Asked what President Bush's position is on the possible resumption by the United States of underground nuclear testing, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said:
"The President has said that we will continue to adhere to the no-testing policy. If that would change in the future, we would never rule out the possible need to test to make certain that the stockpile, particularly as it's reduced, is reliable and safe. So he has not ruled out testing in the future, but there are no plans to do so."
Fleischer reminded reporters that President Bush under an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he plans "to reduce the number of weapons in the American arsenal down to some 1,700 to 2,200 weapons. As those weapons are reduced, some will be removed from operational status and are earmarked for destruction; others will be replaced in retired status, awaiting eventual destruction, and still others will be maintained in a non-deployed status as a hedge against unforeseen technical or international events," Fleischer said.