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US considered nuclear test, report says

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The US has considered a nuclear test as a potential warning to Russia and China for the first time since 1992, according to a media report. The government of US President Donald Trump discussed this at a meeting on May 15, the Washington Post yesterday quoted a senior government official and two former US officials.

According to the report, the conversation was initially unsuccessful. The quoted sources were therefore disagreed as to whether the talks continued.

Test as a negotiating tactic

Previously, some US officials said media reports said Russia and China are doing their own nuclear tests. Moscow and Beijing rejected this. The USA did not provide any evidence to support the claim.

A senior government official told the Washington Post that clarifying Washington’s ability for a „quick test“ could serve as a negotiating tactic in the United States‘ efforts to achieve a nuclear deal with Russia and China.

„Starting signal for an unprecedented arms race“

A US nuclear test would mean a dramatic departure from previous US defense policies and alarm other nuclear powers. Disarmament activists condemned the possible plans for a US nuclear test. „This would be the starting signal for an unprecedented nuclear arms race,“ Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association, said the newspaper. Such a test should also bring the nuclear negotiations with the North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un to a standstill.

The „Post“ report came one day after Trump’s announcement that he would step out of the „Open Skies“ military control contract. It would be the U.S.’s third exit from an arms control treaty since Trump took office in 2017.