President Obama roundly dismissed Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that U.S. allies in Southeast Asia acquire nuclear weapons, calling the Republican presidential candidate someone who “doesn’t know much about foreign policy or nuclear policy or the Korean Peninsula or the world generally.”
The president made his comments Friday at the close of a two-day summit on nuclear security. Speaking to reporters, Obama said that Trump’s willingness to undermine decades of international security policy and efforts towards nuclear disarmament rendered him unqualified for the presidency.
“We don’t want somebody in the Oval Office who doesn’t recognize how important that is,” Obama said.
The president isn’t the only world leader unnerved by Trump’s suggestion that South Korea and Japan arm themselves with nuclear weapons in defense against North Korea, allowing U.S. forces to withdraw from the region.
A day after Trump made these remarks to CNN’s Anderson Cooper during a town hall in Wisconsin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responded publicly.
“Whoever will become the next president of the United States, the Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy,” Abe said, according to CNN.
During the same town hall, Trump also floated the possibility of using nuclear weapons in a military conflict in Europe, saying, “You don’t want to, say, take everything off the table.”