Nuclear Policy News

All Posts (631)

Nuclear Policy News – June 30, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 30, 2016

 

TOP NEWS

Blinken: US protection prevents Korea, Japan from going nuclear
The Korea Times

India Finally Joins Missile Technology Control Regime
The Diplomat

The double-edged sword: US nuclear command and control modernization
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Andrew Futter

Simon Ramo Dies at 103; Helped Develop ICBMs in the Cold War
The New York Times

Pakistan's new Shaheen-III MRBM uses Chinese transporter, says source
IHS Jane’s 360

EAST ASIA

North Korea Blames US For Pyongyang’s Nuclear Push Against Washington’s ‘Hostile Acts’
International Business Times

North Korea accused the United States of continuing its “hostile acts” against the reclusive state and pressuring it to fortify its nuclear deterrence against Washington, state-run media reported Wednesday. The reaction comes one week after Pyongyang launched two intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

Blinken: US protection prevents Korea, Japan from going nuclear
The Korea Times

South Korea and Japan would seek to develop their own nuclear weapons if the U.S. ends protection of the Asian allies, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said Wednesday.

N. Korea pledges to bolster nuke deterrence against U.S.
The Korea Times

North Korea on Thursday reiterated its pledge to bolster its nuclear deterrence both in quality and quantity against what it called U.S. hostile acts, the country's state-run media said.

South Korea Hopes To Win Cambodia & Laos Over In North Korea Containment Visit
Forbes

South Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Hwang In-Moo is visiting Cambodia and Laos this week, as part of a global bid to court countries close to North Korea, which continues to openly defy U.N sanctions, with its most recent missile launch having taken place on June 22.

China pulls up chief negotiator for limited global support for anti-India position at NSG
The Times of India

The Chinese leadership has pulled up Wang Qun, its lead negotiator and Director General of the Arms Control Division at the Foreign Ministry, for failing to drum up significant global support for China's position in Seoul which blocked India's entry into the NSG.

MIDDLE EAST

Islamic State And The Threat Of WMDs
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Islamic State's crimes are horrific enough with its present capabilities, but a question increasingly asked among politicians and military officials is: What if IS were to acquire the unthinkable -- a weapon of mass destruction (WMD)?

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

AWE Burghfield anti-Trident protesters mark final day of campaign
BBC

The peaceful protest at AWE Burghfield saw a group of campaigners form a human blockade - closing one of the roads and numerous entrances to the site. Red crosses were tied to fences around the plant on Thursday to demonstrate "resistance to continuing proliferation nuclear weapons" in the UK.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan's new Shaheen-III MRBM uses Chinese transporter, says source
IHS Jane’s 360

Pakistan's new Shaheen-III medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) is carried by a Chinese-made 16-wheel transporter erector launcher (TEL), an Indian government source told IHS Jane's on condition of anonymity.

India Finally Joins Missile Technology Control Regime
The Diplomat

On Monday, as expected, India became the 35th member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), just days after its bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group was put on hold.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Nuclear Posture Review Architect: No Current Conditions for Nuke Reductions
Defense Daily Network

The conditions for further reducing the role and number of nuclear weapons in U.S. security strategy do not currently exist, according to the former policy director of the President Barack Obama administration’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, Brad Roberts.

Lawmakers: New helicopters needed now for ICBM security
Great Falls Tribune

Montana senators joined others Wednesday in a letter urging the Department of Defense to replace the UH-1N helicopters used at intercontinental ballistic missile bases.

OPINIONS

Missiles: The hidden force behind nuclear proliferation
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Masako Ikegami

Nuclear weapons consist of nuclear warheads and delivery systems. The two are inseparable. This fundamental fact, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is often left out of the discourse on nuclear disarmament.

Musudan missile launches
The Japan Times

It is possible that international sanctions and coordinated actions by the U.S., Japan and South Korea will only persuade North Korea to step up its provocative acts. The countries concerned should continue to emphasize to Pyongyang that only by abandoning its nuclear weapons and missile programs will North Korea be able to enjoy stability and prosperity.

The double-edged sword: US nuclear command and control modernization
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Andrew Futter

Keeping the nuclear command and control system simple, separate, and secure may not seem very sexy in today’s digital world of extraordinary technological advance, but it might be the best way to minimize miscalculation, accidents, and even unauthorized use of nuclear weapons.

India Should Leverage Its Domestic Nuclear Market to Soften China on NSG Membership
The Wire, Manpreet Sethi

India is understandably disappointed that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting at Seoul concluded without granting it admission. But then it was unrealistic in the first place to expect that a group whose raison d’etre has been to deny India nuclear technology could welcome the country so soon after it applied for membership.

Give North Korea what it wants
The Korea Times, Oh Young-jin

As Pyongyang boasted of progress made in re-entry technology, pivotal to striking the U.S. base in Guam, Seoul, Tokyo and Washington as well as the United Nations went through what has now become routine in the case of déjà vu. It's time to stop shaking our fists to the sky every time the North launched Taepodong or Musudan missiles.

U.S. can't ignore rising nuclear danger
CNN, Nickolas Roth

Americans and Russians made it through the Cold War because of rational leadership, restraint, policies that increased predictability and transparency and a lot of luck. The next president will need to rely on all of these in order to avert a nuclear disaster with Russia. Sober judgment will be essential. That's a fact that voters should keep in mind in November.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Simon Ramo Dies at 103; Helped Develop ICBMs in the Cold War
The New York Times

Simon Ramo, an engineer and entrepreneur who helped develop the rocket technology that changed the nature of the Cold War’s nuclear face-off and powered the first Americans into space, died on Monday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 103.

Bikini Islanders Still Deal With Fallout of U.S. Nuclear Tests, 70 Years Later
U.S. News & World Report

In 2014, the Marshall Islands claimed that the nine nuclear-armed nations – China, Britain, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States – have not fulfilled their treaty obligations. The Marshall Islanders are seeking legal action in the United Nations International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 29, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 29, 2016

TOP NEWS

S Korea, US and Japan in first ever joint missile drill
BBC

Xi says Beijing will not recognize N. Korea’s nuclear policy
Asia Times

What They Said Then, What We Know Now About the Iran Nuclear Deal (Part 2)
Foreign Policy Initiative

The New Nuclear Madman
Harvard Political Review, Ali Dastjerdi

A brighter future for Iranian nonproliferation?
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Farnaz Alimehri

EAST ASIA

North Korea’s long-range Scud can reach U.S. Yokosuka base: Seoul daily
The Japan Times

North Korea’s extended-range Scud missiles are capable of reaching the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, a Seoul daily reported Tuesday.

S Korea, US and Japan in first ever joint missile drill
BBC

South Korea, the US and Japan have conducted their first joint missile-tracking drill, in the waters off the US state of Hawaii. The move follows North Korea's repeated tests in recent months of mid-range ballistic missiles.

A Partial Success for the Musudan: Addendum
38 North

At a minimum, the Musudan is capable of completing a flight without tumbling out of control, at least some of the time, and even if it is no more precise than North Korea’s other missiles, it is still almost certainly accurate enough to hit, for example, the island of Guam.

Sanctions push North Korea closer to China
The Korea Times

The North Korean economy has become more reliant on China than ever as a result of U.N. Security Council (UNSC) latest that have cut off Pyongyang's trade routes with other countries, analysts said Wednesday.

Xi says Beijing will not recognize N. Korea’s nuclear policy
Asia Times

Chinese President Xi Jinping told South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Wednesday that he will not recognize North Korea’s policy of simultaneously pursuing nuclear advance and economic development.

MIDDLE EAST

What They Said Then, What We Know Now About the Iran Nuclear Deal
Foreign Policy Initiative

“Part II” of FPI’s three-part series analyzes the administration’s claims regarding sanctions relief and its intent to continue sanctioning Iran for aggression unrelated to its nuclear program

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

UK, US officials play down security implications of Brexit, but questions remain
RT News

British and American officials are fighting to play down fears over the security implications of Brexit, but questions are being raised within the UK. Key questions include the presence of Trident nuclear weapons in an increasingly unwilling host nation and the potential breakdown of those parts of the armed forces aligned – at least in principle – with Scotland.

Arms Expert: Russia Quick to Threaten Nuclear Strikes in Regional Conflicts
USNI News

The Soviet Union’s old doctrine was: You deter World War III with nuclear weapons. Now Russia’s new doctrine: Threaten to use nuclear weapons against any major power that may try to block Moscow from having its way in a regional conflict, a specialist in Russian nuclear strategy said on Monday.

SOUTH ASIA

India Must Not Make NSG Membership an Elemental Issue, Says Shyam Saran

The Indian Express

Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran discusses India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group with Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire.

OPINIONS

The New Nuclear Madman
Harvard Political Review, Ali Dastjerdi

Recently, President Obama openly condemned the madman strategy in an interview with the Atlantic, stating, “There are ways to deter, but it requires you to be very clear ahead of time about what is worth going to war for and what is not.” History has proven the madman theory to be a risky failure.

Does Russia Have a Coherent Nuclear Strategy?
The National Interest, Dave Majumdar

Does Russia have a coherent nuclear strategy? That was the question being debated at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington recently. Pavel Podvig, Nikolai Sokov, and Olga Oliker weigh in.

A brighter future for Iranian nonproliferation?
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Farnaz Alimehri

Any step taken toward making Iran a responsible member of the international community—especially verification of Iran’s civil nuclear energy program—is a positive move for both Iran and the rest of the world. Progress in Iran depends on the survival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and on further engagement with the nonproliferation community.

Confronted With Nuclear Launch, a President Can Fall Prey to Procedure
Foreign Policy In Focus, Russ Wellen

If you are expecting a president to call off a nuclear strike when all systems are go, you are sadly mistaken.

Missile Defense And Deterrence Equation In South Asia
Eurasia Review, Maimuna Ashraf

The strategic stability of South Asian landscape revolves around the corollary of nuclear deterrence. The stable or unstable deterrence influence the security dilemma, nuclear threshold, regional asymmetry, nuclear employment and peace accordingly. Few recent developments in the region have put the nuclear optimist assessment about the nuclear weapon’s impressive contribution and impression of deterrence equilibrium in constructing strategic stability, under stress.

The great delusion
The Indian Express, Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Indian discourse on the temporary setback in pursuing membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group has become a game of smoke and mirrors. There is no dishonor in trying for NSG membership and challenging an exclusionary global order.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Nuclear Radiation Detector Wins Coveted Prize For UMKC Professor And Team
KCUR

A device that could improve homeland security, help the military and protect workers in nuclear facilities and hospitals has won a coveted award for a team led by a UMKC professor.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - June 28, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 28, 2016

TOP NEWS

Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: What They Said Then, What We Know Now
The Foreign Policy Initiative

U.S.-UK alliance seen outweighing Brexit trade concerns
Reuters

India joins elite missile control group MTCR
BBC News

2016 World Nuclear Forces
DefenseNews

EAST ASIA

South Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Visits Cambodia, Laos
The Diplomat

Hwang In-moo will visit the two Southeast Asian states as part of a 12-member delegation to discuss bilateral defense cooperation, the country’s defense ministry said in a statement. The delegation will also include officials from the foreign ministry, presidential office and defense ministry.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: What They Said Then, What We Know Now
The Foreign Policy Initiative

To mark the first anniversary of the July 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, the Foreign Policy Initiative is publishing a three-part series that re-examines the Obama administration’s arguments on behalf of the deal in light of developments since the deal’s conclusion.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

U.S.-UK alliance seen outweighing Brexit trade concerns
Reuters

The United States looks unlikely to follow through on a threat to relegate Britain to second-class trade status once its ally leaves the European Union, as it weighs the potential costs of undermining the countries' close diplomatic and military ties.

SOUTH ASIA

India joins elite missile control group MTCR
BBC News

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar signed the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), aimed at preventing unchecked proliferation of missiles. As an MTCR member, India will now have access to crucial missile technologies.

India Continues NSG Membership Push, Despite Local and Chinese Opposition
DefenseNews

Despite US support, India was unable to gain entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the June 23-24 Seoul plenary meeting because of Chinese opposition. However, analysts in India say the government will continue its push to join the elite club.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

In Vienna, a Renewed Effort to Push the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
The Wire

Twenty years have passed since the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) opened for signature in 1996. Since then, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) has achieved a lot – 183 states have signed the treaty and 164 have ratified it, including some but not all nuclear weapon states.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Corker, McCain: Don’t Quit On Nuke Modernization
DefenseNews

Two top GOP senators are urging President Obama to stick with nuclear modernization plans, arguing he is bound by longstanding commitments he made to Congress.

OPINIONS

How Brexit could avert a new Cold War
Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Washington Post

The stunning British vote to leave the European Union has roiled foreign and economic ministers and central bankers across Europe and the United States. The political establishments on both sides of the Atlantic are finally beginning to get the message.

