Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News – February 3, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 3, 2017



Mattis warns North Korea against any attack on U.S. or its allies
The Associated Press

U.S. readies sanctions on Iran after missile test
The Associated Press

Minot AFB missile wing prepares for ICBM test launch
Minot Daily News

Iranian foreign minister “unmoved by threats” from U.S.


Japan’s Shinzo Abe asks Pope Francis to visit Hiroshima
Japan has been increasingly calling for a world without weapons of mass destruction since it observed the 71st anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing on Aug. 6. "If the pope says a prayer for bomb victims, it will be a great force for the realization of a world without nuclear weapons," Abe said.

Mattis warns North Korea against any attack on U.S. or its allies
The Associated Press
U.S. defense secretaries have long offered assurances to South Korea and Japan that its nuclear "umbrella" will protect them, but Mattis's statement was perhaps more pointed than most. He made the remarks during an appearance with his South Korean counterpart, Defense Minister Han Min Koo. 

U.S. defense chief, in Japan, reaffirms commitment to treaty
Abe said he was convinced that, with Trump and Mattis, the United States and Japan could demonstrate to the world their "unwavering alliance". He also told Mattis Japan intends to bolster its defense and to "expand the role it can play", according to the statement.

China says resolutely opposes deployment of THAAD in South Korea
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang reiterated China's opposition to the U.S. system at a daily news briefing in Beijing. China has consistently opposed the decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, saying it threatens China's own security and will do nothing to ease tension on the Korean peninsula.



U.S. readies sanctions on Iran after missile test
The Associated Press
The sanctions, coming in the first weeks of President Donald Trump's term, reflect his administration's desire to take a strong stance toward Iran from the start.

Iranian foreign minister “unmoved by threats” from U.S.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Friday that the Islamic Republic was unmoved by U.S. threats following its missile test launch and that Tehran would never initiate war. "Iran unmoved by threats as we derive security from our people. Will never initiate war, but we can only rely on our own means of defense," Zarif wrote.



Russia likely to mull action if THAAD deployment goes ahead: envoy
Yonhap News
Russian Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Timonin said that the stationing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the Korean Peninsula will have a "dangerous" impact on ongoing efforts to secure regional peace and stability. "We will have no choice but to draw a certain conclusion once the THAAD installment is complete we will have to take certain types of countermeasures to guarantee our own security."

German minister: No sign U.S. wants to cancel nuclear deal with Iran
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was necessary to do everything possible to make progress on the nuclear deal with Iran and that he did not see any indications during a visit to the United States that Washington would terminate it.



Army Extends PATRIOT Missile Tech-Improvement & Ponders New Upgrades
The PATRIOT Missile Segment Enhancement improves fire-control, radar and target tracking for the weapon, which can destroy enemy drones, aircraft and Theater Ballistic Missiles.

Minot AFB missile wing prepares for ICBM test launch
Minot Daily News
A team from the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base will test an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile with a launch from  Vandenberg AFB, Calif., early next week.



Iran’s Ballistic Missile Test: Troubling But Not Cause for Provoking Confrontation
Kelsey Davenport and Daryl Kimball,Arms Control Association
Instead of provoking a confrontation with Tehran, Washington should focus its efforts on strengthening enforcement of the extensive ballistic missile sanctions on the books to continue to slow Tehran’s missile program and pursue region-wide restrictions on ballistic missiles in the Middle East.

Bring Russia to the Table and Promote America’s Security: The Art of the Deal
Stephen Blank and Peter Huessy, Gatestone Institute
The new President seeks to modernize the US nuclear deterrent, expand effective missile defenses, and significantly increase conventional military capability, while reforming and revitalizing NATO. These plans will no doubt rub up against Mr. Putin's objectives. The two urgent tasks for the new administration are: 1. formulation of strategic objectives, and 2. adoption of a strategy that gets the United States and its allies where the US would like to go. That means bringing Russia to the table from a position of US strength, rather than the calculated weakness of the last eight years.

Don’t Rip up the Iran Deal, Mr. President
George Perkovich, POLITICO
It took years, and enormous effort across multiple U.S. administrations, to pull off the Iranian nuclear deal. Political capital is hard to win, easy to lose and even harder to get back. Gambling on the deal is an unnecessary fool’s bet. Contesting Iran would be harder if its nuclear program were unconstrained and the rest of the world blamed the U.S. for it. If only a presidency were at stake, it would be merely interesting to see how this drama plays out. But the stakes here are much higher.

Europe should act fast to preserve the Iran nuclear deal
Ellie Geranmayeh, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Europe has a crucial but short window to clearly outline its position on the Iran nuclear deal in ways that could influence policymakers in Washington. In doing so, Europe should focus on preserving the agreement under existing terms as enshrined by the United Nations, and charting a course that minimizes confrontation—whether intentional or accidental—between Iran and the United States in an already turbulent Middle East.



How to Deter New Space Threats
Todd Harrison, The Cipher Brief
Satellites now crowd our orbit with vital communications, global positioning (GPS) networks, and imaging platforms. This new age of commercialization and exploration offers many opportunities, however, it also presents the U.S. and other countries with unique security dilemmas. 

The Logic of Banning Nuclear Weapons
Beatrice Fihn, Global Politics and Strategy
If the international community is ever going to get rid of nuclear weapons, it must start by clearly rejecting them.


Monday's Top Nuclear Policy News

PACOM chief Harris arrives in South Korea as North likens joint war game to ‘pouring gasoline on fire’
Japan Times

Iran: Top priority to protect nuclear deal from US
Al Jazeera

Talk of ‘Preventative War’ rises in White House over North Korea
New York Times

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