Washington: A nuclear-armed Pakistan is a "very very vital problem", Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has said and asserted that the country needs to "get a hold of" its situation. "Pakistan is a very, very vital problem and really vital country for us because they have a thing called nuclear weapons. They have to get a hold of their situation," Trump told CNN during a town hall in Wisconsin, where the Republican presidential primary is scheduled for 5 April.
Meanwhile, ahead of the crucial Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), Trump has favoured countries like Japan and South Korea developing their own nuclear weapons capabilities to defend themselves rather than the US protecting them. However, he also claimed that he is against spread of nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation. The real estate magnate also stated that nuclear proliferation was fast spreading and claimed that Iran is going to have nuclear weapons capability in 10 years' time.
"When I see that and when I see it put in a park because it was mostly Christians, although many others were killed other than Christians, I think it's just absolutely a horrible story," he said referring to the terrorist attack in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore on Easter Sunday that claimed 74 lives and injured over 300 others.
At the town hall discussion in Wisconsin it was pointed out to Trump that "it has been a US policy for decades to prevent Japan from getting a nuclear weapon."
Pat came the reply.
"Can I be honest, are you? Maybe it's going to have to be time to change, because so many people, you have, Pakistan has it, you have China has it. You have so many other countries are now having it (nuclear weapons)...," Trump said.
Asked if "some proliferation is OK", Trump said, "No, no, not proliferation. I hate nuclear more than any(one)." Trump's remarks come just days ahead of the NSS this week which will be attended by a host of world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"One of the dumbest I've ever seen signed ever, ever, ever by anybody, Iran is going to have it within 10 years. Iran is going to have it," the 69-year-old tycoon said, referring to the nuclear deal made with Iran by world powers earlier this year.
"At some point we have to say we're better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we're better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself," Trump said when asked if he has any problem with Japan and South Korea having nuclear weapons.
"Look, you have North Korea has nuclear weapons. He doesn't have a carrier yet but he has got nuclear weapons. He soon will have. We don't want to pull the trigger," Trump argued. He also tended to indicate that he would be fine with Saudi Arabia having nuclear weapons. Asked "Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons?", Trump said, "Saudi Arabia, absolutely".
When asked again if he would be fine with Saudi Arabia having nuclear weapons, Trump said, "No, not nuclear weapons, but they have to protect themselves or they have to pay us." "Here's the thing, with Japan, they have to pay us or we have to let them protect themselves," Trump said. "You said, Japan, yes, it's fine, you get nuclear weapons, South Korea, you as well, and Saudi Arabia says we want them, too?" Trump was asked at the town hall.
"Can I be honest with you? It's going to happen, anyway. It's going to happen anyway. It's only a question of time. They're going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely," Trump said.
"You have so many countries already, China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia, you have so many countries right now that have them. Now, wouldn't you rather in a certain sense have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons? And they do have them. They absolutely have them. They have no carrier system yet but they will very soon," Trump said.
Trump asserted that China has tremendous power over North Korea. "If they wanted to, if they weren't toying with us, China would be the one that would get in and could make a deal in one day," he said.
First Published On : Mar 30, 2016 21:02 IST