How the new nuclear-armed cruise missile might aid disarmament
Richard Woolgar-James, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The idea of banning nuclear armed cruise missiles is gaining traction, most notably through its promotion by former Secretary of Defense William Perry, the driving force behind the US’s current nuclear-armed cruise missile when it was birthed in the 1970’s and 80’s.

Why the US Navy Should Fear China’s New 093B Nuclear Attack Submarine
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/why-the-us-navy-should-fear-chinas-new-093b-nuclear-attack-16741Dave Majumdar, The National Interest

Is China’s new Type 093B nuclear-powered attack submarine on par with the U.S. Navy’s Improved Los Angeles-class boats?

SPECIAL INTEREST

2016 World Nuclear Forces
DefenseNews

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - June 27, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 27, 2016

TOP NEWS

Japan Could Go Nuclear 'Virtually Overnight' Joe Biden Tells Chinese President
Forbes

Brexit could put future of Britain’s only nuclear sub base in doubt
Stars and Stripes

Examining India’s unsuccessful NSG bid
Deutsche Welle

After Nuclear Missile Loss, Dems Vow to Keep Fighting
Defense News

Marine Researchers Shed Light on 'Nuclear Sharks'
ABC News

EAST ASIA

Russia, China won't accept N. Korea's nuclear, missile strategy
Yonhap News

The leaders of Russia and China have agreed that they will not accept North Korea's nuclear and missile strategy, but they reaffirmed their opposition to a possible deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.

Japan Could Go Nuclear 'Virtually Overnight' Joe Biden Tells Chinese President
Forbes

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, never one for a loss of words, told Chinese President Xi Jinping that Japan has the capacity to acquire nuclear weapons “virtually overnight.”

MIDDLE EAST

The lessons of the Iran deal
Sen. Chris Coons, CNN

Last summer, the international community reached a landmark agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Roughly one year later, Americans must ask ourselves: Has the deal succeeded?

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Brexit could put future of Britain’s only nuclear sub base in doubt
Stars and Stripes

Britain’s decision to break with the European Union could pose unintended security problems for NATO, including the alliance’s nuclear posture, if pro-EU Scotland launches a new push for independence.

Benedict: UK Exit From European Union Won’t Hinder Nuclear Sub Collaboration
US Naval Institute

The admiral responsible for the nuclear weapons component of ballistic missile submarines praised the “truly unique” relationship with the British naval officers who have similar responsibilities, and said that historic cooperation would not be affected by the Brexit vote.

NATO Secretary General appoints Rose Gottemoeller as next Deputy Secretary General
NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has decided to appoint Rose Gottemoeller from the US as the next Deputy Secretary General. ‎She will replace Ambassador Alexander Vershbow from the US, who took up his position in February 2012.

SOUTH ASIA

Examining India’s unsuccessful NSG bid
Deutsche Welle

For the past several weeks, India's central foreign policy goal had been to secure membership of the NSG - a 48-nation grouping that controls the export of technology and materials used to generate nuclear power and make atomic weapons.

India irked by China stalling its nuclear group membership
Washington Post

India expressed disappointment Sunday with China for raising procedural hurdles to the South Asian country joining the 48-nation group controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology.

Indian spies monitor 'nuclear trade' between Pakistan and North Korea
Daily Mail   

Indian intelligence agencies are now monitoring the nuclear trade between Pakistan and North Korea.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

After Nuclear Missile Loss, Dems Vow to Keep Fighting
Defense News

Top Democratic lawmakers fighting to quash the next-generation air-launched cruise missile suffered a setback this month, but they are signaling the fight’s not over.

Nuke Missile Collaboration Now Up To Air Force: Navy VADM Benedict
Breaking Defense

Air Force decisions in the coming months will “make or break the effective implementation of commonality” of using common, proven components on Navy and Air Force nuclear missiles said Vice Adm. Terry Benedict.

OPINIONS

Brexit is Good News for Russia, but a Headache for NATO
Dan De Luce and Paul McLeary, Foreign Policy

The Kremlin has spent years trying to create fissures within the NATO alliance and the European Union, but with little success. Now Britain’s vote to leave the EU fulfills Putin’s wish for a more divided Europe, one potentially preoccupied with its own disagreements while London’s influence recedes.

Space and the Right to Self Defense
Rebecca Heinrichs, Hudson Institute

Due to investments by U.S. adversaries in many of the same key technologies, they are becoming increasingly able to challenge U.S. military pre-eminence.

America Needs Nuclear Weapons—and the World Needs Us to Have Them
Jack Caravelli, Washington Free Beacon

Review: Brad Roberts, ‘The Case for Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century’

Club Membership
Michael Krepon, Arms Control Wonk

India tried hard to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group with strong backing from the Obama Administration. It was a bridge too far.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Marine Researchers Shed Light on 'Nuclear Sharks'
ABC News

Find out how sharks ended up living in a spot decimated by nuclear bomb testing during the Cold War.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - June 24, 2016

TOP NEWS

UN strongly condemns latest North Korean missile launches
The Washington Post

Scotland Seeks Independence Again After U.K. ‘Brexit’ Vote
NBC News

Pakistan, India, and the NSG: A Curious Case of Norms and Discrimination
The Diplomat

Scientists Are Trying to Make Nuclear Fusion with Frickin’ Lasers
Wired

EAST ASIA

UN strongly condemns latest North Korean missile launches
The Washington Post

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned two North Korean ballistic missile launches this week, calling them a “grave violation” of a ban on all ballistic missile activity that is contributing to the country’s nuclear weapons program.

A Partial Success for the Musudan
38 North

North Korea’s latest Musudan (Hwasong-10) missile test finally demonstrated the full performance of the missile’s propulsion system, and at least a minimally functional guidance system. The trajectory was not representative of an operational launch, and so leaves open questions about the performance of the reentry vehicle.

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. Seeks to Use Business to Lock In Iran Deal
The Wall Street Journal

The White House is pushing to ease the way for companies to complete deals with Iran, aiming to cement the landmark nuclear agreement reached last year and make it difficult for future administrations to undo it, senior U.S. officials said.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Scotland Seeks Independence Again After U.K. ‘Brexit’ Vote
NBC News

Scotland's government began moves Friday to hold a new referendum on independence from the U.K. after the "Brexit" vote, saying it faced being taken out of the European Union against its will.

SOUTH ASIA

China rejects bending rule for India to join nuclear club
Reuters

China maintains its opposition to India joining a group of nations seeking to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by controlling access to sensitive technology, said the head of the arms control department in China's Foreign Ministry.

Chinese navy offers glimpse of secretive nuclear-attack submarine
The Washington Times

China’s navy has allowed the world a brief glimpse of one of its most secretive military platforms ever — the 093B “Shang” nuclear attack submarine.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Pakistan, India, and the NSG: A Curious Case of Norms and Discrimination
The Diplomat

India and Pakistan recently applied for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and their applications are being considered during the plenary meeting of the NSG in Seoul on June 24, 2016.

OPINIONS

Sanctions busting
The Economist

The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is not happy. “Anyone who has ever trusted the Americans was eventually slapped by them,” he declared earlier this month. “The experience of nuclear talks proved that even if we compromise, the United States will not stop its destructive role.”

Iran’s Foreign Policy Is in Chaos. How Should America Respond?
John Allen Gay, The National Interest

Iran’s foreign-policy establishment is in chaos. The last week has seen a catena of maneuvers by the system’s key players. Rumors, reassignments and threats have been the order of the day. Yet determining how America should respond won’t be easy; indeed, it requires a fundamental vision of the U.S. approach to Iran.

The Expensive Pretzel Logic of Deterring Russia By Denial
Michael Kofman, War on the Rocks

The question of how to best deter Russia looms large over the upcoming NATO Summit hosted in Warsaw.  If this week’s news is anything to go by, the annual NATO gathering promises to be an eventful one. Germany’s Foreign Minister Steinmeier recently ridiculed the alliance’s BALTOPS exercise as “saber rattling,” while U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus defended the event.

How Russia Could Help Curb North Korea’s Nukes
Artyom Lukin and Rens Lee, Huffington Post

Russia is a key strategic player in Northeast Asia, borders on North Korea, has long experience in dealing with various Pyongyang regimes and provides goods and services vital to the North’s survival and well-being. The country could contribute significantly to international deliberations on how to restrain the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Scientists Are Trying to Make Nuclear Fusion with Frickin’ Lasers
Wired

Big science is really small. In Central Europe, a 17-mile loop looks for subatomic particles. In Washington and Louisiana, massive L-shaped detectors sniff for invisible gravitational perturbations. And a national lab in California’s lumpy hill country is home to a 10-story building where scientists are using laser beams to try and figure out nuclear fusion.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - June 23, 2016

TOP NEWS

North Korea’s Missile Tests Show Real Progress
Voice of America

Russia seen putting new nuclear-capable missiles along NATO border by 2019
Reuters

20 Years Later, the CTBT Is Still in Limbo
The Diplomat

The Top-Secret Cold War Plan to Keep Soviet Hands Off Middle Eastern Oil
Politico

EAST ASIA

North Korea’s Missile Tests Show Real Progress
Voice of America

The U.N. Security Council met late Wednesday in an emergency session to discuss North Korea's latest missile tests, which violate U.N. resolutions.

North Korea’s Successful Missile Test Shows Program’s Progress, Analysts Say
The New York Times

A day after North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile into high altitude — after five consecutive launch failures — the country’s state-run media proclaimed the test a success on Thursday, and quoted Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, as boasting that his arsenal could strike United States forces in the Pacific.

Steely will seen behind Kim’s push for North Korea weapons that work
Reuters

Images in March of a smiling Kim Jong Un inspecting a silver sphere, purported to be a miniaturized nuclear warhead but likened in the media to a disco ball, burnished the North Korean leader's international image as deluded and reckless.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia seen putting new nuclear-capable missiles along NATO border by 2019
Reuters

Russia is likely to deploy advanced nuclear-capable missiles in its European exclave of Kaliningrad by 2019, casting the move as a reply to a U.S.-backed missile shield, and may one day put them in Crimea too, sources close to its military predict.

NATO head says Europe safer with Britain in EU
U.S. News and World Report

Britain's remaining in the European Union is key for trans-Atlantic security and common efforts to fight violent extremism, the chief of the NATO alliance said Wednesday. "It's up to the people of Great Britain to decide whether to remain or leave," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told The Associated Press. "But what I can do is tell you what matters for NATO. A strong U.K. in a strong Europe is good for the U.K., but it's also good for NATO."

SOUTH ASIA

France backs India’s NSG bid, urges members to take ‘positive decision’
The Times of India

After the United States, France has strongly backed India's membership bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group and has asked member nations to take a "positive decision".

In or Out of NSG, New Delhi’s Carried Out a Diplomatic Masterstroke
The Diplomat

It’s going right down to the wire and Indian diplomacy has never looked more self-assured and confident. New Delhi is openly taking on China in a manner few states have dared in recent times. By so doing it is laying down new terms for global politics and setting new parameters for Indian foreign policy.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

20 Years Later, the CTBT Is Still in Limbo
The Diplomat

It’s been 20 years since the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996, but it has yet to enter into force because eight states have been unable to ratify it.

OPINIONS

How Obama Could Revolutionize Nuclear Weapons Strategy Before He Goes
Bruce Blair, Politico

During the past half century, no president has dared to change the nation’s nuclear strategy in any fundamental way. Mired in a Cold-War mind-set, the strategy today has grown less and less connected to the contemporary world and its emerging security threats: terrorism, proliferation, cyber warfare, economic disruption, mass refugee migrations and climate change. 

The ‘Inevitable War’ Between The U.S. and China
Jonathan Broder, Newsweek

Roughly 15 years ago, a Chinese fighter jet pilot was killed when he collided with an American spy plane over the South China Sea. The episode marked the start of tensions between Beijing and Washington over China’s claim to the strategic waterway.

Top Scientists Call for Obama to Take Nuclear Missiles off Hair-Trigger Alert
Union of Concerned Scientists

More than 90 prominent US scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and 90 National Academy of Sciences members, sent a letter to President Obama yesterday urging him to take US land-based nuclear missiles off hair-trigger alert and remove launch-on-warning options from US warplans.

We Already Have An Arsenal Plane: It’s Called The B-52
T.J. May and Mike Pietrucha, War on the Rocks

Despite obstacles presented by the modern acquisition process, the Department of Defense seems determined to find solutions to its ever-growing list of requirements. DARPA’s endless stream of creative programs teeter on the fine line between science fiction and reality. Defense journals and blogs alike are abuzz with recent projects executed or announced by the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), which is focused on technological applications for current military problems.  

SPECIAL INTEREST

The Top-Secret Cold War Plan to Keep Soviet Hands Off Middle Eastern Oil
Politico

On a cool summer day in London in 1951, an American CIA officer told three British oil executives about a top-secret U.S. government plan. The goal was to ravage the Middle East oil industry if the region were ever invaded by the Soviet Union. Oil wells would be plugged, equipment and fuel stockpiles destroyed, refineries and pipelines disabled—anything to keep the USSR from getting its hands on valuable oil resources. The CIA called it the “denial policy.”

