Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News - August 8, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – August 8, 2017

TOP NEWS 

A Rare Round of Diplomacy From North Korea’s Top Diplomat
The New York Times

Pentagon reviews guidelines which may allow Seoul to have more powerful missiles
South China Morning Post

DoD beefing up missile systems’ cyber defenses
Fifth Domain

EAST ASIA

Japan, South Korea and U.S. plan international push to denuclearize North
The Japan Times
The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea agreed Monday to ramp up international pressure on North Korea to compel the reclusive country to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.  

China ‘fires warning’ with array of navy drills off Korean peninsula
South China Morning Post
Chinese naval forces will conduct more than 10 kinds of drills and launch dozens of types of missiles during four days of live-fire exercises off the Korean peninsula, according to state media. State-run CCTV reported on Monday that the naval forces taking part in the exercises in the Yellow Sea would practice offensive and defensive manoeuvrers with surface ships, submarines, air support, and coastguard forces.

North Korea says nuclear arms aimed only at US
Nikkei Asian Review
North Korea's foreign minister said Monday that its nuclear arms were aimed only at the U.S., not the rest of the world, and accused America of being the "origin of crisis." In his speech at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum on Monday, Ri Yong Ho made clear that Pyongyang would not negotiate over its nuclear and ballistic missiles. He said the country would not stop strengthening its nuclear arms, according to the minister's spokesman, Bang Kwang Hyuk.

New defense chief Onodera suggests Japan should consider acquiring ability to strike North Korean missile bases
The Japan Times
Newly appointed Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has said he will consider the option of allowing the Self-Defense Forces to acquire the capability to directly attack North Korean missile bases amid escalating concerns over Pyongyang’s rapidly growing weapons programs. 

A Rare Round of Diplomacy From North Korea’s Top Diplomat
The New York Times
A Southeast Asian diplomatic meeting quietly turned into the first real multiparty bargaining session in eight years to tackle North Korea’s nuclear program, as the country’s top diplomat held a rare round of talks with his counterparts from China, South Korea and Russia.

SOUTH ASIA

Diplomacy to defuse India, China border crisis slams into a wall: sources
Reuters
India's diplomatic efforts to end a seven-week military standoff with China have hit a roadblock, people briefed on the talks said, prompting Chinese state-run media to trumpet rhetoric of "unavoidable countermeasures" on the unmarked border.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Tillerson: U.S. will respond to Russia’s move to expel diplomats by Sept. 1
Politico
The U.S. government will respond by the end of this month to the Russian government’s decision to reduce the number of American diplomatic staff in Russia by more than 700, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday morning, according to an Associated Press report.

Tillerson in Thailand presses for more action on North Korea
Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday pressed Thai leaders for more action on North Korea during the highest level visit to Thailand by a U.S. official since a military coup in 2014 soured relations with the United States. Tillerson's top priority has been urging Southeast Asian countries to do more to cut funding streams for North Korea. A tenant of the internet of things industry is that anything connected to the internet is connected to hackers. But when you’re talking about a trillion-dollar ballistic missile system, that possibility is unacceptable. As network-connected devices are increasingly incorporated into military operations, defense experts understand that cybersecurity is a key concern. If missiles become vulnerable to cyber infiltration, that could hand enemy soldiers a live weapon that could be rendered useless against a threat or turned against the U.S.

Pentagon reviews guidelines which may allow Seoul to have more powerful missiles
South China Morning Post
The Pentagon said on Monday that it was reviewing bilateral ballistic missile guidelines with South Korea that could allow Seoul to have more powerful missiles as tensions with North Korea rise over its missile and nuclear programmes.

OPINION AND ANALYSIS

Washington and Beijing on dangerous collision course over North Korea
Nikkei Asian Review, Minxin Pei
If Kim continues his provocative nuclear and missile tests, the U.S. may have to turn back to China and try arm-twisting to accomplish what Trump's sweet talk couldn't. At the moment, the most-talked about option is secondary sanctions against Chinese entities doing business with North Korea. Like all the other options proposed to deal with North Korea, secondary sanctions against China sound promising in theory but would be devilishly complicated when put in practice.

How Trump’s Iran Threats Could Backfire-in North Korea
Politico, Aaron David Miller, Richard Sokolsky, and Robert Malley
If, as he has clearly signaled, President Donald Trump chooses in the coming months to hold Iran in noncompliance of the nuclear accord, the impact will be felt in Tehran and the already volatile Middle East. But the more serious casualty could be both more widespread and more distant—thousands of miles away, on the Korean Peninsula. And the Trump administration needs to begin connecting the dots now.

The U.N. has placed more sanctions on North Korea. That’s not enough.
The Washington Post, Editorial Board
Sanctions are a blunt instrument and can take a long time to have any effect. The sanctions on North Korea, first imposed after the 2006 nuclear test and significantly broadened in 2016, have so far had little dis­cern­ible impact. Why? Implementation has been spotty and sometimes miserable. 

A majority of Americans favor deploying U.S. troops if North Korea attacks South Korea, poll finds
The Washington Post, Adam Taylor
A large majority of Americans consider North Korea's nuclear weapons program a critical threat toward the United States, according to a new poll. However, they remain divided on which policy would best contain that threat — and, for the first time in almost 30 years, a majority of Americans were found to support military action if North Korea attacked South Korea.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Game of Thrones: Dragons Are the Nuclear Option (Spoilers!)
The Atlantic
It’s no secret that dragons have a deeper meaning on Game of Thrones. George R.R. Martin has specifically referred to them as “the nuclear deterrent.”

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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