23 Dec 2016

Trump: US must expand nuclear weapons

7:10 am on 23 December 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has called for the US to "greatly strengthen and expand" its nuclear arsenal.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump's tweet is in direct contrast to Barack Obama's views on nuclear arms. Photo: AFP

Mr Trump, who takes office next month, said the US must take such action "until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes".

He spoke hours after Russian president Vladimir Putin said his country needs to bolster its military nuclear potential.

The US has 7100 nuclear weapons and Russia has 7300, according to the US nonpartisan Arms Control Association.

Washington correspondent Priscilla Huff told Morning Report "this raised eyebrows" across Washington and the political spectrum.

It was in "complete contrast" to outgoing President Barack Obama, who promoted the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

-BBC/RNZ

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