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 21, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 21, 2016

TOP NEWS

N. Korea preparing Musudan missile launch: source
Yonhap News

S. Korean envoy rules out bilateral meeting with N. Korea in Beijing
The Korea Times

Russia’s Pacific Fleet to Receive New Ballistic Missile Sub by Year-End
The Diplomat

New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty: Time to Stop the Damage to U.S. National Security
The Heritage Foundation, Michaela Dodge

Donald Trump’s Nuclear Envy Problem, and Ours
Foreign Policy, Jeffrey Lewis

EAST ASIA

China bans export of more 'dual-use' goods to North Korea
IHS Jane’s 360

China has banned the export of 40 items to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) that could be used to develop nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction.

N. Korea preparing Musudan missile launch: source
Yonhap News

North Korea appears to be preparing to launch a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile from the east coast, a South Korean government source said Tuesday, with Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) confirming that the reclusive country could move forward with another test fire.

Japan military on alert for possible North Korean ballistic missile launch
Reuters

Japan's military was on alert for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, a government source said on Tuesday, with media reporting its navy and anti-missile Patriot batteries have been told to shoot down any projectile heading for Japan.

S. Korean envoy rules out bilateral meeting with N. Korea in Beijing
The Korea Times

A South Korean nuclear envoy said Tuesday he has "no plans" to hold a bilateral meeting with his North Korean counterpart on the sidelines of a regional security forum in Beijing this week.

U.S. envoy urges N. Korea to abide by U.N. resolutions amid missile reports
Yonhap News

North Korea should not take actions that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions, a top U.S. diplomat handling Pyongyang said Tuesday, amid media reports that the North appears to be preparing to launch an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia successfully test-fires anti-ballistic missile – Defense Ministry
RT News

The Russian Air Force has test-fired a domestically built short-range anti-ballistic missile to verify its performance. The system is already in use with the military as part of Russia’s missile defense shield.

Russia’s Pacific Fleet to Receive New Ballistic Missile Sub by Year-End
The Diplomat

The nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Vladimir Monomakh will join Russia’s Pacific Fleet before the end of the year, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Korolev, told TASS news agency over the weekend.

SOUTH ASIA

About NPT and India, China says it 'cares about rules' but US 'just sets rules'
Times of India

The diplomatic war between China and the US over India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) just got nasty. Now, China says it "cares about the rules" while the "US just sets the rules."

NSG entry: ‘Any exemption to India must also apply to Pakistan’
The Indian Express

In an unusual move, China’s state media on Tuesday defended Pakistan’s nuclear record, saying it was AQ Khan who was responsible for atomic proliferation which was not backed by the government and argued that any exemption to India for NSG entry should also be given to Pakistan.

India's diplomacy, China's stance at play on NSG membership issue
International Business Times

India's entry into the nuclear supplier group (NSG) is being discussed among its member nations, China stated on Tuesday, a day after it said that India's application to the elite club, which controls the trade in nuclear technology, was not on the agenda of the bloc's plenary in Seoul.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

China calls for integrated solution to enhance WMD non-proliferation: envoy
Xinhua

A Chinese envoy to the UN on Monday called for an integrated approach to enhance the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

OPINIONS

New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty: Time to Stop the Damage to U.S. National Security
The Heritage Foundation, Michaela Dodge

In April 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Six years later, an analysis of New START’s impact on U.S. national security is as timely as it is instructive. New START has not accomplished the Administration’s main goal of providing predictability and strategic stability between Russia and the United States.

Donald Trump’s Nuclear Envy Problem, and Ours
Foreign Policy, Jeffrey Lewis

The Republican frontrunner isn't the only one stoking fears about Russian missiles. But size doesn’t matter when it comes to nuclear arsenals.

India's embarrassing North Korean connection
Al Jazeera, Nilanjana Bhowmick

On Monday, the NSG begins a week-long meeting in Seoul, South Korea, to decide on the membership of both India and Pakistan. The controversy surrounding the training of North Korean scientists may or may not have much bearing on the outcome of the Seoul meeting, but it does amount to a curious footnote to the global debate on nuclear non-proliferation and missile technology control.

The International Nuclear Community Should Pressure China to Accept India’s NSG Membership
The Diplomat, Bhavani Castro

Giving India NSG membership will not undermine non-proliferation efforts. On the contrary, it will strengthen the credibility of the regime by accepting a growing and influential country into an important nuclear trade club. Engaging new actors in nuclear dialogues is a necessary step in a world where security and peace are discussed behind closed doors and with few actors in the room, leaving aside the opinions of nations like India.

New evidence of Iran’s chicanery — and the Obama administration’s
The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin

“The Obama administration didn’t comment about the uranium in December when the IAEA released its report; the finding got only one brief mention in the 16 pages.” The report continues: “In recent interviews, current and former U.S. officials asked about the uranium finding said the working assumption now is that it is tied to nuclear weapons development that Iran is believed to have pursued more than a decade ago.”

SPECIAL INTEREST

Tour Secret WWII Lab with Manhattan Project App
Live Science

The efforts during World War II to develop an atomic bomb were once shrouded in secrecy, but today, the story of the so-called Manhattan Project isn't just public — you can now visit the project on your smartphone. A new app called "Los Alamos: Secret City of the Manhattan Project" takes users back to New Mexico in the 1940s, to the facilities where scientists, government administrators and the U.S. military convened to create the most devastating weapons known to humankind.

Albuquerque’s Space Age jewels
The Space Review

Located along the edge of Kirtland Air Force Base, the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History showcases exhibits of personalities and technologies that shaped the Nuclear Age. Many of these systems, namely intermediate range and intercontinental ballistic missiles, were converted for use as space launch vehicles.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 20, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 20, 2016

TOP NEWS

Uranium Provides New Clue on Iran’s Past Nuclear Arms Work
The Wall Street Journal

Israel confirms it’ll ratify nuke test ban, ‘at the right time’
Times of Israel

Just Leave It: NATO’s Nuclear Weapons Policy at the Warsaw Summit
Arms Control Association, Tom Sauer

Why the United States Needs an LRSO Capability
Heritage Foundation, Michaela Dodge, John Venable

A Nuclear Weapon That America Doesn’t Need
The New York Times, Dianne Feinstein, Ellen O. Tauscher

EAST ASIA

North Korea diplomat expected to attend forum with U.S. envoy in China
Reuters

A North Korean diplomat who was part of "six-party talks" aimed at ending the country's nuclear program arrived in China on Monday where she is expected to attend a forum in which the U.S. nuclear envoy will take part, Japan's Kyodo news agency said.

Debris likely from N. Korean missile washes ashore in Japan
The Asahi Shimbun

What appears to be part of the casing of a ballistic missile launched by North Korea has washed ashore in Tottori Prefecture facing the Sea of Japan.

MIDDLE EAST

Uranium Provides New Clue on Iran’s Past Nuclear Arms Work
The Wall Street Journal

The Obama administration has concluded that uranium particles discovered last year at a secretive Iranian military base likely were tied to the country’s past, covert nuclear weapons program, current and former officials said, a finding that contradicts Tehran’s longstanding denials that it was pursuing a bomb.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Putin: ‘We know when US will get new missile threatening Russia’s nuclear capability’
RT News

The US anti-missile defense systems being installed near Russia’s borders can be “inconspicuously” transformed into offensive weapons, Vladimir Putin has said, adding that he knows “year by year” how Washington will develop its missile program.

SOUTH ASIA

India not opposed to Pakistan's membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group: Swaraj
Dawn

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj while addressing a press conference on Sunday said India will not protest Pakistan's entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN and EU to pressure Israel on Middle East nuclear test ban
The Jerusalem Post

The UN and the EU have launched a diplomatic initiative to persuade Israel to agree and declare a ban on nuclear tests in the Middle East.

Israel confirms it’ll ratify nuke test ban, ‘at the right time’
Times of Israel

Israel said Monday it would ratify a treaty banning nuclear tests, a move that could be significant for Middle East peace, but only at “the right time.”

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

USAF general: Pentagon not revisiting nuclear modernization plans
IHS Jane’s 360

A top US Air Force (USAF) general told Congress on 16 June the Department of Defense (DoD) has not been asked to review potential changes to nuclear arms modernization plans, after a senior administration official said earlier this month that changes are being reviewed by the White House.

National military, policy experts to attend nuclear symposium
Albuquerque Journal

The head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will join other national military and policy experts in Albuquerque next week for a symposium on the nation’s nuclear weapons complex.

U.S. Program Deterring Nuclear Smuggling Can’t Measure Progress
The Washington Free Beacon

The federal program responsible for detecting and deterring the international smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials cannot measure its progress, a government watchdog says.

OPINIONS

Just Leave It: NATO’s Nuclear Weapons Policy at the Warsaw Summit
Arms Control Association, Tom Sauer

Tellingly, more and more voices are calling for a review of NATO’s nuclear deterrence policy that would strengthen the role of nuclear weapons inside the alliance.1 That would be a dramatic change as the role of nuclear weapons in NATO doctrine has gradually decreased since the end of the Cold War.

Why the United States Needs an LRSO Capability
Heritage Foundation, Michaela Dodge, John Venable

The debate over the Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) weapon continues to heat up both in Congress and within the nuclear weapons community. The LRSO is an essential component of a credible future U.S. nuclear and conventional deterrent force.

A Nuclear Weapon That America Doesn’t Need
The New York Times, Dianne Feinstein, Ellen O. Tauscher

The Air Force is set next year to accelerate the development of the Long-Range Standoff Weapon. We agree that a safe, reliable nuclear stockpile is needed. Our backgrounds, voting records and entire careers show that we understand and value the deterrent effect of our nuclear stockpile. However, building new nuclear weapons like this one could be unnecessary, costly and dangerous.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group’s Critical India Decision
The Diplomat, Mark Hibbs

Beginning on Monday, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, or NSG – 48 countries that export most of the world’s nuclear material, equipment, and technology – will meet in Seoul to decide whether India should now be allowed to join. The United States has strongly urged the NSG to say yes. The NSG should not say yes next week.

To prevent nuclear war
The Korea Times, Tong Kim

As Seoul and Washington stopped talking about dialogue with Pyongyang, some security experts are talking about the worst-case scenario: a nuclear war that could breakout on the Korean peninsula. North Korea continues advancing its nuclear and missile programs, while some call for Seoul's own nuclear armament.

More Than Numbers: Nuclear Weapons Reductions And The Strategy Of Diversity
The Daily Caller, Peter Huessy

In the Washington discussion over the future of our nuclear deterrent the arguments continue to emphasize that it is better to have fewer warheads in our force than what we have today. But according to the negotiating expert that secured great reductions in Russian nuclear weapons, numbers alone do not tell us whether the U.S. is more secure today than a decade ago, or during the height of the Cold War when we had thousands of more weapons.

What if? Security consequences of Brexit and Trident renewal
Open Democracy, Rebecca Johnson

The decisions on Trident renewal and EU membership will have transformative consequences not just for Britain, but for our region and probably the rest of the world. Some of these consequences will profoundly affect our security.

North Korea’s Military Partnerships Under Threat?
38 North, Andrea Berger

The latest UN sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have locked the two Koreas in a war for influence on far-flung battlegrounds, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America. Seoul, however, could inadvertently minimize any future gains in the fight without careful reflection on its results to date.

Obama’s nuclear deception
The Japan Times

U.S. President Barack Obama deeply impressed the Japanese public with the speech he delivered in the world’s first atom-bombed city of Hiroshima on May 27. But on his home turf, he is clandestinely pushing a plan to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Eyewitness Account of 1946 Bikini Atomic Bomb Tests
Bezinga

A new book by World War II military historian William L. McGee was just released to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Operation Crossroads - the first postwar atomic bomb tests in the Marshall Islands.

The disturbing number of nuclear bombs that humans have detonated throughout history
Business Insider

No nuclear bombs have been used as weapons since the attacks on Japan, but thousands of tests have been conducted — primarily by the US and USSR throughout the Cold War.

diplomatically

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 16, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 16, 2016

TOP NEWS

Trump says he would accept N. Korean leader to US for negotiations
The Korea Times

Kerry, in Norway, sees Iran FM over nuke deal sanctions
Business Insider

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Turns 20. It’s an anniversary worth celebrating
UN Dispatch

Why our nuclear deal with Iran is turning to dust
Independent, Robert Fisk

The UK had serious plans to use live chickens to help keep nuclear land mines in working order
Business Insider

EAST ASIA

N. Korea vows to bolster nuclear deterrent to cope with U.S. threat
The Korea Herald

North Korea threatened Wednesday to strengthen its nuclear deterrent as it accused the United States of plotting a preemptive strike against Pyongyang.

Trump says he would accept N. Korean leader to US for negotiations
The Korea Times

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Wednesday he would "accept" North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the United States and hold nuclear negotiations with him while eating hamburgers, according to news reports.

