Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News - July 11, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – July 11, 2017

TOP NEWS 

U.S. aims for U.N. vote on North Korea sanctions within weeks: diplomats
Reuters

US, 16 nations join forces for Sea Breeze 2017
Navy Times

A controversial ban and the long game to delegitimize nuclear weapons
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Sharon Squassoni 

EAST ASIA

South Korea says North doesn’t have ICBM re-entry technology
Reuters
South Korea's intelligence agency does not believe North Korea has secured re-entry capabilities for its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program, a South Korean lawmaker said on Tuesday, disputing Pyongyang's account. North Korea launched what was said to be a nuclear-capable ICBM last week as it presses on with its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of United Nations sanctions.  

U.S. aims for U.N. vote on North Korea sanctions within weeks: diplomats
Reuters
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley aims to put to a vote within weeks a U.N. Security Council resolution to impose stronger sanctions on North Korea over its long-range ballistic missile test, said several senior U.N. diplomats. Haley told some U.N. diplomats late last week of the ambitious timeline for a U.N. response to North Korea's launch on Tuesday.

S. Korea to seek inter-Korean talks after examining N.K. response to Moon’s proposal
Yonhap
South Korea's unification ministry said Monday it will seek inter-Korean talks after gauging North Korea's reaction to President Moon Jae-in's latest proposal to bring peace to the divided peninsula. Moon unveiled his broad vision for improving inter-Korean relations during his speech in Berlin last Thursday, two days after North Korea test-fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

MIDDLE EAST

Iran plans 14 oil and gas exploration tenders
Reuters
Iran is readying its first round of oil and gas exploration tenders since the easing of economic sanctions, hoping to attract the likes of BP and Gazprom, an Iranian energy official said on Monday. Sitting on some of the world's biggest energy reserves, Iran has already been working on deals to develop existing fields such as South Pars, South Azadegan, Yadavaran, West Karoon, Mansuri and Abe-Timur.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

NATO Chief Calls On Russia To Remove ‘Thousands Of Troops’ From Ukraine
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has affirmed the alliance's "unwavering support" for Ukraine's territorial integrity and has called on Russia to remove its "thousands of soldiers from Ukraine.” "I am convinced that an investment in Ukraine's security is an investment into the security of NATO and its member states that pays off," Stoltenberg said, adding that the alliance is "learning a lot" from the cyberattacks that Ukraine has endured in recent months.

US, 16 nations join forces for Sea Breeze 2017
Navy Times
Two U.S. ships, around 800 troops and a team of Navy SEALs will participate in the 17th rendition of Sea Breeze, an annual maritime training exercise in the Black Sea, according to a Navy release. Sea Breeze 2017 will bring together 17 navies from around the world to Odessa, Ukraine, and is expected to last 12 days. The exercises come as tensions boil between the U.S. and Russia over the Black Sea. In response to the two-week training, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet will monitor the exercises from afar, according to a Russian news agency.

SOUTH ASIA

US Raises Pressure on Kashmir Militants Fighting India
Voice of America
The U.S. State Department has declared Syed Salahuddin, the Pakistan-based chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, as a "global terrorist," and imposed new sanctions aimed at suppressing his organization, one of the major militant groups fighting against Indian rule in Kashmir. India and Pakistan have gone to war over Kashmir three times: at the time of partition, in 1947, and later in 1965 and 1999. Since both India and Pakistan now have nuclear weapons, the element of risk in such conflicts has now risen exponentially.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US says missile defense system successfully intercepts projectile during test
CNN
A United States-built missile defense system on Tuesday successfully intercepted its target during a test run, the US Missile Defense Agency said. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system successfully shot down a target over Alaska, according to a news release.

OPINION AND ANALYSIS

A controversial ban and the long game to delegitimize nuclear weapons
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Sometimes it pays to be in the room when your future is being negotiated, even if it includes a ban on your favorite weapons. This is what nuclear weapon states and their allies may find out by the end of this year or early in the next, when the nuclear weapons ban treaty approved in New York on July 7 is likely to enter into force.

North Korea’s surprising, lucrative relationship with Africa
Washington Post, Kevin Sieff
Near the southern tip of Africa, 8,000 miles from Pyongyang, this capital city is an unlikely testament to North Korean industry. There’s the futuristic national history museum, the sleek presidential palace, the sprawling defense headquarters and the shadowy munitions factory. They were built — or are still being constructed — by North Korea, for a profit.

The Trump administration should read its own documents about regime change in Iran
Washington Post, Ishaan Tharoor
Mossadegh's overthrow — and the restoration of the shah of Iran's authoritarian, pro-Western regime — animated the idea of the United States and Britain, whose Anglo-Persian Oil Company (now known as BP) once dominated the Iranian oil industry, as meddling neo-imperialist oppressors. And it's still relevant at a time when a whole wing of the Washington establishment openly desires regime change in Tehran.

What is True and Not True About North Korea’s Hwasong-14 ICBM: A Technical Evaluation
38 North, John Schilling
The Hwasong-14 that flew last week was surprising in several respects. On the surface, it appeared to be a completely different missile than the one North Korea rolled out under the name of “Hwasong-14” back in 2015. On close examination, however, this new Hwasong-14 appears to be closely based on elements of several previous North Korean missiles. In fact, very little of the Hwasong-14 is truly new.

After the Prohibition Treaty
Arms Control Wonk, Michael Krepon
The negotiation by non-nuclear-weapon states of a treaty banning nuclear weapons was followed by the usual refrain, “Now comes the hard part.” Every nuclear arms treaty until this one has reflected no more than what domestic and international politics would allow. Harder problems would be tackled later. The racket you hear is these cans being kicked down the road.

The Uneasy Partnership Between North Korea and China
NPR, Jonathan Pollack
China "continues to walk on eggshells" when it comes to North Korea, says historian Jonathan Pollack. NPR's Rachel Martin asks Pollack about about North Korea's fraught relationship with its neighbor.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Scientists used abacuses to develop China’s first nuclear submarine
South China Morning Post
Now 93, Huang Xuhua, chief designer of the Long March-1, said he still owns one of the suanpan [abacuses] that were used by his team almost 60 years ago, Chutian Metropolis Daily reported on Monday. “Lots of critical data used in the development of the nuclear submarine jumped out from this suanpan,” he was quoted as saying.

Friday's Top Nuclear Policy News


TOP NEWS

Push for UN Sanctions on North Korea Hung Up on Definition of an ICBM
Bloomberg

Russia calls new U.S. sanctions against Iran unfounded: RIA
Reuters

Russia and US beginning strategic stability dialogue—diplomat
TASS

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