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US calls Russia's nuclear development "irresponsible"

WASHINGTON, March 1 (KUNA) -- The United States called Russia an "irresponsible player" for boasting about an array of new weapons that President Vladimir Putin says would make its nuclear arsenal invulnerable to interception.
US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters in Washington Thursday, it was "unfortunate to watch" a video animation depicting "a nuclear attack on the US" that accompanied Putin's state-of-the-nation speech.
In his speech, he unveiled the latest additions to the country's nuclear arsenal, including underwater drones capable of launching nuclear strikes and hypersonic missiles.
"We don't regard that as behavior of a responsible player," Nauert said.
"We don't think that kind of imagery, in a cheesy video, as being a responsible action." She also said Putin's announcement confirmed, "what the US has known for a long time that Russia has been developing destabilizing weapons systems for more than a decade in direct violation of treaty obligations." Meanwhile, the Pentagon urged calm and expressed it was "fully prepared" to handle the developments.
"We're not surprised by the statement (from Putin). And the American people should rest assured that we are fully prepared," Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.
"We need to ensure we have a credible nuclear deterrent, and we are confident that we are prepared to defend this nation no matter what." The White House echoed the Pentagon's statement, saying that US deterrent capabilities "are and will remain second to none." Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the press that the country is "moving forward to modernize our nuclear arsenal and ensure our capabilities are unmatched." The Trump administration is asking for a major boost in military spending for 2019, requesting Congress approve a budget of USD 686 billion, one of the largest in US history.
The Pentagon's budget is USD 686 billion, an increase of USD 80 billion from 2017, which the Pentagon says is primarily aimed at countering Russia and China. (end) hy.mb