US to talk with Russia on reducing warheads

Updated: 2012-03-26 15:48


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SEOUL - US President Barack Obama said here on Monday that his country and Russia will discuss reducing tactical weapons and warheads in reserve, adding that the United States has "more nuclear weapons than we need."

Giving a speech at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Obama said that even after New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), signed between the United States and Russia in 2010, the United States will still have more than 1,500 deployed nuclear weapons, and some 5,000 warheads.

"I firmly believe that we can ensure the security of the United States and our allies, maintain a strong deterrent against any threat, and still pursue further reductions in our nuclear arsenal, " he said.

Obama said the United States will continue to seek discussions with Russia on reducing not only strategic nuclear warheads, but also tactical weapons and warheads in reserve.

"I'm confident that, working together, we can continue to make progress and reduce our nuclear stockpiles," he added.

Regarding nuclear security, Obama said that the international community has made it harder than ever for terrorists to acquire nuclear materials, but much is still being stored without adequate protection. "The danger of nuclear terrorism remains one of the greatest threats to global security."

For the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit, Obama expected more tangible and concrete commitments to secure or completely remove nuclear materials will be made by participants.

As for the peaceful use of nuclear power, Obama said, "with rising oil prices and a warming climate, nuclear energy will only become more important. Yet the process of producing nuclear energy also makes it possible for terrorists to reach nuclear weapons. Therefore, improving nuclear security is crucial for the safe use of nuclear energy."

"When we enhance nuclear security, we're in a stronger position to harness safe, clean nuclear energy. When we develop new, safer approaches to nuclear energy, we reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism and proliferation," he said.