Donald Trump says U.S. will build up its nuclear arsenal

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"They've been violating it for many years", Trump said. And Russia will no longer just violate the treaty with select development and deployment of weaponry; it will likely refocus its resources on the buildup of a land-based arsenal of short- and intermediate- range missiles.

Welcome to the high church of arms control in which treaties are sacrosanct no matter the violation.

Indeed, Russian officials met Trump's announcement of his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the treaty with warnings that such a move risks setting off a new round of arms deployments in Europe.

"There's a new strategic reality out there", Bolton told reporters, describing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as a "bilateral treaty in a multipolar ballistic missile world", that does not apply to countries like China, Iran or North Korea.

Trump has repeatedly said he wants U.S.

The INF was a "bilateral treaty in a multipolar ballistic missile world", Bolton said, adding that no formal steps had yet been taken but that the United States would exit the treaty "in due course".

Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton has said alleged Russian meddling in United States elections had backfired on Moscow.

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The president has raised the possibility of imposing sanctions but said halting an arms deal would "hurt us more than it would hurt them".

"Talking about China on the issue of unilaterally pulling out of the treaty is completely mistaken", spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

"If that happens, then we're talking an unconstrained worldwide arms race that would leave America and its allies and everybody else less secure", says Kimball.

In an interview with Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy, Bolton on Monday accused Russia of having violated the treaty for the past five years. "Neither does Russia. They can annihilate each other many times over", said associate professor Marianne Hanson, a nuclear arms control expert from the University of Queensland.

The Kremlin denied any such violation and suggested that it was Washington - and not Moscow - that had failed to comply with the pact.

China is not a signatory to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which the United States signed with the then Soviet Union in the 1980s, but Trump said Monday that Beijing should be included in the accord.

"The INF is something that matters more to USA allies in Europe than it does to the USA, since they are the ones in range of INF weapons", Bell told CNN.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shake hands prior to their talks in Moscow, Russia, October 22, 2018.

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In April 2017, the former commander of US forces in the Pacific, Harry Harris, warned the US Senate that the US had "no comparable capability" to China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) rocket force because of US' adherence to the INF treaty.

The INF resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.

In talks the previous day with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, and a dinner with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, he said he discussed United States plans for withdrawal from the 1987 treaty, among other issues, the news service reported.

Trump's announcement has raised concerns globally, with the European Commission urging the United States and Russian Federation to pursue talks to preserve the treaty and Beijing calling on Washington to "think twice". "We're going to pull out".

Bell doubted that a withdrawal from the treaty would cause a serious rupture of the current strategic balance.

"Right now, we don't have any prospects whatsoever for a new deal", Peskov said.

"We could end up sleepwalking into a new global arms race", says Ambassador Burt, now a managing partner in security issues at McLarty Associates in Washington. "Actually, we reduced the role of nuclear weapons to the historic minimum".

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