparently, inability and unwillingness to come to terms with us on a
sound foundation push certain forces in Washington to encourage the
country's leadership to make a decision on a formal withdrawal from the
treaty," he said. "This would be a very dangerous step, which, I'm sure,
won't be just understood by the international community, but arouse
serious condemnation of all members of the world community, who are
committed to security and stability, and are ready to work on
strengthening the current regimes in arms control."

Ryabkov said Russia has strictly adhered to the treaty, and accused the
United States of violating its terms and seeking to exit the deal as it
"creates problems for pursuing the line towards the U.S. total
domination in military sphere."

He also referred to efforts by the United States to get out of the deal
as "blackmail" with the purpose of achieving concessions from Moscow in
international security issues.

Ryabkov said Russia would adopt a number of retaliatory measures if the
United States continues to unilaterally withdraw from agreements.

National security adviser John Bolton traveled Monday to Moscow where he
was expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian
security adviser Nikolai Patrushev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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