Washington: Ahead of the crucial Nuclear Security Summit, Republican presidential front-runner Donald 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, Trump 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.
During a 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."
"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 Nuclear Security Summit (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.