Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News - August 11, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – August 11, 2017

TOP NEWS 

China warns North Korea: You’re on your own if you go after the United States
The Washington Post

Russia says ‘a pity’ U.S. casts doubt on Iran nuclear deal
Reuters

North Korea: US diplomacy is gaining results, says Mattis
BBC

EAST ASIA

China warns North Korea: You’re on your own if you go after the United States
The Washington Post
China won’t come to North Korea’s help if it launches missiles threatening U.S. soil and there is retaliation, a state-owned newspaper warned on Friday, but it would intervene if Washington strikes first. China has repeatedly warned both Washington and Pyongyang not to do anything that raises tensions or causes instability on the Korean Peninsula, and strongly reiterated that suggestion Friday.

Trump’s Tough Talk on North Korea Puts Japan’s Leader in Delicate Spot
The New York Times
Few foreign leaders have courted President Trump as assiduously as the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. Mr. Abe, analysts say, has sought favor with Mr. Trump for two reasons: to blunt the president’s criticism of Japan on trade issues — a recurring theme for Mr. Trump during his run for office — and to ensure the president’s commitment to Japan’s defense. During the campaign, Mr. Trump sometimes suggested he would scale back the United States’ global military commitments, a policy that would have left Japan, an American treaty ally, exposed.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia says ‘a pity’ U.S. casts doubt on Iran nuclear deal
Reuters
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday it is a pity that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump was casting doubt on the 2015 deal to curtail Iran's nuclear weapons program. "Unfortunately now our American partners call this ...(treaty) into question," Lavrov told a meeting with students broadcast live by state television.

Russia’s Air Defenses on High Alert Over North Korea, Says Senator
Newsweek
Russia has put its eastern air defense systems on high alert following an exchange of nuclear threats between neighboring North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump, a top Russian lawmaker said on Friday.

SOUTH ASIA

India’s military steps up operational readiness on China border
Reuters
India's military has increased operational readiness along the eastern Indian border with China, sources said, as neither side shows any sign of backing off from a face-off in a remote Himalayan region near their disputed frontier.

Pak building nuclear warhead underground storage facility, says US think tank
Hindustan Times
Pakistan has built a “hardened, secure, underground” complex in a remote mountainous region in the restive Balochistan province that could serve as a storage site for nuclear warheads, an American think tank said.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

If Missiles Are Headed to Guam, Here Is What Could Stop Them
The New York Times
North Korea’s threat to launch four intermediate-range ballistic missiles into the ocean near Guam could mark the first combat test of the sophisticated missile defense systems of the United States and its Asian allies. if the four Hwasong-12s do make it off the ground, the options for stopping them mostly rely on hitting them on the way down — in their “terminal” phase.

In new threat, Trump demands North Korea ‘get their act together’
Military Times
President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea on Thursday, demanding that Kim Jong Un’s government “get their act together” or face extraordinary trouble. He said his previous “fire and fury” warning to Pyongyang might have been too mild. 

North Korea: US diplomacy is gaining results, says Mattis
BBC
After days of fiery rhetoric from both the US and North Korea, Mr Mattis said war would be "catastrophic" and that diplomacy was gaining results.

Lockheed debuts next-gen missile defense radar ahead of Army competition
Defense News
Lockheed Martin brought a new next-generation air-and-missile defense radar to the Space and Missile Defense Symposium this week that it hopes will help the U.S. Army finalize its requirements for a new 360-degree radar for the service’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defense system.

Trump pledges ‘billions’ increase in missile defense spending
Defense News
U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to increase defense spending by “billions of dollars,” while hinting that a plan to increase spending on missile defense may come as soon as next week.

OPINION AND ANALYSIS

The GOP’s dangerous plan to build more nukes
Politico, Tom Collina and Rose Blanchard
The U.S. Congress is on the verge of authorizing new nuclear weapons, trashing a major Reagan-era arms control agreement and putting us on the road to a new arms race with Russia. This is a huge mistake that would put U.S. and global security at risk, and proves the old saying: Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. 

America desperately needs to modernize its nuclear weapons
The Hill, Michaela Dodge
The scale, scope and capacity of the Russian and Chinese nuclear modernization programs far outstrip current U.S. efforts. Failing to modernize our aging warheads and platforms carries tremendous risk that goes well beyond those posed by not “keeping up with the Joneses.”

War of the Words: North Korea, Trump, and Strategic Stability
War on the Rocks, Vipin Narang and Ankit Panda
Let’s start with the merely bad news. On August 8, The Washington Post reported that the Defense Intelligence Agency believes North Korea is now capable of fitting a compact nuclear warhead on some of the ballistic missiles it recently tested. But, as always with North Korea, there’s worse news.

Can Congress stop Trump from Launching a nuclear attack on North Korea?
The Washington Post, Amber Phillips
Congress could wiggle itself into the debate to stop Trump from launching nuclear warheads at North Korea. At least one bill to that effect has been introduced in the Senate. Except, it might not want to. There are some major downsides to putting in restrictions on the president's use of nuclear weapons, including that doing so could make it easier for a country to attack the United States.

The Madman and the Bomb
Politico, Garrett M. Graff
On an August day, it had been quietly removed from Nixon’s hands—remaining behind at the White House with the incoming commander-in-chief, Gerald Ford. Moreover, Defense Secretary James Schlesinger recalled years later that in the final days of the Nixon presidency he had issued an unprecedented set of orders: If the president gave any nuclear launch order, military commanders should check with either him or Secretary of State Henry Kissinger before executing them.

Kim Jong Un wants to stay in power—and that’s an argument against nuclear war
The Washington Post, Anna Fifield
Whether the North is willing to carry out a launch against the US— and risk escalating the showdown with Washington — is uncertain. But the near-miss scenario, analysts say, reflects an important insight into the mind and motives of the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un. He is prepared to push back against the United States and its allies to a point, many believe, but never enough to risk a war that would threaten his rule as the third-generation strongman in a family dynasty that took hold after World War II.

U.S. has military options for handling North Korea—but none are good
Politico, Jacqueline Klimas and Bryan Bender
The United States and its allies have military options for confronting North Korea — including an all-out invasion, more limited air and missile strikes, cyberattacks or a covert effort to oust the regime of Kim Jong Un. But those scenarios carry enormous risks, including the possibilities of loss of life, loose nukes falling into terrorists’ hands or the conflict spreading to a wider Asian war.

Friday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS

Having nuclear weapons ‘matter of life and death’ for North Korea: RIA
Reuters

Ending Iran nuclear deal would worsen North Korea situation: Kerry
Reuters

North Korea writes open letter to Parliament urging Australia to move away from Trump administration
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Russia’s Lavrov warns one-sided changes could sink Iran deal
Associated Press

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