Washington, Mar 31: The White House has criticised Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for his view favouring countries like South Korea and Japan acquiring nuclear weapons to defend themselves.
"Mr Trump's suggestion that somehow we should encourage our allies in South Korea to develop nuclear weapons is directly contrary to a policy that the US has long pursued, and is directly contrary to a policy that the international community has long supported," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
Right now, the US policy to denuclearise Korean peninsula is strongly supported by the broad international community, he said.
"It's hard for me to imagine why it would be a good idea to give the North Koreans any justification or any incentive to further accelerate their nuclear weapons program. It doesn't make any sense," Earnest said.
"What protects South Korea and Japan is knowing that they have the steadfast support of the most powerful country in the world. And the US will stand shoulder to shoulder with them as they confront the nuclear menacing from North Korea," he said.
"They, rightly, take great comfort in that. And it is why it's particularly important that our country is led by a Commander-in-Chief who understands the consequences of his words and his policy decisions," he added.
Earnest was responding to a question on the statement made by Trump earlier in which he suggested that South Korea and Japan can acquire nuclear weapons.
"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 had said during a CNN town hall 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 had said.