MIDDLE EAST

Man pleads guilty to exporting specialty metal used for nuclear weapons to Iran
UPI

A Turkish businessman from Queens pleaded guilty to conspiring to export a specialty metal to Iran that is used in nuclear applications, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Kerry, in Norway, sees Iran FM over nuke deal sanctions
Business Insider

The Obama administration has met its sanctions relief obligations to Iran under last year's landmark nuclear deal but is willing to further clarify what is and isn't allowed in response to renewed Iranian complaints that it's not getting all the benefits it deserves, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Cameron plans Trident vote to unify Tories split over EU referendum
RT News

Prime Minister David Cameron plans to call a House of Commons vote on the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent next month in an attempt to unify Tory MPs split over the EU referendum, it has emerged.

SOUTH ASIA

India’s entry into NSG will make it ‘legitimate nuclear power’, break India-Pak nuke balance
The Indian Express

Acknowledging that India is “inching closer” to get membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Chinese official media today said if New Delhi is admitted into the elite grouping, “nuclear balance” between India and Pakistan will be broken.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Turns 20. It’s an anniversary worth celebrating
UN Dispatch

This is a treaty that bans the testing of nuclear weapons and establishes a global monitoring system to ensure that no one can secretly test a nuclear bomb. The treaty was signed by the USA and most countries on the planet back in 1996, but it has not been ratified by some key countries, including the United States, and accordingly has not formally entered into force.

OPINIONS

Iran's Deadly Missiles Aren't Up for Negotiation
The National Interest, Robert Andrea

In March of this year, Iran conducted tests of two variants of the Qadr medium-range ballistic missile. Shortly afterwards, a group of GOP senators introduced new sanctions legislation which included provisions sanctioning persons and entities involved with Iran’s ballistic missile program. Sound familiar?

Trident or the EU: which is better for peace and security?
Open Democracy, Rebecca Johnson

Two decisions, Trident replacement and British membership of the European Union, that are usually considered separately, but which are both claimed by their advocates as serving a vital security role for Britain and beyond.

Why our nuclear deal with Iran is turning to dust
Independent, Robert Fisk

Many of Europe’s largest banks won’t do business with Iran for fear of breaching other US sanctions, which have nothing to do with the nuclear agreement – but a lot to do with US agencies and prosecutors.

Disarmament of Iran-lessons for Pakistan
The Daily Times, Raashid Wali Janjua

P5+1 nuclear agreement that heralded a much-needed thaw in the relations of Iran with the western world and the United States is full of lessons and portents for countries like Pakistan.

SPECIAL INTEREST

The UK had serious plans to use live chickens to help keep nuclear land mines in working order
Business Insider

The landmine, dubbed Operation Blue Peacock, would be operated remotely so that it could be detonated at the moment when it could inflict maximal damage on the invading Red Army. But the weapon had a major hitch. Buried underground, it was possible that the mine would become cold to the point that the detonator would be unable to trigger a nuclear blast. In 1957, British nuclear physicists found a solution: chickens.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 15, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 15, 2016

TOP NEWS

North Korea may have more than 20 nuclear weapons, warns think tank
The Guardian

THAAD was not issue during talks with Lavrov: S. Korean FM
Yonhap News

U.S. official sees opportunity in Obama’s Hiroshima visit
The Japan Times

Iran awaits investment dividend post-nuclear sanctions
Financial Times, Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Martin Arnold

The World's Nuclear Arsenal Is Getting Smaller But Deadlier
Popular Mechanics

EAST ASIA

North Korea may have more than 20 nuclear weapons, warns think tank
The Guardian

North Korea may be significantly expanding its nuclear weapons production and could have added six or more weapons to its stockpile in the last 18 months, a US research institute has said.

US Seeks African Allies Against Pyongyang's Nuclear Drive
Voice of America

The top U.S. nonproliferation official is in Africa to try to align nations against North Korea’s nuclear ambitions by urging them to cut ties with Pyongyang. The threat, he says, is not as far away as it seems.

China bans export of nuclear, missile parts to NK
The Korea Times

The Chinese government has expanded sanctions against North Korea, banning the export of materials that can be used for nuclear weapons, missiles and other weapons of mass destruction.

N. Korea accumulating know-how through failed Musudan missile launches: expert
Yonhap News

North Korea appears to have accumulated know-how through the failed test-launching of its intermediate-range Musudan missiles, a U.S.-based media report said Wednesday, citing an analysis by a U.S. rocket expert.

S. Korea, France defense chiefs to discuss joint sanctions efforts against N. Korea
Yonhap News

South Korea's Defense Minister Han Min-koo and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian plan to delve into how they could jointly act to tighten the screws on a defiant North Korea as well as ways to boost bilateral collaboration when they meet for talks on Wednesday, the defense ministry said.

THAAD was not issue during talks with Lavrov: S. Korean FM
Yonhap News

South Korea's foreign minister said he barely discussed the controversial issue of deploying an advanced U.S. missile defense system on Korean soil during talks with his Russian counterpart earlier this week.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran's Khamenei threatens to 'set fire' to nuclear deal if West violates
Business Insider

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, threatened on Tuesday to "set fire" to the nuclear deal sealed with world powers if U.S. presidential candidates reneged on the agreement.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

U.S. official sees opportunity in Obama’s Hiroshima visit
The Japan Times

U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Hiroshima provided a precious opportunity for the American public to think about the goal of creating a world free of nuclear weapons, a senior U.S. government official said Tuesday.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Report: Nuclear weapons plant mercury cleanup could cost $3B
The Washington Times

A U.S. Department of Energy report says the cleanup of mercury contamination at a Tennessee nuclear weapons plant could cost between $1 billion and $3 billion.

U.S. welcomes China's ban on export of dual-use items to N. Korea
Yonhap News

The United States on Tuesday welcomed China's decision to ban exports to North Korea of a series of so-called "dual-use" items that can be used not only for civilian, but also for military purposes, such as nuclear and missile development.

OPINIONS

Iran awaits investment dividend post-nuclear sanctions
Financial Times, Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Martin Arnold

Analysts say the government of Hassan Rouhani, the centrist president, is adopting a policy of trying to rebalance trade with the west by encouraging more European investment. It is interpreted as a move partly based on the hope that the more western investment there is in the country, the harder it would be for sanctions to be reinstituted.

India’s Entry into NSG: Why is South Africa holding out?
Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Ruchita Beri

So has South Africa buckled under Chinese pressure to oppose India’s membership in the NSG? While this cannot yet be confirmed, there are strong indicators that it could be a possibility. So where does that leave India? It should obviously step up efforts to engage with the South Africa government to make it understand India’s viewpoint.

SPECIAL INTEREST

The World's Nuclear Arsenal Is Getting Smaller But Deadlier
Popular Mechanics

"Gloomy." That's the outlook on global nuclear arms reduction from a Stockholm-based think tank. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Asian countries increasing the size of their nuclear arsenals while a number of countries—including the United States—are contemplating expensive nuclear weapons upgrades.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 14, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 14, 2016

TOP NEWS

Analysts: It’s Time for a Reexamination of Nuclear Weapons Requirements
National Defense Magazine

Sanctions alone will not resolve NK nuke issue: U.S. expert
Yonhap News

Russian Hypersonic Glider Weapons Would Easily Penetrate U.S. Defenses, Says Expert
Forbes

Needle in a Haystack: How North Korea Could Fight a Nuclear War
38 North, Garth McLennan

India mustn’t let nuclear ambitions blind itself
Global Times, Wang Wenwen

EAST ASIA

Sanctions alone will not resolve NK nuke issue: U.S. expert
Yonhap News

A U.S. nuclear expert on Tuesday voiced concerns that sanctions alone might not be effective enough to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, saying that diplomatic efforts should be pursued at the same time.

China advocates for prohibition of nuclear weapons
Pakistan Today

China is committed to taking the path of peaceful development and advocates for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of the nuclear weapons, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said here.

THAAD not effective in countering N. Korea nuclear attack: expert
The Korea Times

The U.S. THAAD system is a powerful anti-missile tool, but wouldn't be effective in defending against a North Korean nuclear attack coming as part of a barrage of conventional warheads, a U.S. analyst said Monday.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russian Hypersonic Glider Weapons Would Easily Penetrate U.S. Defenses, Says Expert
Forbes

Today, the U.S., Russia and China are developing a new class of hypersonic ballistic glider weapons, which within a decade, may render most of the world’s nuclear arsenals vulnerable to lightning-fast penetration and attack.

SOUTH ASIA

India in NSG will hurt South Asia security dynamic: Chinese daily
The Indian Express

India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will worsen the security situation in South Asia, a Chinese daily said on June 14. “China’s concern about India’s inclusion into the NSG comes out of the security dynamic in South Asia,” the state-run Global Times said in a commentary.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Safety in early detection
IHS Jane’s 360

As the threat of nuclear terrorism remains real, it is vital that peace-loving nations co-operate in sharing technologies for early radiation detection. Finnish company Environics is a leader in the field of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) detection.

S. Korea, Russia agree to cooperate for denuclearization on Korean peninsula
Yonhap News

Top diplomats of South Korea and Russia reaffirmed on Monday that they will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state and agreed to cooperate for denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, the foreign ministry here said.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Analysts: It’s Time for a Reexamination of Nuclear Weapons Requirements
National Defense Magazine

The $350 billion price tag for modernizing the United States’ nuclear arsenal has been a topic of endless debate in Washington. Little to no discussion has focused on the larger issue of how many weapons and what technologies are needed to support the nation’s strategic nuclear deterrence, analysts said

OPINIONS

Needle in a Haystack: How North Korea Could Fight a Nuclear War
38 North, Garth McLennan

Since its January 6 test of what was claimed to be a hydrogen bomb and a follow-up satellite launch on February 7, North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has received a considerable amount of attention. Much less coverage and attention has been paid to how the North Korean leadership might actually use nuclear weapons in a live, operational setting.

Deconstructing nuclear terrorism
The News International, Rizwan Asghar

Nuclear terrorism is an absolutely terrifying but unobservable phenomenon. Given that there has never been an actual terrorist incident involving nuclear weapons, disagreement exists over how seriously we should take the threat of nuclear terror.

India mustn’t let nuclear ambitions blind itself
Global Times, Wang Wenwen

China insists on peaceful development. A peaceful regional and global environment is in the interests of all stakeholders. China's concern about India's inclusion into the NSG comes out of the security dynamic in South Asia. Only when New Delhi and Islamabad take another step forward in their nonproliferation commitments can the region avoid being dragged into a nuclear confrontation.

Two Steps Toward Obama’s Nuclear ‘Moral Revolution’
The Diplomat, Henry Lawton

U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for a “moral revolution” in humanity’s approach to nuclear weapons was the highlight of his poignant recent visit to Hiroshima, while Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump similarly agree on the pressing need to secure loose nuclear material.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Nehru passed up US offer to test nuclear weapon before China: Ex-foreign secy
Hindustan Times

India need not have had to make desperate efforts now to get membership of elite NSG had former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru accepted the then US President John F Kennedy’s offer of helping the country detonate a nuclear device much before China did in 1964, according to former foreign secretary Maharajakrishna Rasgotra.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 13, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 13, 2016

TOP NEWS

US should propose peace treaty talks with N. Korea: Joel Wit
The Korea Times

Global nuclear weapons: downsizing but modernizing
SIPRI

False Alarms, True Dangers?
RAND Corporation, Anthony Barrett

Pragmatism, principle, and the North Korean dilemma
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Shen Dingli

20 years on, UN waits for working nuclear-test-ban treaty
AP News, George Jahn

EAST ASIA

S. Korean FM leaves for Russia over N. Korea issues
Yonhap News

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se left for Moscow on Sunday for talks with his Russian counterpart on North Korea's nuclear weapons program and other issues.

US should propose peace treaty talks with N. Korea: Joel Wit
The Korea Times

The United States should increase pressure on North Korea but at the same time make clear its willingness to hold comprehensive negotiations encompassing not only denuclearization, but also a peace treaty and normalization of diplomatic relations, a U.S. expert has said.

N. Korean leader reaffirms nuclear ambition
The Korea Times

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reaffirmed his nation's commitment to developing nuclear weapons while visiting, the National Defense University, state-media there said, Monday.

MIDDLE EAST

After Nuclear Deal, Iran Pulls Quick Oil Production Rebound
NPR

Iran is on track to restore oil production and exports to pre-sanction levels, surprising many analysts. It's one of the areas where Iran has benefited from the nuclear deal it made with world powers.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

US, Armenia deepen cooperation to combat nuclear smuggling
Armenpress

On June 13 representatives of the Government of the United States and of the Republic of Armenia conducted a scheduled review of the 2008 U.S.-Armenia Joint Action Plan on Combating Smuggling of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials, press service of the US Embassy in Armenia informed “Armenpress”.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan has more nuclear warheads than India: SIPRI
The Economic Times

Pakistan continues to be ahead of India when it comes to having higher number of nuclear warheads and beats Israel as well as North Korea, a report by a Stockholm-based think-tank said today.

