Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News – January 30, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 30, 2017



Israel adds upper tier missile defense capability
IHS Jane’s

North Korea could test midrange missile before ICBM

U.S. Reviews Nuclear Strike Survival for Russia and China


S. Korea’s joint chiefs of staff to lead key resolve exercise in March
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff will lead a combined military exercise with the U.S. from a new command center in March amid growing threats from North Korea, military officials said Monday. The exercise's command center will be set up in an underground bunker of South Korea's Capital Defense Command, as the JCS will lead the annual exercise with the U.S. staff playing a supporting role, according to the ministry. 

Trump reiterates ‘ironclad commitment’ to defend S. Korea: White House
After his phone conference with President Trump, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn remarked, “President Trump reiterated our ironclad commitment to defend the (Republic of Korea), including through the provision of extended deterrence, using the full range of military capabilities. The two leaders agreed to take steps to strengthen joint defense capabilities to defend against the North Korean threat."

North Korea could test midrange missile before ICBM
North Korea is likely to test-launch a midrange Musudan because the missile needs technical improvements, and its detonator and atmospheric re-entry need to be tested. South Korea military officials said North Korea has yet to perfect the technology that could allow for the atmospheric re-entry of a long-range ballistic missile.



Israel adds upper tier missile defense capability
IHS Jane’s
The upper tier element of the Arrow-3 includes high-velocity exo-atmospheric hit-to-kill interceptors and software block increments that will increase the interceptor’s capabilities appropriate to the evolving threat set.



Putin’s Russia in biggest Arctic military push since Soviet fall
The nuclear icebreaker Lenin, the pride and joy of the Soviet Union's Arctic great game, lies at perpetual anchor in the frigid water here. A relic of the Cold War, it is now a museum. But nearly three decades after the Lenin was taken out of service to be turned into a visitor attraction, Russia is again on the march in the Arctic and building new nuclear icebreakers.



U.S. Reviews Nuclear Strike Survival for Russia and China
Under the little-noticed provision in this year’s defense authorization measure, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Strategic Command -- which plans and would execute nuclear strikes -- will evaluate the post-attack capabilities of the two nuclear powers. The law mandates a report on Russian and Chinese “leadership survivability, command and control and continuity of government programs.”



Nuclear Balancing and the Curse of the Heavy ICBM
Rod Lyon, Real Clear Defense
Too big to hide, too heavy to move and too important for an opponent to ignore, the RS-28’s going to be a major factor locking us into a scenario in which Russia continues to deploy a substantial fraction of its strategic arsenal on destabilizing heavy ICBMs—regardless of what the new US administration decides.

Reality: Humanity can’t indefinitely avoid using nuclear weapons
Mustafa Kibaroglu,Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Realistically appraising nuclear weapons and their dangers demands the negotiation of a ban treaty. What is overly idealistic is to believe that humanity, if it possesses nuclear weapons indefinitely, will indefinitely manage to avoid nuclear war.

Can the US Prevent North Korea from Testing an ICBM?
Michael Elleman, 38 North
The likelihood of success is limited, if not improbable. In fact, the probability that the North Korean ICBM test will fail on its own is significantly higher than the probability of success. Preventing Kim Jong Un from developing an operational ICBM can be achieved if North Korea never tests prototypes of the missile. Without flight tests, Pyongyang will not know if the ICBM’s performance and reliability are adequate. However, sea-based missile defenses available today are not capable of reliably interrupting a North Korean ICBM test.



Army opens site of atomic bomb blast to the public for a day
Army Times
Trinity Site was the location for test officers on the Manhattan Project to finalize and test the atomic bomb. Visitors can see ground zero, where the bomb was placed for explosion, and the McDonald ranch house where the plutonium core of the bomb was assembled



The Future of Alliances and Extended Nuclear Deterrence
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 3:30-6:00pm at CSIS

A survey of the world today finds the nuclear landscape – from Russia, to North Korea, to India, Pakistan, and China – to be more uncertain and precarious than it has been any time since the end of the Cold War. Yet, even as nuclear dangers seem to be growing, there seems to be deepening discontent with the notion of nuclear deterrence. A growing chorus of voices questions the legitimacy of assurance and deterrence, fracturing what might have been thought at one point to be a consensus between allies. There also seems to be a growing skepticism about the benefits of the internationalist system on which deterrence, and especially extended deterrence, depends. We invite you to join us for a discussion on these issues facing the Trump administration.


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

Receive Daily Nuclear Policy News

Subscribe to receive the Nuclear Policy News daily in your inbox!

Or subscribe to the Nuclear Policy News RSS Feed.