The Donald Trump government has considered the possibility of carrying out the first US nuclear test since 1992 as a warning to Russia and China, the Washington Post reported on Friday, which would mean a breakdown of the defense policy followed by the country.
According to the US newspaper, which quotes a senior government official and two former officials, all on condition of anonymity, the discussion of that possibility took place during a meeting held on May 15.
It came after US officials claimed that Russia and China are conducting nuclear tests.
Moscow and Beijing denied it, and Washington has provided no evidence of their claims.
For the top administration official quoted by the Washington Post, demonstrating that the United States is capable of conducting a test “quickly” would be a useful negotiating tactic at a time when Washington is trying to conclude a tripartite agreement with Russia and China on nuclear weapons.
The meeting ended without a decision, and sources diverge on the future of the discussions.
Beatrice Fihn of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the group that won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, warned that a nuclear test by the United States could “plunge us into a new Cold War.”
The Trump administration has made decisions that have shaken American defense policy on numerous occasions.
This information from the Washington Post was published after the US president announced his intention to withdraw his country from the Open Skies Treaty, after accusing Russia of violating it.
The treaty, which entered into force in 2002, authorizes signatory countries to conduct observation flights over the territories of other states to verify military movements.
It is the third international defense agreement from which President Trump decides to withdraw the United States, after the pact on the Iranian nuclear program, denounced in 2018, and the INF treaty on medium-range ground missiles, abandoned in 2019.