More talks needed to build consensus on Nuclear Suppliers Group, says China
DAWN

China said on Sunday that more talks were needed to build a consensus on which countries can join the main group controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology, after a push by the United States to include India.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Global nuclear weapons: downsizing but modernizing
SIPRI

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) today launches its annual nuclear forces data, which highlights the current trends and developments in world nuclear arsenals. The data shows that while the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world continues to decline, none of the nuclear weapon-possessing states are prepared to give up their nuclear arsenals for the foreseeable future.

OPINIONS

False Alarms, True Dangers?
RAND Corporation, Anthony Barrett

How could miscalculations and misperceptions lead to the use of nuclear weapons in three scenarios: an early warning system's false alarm, an escalation of a conventional conflict in Russia's "near abroad," and a false indication of a nuclear attack by Russia's "Dead Hand" system?

No Nuclear Security without Transparency
The National Interest, Sobia Paracha

Whether transparency should be established as a norm by sovereign states is not the fundamental question today, but what is the technical minimum states can share to create a robust international nuclear security regime. Nuclear security regime is as strong as its weakest link. Without optimum information sharing, even identifying the weakest link remains a formidable task.

3 Reasons Why Pak's Growing Nuclear Arsenal Is Not Giving India Sleepless Nights
The Huffington Post, Chirayu Thakkar

Last week, the architect of Pakistan's nuclear program, A Q Khan made an ominous-sounding statement about Pakistan's capability of nuking New Delhi in five minutes from Kahuta. While this veiled threat has stirred up the expected controversy, most experts in India are shrugging it off as mere grandstanding.

NSS In Retrospect: Why Not Iran And North Korea?
Eurasia Review, Kimberley Anne Nazareth

The big question at the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) 2016 was the absence of Iran and North Korea. What implications did their absence have? Or what implications would their presence have had, if any?

Pragmatism, principle, and the North Korean dilemma
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Shen Dingli

In the aftermath of India's 1998 nuclear weapons test, the Clinton administration realized that India would be unwilling to abandon its nuclear weapons program any time soon. So it crafted a "cap, roll back, eliminate" strategy theoretically aimed at eventual elimination of all Indian nuclear weapons. It is time to adopt a realist perspective toward North Korea and apply the same formula there.

Deconstructing nuclear deterrence
Open Democracy, Timmon Wallis

Military and political leaders who might seriously threaten the UK are simply unlikely to be deterred by the threat to destroy their cities.

20 years on, UN waits for working nuclear-test-ban treaty
AP News, George Jahn

The world was a more peaceful place when a newly sworn-in President Barack Obama pledged to "aggressively pursue" a global ban on nuclear arms tests. But as his term winds down, a working test-ban treaty remains a dream and some of the loudest voices out of Washington are hostile.

SPECIAL INTEREST

The B-58 Hustler: America's Cold War Nuclear Bomber Blunder
The National Interest

In an era of fantastic aircraft, the B-58 Hustler was one of the most visually striking warplanes ever to fly. Its delta wing, giant engines, and remarkable performance gave rise to the myth that pilots could literally tear the wings off the bomber if they flew it too fast. That wasn’t true, but the B-58 was nevertheless a difficult plane to fly. Although an engineering marvel, the Hustler suffered from appalling accident rate, high maintenance costs, and an obsolete mission profile.

Obama, Truman and Hiroshima
The Huffington Post

President Obama’s recent visit to Hiroshima where the President called for a moral revolution against nuclear warfare, resurrects the question about President Truman’s moral compass when he authorized the August 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima and the August 9, 1945 bombing of Nagasaki.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 10, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 10, 2016

 

TOP NEWS

The Iran Deal’s Building Blocks of a Better Nuclear Order
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, George Perkovich

Trapped in No-Man’s-Land: The Future of US Policy Toward North Korea
38 North, Joel Wit

Kennedy offers to halt nuclear testing, June 10, 1963
Politico

Turkey, Romania & Poland determined to expand US missile defense in Europe – Ankara
RT News

What are MTCR and NSG, and why does India want to be their part
The Indian Express

EAST ASIA

N. Korea does not stipulate itself as nuclear power in ruling party bylaws
Yonhap News

North Korea did not stipulate itself as a nuclear-armed state in its recently revised set of ruling party bylaws, an analysis of the document showed Friday, spawning speculation that Pyongyang has left open the possibility of negotiations over its denuclearization.

Top U.S. envoy: North Korea plutonium plant poses major threat
UPI

Ambassador Henry Ensher at the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, Austria, said the proliferation of activities at Yongbyon poses a grave threat to international peace and security, Voice of America reported Thursday.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

ISIS nuclear attack in Europe is a real threat, say experts
The Times of India

The threat of a terrorist attack using nuclear material is the highest since the end of the Cold War, with ISIS actively trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction, according to a leading international think-tank on proliferation.

Turkey, Romania & Poland determined to expand US missile defense in Europe – Ankara
RT News

The heads of the foreign ministries of Poland, Romania and Turkey agree that European missile defense needs expansion, according to the Turkish foreign minister. “Russia’s aggressive attitude” poses a serious threat to regional security and stability, he said.

SOUTH ASIA

What are MTCR and NSG, and why does India want to be their part
The Indian Express

The India-US Joint Statement released on June 7 said President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi “looked forward to India’s imminent entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime” (MTCR), and that Obama “welcomed India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)”. What are MTCR and NSG, and why does India want to be their part?

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

European Commission to modernize nuclear research centre
World Nuclear News

A groundbreaking ceremony has been held to launch the start of construction of a new laboratory building at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre at Karlsruhe in Germany. The new building will replace older ones on the site. 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

NNSA On Arrival Of Plutonium And Uranium From Japan’s Fast Critical Assembly At Savannah River Site And Y-12 National Security Complex
Los Alamos Daily Post

A shipment of plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)’s Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) reactor arrived safely at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Savannah River Site near Aiken, S.C., and Y-12 National Security Complex near Oak Ridge, Tenn.

OPINIONS

Nuclear codes: A president's awesome power
CNN, Mark Hertling

The military aides who carry it call it "the football." The more accurate name is the "president's emergency response satchel." But no matter what it is called, the contents of this small metal briefcase contained within a black leather satchel is always within a few feet of the president of the United States.

The Iran Deal’s Building Blocks of a Better Nuclear Order
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, George Perkovich

The U.S. debate over the Iran nuclear deal focused primarily on whether the agreement’s terms were sufficient to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, whether Iran would cheat, and whether Iran would use gains from sanctions relief to fund aggression against its neighbors and Israel. Practically no attention was paid in the media or in Congress to the possibility that the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), could provide opportunities to strengthen the global nonproliferation regime.

Trapped in No-Man’s-Land: The Future of US Policy Toward North Korea
38 North, Joel Wit

US policy toward North Korea has reached a dead end. Built upon a foundation of dubious assumptions, the Obama administration’s approach—whether called “strategic patience” or by some other name—has failed to achieve any progress toward US objectives in the region and no longer serves US foreign policy and national security interests.

Nuclear War Is Not on the Table – Because It Makes No Sense
The Center for Research on Globalization, Frederico Pieraccini

It is important not to underestimate the obvious and fundamental importance that humanity places on the strategic balance arising from so-called “MAD” (Mutually Assured Destruction). According to our trusted analysts, it is precisely the disturbance of this delicate balance that could lead to the real threat of war between NATO and Russia. The question to ask is the following. Is it really possible to decisively alter MAD? The short answer is, no.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Kennedy offers to halt nuclear testing, June 10, 1963
Politico

On this day in 1963, President John F. Kennedy declared that the United States would be willing to cease testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere if the Soviet Union agreed to follow suit.

Marshall Islands Are Becoming Less Nuclear
Science World Report

A recent study shows that the Marshall Islands, which became the testing ground for the nuclear bomb, has become less radioactive. The study was printed in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 9, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 9, 2016

TOP NEWS

Revive Arms Control and Start with Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missiles
War on the Rocks, Sico van der Meer, Christine Parthemore

China tells N. Korea it wants denuclearization of Korean Peninsula
The Korea Herald

China leads resistance to India joining nuclear export club
Reuters

To Prevent Another Iran Disaster, Fix Nuclear Enforcement
The National Interest, Emily Landau, Shimon Stein

The Clothes Geolocate the Man
Arms Control Wonk

EAST ASIA

US views N. Korea with 'great concern' amid reports of reprocessing
The Korea Times

The United States views North Korea's actions with "great concern," the State Department said Wednesday, following reports that the communist nation has begun reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to harvest plutonium.

China tells N. Korea it wants denuclearization of Korean Peninsula
The Korea Herald

China told a North Korean delegation last week that it wants to realize the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, South Korea's top nuclear envoy said Wednesday after meeting with his Chinese counterpart.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russian nuclear plane flying over rebel-held Syria
The London Economic

Footage has emerged of a huge Russian nuclear warplane flying over rebel-held territory in Syria, only a short distance from the Turkish border. The warplane was filmed over Idlib, and the Tupolev bomber was spotted in the airspace over the rebel-held area, which has suffered constant airstrikes.

MoD admits it’s worried about security at Trident nuclear weapons base
RT News

The latest annual report from the MoD’s internal watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR), says staff shortages are a “key strategic issue” which requires attention to ensure continued “safe delivery” of the nuclear weapons program.

Labour MPs 'expose anti-Trident myths'
BBC

Labour MPs have stepped up pressure on leader Jeremy Corbyn over Trident with a report claiming arguments against its renewal are based on "myths". The backbench defence committee report is a rival to one being drawn up by shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry to decide party policy.

Activists blockade UK nuclear bomb factory for third day
The Guardian

Anti-nuclear activists mounting a human blockade of roads around a weapons factory in Berkshire said on Wednesday that they have brought construction work at the site to halt for more than three days.

SOUTH ASIA

'Careful consideration' of India's NSG membership, says New Zealand
The Times of India

India's diplomatic outreach for membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will likely go right down to the wire, as it did 8 years ago when India finally managed to get a clean waiver from the Group to carry out nuclear commerce. One of the 3 main holdout nations then, New Zealand, has told TOI India's NSG membership application will be a subject of ``careful consideration'' later this month.

Mexico backs India's bid to become member of Nuclear Suppliers Group
The Economic Times

India today secured Mexico's backing in its bid to become member of the NSG as it aggressively scouted for support ahead of a crucial meeting of the 48-nation nuclear trading bloc in Vienna.

China leads resistance to India joining nuclear export club
Reuters

China is leading opposition to a push by the United States and other major powers for India to join the main club of countries controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology, diplomats said on Thursday as the group discussed India's membership bid. Other countries opposing Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) include New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria, diplomats said.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

IAEA highlights senior management's role in maintaining safety
World Nuclear News

The board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) yesterday adopted a revision to a safety standard related to the role of leadership and management in ensuring safety to protect human life, health and the environment from harmful effects of radiation. 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Skills Gap Concerns Come to the Fore in Competition to Manage Nuclear Weapons Lab
National Defense Magazine

One of the nation’s largest nuclear weapons laboratories is seeking contractor bids to manage its day-to-day operations. The competition for the Sandia National Laboratories deal could cause a shakeup as the lab has been run by the same contractor — Lockheed Martin Corp. — for 23 years.

OPINIONS

Revive Arms Control and Start with Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missiles
War on the Rocks, Sico van der Meer, Christine Parthemore

Eliminating nuclear-armed cruise missiles — multilaterally, bilaterally, or unilaterally — may seem a relatively small step to reducing the risks of intentional and inadvertent nuclear weapons use in the world, but it is an achievable step with immediate and obvious benefits. It would not only decrease the risks of use, miscalculations, and nuclear escalation, but would also show willingness to work on serious steps towards nuclear disarmament.

The Iran Deal, One Year In: Economic, Nuclear, and Regional Implications
Foreign Policy, Raymond Tanter

Signed in Geneva July 14, 2015, the deal’s first anniversary is coming up — a good opportunity to reflect on the economic, nuclear, and regional implications of the accord, as the debate rages on in Washington between the executive and legislative branches.

To Prevent Another Iran Disaster, Fix Nuclear Enforcement
The National Interest, Emily Landau, Shimon Stein

In the post–Iran deal period, the international community in general, and the P5+1 in particular, face two major challenges. The first regards the rigorous implementation of the JCPOA, and the second pertains to the essential lessons that must be learned from the Iran case and applied going forward in order to avoid “future Irans,” as it were. The ultimate objective is to minimize to the extent possible all avenues to acquiring a military nuclear capability, for all nonnuclear-weapon state members of the NPT.

China-North Korea rapprochement?
The Washington Times, Joseph Detrani

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent meeting with Ri Su-yong, North Korea’s vice chairman of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, could be the beginning of a new type of bilateral relationship between China and North Korea.

