U.S. learning from ‘Skyfall’ explosion in Russia
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump tweaked Russia on Monday over a mysterious explosion he said was tied to a nuclear-powered missile that Moscow officials have described as a new class of weapon.
The blast occurred Thursday on a platform in the White Sea off Nyonoksa and reportedly caused a radiation spike in Severodvinsk. Weapons experts said they believe the explosion is related to a new missile Russia is developing that is powered by a nuclear reactor and intended to evade U.S. missile defense systems.
“The United States is learning much from the failed missile explosion in Russia,” Trump tweeted Monday, marking the first time a U.S. official has weighed in on the blast. “We have similar, though more advanced, technology. The Russian ‘Skyfall’ explosion has people worried about the air around the facility, and far beyond. Not good!”
Trump did not provide specifics about what intelligence agencies had gleaned from the explosion. The New York Times reported that U.S. intelligence officials believe the incident may have involved a failure with the SSC-X-9 Skyfall, a new class of missile.
Russia’s response to the incident has drawn comparisons to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, though the explosion appears to be smaller in scope.
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Trump’s Monday tweet came after the U.S. walked away this year from a nuclear weapons treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and then-Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The U.S. has long argued that Russia was violating the terms of that agreement, and Trump has said he wants a new deal that would include Russia and China.