Acting Undersecretary of State Anita Friedt listens to a question during a press conference on the Review of the Nuclear Posture 2018 at the Pentagon on Friday, February 2. Jacquelyn Martin AP Photo

WASHINGTON – The government of President Donald Trump announced that it will give continuity to a large part of the nuclear weapons policy of former President Barack Obama, but will adopt a more energetic stance with Russia. 

He said on Friday that it is necessary to convince Moscow that it will face “terribly unacceptable costs” even if it threatens Europe with a limited atomic attack.

The comprehensive review of nuclear policy does not foresee a increase in the arsenal of strategic atomic weapons of the United States, a position that contrasts with the one Trump propounded in a tweet shortly before assuming the presidency, that the country “must reinforce and expand considerably its nuclear capacity until the world returns to reason against atomic weapons. “

In his speech at the State of the Union on Tuesday, Trump did not mention any expansion, although he said that the nuclear arsenal must have the capacity to deter acts of aggression.

In a 74-page report that summarises the conclusions of the review, Washington describes North Korea as a “clear and serious threat” to the United States and its allies. 

If North Korean launches any nuclear attack against the United States or its allies, it will mean “the end of that regime.”

Washington also considered China a possible nuclear adversary and noted that the US arsenal is designed to “prevent Beijing from mistakenly concluding” that it can take advantage if it uses its atomic weapons in Asia, or that “the use of nuclear weapons on a limited scale is acceptable. “

Trump ordered a year ago, the revision, led by the Pentagon of the US nuclear arsenal and the policies that govern it. 

In a written statement, Trump said the US strategy is designed to reduce the possibility of using atomic weapons. 

Apparently in reference to the threat of a catastrophic cyber attack, Trump said that Washington seeks to reinforce the deterrence against major actions against the United States and its allies, including those “that do not come in the form of nuclear weapons.”

Groups defending the control of arms attacked the report, officially known as a “review of the nuclear posture”, that is ordinarily held at the beginning of a new government.

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