North Korea is more than just a nuclear threat
Business Insider, Alex Lockie

North Korea's nuclear capabilities and ambitions often make headlines, but recently they have focused more on building national strength in more conventional, yet equally threatening ways.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Though It Seems Crazy Now, The Neutron Bomb Was Intended To Be Humane
Gizmodo

Until the day he died, physicist Samuel Cohen declared that his invention, the neutron bomb, was a “moral” and “sane” weapon that would kill enemy combatants, while sparing civilians and cities. But, despite the support of fans like Ronald Reagan, this weapon of not-as-much mass destruction proved to be a hard sell.

Filmmaker Lynette Wallworth To Take Nuclear Test Ban Cause To Global Forum
Forbes

Australian filmmaker Lynette Wallworth’s documentary Collisions, which shows the long-lasting impact of the nuclear tests carried out by the British Government at Maralinga in the South Australian desert in the 1950s, will screen at an influential world forum next week.

The Clothes Geolocate the Man
Arms Control Wonk

A wardrobe match is hardly conclusive alone.  Perhaps Kim visited some other facility twice, once in black and then dressed like an extra in Spies Like Us.  But Kim’s visits to factories are extensively reported — even if, as in the case of the second visit, the location is unmentioned — and we can’t find another candidate location for Kim to have visited twice, let alone with costume changes.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 8, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 8, 2016

 

TOP NEWS

UK has 'secretly' upgraded Trident arsenal and developed an entirely new warhead, report finds
The Telegraph

US missile defense system aimed only at N. Korea, Iran: White House
The Korea Times

US, Japan Sign Arms Trade Pact: Missile Defense Co-Production & More
Breaking Defense

On the Brink of Oblivion
U.S. News & World Report, Mortimer B. Zuckerman

America’s Nuclear-Deterrence Challenge in Asia
The Wall Street Journal, Evan Braden Montgomery

EAST ASIA

S. Korea closely watching N.K. nuclear activity with serious concern: gov't
Yonhap News

South Korea said Wednesday it is closely monitoring North Korea's nuclear activities amid reports the communist country has begun reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to produce plutonium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons.

US, Japan Sign Arms Trade Pact: Missile Defense Co-Production & More
Breaking Defense

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his Japanese counterpart Gen Nakatani quietly signed the Reciprocal Defense Procurement (RDP) pact Friday on the sidelines of the Shangri-la Dialogue, where Carter called for an “inclusive (and) principled security network” linking longstanding treaty allies like Japan with newer partners such as Singapore.

North Korea says its nuclear weapons are for 'peace'
UPI

North Korea defended its policy of nuclear weapons development as a "strategic choice for peace" but vowed retaliation if South Korea went ahead and participated in the Rim of the Pacific exercises in Hawaii. In an editorial titled "Secure guidelines for the republic's foreign policy ideology and principles," North Korea stated the country had reached its "highest strategic position."

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Poor U.S.-Russia relations increase risk of dirty bomb in Europe: experts
Reuters

Tension between Russia and the West may be distracting them from cooperating to prevent an accidental nuclear confrontation or a dirty bomb attack by militants, nuclear policy experts said on Tuesday. Former U.S. Secretary of Defence William Perry said he regretted the current lack of communication between the United States and Russia, which went into a deep freeze after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

UK has 'secretly' upgraded Trident arsenal and developed an entirely new warhead, report finds
The Telegraph

A report from the Nuclear Information Service revealed ministers have already authorised £85 million for the more accurate and destructive Mark 4A warhead without consulting Parliament. According to the report, the costs and the timetable of the program have not been revealed to Parliament. David Cameron is now facing calls for an urgent vote on the issue of Trident's renewal following the EU referendum.

SOUTH ASIA

Will work together to ensure India is in NSG: Japan
The Times of India

Japan's ambassador to India has said his country supports India's bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership. "We hope India will be part of the NSG," said envoy Kenji Hiramatsu here on Tuesday, assuring that Japan would be working with India to make sure it becomes a member of the NSG.

Indian bid for elite nuclear access seen stalled on bomb concern
Chicago Tribune

The Nuclear Suppliers Group, or NSG, is unlikely to accept India's application for membership when it meets June 20 in Seoul because officials in New Delhi haven't yet met all the criteria for admission, said the diplomats, who represent governments inside the 48-nation group.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US missile defense system aimed only at N. Korea, Iran: White House
The Korea Times

The U.S. missile defense system is designed to counter "limited attacks from Iran and North Korea" and are not aimed at the strategic deterrence forces of Russia and China, the White House said Tuesday.

OPINIONS

America’s Nuclear-Deterrence Challenge in Asia
The Wall Street Journal, Evan Braden Montgomery

In the shadow of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke recently about the danger of nuclear proliferation and the dream of a world without nuclear weapons. To arrest the spread of such weapons, however, the United States may need to reinforce its nuclear-deterrence commitments in East Asia, where both South Korea and Japan could face mounting pressure to go nuclear.

South Asia’s nuclear balance
Daily Times, Qaisar Rashid

May 15 this year altered the nuclear balance between two nuclear rivals, Pakistan and India, in South Asia. India successfully tested its anti-ballistic missile defence system — an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile — to destroy an incoming hostile intercontinental ballistic missile in mid-air at the altitude below 100 kilometres within the earth’s atmosphere.

On the Brink of Oblivion
U.S. News & World Report, Mortimer B. Zuckerman

Our planet today faces two existential dangers: an impending climate catastrophe, and the very real possibility of a nuclear calamity. Both of these dangers arise from human activity and are thus within our capacity to address. And both challenges are interconnected and require a new attitude that recognizes our common interests and need to cooperate. Public awareness and political will must be raised to levels commensurate with the threat.

We must face up to the threat of nuclear terrorism
The Telegraph, Moshe Kantor

We live in uncertain and troubling times. We are rightly on red alert against the threat of what has now become conventional terrorist acts of indiscriminate suicide bombings, gun and knife attacks. But we are seemingly blind to the much more catastrophic and all too real threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and other terrorist groups.

Shipwrecking North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions by Engaging China
The Huffington Post, Bruce Fein

The United States can shipwreck North Korea’s nuclear ambitions by striking a deal with China. We should close our military bases and end our defense commitments to Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. In exchange, China would be required to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenal and to renew its adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

June 12, 1982 and Obama’s Trip to Hiroshima
The Huffington Post, Vincent Intondi

Leading up to President Obama’s historic trip, I was asked by a reporter when he decided to visit Hiroshima? I responded: “June 12, 1982.” On that day, thirty-four years ago, 1 million citizens marched through New York City for nuclear disarmament. Most remember it as the largest single demonstration in United States history. However, the march also showed that at the height of the Cold War, citizens were not willing to simply criticize President Reagan.

Obama and the “Legal Crimes of War”: Hiroshima was Destroyed. “It was an Act of God”
The Center for Research on Globalization, William Boardman

Obama seems to hope, like any rational person, that nuclear weapons will never again be used, but he has done little to change the governmental reality that holds nuclear weapons high on its list of final military solutions.

SPECIAL INTEREST

City Of Houston To Add Radiation Detection To Crime Fighting Tools
Houston Public Media

The Department of Homeland Security has added Houston to an initiative aimed at protecting cities from nuclear threats. Securing the Cities was launched in New York in 2006. Houston is the fourth city to be included after Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Say Hello To The Doomsday Clock
The Huffington Post

Twice every year, 15 experts meet to discuss the possibility of apocalypse -- this group, called the Science and Security Board are the timekeepers of our race. In the latest episode of the Intersection, we speak to two of them -- Sivan Kartha and Rachel Bronson. The duo helped in devising a Doomsday Clock, a mechanism that represented the existential threat to humanity.

Japanese research reactor materials arrive in USA
World Nuclear News

A shipment of plutonium and highly enriched uranium from Japan Atomic Energy Agency's (JAEA) Fast Critical Assembly reactor has arrived at two US Department of Energy sites. Japan and the USA announced their commitment to remove the material at 2014 and 2016 nuclear summits.    

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 7, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 7, 2016

 

TOP NEWS

US-China Strategic Nuclear Terminology: A Primer
The Diplomat

The Iran deal and regional nuclear proliferation risks, explained
Brookings Institution

After Switzerland, US backs India's NSG bid
India Today

Why US Nuclear Force Numbers Matter
Air Force Research Institute, Keith Payne

Bikini Atoll Likely Still Too Radioactive For Resettlement
Popular Science

EAST ASIA

N. Korea could have started nuclear reprocessing: IAEA
The Korea Times

North Korea could have started reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to harvest plutonium for nuclear weapons, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday.

Ships with plutonium from Japan arrive in U.S.
The Japan Times

Two ships loaded with plutonium and highly enriched uranium from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Fast Critical Assembly reactor arrived Tuesday at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina.

US-China Strategic Nuclear Terminology: A Primer
The Diplomat

During a discussion at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on May 5, Tsinghua professor Li Bin characterized existing U.S.-China nuclear dialogues as “difficult and inefficient, in part because of differences in the ways that Americans and Chinese think about nuclear weapons.”

N. Korea vows to develop more nuclear weapons
The Korea Herald

North Korea pledged Tuesday to develop more nuclear weapons as its existing arsenal has helped raise the country's strategic leverage in dealing with external relations, the North's state media said.

THAAD to enhance capacity to counter N. Korea threat: defense chief
The Korea Times

South Korea's defense chief said the possible deployment of a U.S. advanced missile defense system to South Korean soil will help "dramatically" enhance Seoul's capacity to counter North Korea's missile threats.

MIDDLE EAST

The Iran deal and regional nuclear proliferation risks, explained
Brookings Institution

Was the Iran nuclear deal, signed last summer, a prelude to proliferation across the Middle East? This is a question that Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Einhorn and Non-resident Senior Fellow Richard Nephew explore in a new report.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Gorbachev says attempts are made to close window into nuclear-free world
TASS

The danger of the nuclear weapons proliferation in the contemporary world has increased, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said on Tuesday. The last Soviet leader made this statement in a video address to the conference of the international Luxembourg forum titled: "Reykjavik: 30 Years After - Lessons of the Past and Tasks for the Immediate Future."

SOUTH ASIA

After Switzerland, US backs India's NSG bid
India Today

Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes said that the US has invested significantly with India as far as building cooperation in nuclear security is concerned.

Why the US supports India's NSG membership
International Business Times

India's position would be strengthened as a "good citizen" on nuclear proliferation-related aspects if it is allowed to become a member of the elite Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), said Benjamin Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for the U.S. He was responding to questions on India's NSG membership, which the U.S. officially supported on Monday.

India’s NSG admission depends on Obama’s grit: Uday Bhaskar
The Indian Express

With China indicating to oppose India’s entry in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Defence expert Commodore (Retd.) C. Uday Bhaskar on Tuesday said Washington’s support will be critical for New Delhi in this regard, adding it all depends on how US President Barack Obama overcomes domestic critiques and persuades other members.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

At governing body, UN atomic agency chief spotlights nuclear security, efforts to combat Zika
UN News Centre

Support for countries that are fighting the Zika virus and the verification and monitoring of activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Iran were among the key issues highlighted by Director General Yukiya Amano to the agency’s Board of Governors in Vienna today.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

New US nuclear-capable cruise missile expected to proceed
IHS Jane’s 360

A US Air Force (USAF) programme to develop and field a new nuclear-capable Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) cruise missile has undergone a Pentagon review and appears poised to proceed to development soon.

OPINIONS

Why US Nuclear Force Numbers Matter
Air Force Research Institute, Keith Payne

The US debate about nuclear forces and policy often descends into arcane details. These details can be important, but it also is important to address a basic question: For effective deterrence, does the United States need greater numbers and different types of nuclear capabilities than the very limited numbers and types of nuclear weapons deemed necessary to threaten an opponent’s society?

India-Pakistan Nuclear CBMs: Internal Dialogue as Catalyst for Peace?
The Diplomat, Sobia Paracha

The success rate of confidence-building measures (CBMs) between India and Pakistan has remained unimpressive so far, especially in terms of creating an enabling environment for conflict resolution. To overcome the obstructions caused by an inimical strategic environment for peace negotiations, broader agreement on the vision for these efforts is required between different stakeholders within India and Pakistan. Without this, the peace talks and CBMs are in danger of being a will-o’-the-wisp.

Dilemmas of a nuclear-free world
The Japan News, Ryuichi Otsuka

By visiting Hiroshima, U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed his desire to realize a world without nuclear weapons. But in the real world, where the logic of power is sometimes the only thing that holds sway, is it really possible to eliminate mankind’s most powerful weapon?

India, Global Governance And The Nuclear Suppliers Group
Forbes, Alyssa Ayres

The question that U.S. policymakers struggled with—and the agreement was indeed controversial—rested not only on the larger strategic significance of deepened cooperation with India, but also on whether the global nonproliferation order was strengthened through the steps India agreed to take.

