The Washington Post report came one day after President Trump announced that he plans to withdraw from the Open Skies treaty with Russia
President Donald Trump's administration has discussed holding the first US nuclear test since 1992 as a potential warning to Russia and China , the Washington Post has reported.
One analyst told the newspaper that if it were to go ahead it would be seen as the "starting gun to an unprecedented nuclear arms race".The report, citing one senior administration official and two former officials, all who spoke anonymously, said the discussion had taken place at a meeting on 15 May.
It came after some US officials reportedly claimed that Russia and China were conducting their own low-yield tests. Moscow and Beijing have denied the claims, and the US has not offered evidence for them.The senior administration official said that demonstrating Washington's ability to "rapid test" would be a useful negotiating tactic as the US seeks a trilateral agreement with Russia and China over nuclear weapons.
The meeting did not conclude with any agreement, and the sources were divided over whether discussions were still ongoing.Nuclear non-proliferation activists were quick to condemn the idea."It would be the starting gun to an unprecedented nuclear arms race," Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, told the Post.
He added that it would also likely "disrupt" negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, "who may no longer feel compelled to honour his moratorium on nuclear testing".The Trump administration has repeatedly shaken up US defence policy.
The Washington Post report came one day after Mr Trump announced that he plans to withdraw from the Open Skies treaty with Russia, which was designed to improve military transparency and confidence between the superpowers.It is the third arms control pact Mr Trump has abrogated since coming to office.
Russia has insisted it will abide by the 18-year-old agreement, which seeks to lower the risk of war by permitting each signatory country's military to conduct a certain number of surveillance flights over another member country each year on short notice.
European nations have also urged Mr Trump to reconsider.Facing re-election in November, Mr Trump has also significantly hardened his rhetoric against China in recent weeks, repeatedly criticising Beijing's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which first emerged there.
He has made repeated but vague threats of retaliation against the chief US economic rival, which has denied all his accusations.Earlier this month Mr Trump called for involving China in new arms control talks with Russia, telling his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin they need to avoid a "costly arms race".
It is not the first time Mr Trump's defence policy has raised concerns the administration is elevating the risk of nuclear war.In February the Pentagon announced it had deployed a submarine carrying a new long-range missile with a relatively small nuclear warhead, saying it was in response to Russian tests of similar weapons.
Critics worry that small nukes would be more likely to be used because they cause less damage, thereby lowering the threshold for nuclear conflict. Read more: RTÉ News »
President Trump wants to perform first nuclear test since 1992. Basically to scare Russia and China it sounds like. Russia agrees to abide by the Open Skies treaty. And mini-nukes become a real thing. Thanks Fallout. Here's a report you won't be getting from RTE 'NEWS' 😜 No Biden bashing will be tolerated from Democrat partisan WilliamsJon
I'll Just leave this here 😂 The vanity of an old man who wants to do it all as President. He really will want to fight and win a short war. For the parade afterwards you understand. I'll put this with russiagate and kim Jong,-un is dead, Nothing about Joe bidens racist comments or all the documents Richard Grenfell has been releasing Pure propaganda that's all you supply
Great news Did you forget to report on Joe Biden rte? I've been expecting this. Trump was fascinated by nuclear bomb capability during the handover. If he wins again I fully expect him to use nuclear weapons on some country just because he can. Obama is the anti Christ. Trump is the saviour Piece of shit POTUS
Whoever is in charge of RTE news twitter page at weekend has strong case of Trump Derangement Syndrome....5 Trump stories last night....How many will we get today.... Joe Biden has been making lots of contoversial headlines lately and not a peep from RTE or the rest of the biased MSM here on these stories.
This is the beginnings of the end of mankind. Dopey Donald!!! Over 95000 people are dead from covid 19 and trump now wants to start exploding nukes, the man is not well. I'm now very worried about what he is gonna do in the two months from when he is voted out, to when Biden is sworn in, trump is a loose cannon, he is unstableVoteBlue2020
What an utter waste of money! Can’t that man have his hair trimmed so that that greasy orange fringe doesn’t hang over his shirt collar? Golf is a shite game anyway. Doesn't bother me
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