Donald Trump has called for the US to “greatly strengthen and expand” its nuclear capabilities.
The President-elect, who takes office next month, said the US must take such action “until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”.
Mr Trump spoke hours after President Vladimir Putin said Russia needs to bolster its military nuclear potential.
The US has 7,100 nuclear weapons and Russia has 7,300, according to the US Non-partisan Arms Control Association.
Mr Trump’s defeated democratic rival Hillary Clinton repeatedly cast her opponent during the campaign as too erratic and lacking in the diplomatic skills required to avoid a nuclear war.
She mocked him by saying “a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes”.
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