SPECIAL INTEREST

How Could a Failed Computer Chip Lead to Nuclear War?
Union of Concerned Scientists

The US early warning system is on watch 24/7, looking for signs of a nuclear missile launched at the United States. As a highly complex system with links to sensors around the globe and in space, it relies heavily on computers to do its job. So, what happens if there is a glitch in the computers?

Tokyo H-bomb fallout museum turns 40, keeps alive memory of Bikini Atoll test
The Japan Times

On May 27, when U.S. President Barack Obama made his historic visit to Hiroshima, Ichida was telling a group of students at the museum that mere words by a national leader will not change the world. “Anyone can say this phrase: ‘Toward a nuclear-free world.’ But it’s me and all of you who actually have to work to create a world free of nuclear weapons,” she said.

Bikini Atoll Likely Still Too Radioactive For Resettlement
Popular Science

Between 1946 and 1958, the United States waged nuclear war on emptied islands in the Pacific. Bikini Atoll and the Enewetak Islands were evacuated first, their inhabitants moved from the blast. All in all, around 200 people were evacuated, but the plan was never that the islands be permanently abandoned. Now many of the displaced and their descendants want to move back to the islands, but leftover radiation is the greatest obstacle. When will it be it safe to move back to the site of 67 nuclear tests?

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 3, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 3, 2016

 

TOP NEWS

Remarks at Royal United Services Institute
U.S. Department of State, Anita E. Friedt

North Korea’s Missile Tests Timed to Bolster Standing With China, Analysts Say
The New York Times

Iran’s regional rivals aren’t likely to get nuclear weapons—here’s why
Brookings Institution, Robert Einhorn

JASON Critiques the 3+2 Nuclear Stockpile Plan
Union of Concerned Scientists, Stephen Young

We were guinea pigs: Documentary puts Atomic Veterans in limelight
Military Times

EAST ASIA

South Korean, U.S. missile defense talks continue, but not at Asian forum
Reuters

South Korea said on Friday the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system to counter the growing threat from North Korea would not be discussed when defense chiefs meet at an Asian security forum at the weekend.

North Korea’s Missile Tests Timed to Bolster Standing With China, Analysts Say
The New York Times

A recent string of unsuccessful missile tests by North Korea, and the release of a video showing the launch of a different weapon, reflected a frantic drive by its leader, Kim Jong-un, to bolster his political standing before a high-profile dialogue with China, analysts said on Thursday.

Shangri-La Dialogue to discuss N.K. nuclear issue, S. China Sea rows
Yonhap News

An annual regional defense ministers' summit, the Asia Security Summit, kicked off its three-day run in the city-state of Singapore on Friday, with North Korea's ever-growing nuclear ambitions and South China Sea rows expected to top this year's agenda.

Trump flip-flops on Japan nukes
CNN

Donald Trump on Wednesday night charged Hillary Clinton was misrepresenting his position by saying he wants nuclear arms for Japan -- but the presumptive Republican nominee previously has said exactly that.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s regional rivals aren’t likely to get nuclear weapons—here’s why
Brookings Institution, Robert Einhorn

Our study found that the Iran nuclear deal has significantly reduced incentives for countries of the Middle East to reconsider their nuclear options. At least for the foreseeable future, none of them is likely to pursue nuclear weapons or even latent nuclear weapons capabilities—or to succeed if they do.

SOUTH ASIA

India inks Hague missile code, says won’t impact national security
The Times of India

India on Thursday announced it has joined the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC), adding that the decision would not in any way compromise its national security interests.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

IAEA fuel 'bank' on target for September 2017 launch
World Nuclear News

To be built in Oskemen and operated by Kazakhstan, the bank will be a physical reserve of LEU - the basic ingredient of nuclear fuel - and act as a supplier of last resort for the Vienna-based agency's Member States in case they cannot obtain LEU on the global commercial market or otherwise.

S. Korea, U.S. closely cooperating on implementing N.K. sanctions: U.S. secretary
Yonhap News

Seoul and Washington are in close policy coordination to implement the latest strong financial sanctions against North Korea's nuclear programs, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew said Friday.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Remarks at Royal United Services Institute
U.S. Department of State, Anita E. Friedt

The verification measures in the New START Treaty—as intrusive as they are—may not be sufficient for effective verification in the future. Future agreements may need to transition from counting warheads affixed to strategic delivery vehicles to counting individual warheads themselves.

MDA Poised To Choose Preferred East Coast Missile Defense Site
Defense News

The Missile Defense Agency has roughly 30 days to choose which of three possible East Coast ballistic missile defense sites under review would be most suitable for a third location in the continental United States.

Lockheed Martin Confirms Sandia M&O Bid
Defense Daily

Incumbent Lockheed Martin [LMT] on Thursday confirmed its intent to bid to retain the management and operations contract for the Sandia National Laboratories.

OPINIONS

Obama’s Nuclear Paradox
The Wire, John Feffer

Of all the accomplishments and disappointments of the Obama presidency, his nuclear weapons policy is the greatest. Yes, you read that correctly. Obama’s approach to nukes will be his most significant legacy as well as his most salient failure. Obama promised “hope and change” in 2007. The paradox of his nuclear weapons policy is that it falls somewhere between these aspirational poles of his presidency.

After Obama's Hiroshima visit, Japan faces Asia's gloomy nuclear landscape
Nikkei Asian Review, Tetsuro Kosaka

The security landscape in Asia is becoming steadily more frightening because of an intensifying nuclear arms race in the region, while U.S. nuclear deterrence, which has been a crucial factor for Japan's national security policy during the postwar era, is showing signs of shakiness. It is probably time for Japanese to start thinking about how they should respond to the nuclear quagmire that is taking shape around them.

A nuclear arms race in East Asia?
Al Jazeera, Andrei Lankov

North Koreans are determined to maintain and improve their nuclear deterrent, and given their strategic situation, they can hardly be blamed for such an attitude. However, their actions increase the risk to security in this vital region, and perhaps the entire world.

JASON Critiques the 3+2 Nuclear Stockpile Plan
Union of Concerned Scientists, Stephen Young

Yesterday the National Nuclear Security Administration posted the executive summary of a study by JASON, the independent science advisory group, of the “3+2” program to replace most of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile with a suite of new weapons. The summary is deeply skeptical of the 3+2 approach, noting several potential problems and offering only lukewarm support for some of the benefits that the programs’ supporters tout.

North Korea: Don't dream the impossible
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Andrei Lankov

Unfortunately, US and UN policy tends to oscillate between the hard line and the soft line. Neither is going to work. Pursuing the impossible goal of denuclearization can even be considered dangerous because it wastes time that could be spent pursuing the far more realistic goal of freezing North Korea's nuclear potential.

Atomic attraction
The Indian Express, Benjamin A. Valentino, Scott D. Sagan

Although most Indian citizens will oppose using nuclear weapons first when asked in such general terms, public opinion changes when presented with more specific crisis scenarios. Indeed, our poll demonstrates that, if confronted with real-world scenarios in which a nuclear first-strike might actually be considered by Indian leaders, public support for nuclear first use is actually very high.

SPECIAL INTEREST

We were guinea pigs: Documentary puts Atomic Veterans in limelight
Military Times

“You feel the heat blast from it, and it’s so bright, you actually can see your bones in your hands,” Farmer said in a new documentary highlighting the service of thousands U.S. troops who participated in nuclear weapons testing from 1946 to 1968.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 1, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 1, 2016

TOP NEWS

China and North Korea Seek to Mend Ties Tested by Nuclear Ambitions
The Wall Street Journal

India’s Unresolvable Nuclear Debate
The Wire, Toby Dalton, George Perkovich

Anticipatory Arms Control
Deep Cuts, Adam Mount

Extended Deterrence in the Second Nuclear Age
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Evan B. Montgomery

The Lesson of Hiroshima for the Future of Nuclear Weapons
Stratfor

EAST ASIA

New Evidence of Probable Plutonium Production at the Yongbyon Nuclear Facility
38 North

Recent commercial satellite imagery shows new evidence that North Korea is preparing to commence or has already begun conducting a reprocessing campaign to separate more plutonium for nuclear weapons at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center.

Park wins African support against N. Korea's nuclear program
Yonhap News

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has achieved notable success on her three-nation trip through Africa as countries pledged to work with the international community to pressure North Korea to give up is nuclear weapons program, observers said Wednesday.

North Korea Tells China of ‘Permanent’ Nuclear Policy
The New York Times

North Korea’s state-run Central News Agency reported early Wednesday that the official, Ri Su-yong, told the Chinese that it was the “permanent” policy of the North to try to expand its nuclear arsenal while striving to rebuild its economy.

China and North Korea Seek to Mend Ties Tested by Nuclear Ambitions
The Wall Street Journal

Chinese president Xi Jinping met with high-level visiting North Korean party officials Wednesday, in a sign that the two sides are seeking to bolster their longtime amity amid continued tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

MIDDLE EAST

One Year Later: The Iran Nuclear Deal
The National Interest

Iranian comportment in the aftermath of the 2015 deal, coupled with the Obama administration’s recent revelations, suggests that an agreement birthed and nurtured in duplicity will not hold. Indeed, its viability now depends solely on a single criterion—the degree to which the Obama administration is willing to overlook Iranian provocations in hopes the inevitable reckoning of this disastrous accord falls on the next president’s watch.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Cyber-attack threat to nuclear facilities underestimated by UK – report
RT News

British authorities underestimate the risk posed by malicious cyber-attacks, spy drones and data breaches to UK nuclear facilities and systems of transit, expert analysis suggests. A hard-hitting briefing, published by the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) on Sunday, outlined key security concerns relating to UK nuclear policy.

SOUTH ASIA

India’s Unresolvable Nuclear Debate
The Wire, Toby Dalton, George Perkovich

If deterrence fails and India must decide if to retaliate proportionally after a Pakistani nuclear first strike, how could Indian leaders be confident that there would not be further nuclear escalation?

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Sanctions aren't short-term game: US diplomat
The Korea Times

Sanctions are not a "short-term game" but a longer-term one that needs time and cooperation with other major countries to make them successful, the top U.S. diplomat in Seoul said Wednesday.

OPINIONS

Anticipatory Arms Control
Deep Cuts, Adam Mount

The United States and Russia should seek a treaty that does not only limit existing strategic forces but also the weapons systems that both countries plan to develop and deploy in the next decade. In this way, each side could hope to control the most threatening systems that they face, avoid unnecessary expenditures, and present a more compelling case to their domestic audiences about the value of arms control.

Extended Deterrence in the Second Nuclear Age
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Evan B. Montgomery

The report provides an overview of U.S. extended nuclear deterrence commitments and how Washington plans to uphold them; describes the main challenges to extended nuclear deterrence in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East; and sketches out what updated extended nuclear deterrence postures might look like across all three regions in light of these challenges.

When Washington Should Say Nothing
Cato Institute, Doug Bandow

North Korea appears headed for a fifth nuclear test. The U.S. joined South Korea and Japan in warning Pyongyang against violating its international obligations. Just as the three governments have done for the last quarter century. Alas, they cannot stop the North from moving forward with its nuclear program, at least at reasonable cost. Washington should learn the value of saying nothing

The Hiroshima touchstone
The Hindu, Rakesh Sood

The center of gravity of today’s nuclear world is shifting to the Asia-Pacific. The number of nuclear players has grown, and asymmetry in doctrines and arsenals makes the search for security more elusive.

How NDAA Could Impact US Missile Defense
The Daily Signal, Michaela Dodge

The U.S. House of Representatives recently took a first step to enact the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2017 into law. The bill is one of the major congressional vehicles to advance policies related to U.S. national security issues.

The Lesson of Hiroshima for the Future of Nuclear Weapons
Stratfor

The president did not go to Hiroshima merely to make an empathetic gesture. He went to make an argument, reflecting a profound and well-thought-out commitment that has been the basis of much of the foreign policy of his administration. Because the argument was slightly smothered in his speechwriters' prose, it may be worthwhile to examine its elements.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 31, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – May 31, 2016

 

TOP NEWS

China to send nuclear-armed submarines into Pacific amid tensions with US
The Guardian

The Iran nuclear deal: Prelude to proliferation in the Middle East?
The Brookings Institution, Robert Einhorn, Richard Nephew

UN agency reports Iranian has complied with nuclear deal
The Washington Post

Quite Possibly the Dumbest Military Concept Ever: A 'Limited' Nuclear War
The National Interest, Geoff Wilson, Will Saetren

These are all the countries that still have nuclear weapons
The Independent

EAST ASIA

China to send nuclear-armed submarines into Pacific amid tensions with US
The Guardian

The Chinese military is poised to send submarines armed with nuclear missiles into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, arguing that new US weapons systems have so undermined Beijing’s existing deterrent force that it has been left with no alternative.

