US DEFENCE Secretary Ashton Carter has announced planned spending of $108 billion (£83bn) over the next five years on new nuclear weapons.
Speaking from the Minot air base in North Dakota, where B-52 strategic bombers and Minuteman ballistic missiles are stationed, Mr Carter pledged to build a new generation of weapons and delivery systems as well as reviewing the doctrines for their use.
“A diverse and dynamic spectrum of nuclear threats still exists,” he claimed, including a risk of “smaller but still unprecedentedly terrible attacks, for example by Russia or North Korea.”
In Monday night’s presidential campaign debate, Republican candidate Donald Trump rejected the first use of nuclear weapons after his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton claimed that he might press the nuclear button if he was insulted on Twitter.
Billionaire Mr Trump also said he was “smart” to dodge income tax and hailed his racist claims that Barack Obama was not a US citizen.