Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News – February 14, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 14, 2017



North Korea says missile launch ‘self-defense’, U.S. demands action

UN strongly condemns DPRK’s ballistic missile launch (VIDEO)
UN News Centre

USSTRATCOM Detects, Tracks North Korean Missile Launch
U.S. Strategic Command


North Korea displays ballistic missile improvements with test launch
Defense News
Analysts who have studied the footage and imagery of the latest test say that the Pukguksong-2 is solid fueled like its sub-launched predecessor and noted changes to the shape of the warhead/reentry vehicle, with KCNA claiming it is capable of evading interception, without providing specifics.

North Korea says missile launch ‘self-defense’, U.S. demands action
Han Tae Song, the new Ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the United Nations in Geneva, addressed the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament a day after taking up his post." The various test fires conducted by DPRK for building up self-defense capabilities are, with no exception, self-defense measures to protect national sovereignty and the safety of the people against direct threats by hostile forces."

North Korea’s latest missile likely traveled farther than any other, Pentagon reports
Fox News
The missile traveled roughly 300 miles into the Sea of Japan but did not enter Japanese waters. It was launched on a “high trajectory” traveling for 14 minutes before splashing down.

South Korea says U.S. to deploy strategic assets for joint drills
South Korea's defense ministry said the United States had agreed to deploy strategic assets for annual joint military exercises. It did not immediately give further details, and it was not immediately clear whether the planned deployment of strategic assets for the exercises was in response to North Korea's launch on Sunday of a ballistic missile.


Head of U.N. nuclear watchdog says Iran continuing commitment to deal
 IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said "Iran is implementing the JCPOA" apart from some breaches that saw its stock of heavy water slightly exceed the limit set under agreement which have been rectified. Nuclear activities by Iran is reduced and so this is a net gain. What is important is to continue to implement" the deal.”


India tests ballistic missile interceptor
According to India’s Defense Research Development Organization, the PDV (Prithvi Defense Vehicle) mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 kilometers. Both the PDV interceptor and the two-stage target missile were successfully engaged.


U.N., Trump denounce North Korea, but no sign of any action
The U.N. Security Council denounced North Korea's weekend missile launch, urging members to "redouble efforts" to enforce sanctions against the reclusive state, but gave no indications of any action it might take.

UN strongly condemns DPRK’s ballistic missile launch (VIDEO)
UN News Centre
Denouncing the launches as grave violations of the country's international obligations, the Council also noted that such activities contribute to the DPRK's development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and increase tension. The members of the Security Council further regretted that the DPRK is diverting resources to the pursuit of ballistic missiles while the country's citizens “have great unmet needs.”


Trump says U.S. will deal with North Korea ‘very strongly'
Military Times
A spokesman from the Pentagon said technical advancements in North Korea's ballistic missile programs, demonstrated in the latest test-launch from a mobile launcher, pose a "clear, grave threat" to U.S. security. That assessment reflected concern as well as frustration among U.S. officials, who see North Korea pushing ahead, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with development of missiles capable of striking U.S. territory with nuclear weapons. 

With allies seeking reassurance, Mattis heads to NATO
Defense News
Mattis will leave DC on Feb. 14 for Brussels, where he will attend his first NATO ministerial. attis will undoubtedly prove a popular attraction for NATO countries seeking reassurance that the U.S. is not going to abandon them in the future. 

USSTRATCOM Detects, Tracks North Korean Missile Launch
U.S. Strategic Command
U.S. Strategic Command systems detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 4:55 p.m. CST, Feb. 11, 2017. The launch of a medium- or intermediate-range ballistic missile occurred near the northwestern city of Kusŏng. The missile was tracked over North Korea and into the Sea of Japan.The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.



The Pukguksong-2: A Higher Degree of Mobility, Survivability, and Responsiveness
John Shilling, 38 North
It takes more than a single test to ready a missile for operational service. North Korea’s engineers presumably learned a great deal from this test, which appears to have been basically successful. We do not know how much more they need to learn to be confident that the new missile will function reliably in combat, and will look to the pace of future testing to gauge progress with this new system.

Missile Defense: Blocking Threats or Blocking Diplomacy
Will Edwards, The Cipher Brief
History has shown that missile defense is disruptive whenever a country’s nuclear deterrent is at stake, and the advancement of missile defense technology is likely to continue this trend. Coyle warns that “As missile defenses improve and their numbers increase, they become more threatening to the adversary. Expanded U.S. missile defense deployments only encourage U.S. adversaries to build more and more offensive weapons…” Looking forward, missile defense will likely remain a high wire act balancing between defensive necessity and trust in diplomacy. 

How Trump Could Get a Deal With North Korea
Joel Wit and Richard Sokolsky, The Atlantic
A policy that emphasizes confrontation over dialogue will almost certainly provoke bigger and better North Korean missile and nuclear tests—including a North Korean ICBM and further work to develop a hydrogen bomb. On the other hand, resorting to the failed policies of the past—a sole focus on sanctions and other steps to mount pressure on Pyongyang and Beijing—will mean going down the same dead-end road as the Obama administration.

Air Force 3-Star: Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missile, LRSO, Essential to Saving US Lives & Preventing Major Power War
Kris Osborn,Scout
Senior Air Force leaders continue to argue that engineering a new, modern Long-Range Standoff Missile with nuclear capability may be one of a very few assets, weapons or platforms able to penetrate emerging high-tech air defenses. Such an ability is, as a result, deemed crucial to nuclear deterrence and the commensurate need to prevent major-power warfare. 



Debate: European Missile Defenses for NATO

Thursday, February 16, 2017 4:30pm-7:30pm

The current approach to European missile defenses emerged prior to the conclusion of the agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program (JCPOA) at a time when missile threats from beyond the European theater dominated the European Security landscape. Since that time, much has changed, including the Russian annexation of Crimea and finalization of the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran. This shifting security landscape has returned the spotlight to European missile defenses – but views on the way forward diverge sharply. While some call for expanded missile defenses to bolster assurances to NATO partners, others call for pausing the program before a new site is built in Poland as a means to deescalate tensions with Russia. Thomas Karako and Frank Rose will present arguments in favor of expanding U.S. missiles defenses for NATO, and Joseph Cirincione and Philip Coyle will argue against.

RSVP Here:

Friday's Top Nuclear Policy News


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

Ending Iran nuclear deal would worsen North Korea situation: Kerry

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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