N. Korea continues to show signs of nuclear reprocessing activity
Yonhap News

North Korea continues to show signs suggesting it could be reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to harvest plutonium for nuclear weapons, a U.S. research institute said Friday, citing recent satellite imagery.

North Korean missile launch attempt apparently failed, South Korea says
CNN

North Korea attempted to launch a missile Tuesday, although it appeared to be unsuccessful, South Korea's military said. One missile was test-fired from the eastern city of Wonsan at 5:20 a.m., the South Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

North Korean Nuke Program Built With Earnings From Slave Labor
The Washington Free Beacon

North Korea uses “forced and slave laborers” in order to fund state priorities, including the development of nuclear weapons and missiles, according to a new report on the labor practices in the isolated dictatorship. The report, entitled Gulag, Inc., was unveiled by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., last week.

Park requests African support for North Korean denuclearization
NK News

South Korean President Park Geun-hye urged African nations to support efforts to pressure North Korea to denuclearize, during a speech to the African Union (AU) on Friday.

A-bomb victims in Nagasaki offer mixed views on visit by Obama
The Asahi Shimbun

In the city that exists in the shadow of Hiroshima's atomic bombing, hibakusha expressed mixed feelings about U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan.

MIDDLE EAST

The Iran nuclear deal: Prelude to proliferation in the Middle East?
The Brookings Institution, Robert Einhorn, Richard Nephew

The global nuclear nonproliferation regime has been remarkably resilient, with no new entrants to the nuclear club in the last 25 years. But observers believe that could change and that we may be heading toward a “cascade of proliferation,” especially in the Middle East.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Putin: Romania ‘in crosshairs’ after opening NATO missile defense base
RT News

During a visit to Greece intended to repair ties with the EU, Vladimir Putin said that Russia has “no choice” but to target Romania, which has recently opened a NATO missile defense base, and Poland, which plans to do so within two years.

Russia stocks up nuclear weapons in Crimea
Ukraine Today

The Russian Federation is trumping up its nuclear supplies on the annexed Crimean Peninsula. This is according to the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence Intelligence Unit - Vadym Skibitski.

SOUTH ASIA

PM Narendra Modi to seek support for NSG membership during his five-nation tour
The Economic Times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin his five-nation tour later this week, which will include Switzerland, where he will push for effective bilateral mechanism to share tax-related information in keeping with the BJP government's mission to bring back suspected black money of Indians stashed away in Swiss banks. His trip to Switzerland will have another element: Swiss support is being viewed important for India's much desired membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Nawaz Sharif: Pakistan’s nuclear weapons made country’s defence impregnable
The Indian Express

Nuclear programme has made Pakistan’s defence impregnable, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday on the anniversary of first ever nuclear weapon testing by the country in 1998.

'Pakistan had the ability to conduct a nuclear test in 1984'
Dawn

Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, said Pakistan had the ability and had planned to conduct a nuclear test in 1984, but General Zia opposed the idea as it would have curtailed international aid Pakistan was receiving due to the ongoing Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN agency reports Iranian has complied with nuclear deal
The Washington Post

Iran has corrected one violation of its landmark nuclear deal with six world powers and is honoring all other major obligations, the U.N. atomic energy agency reported Friday.

G7 summit: World leaders condemn North Korea’s nuclear, ballistic missile tests
The Indian Express

“Realizing a world free of nuclear weapons is not easy. However, we share the strong will to move forward hand-in-hand,” the Guardian quoted Japanese PM Shinzo Abe as saying.

OPINIONS

Close Calls: We Were Closer to Nuclear Destruction than We Knew
The Center for Research on Globalization, Gunnar Westberg

The nuclear-weapon states do not intend to abolish their nuclear weapons. They promised to do so when they signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1970. Furthermore, the International Court in The Hague concluded in its advisory opinion more than 20 years ago that these states were obliged to negotiate and bring to a conclusion such negotiations on complete nuclear disarmament. The nuclear-weapon states disregard this obligation.

Dangerous Nuclear Security Failures in Russia's Backyard
The National Interest, Petra Posega

Nuclear security is seemingly at the forefront of global attention, but the large framework of international safeguards is increasingly perceived as a toothless tiger. In the contemporary age, where asymmetric threats to security are among the most dangerous, the time is nigh to mitigate the risk of rogue actors having potential access to materials that are necessary to develop nuclear weapons.

Obama has 'failed to deliver on nuclear disarmament promises'
The Guardian, Julian Borger

Newly declassified data, released by the Pentagon, awkwardly on the eve of the historic Hiroshima visit, showed that Obama had made fewer reductions to the US nuclear weapons stockpile than any president since the end of the cold war.

Turning Obama’s words into action
The Japan Times

Obama became the first sitting president of the only country in history to have used atomic weapons in warfare to visit the first city to have experienced a nuclear attack. However, the significance of the historic visit will only remain symbolic unless it is followed by greater efforts to ensure that the devastation experienced by Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not repeated.

The Manhattan Project Myth
U.S. News & World Report, Erica Fein

Today, one of the world's greatest concerns is the unconstrained advancement of North Korea's nuclear arsenal. Yet, for the most part, the leaders of the eight other nuclear-armed states cling to their own weapons with the belief that the nuclear game of chicken – also known as deterrence – has worked.

Quite Possibly the Dumbest Military Concept Ever: A 'Limited' Nuclear War
The National Interest, Geoff Wilson, Will Saetren

In the event of a rapidly escalating conflict with the Russians, should the United States conduct a “limited” nuclear strike to coerce the enemy to back down? Or, in Cold War nukespeak, should the United States “escalate to deescalate” the situation? Believe it or not, that is a real question that is being debated in the Pentagon today. And the answer is no.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Drones will render the oceans ‘transparent’ & Trident nuclear submarines useless – expert
RT News

Technological advances in maritime drones will make the ocean ‘transparent,’ meaning weapons such as Britain’s Trident nuclear submarines will be unable to hide from enemy detection, according to a top academic. Professor Paul Rogers, who teaches security at Bradford University, made the comments in an analysis piece for Open Democracy on Thursday.

These are all the countries that still have nuclear weapons
The Independent

There are around 15,850 nuclear warheads spread between nine nations, according to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). As the chart by Statista shows, Russia and the US share 93 per cent of the world's nuclear warheads.

The Detroit Origins of Atomic Bomb “Little Boy”
WDET

Two out of the three locations to manufacture the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima were in metro Detroit.

Visitors to Hiroshima A-bomb museum double after Obama’s tour
The Japan Times

The number of visitors to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on the first weekend after the historic visit by U.S. President Barack Obama more than doubled from a year ago, officials said Monday.

A look at world’s nuclear reality, 70 years after Hiroshima
PBS News Hour

President Obama used his unprecedented visit to Hiroshima to call attention to the grave threat nuclear weapons still pose to the world. Judy Woodruff talks to former Assistant Secretary of State Stephen Rademaker and Rachel Bronson of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists about that threat — and the president’s own nuclear legacy.

Examining Obama's Nuclear Legacy
NPR, Morning Edition

In Hiroshima, Obama plans to update his vision for ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Nuclear doves say they're underwhelmed with Obama's record on reducing the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 26, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – May 26, 2016

 

TOP NEWS

US Nuclear Stockpile Numbers Published Enroute To Hiroshima
Federation of American Scientists, Hans M. Kristensen

US nuclear weapons are still controlled by floppy disks, report finds
The Independent

The North Korea Threat: America’s Limited Options
The National Interest, Kyle Churchman

China to send nuclear-armed submarines into Pacific amid tensions with US
The Guardian

A nuclear nightmare
The Economist

EAST ASIA

China to send nuclear-armed submarines into Pacific amid tensions with US
The Guardian

The Chinese military is poised to send submarines armed with nuclear missiles into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, arguing that new US weapons systems have so undermined Beijing’s existing deterrent force that it has been left with no alternative.

Nuclear envoys of S. Korea, Japan, U.S. to hold talks on N.K. issue
Yonhap News

Top nuclear envoys of South Korea, Japan and the United States will meet early next month to discuss North Korea's nuclear program, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

SOUTH ASIA

Nuclear Pakistan has destabilising effects: US expert
The Indian Express

Nuclear weapons in Pakistan’s hands have “corrosively destabilising” effects in the region and provide a license for the country’s sub-conventional wars against India, a top American expert has said.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Battelle, Boeing in joint bid to manage Sandia National Laboratories
UPI

Battelle has partnered with Boeing to jointly bid for a contract to manage Sandia National Laboratories. Battelle is an independent nonprofit research and development organization. The University of New Mexico, the Texas A&M University system and the University of Texas system are exclusive members of the Battelle and Boeing team.

US Senate panel scuttles Indian bid to become NSG member
The News International

A powerful panel of the US Senate washed down India’s wish to get an unchecked membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and strongly demanded that it must sign CTBT and halt fissile material production prior to admission.

OPINIONS

US Nuclear Stockpile Numbers Published Enroute To Hiroshima
Federation of American Scientists, Hans M. Kristensen

Shortly before President Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive for his historic visit to Hiroshima, the first of two Japanese cities destroyed by U.S. nuclear bombs in 1945, the Pentagon has declassified and published updated numbers for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and warhead dismantlements.

The tower in the woods: preparing for nuclear war
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Dawn Stover

The 299-foot tower, part of the Pentagon’s Ground Wave Emergency Network—GWEN—was installed in the 1980s to enable communication in the event of a nuclear attack. If the idea of having a nuclear-war tower in your backyard scares you, you may understand why the Pentagon put that tower in a remote spot where few people are likely to see it.

Hiroshima and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
The Huffington Post, William Lambers

History is being made this week with President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. He is the only sitting U.S. president to make the trip to the site of the first atomic bombing on Japan during World War II. The President should use this historic opportunity to build support for the global treaty ending nuclear weapons testing. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is the key to unlocking the door to a future without the crushing burden and fear of nuclear weapons.

Hiroshima visit marks Obama's last chance to secure non-nuclear legacy
Nikkei Asian Review, Yasu Ota

In the 20th century, Asia could easily have been described as a "garden of nuclear weapons." President Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima, where an estimated 140,000 Japanese civilians were killed, may become a seminal moment in bringing an end to a dark chapter in the continent's history.

The North Korea Threat: America’s Limited Options
The National Interest, Kyle Churchman

Throughout the focus was on the limited options that the U.S. and its allies possess in dealing with North Korea—and the perils that confront them. Cha addressed the dangers that North Korea’s nuclear ambitions represent in 2016 as well as over the next decade. In both cases, he holds a pessimistic view.

Obama’s Hiroshima Visit Sends the Wrong Message to China
The Huffington Post, Zhang Zhixin

On May 27, President Barack Obama will pay a historic visit to Hiroshima as the first serving U.S. president to visit the Japanese city. Officially, the White House announced the trip will highlight Obama’s continued commitment to pursuing a world without nuclear weapons and a strengthened U.S.-Japan relationship during his presidency. However, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe actively shaking off the limit of the pacifist constitution and advocating containing China, Obama’s visit could send very wrong messages.

A nuclear nightmare
The Economist

In one area, Mr. Obama’s failure is glaring. On Mr. Obama’s watch the nuclear-weapons and missile programme of North Korea has become steadily more alarming. Its nuclear missiles already threaten South Korea and Japan. Sometime during the second term of Mr. Obama’s successor, they are likely also to be able to strike New York. Mr. Obama put North Korea on the back burner. Whoever becomes America’s next president will not have that luxury.

Obama’s talk on nukes at Hiroshima to clash with reality
CBS News

When President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe make an historic visit to Hiroshima on Friday -- the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the site of the first atomic bomb attack -- their words advocating nuclear disarmament will clash with real-world security necessities.

Did India Hide a Failed Supersonic Missile Test?
The Diplomat, Franz-Stefan Gady

A May 15 test of India’s indigenously designed ballistic missile defense (BMD) system was a failure, despite claims to contrary by Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) scientists, The Hindu reports.

In Obama’s Visit to Hiroshima, a Complex Calculus of Asian Politics
The New York Times, Gardiner Harris

Eleven United States presidents have been elected since President Harry S. Truman decided to drop an atomic weapon on Hiroshima, and none has set foot in that traumatized city in the 71 years since, at least not while in office. President Obama intends to end that streak with his visit on Friday.

SPECIAL INTEREST

US nuclear weapons are still controlled by floppy disks, report finds
The Independent

The Pentagon coordinates the US' nuclear weapons – using a floppy disk, as it turns out. A new report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the country’s department of defence is still using 1970s-era computer systems that require the original eight-inch floppy disks.

 

Read more…

Thursday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS

Blinken: US protection prevents Korea, Japan from going nuclear
The Korea Times

India Finally Joins Missile Technology Control Regime
The Diplomat

The double-edged sword: US nuclear command and control modernization
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Andrew Futter

Simon Ramo Dies at 103; Helped Develop ICBMs in the Cold War
The New York Times

Pakistan's new Shaheen-III MRBM uses Chinese transporter, says source
IHS Jane’s 360

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