Trump Flip-Flops on Nukes for S.Korea, Japan

  • By Kim Deok-han

    November 15, 2016 09:59

    U.S. president-elect Donald Trump flip-flopped on Sunday on his earlier statement on the campaign trail that countries like South Korea and Japan should acquire their own nuclear arsenals to protect themselves.

    Through his favored medium of Twitter, Trump denied ever making the suggestion.

    The real-estate mogul was responding to a New York Times article that summed up his often bizarre pronouncements on foreign policy, including that he "suggested that more countries should acquire nuclear weapons."

    But when asked on March 25 about the possibility of South Korea and Japan acquiring their own nuclear arsenals, Trump told the New York Times. "If the United States keeps on its path, its current path of weakness, they're going to want to have that anyway. Because I don't think they feel very secure in what's going on with our country."

    And at a CNN town hall meeting on March 29, Trump said that North Korea, Pakistan, and China have their own nuclear arsenals, and that Iran is going to have its own within 10 years.

    "At some point we have to say, you know what, we're better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we're better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself," he added.

    The remarks sparked criticism from both the Democratic and Republican parties for flying in the face of the U.S.' non-proliferation regime.

    Trump's latest tweets seem aimed at preventing his stump braggadocio from causing further controversy.

    "On Thursday, Mr. Trump spoke to South Korean President Park Geun-hye and, according to her office, reaffirmed his intention '100 percent' to uphold the alliance and strengthen it," the Washington Post said Sunday. "Following the election, he has seemed to step away from one of his most disruptive ideas."

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