TBS reported that President Trump disclosed to the press on Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the 34-nation Open Skies Agreement, which allows nations to fly their aircraft over each other’s territory and monitor military facilities. The network quoted the President as saying: “I think we have a very good relationship with Russia. But Russia didn’t adhere to the treaty, so until they adhere, we will pull out.” Noting that the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty between the U.S. and Russia expired last year, the network said international nuclear disarmament may suffer another setback as a result of the withdrawal.
NHK carried a similar report, saying that Secretary of State Pompeo released on Thursday a statement saying that the U.S. has decided to withdraw from the Open Skies Agreement. The network said while the U.S. will formally withdraw from the agreement in six months, it is expected to review its decision if Russia completely adheres to the treaty. The network said that in addition to abandoning the INF treaty last year, the Trump administration is demanding China’s participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which will expire next year, adding there is no prospect for the New START to be extended either. The network added that a U.S. nuclear disarmament expert expressed concern that the U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies Agreement may lead to an arms race.