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Administration defends nuclear modernization

Thursday - 6/21/2012, 1:38pm  ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior Obama administration officials are defending efforts to modernize the nation's nuclear arsenal and dismissing Republican claims that President Barack Obama has cut a secret deal with Russia that would undermine missile defense.

Three administration officials testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday. At issue is implementation of the most recent U.S.-Russian treaty to reduce the number of nuclear weapons to 1,550 warheads. Rose Gottemoeller says the treaty has led to 25 short-notice inspections of missiles, bomber bases, facilities and test ranges.

The Senate ratified the treaty in December 2010 after weeks of contentious debate.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee backed the treaty. He's criticizing the administration for backtracking on robust funding for nuclear modernization. He argues the administration has been stalling on the modernization.

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