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Kennedy's famous Cold War speech in this once-divided city

by Harriett Griver (2019-08-10)

2 months agoBERLIN President Obama will renew his call Wednesday to reduce the world's nuclear stockpiles, including a proposed one-third reduction in U.S. and Russian warhead arsenals, a senior administration official says.

That would bring the total number of warheads in each country to about 1,000.

Mr. Obama will make his case during a speech at Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate. His address comes nearly 50 years after John F. Kennedy's famous Cold War speech in this once-divided city.

The president has previously called for reductions in the stockpiles and isn't expected to outline a timeline for the renewed push. But by addressing the issue in a major foreign policy speech, Mr. Obama is signaling a desire to rekindle an issue that was a centerpiece of his early first-term national security agenda.

He will also call for 부평출장업소 reducing the number of U.S. and Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, the official said.

The president discussed non-proliferation with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they met Monday on the sidelines of the Group of 8 summit in Northern Ireland. During Mr. Obama's first term, the U.S. and Russia agreed to limit their stockpiles to 1,550 as part of the New START Treaty.

It's unclear whether Mr. Obama will seek further reductions through a new treaty or a non-binding agreement that wouldn't require congressional ratification. Republicans on Capitol Hill are likely to resist any further cuts in U.S. stockpiles.

Mr. Obama's calls for cooperation with Moscow come at a time of tension between the U.S. and Russia, which are supporting opposite sides in Syria's civil war. Russia also remains wary of U.S. missile defense plans in Europe, despite U.S. assurances that the shield is not aimed at Moscow.

Also in Wednesday's speech, Mr. Obama will press Congress to pass a nuclear test ban treaty, seeking to revive an effort that has stalled in recent years.

The official insisted on anonymity in order to preview the issue before the president's speech.

The official said Mr. Obama is seeking to align "U.S. nuclear policies to the 21st century security environment, reaffirming that the United States will maintain a credible deterrent while taking steps to reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons in our security strategy."

Nuclear stockpile numbers are closely guarded secrets in most nations that possess them, but private nuclear policy experts say no countries other than the U.S. and Russia are thought to have more than 300. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that France has about 300, China about 240, Britain about 225, and Israel, India and Pakistan roughly 100 each.