How else would the North Koreans perceive this other than as a sign of weakness?
Barack Obama is expected to propose sweeping new cuts to America’s nuclear weapons arsenal on Tuesday when he delivers his annual State of Union, arms control experts said, as the re-elected President searches for a long-term legacy for his second term.
The proposal to cut the US strategic warhead arsenal by up 40 per cent could save billions of dollars and take America another step closer to the long-term goal – avowed by Mr Obama in his landmark speech in Prague in 2009 – of a nuclear-free world.
Although Mr Obama is not expected to give precise numbers in his speech, reports yesterday claimed that the number of warheads could be cut from 1,700 to as low as 1,000, if a mutual agreement can be secured with Russia.
Mr Obama believes that “pretty radical reductions” can be made to the arsenal, a left-over from the Cold War, and US military leaders have “signed off” on the proposed reductions, the New York Times reported, citing anonymous administration officials.
“These numbers ring true, and the administration has signaled before that it wants to move forward on this issue,” Steven Pifer, a former State Department official and director of the Arms Control Initiative at the Brookings Institution, told The Daily Telegraph.