Putin Warns of New Arms Race; Threatens to Develop Missiles, Nukes

Says he's concerned US will deploy missiles into Japan, South Korea

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the US decision to scrap the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty threatens to launch a new arms race, saying Russia intends to follow through with development of new intermediate missiles, and tactical nuclear devices.

Putin did hold out hope for preventing such a rush to arms spending, however, saying that the Russian Federation would not deploy the new missiles unless the US deploys them first.

Indications are that the US fully intends to deploy first, though. The Pentagon has already started developing its own missiles since scrapping the treaty, and officials have openly talked of deploying them, particularly in Asia.

Putin expressed concern about this, particularly if the US were to deploy missiles to Japan or South Korea. There has been no confirmation of any nation agreeing to host the US arms, but South Korea would be particularly problematic given ongoing talks of denuclearization of the peninsula.

Putin added that in a recent call with Trump, he offered to sell the US hypersonic missiles as an alternative to the US developing them for themselves, though Trump apparently rejected the idea.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.