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Obama to propose cutting U.S. strategic nuclear weapons by one-third


U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver a speech on Wednesday outlining plans to reduce stockpiles of U.S. strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third, a senior White House official said.

In the speech to be delivered at the historic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Obama will state that the United States is ready to reduce the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads from the 1,550 allowed the United States and Russia under their New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to roughly 1,000.

Going into effect in February 2011, the New START also restricts the number of delivery vehicles for nuclear warheads, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, to 800.

In addition, Obama is expected to propose the scaling down of tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. Tactical nuclear weapons have smaller yields than strategic warheads and are not restricted under the New START.

Obama, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his ambition to achieve a world without nuclear weapons, aims to cut nuclear weapons arsenals in both the United States and Russia through negotiations.

He is also likely to announce plans to host a nuclear security summit in the United States in 2016, the final year of his second term.