President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin both expressed their support for expanding their respective nations' nuclear capabilities in separate statements on Thursday. The Russian leader told an annual meeting with his chiefs of defense that the Russian arsenal was already capable of overcoming any potential aggressors, but that nuclear expansion should be a goal for the upcoming year. Later that same day, Trump tweeted his desire to "greatly strengthen and expand" the U.S.' nuclear capability until "the world came to its sense" on nuclear warfare. The United Nation's 1968 Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty recognizes only five countries as being nuclear-weapon states, which represent the five permanent members of the National Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, the U.K. and France. Other countries, such as Pakistan, India and North Korea, have openly developed and detonated nuclear weapons despite not signing the treaty.
A security guard, who worked at a Belgium nuclear power plant, was murdered and his security badge was stolen, local media reported Saturday. The incident happened just days after suicide bomb attacks at the Brussels airport and on a metro killed at least 31 people and injured hundreds. On Thursday, French language Derniere Heure newspaper reported that the suicide bombers, who blew themselves up on Tuesday, were originally targeting a nuclear site, but a series of arrests of suspect militants forced them to speed up their plans. With the country on high alert, the report raised suspicions of the possibility that militants are seeking to get hold of nuclear material or planning to attack a nuclear site. The security officer was murdered Thursday evening as he walked his dog in the Belgian city of Charleroi.
FILE - In this June 13, 2017, file photo, the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant, right, stands adjacent to a dirt-covered rail tunnel, left, containing radioactive waste, amidst desert plants on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash. Radioactive plutonium and americium have been found in air samples collected where workers enter the secure area of the Hanford nuclear reservation in southeastern Washington, state health officials said Tuesday, Aug. 8. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File) The Associated Press
Whether or not Donald Trump has the right temperament to maintain control over the country's nuclear weapons has been fiercely debated. But now that he is the next president, his temperament is irrelevant. He'll have authority over the nuclear codes whether his critics like it or not. The real question now is can Trump, as president, initiate nuclear warfare all on his own? The answer, in a word, is yes.
Japan and India are considering signing a bilateral nuclear cooperation pact during a planned visit to Tokyo by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in mid-November, according to informed sources. The treaty will allow Japan to export nuclear power plants to India, giving a boost to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to promote infrastructure exports as a way of fueling economic growth, the sources said Monday. This will be the first time for Japan to conclude a nuclear cooperation pact with a nonsignatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The move may draw criticism from the atomic-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for hindering nuclear nonproliferation efforts. Abe and Modi reached a basic agreement on concluding the pact when they met in New Delhi last December.