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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Trump administration has sketched out a framework that it hopes will avoid a three-way arms race as a deadline nears for extending the only remaining nuclear arms control deal with Russia and as China looks to expand its nuclear forces.

Ambassador Marshall Billingslea, the special presidential envoy for arms control, spoke with The Associated Press about negotiations with Russia while touring some of the top nuclear research labs and production sites in the United States.

Last week’s visit to New Mexico, Texas and Tennessee comes as facilities ramp up modernization of the country’s multibillion-dollar nuclear enterprise, which includes capabilities for producing the plutonium cores used in warheads and technology for aiding nonproliferation of weapons around the globe.

Billingslea said the proposed agreement would be ambitious and that the time is right to “go down this path.”

“As President Trump has made clear, he intends to and has shown a way ahead with the Russian federation — and ultimately with China — that we can do something that no one has ever done before,” he said.

Signed in 2010, the New START treaty limits the United States and Russia to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. It represents the only remaining nuclear arms control deal between the two countries after they both withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year.

Billingslea said the existing New START treaty has loopholes and that any new agreement with Russia should include both nuclear and conventional warheads and bolster verification protocols and transparency. With such an agreement in place, he said China ultimately would not have much of a choice and would need to join such a framework.

“The world is not going to sit by and allow China to simply do what it currently thinks it’s going to do in terms of more than doubling it’s nuclear stockpile,” he said. “So the president has made clear he doesn’t want a three-way arms race. It’s completely counterproductive and unnecessary.”

Arguing that its stockpile is small, China has said it would participate only if the U.S. agrees to nuclear parity among all nations. Russia has suggested that if China were part of the pact, other countries would need to be included as well.

Billingslea said the U.S. wants to work toward joint verification experiments with Russia and China, noting that previous iterations of the treaty had allowed for such work before it was renegotiated a decade ago by the Obama administration.

“We need to get the experts together to get comfortable with technical solutions that enable meaningful arms control going forward,” he said, with the goal being security and stability in Europe and Asia.

Still, the Trump administration and Congress are pushing ahead with plans started during the Obama administration to ensure the United States’ own nuclear capabilities. Billions of dollars are being funneled toward work to replace aging plutonium cores in the arsenal and projects managed by the National Nuclear Security Administration at Los Alamos and Sandia national labs in New Mexico and other federal sites tied to the nuclear program.

Much of the infrastructure across the complex is decades old. NNSA Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, who also visited last week, said work has been deferred in some cases for as many as 30 years.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

News Source: wtop.com

Tags: arms control with russia

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Kim Kardashian Is At The End Of Her Rope As Kanye West Is Off His Meds, Source Says

Rumors about Kim Kardashian and husband Kanye West’s marriage have been swirling for weeks ever since the rapper and presidential hopeful made a series of surprising statements at a campaign rally and on social media. Now, a source close to the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star claimed that she has reached “the end of her rope — again” and feels “like she can only take so much.”

As People reported, the couple has been contemplating divorce for some time. Kanye himself recently claimed that he has been trying to divorce his wife in a now-deleted tweet.

Kanye has continued to use his social media platform to rail against Planned Parenthood and his record label to the point where he was banned from Twitter for posting the phone number of an editor at Forbes. He also posted a video of himself appearing to urinate on one of his Grammys, as The Inquisitr previously reported.

The entire situation is reportedly causing Kim to feel frustrated.

“He’s off his meds,” the source said. “He promised he’d stay on them. The last time, part of his negotiation with Kim was that he’d get back on his medication and he would work very hard to control his impulses. He made a lot of promises. And now those promises are broken, less than a month later.”

Kanye was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as Kim revealed in July, but said that he opts not to take pharmaceuticals in order to treat his mental health because it changes his personality.

  Brad Barket / Getty Images

The mother of North, 7, and Chicago, 2, and sons Saint, 4, and Psalm, 16 months is apparently worried about the impact the situation is having on her kids.

“He’s on very thin ice with her right now, and she’s truly trying to decide what to do to protect the kids, but also her own sanity. The whole thing is discouraging and difficult for her.”

Kim is said to have not known that Kanye was going to go on his latest social media rant, and while she wants to support her partner, she is also feeling like she can’t force him to take the steps he needs to in order to take care of his mental health.

The source continued to say that Kim is in control of much in her life, but feels powerless in this situation. She is said to not be worried about his presidential ambitions but simply wants him to be happy and to be a good father.

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