Rapid City man, a former INF inspector, reacts to treaty collapse

INF Kupustin
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - President Trump gave notice of withdrawal from the 1987 treaty abolishing intermediate-range ground-based nuclear missiles, known as INF. Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is suspending the accord as well.

Russia reacted to the news that the U.S. will exit the INF Treaty--one of the last barriers preventing a full-on Cold War-like arms race in Europe — and there's already talk of a nuclear doomsday device visiting the U.S.

The INF Treaty banned land-based nuclear-capable missiles with a range between 300 and 3,200 miles during the Reagan administration when Russia and the US had populated much of Europe with intermediate-range nuclear missiles. The ban eliminated this entire class of missiles and went down as one of the most successful acts of arms control ever.

Al Hall, a former INF Inspector here in South Dakota, shares his thoughts on suspending the treaty.

"We have other countries in the world today that have access to nuclear weapons and they are not bound by this treaty. So in some respects, that's why I feel as far as the treaty's concerned, pulling out of it, may be the right thing to do because one, it unhand-cuffs the United States, because China is producing nuclear weapons, Iran is producing nuclear weapons, North Korea obviously has nuclear weapons. And by us staying with the treaty, we're not able to adjust to current events quickly."

Now that both countries have suspended it, the treaty will expire in six months if the U,S. and Moscow cannot come to an agreement.