Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News - July 6, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – July 6, 2017


China, Russia offer plan for easing North Korea tensions
Military Times

Playing nice: Trump’s expecting a warm welcome from Poland
Defense News

U.S. missile shield not yet ready for North Korean nukes


China, Russia offer plan for easing North Korea tensions
Military Times
Russia and China on Tuesday proposed a plan for defusing tensions over North Korea, suggesting that Pyongyang declare a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests while the United States and South Korea refrain from large-scale military exercises.


Khameni Wants Ballistic Missile Program Expansion
International Business Times
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday urged the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to boost the ballistic missile program of the country, reports said. After a meeting with the commanders of IRGC which had launched missiles against ISIS target in Syria in June, Khamenei tweeted the importance of the missile program.


Poland says signs memorandum to buy Patriot missile system from U.S.
The U.S. agreed to sell Patriot missile defense systems to Poland in a memorandum signed on Wednesday night, Poland's Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said. "A memorandum was signed tonight that the U.S. government has agreed to sell Poland Patriot missiles in the most modern configuration," Macierewicz said in a news conference broadcast on public television on Thursday morning.

Playing nice: Trump’s expecting a warm welcome from Poland
Defense News
As U.S. President Donald Trump heads to Poland for the first time, he will likely receive a warm welcome. Trump is scheduled to deliver a speech Thursday in Warsaw before heading off to a meeting of the G20 nations in Germany. But while the expectation for Germany is another cold reception from Western powers, the Eastern countries have planned to embrace the U.S. leader.

European Nuclear Weapons Program Would Be Legal, German Review Finds
New York Times
A review recently commissioned by the German Parliament has determined that the country could legally finance the British or French nuclear weapons programs in exchange for their protection. The European Union could do the same if it changed its budgeting rules, the study found.


Pakistan test-fires short-range ballistic missile
Defense News
Pakistan says it has successfully tested a short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The military said Wednesday the NASR is a high-precision weapons system with the ability for quick deployment and a range of 70 kilometers, or 43.5 miles. It added that this system will augment credible deterrence against prevailing threats more effectively.

Pakistan Enhances Range of Controversial ‘Tactical’ Nuclear Weapon
Voice of America
Pakistan’s military announced Wednesday that it has successfully undertaken a series of flight tests of its battlefield nuclear-capable NASR missile this week, enhancing the rocket’s flight maneuverability and extending its range to 70 kilometers from 60.

Pakistan, India expanding nuclear arsenals as global stockpiles decrease: report
Although global nuclear stockpiles witnessed a drop in 2017 compared to last year, Pakistan and India continue to expand its military fissile material production capabilities on a scale that may enable a significant increase in weapons inventories over the next 10 years, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said in a publication titled "Trends in world nuclear forces, 2017.”


North Korean missile advances put new stress on U.S. defenses
Military Times
North Korea's newly demonstrated missile muscle puts Alaska within range of potential attack and stresses the Pentagon's missile defenses like never before. The Pentagon has spent tens of billions to develop what it calls a limited defense against missiles capable of reaching U.S. soil. The system has never faced combat or been fully tested. The system succeeded May 30 in its first attempted intercept of a mock ICBM, but it hasn't faced more realistic conditions.

US warns North Korea that diplomatic window is closing
Military Times
The United States warned Wednesday that North Korea was "quickly closing off" the prospect of a diplomatic resolution to its provocations, as the Trump administration launched a government-wide effort to identify options for confronting Pyongyang following its unprecedented intercontinental ballistic missile launch.

U.S. missile shield not yet ready for North Korean nukes
Tens of billions of dollars spent over three decades have still left the Pentagon with no reliable way to shoot down nuclear-tipped missiles approaching the U.S. homeland. Instead, the missile defense system designed to shield the United States from an intercontinental ballistic missile has failed three of its five tests, military leaders acknowledge. Even the two successful ones were heavily scripted.


At Trump-Putin Meeting, Start with New START
Defense One, Kingston Reif
President Trump apparently has “no specific agenda” for his first in-person meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, slated to occur this week on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany. So we’d like to suggest one: stabilizing the increasingly troubled relationship between the world’s two largest nuclear powers, beginning by extending the landmark New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START.

Five Blunt Truths About the North Korea Crisis
The New York Times,Nicholas Kristof
The least awful option in the North Korea crisis is diplomacy. It should be aimed at a deal in which North Korea freezes its nuclear and missile programs in exchange for some sanctions relief and a downscaling of military exercises in the area. It’s not clear that this would work, but China has backed the general idea and some North Koreans have seemed open to the idea.

North Korea’s ICBM: A New Missile and a New Era
War on the Rocks, Ankit Panda and Vipin Narang
The consequences of what happened on July 4 are hard to exaggerate. The ICBM test is an important milestone in the overall development of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and crystallizes several ongoing trends in its nuclear force development and strategy. The launch also fundamentally changes the nature of the threat posed by North Korea to the United States and its regional allies, handing the Trump administration a difficult problem it can no longer avoid.

North Korea Just Called Trump’s Bluff. Here’s What the US Can Do
Defense One, Joe Cirincione
North Korea went nuclear on George W. Bush’s watch, advanced rapidly under Obama’s, and now, under Trump’s, will achieve what only two other U.S. adversaries have done in history—put America in its nuclear crosshairs. Can he be stopped? Yes, but it won’t be easy.

The right way to play the China card on North Korea
Washington Post, Jake Sullivan and Victor Cha
There is growing recognition that the old playbook won’t work. Reviving old agreements North Korea has already broken would be fruitless. The Chinese won’t deliver on meaningful pressure. And a military strike could lead to all-out war resulting in millions of casualties. We need to consider a new approach to diplomacy.

Tuesday's Top Nuclear Policy News


U.N. chief seeks to avoid war with North Korea, takes digs at Trump

Spain becomes fourth country to expel North Korean envoy over nuclear program
Washington Post

Trump lashes out at North Korea: ‘Rocket man is on a suicide mission’

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