Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News - July 7, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – July 7, 2017

TOP NEWS 

South Korea fires missiles in drills following North’s ICBM launch
Defense News

Russia’s former top diplomat urges Trump, Putin to open new security dialogue
Politico

A Treaty Is Reached to Ban Nuclear Arms. Now Comes the Hard Part.
New York Times

EAST ASIA

U.S. bombers challenge China in South China Sea flyover
Reuters
Two U.S bombers have flown over the disputed South China Sea, the U.S. Air Force said on Friday, asserting the right to treat the region as international territory despite China's claim to virtually all of the waterway. The flight on Thursday came as U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping prepare for a meeting on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Germany, where they were expected to discuss what China can do to rein in North Korea's missile and nuclear weapon programs.

South Korea fires missiles in drills following North’s ICBM launch
Defense News
South Korean jets and navy ships fired a barrage of guided-missiles into the ocean during drills Thursday, a display of military power two days after North Korea test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile. The North's ICBM launch, its most successful missile test to date, has stoked security worries in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo as it showed the country could eventually perfect a reliable nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia’s former top diplomat urges Trump, Putin to open new security dialogue
Politico
Vladimir Putin's previous foreign minister and onetime top security adviser has an urgent message for his former boss and President Donald Trump: Ratchet down military tensions to avoid a conflict neither side wants nor can afford. Igor Ivanov, who served as Russian foreign minister from 1998 to 2004, said he is speaking out because he worries that the steady deterioration of relations between Washington and Moscow will spin out of control if Trump and Putin don't establish a path for new security talks to stabilize the situation.

Poland signs memo with US outlining road map to buy Patriot, but no done deal yet
Defense News
Poland announced a two-phased plan to buy a missile defense system from the U.S. in a memorandum of intent that makes political headway but is no closer to minting an actual deal than it was earlier this year when the country said it would buy Patriot missile defense systems by the year’s end.

Russia objects to U.N. condemnation of North Korea, says test was not ICBM
Reuters
Russia objected on Thursday to a United Nations Security Council condemnation of North Korea's latest rocket launch because the U.S.-drafted statement labeled it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and Moscow disagrees, diplomats said. Security Council statements have to be agreed by all 15 members. The Russian mission to the United Nations said it had proposed amendments to the U.S. draft.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

A Treaty Is Reached to Ban Nuclear Arms. Now Comes the Hard Part.
New York Times
For the first time in the seven-decade effort to avert a nuclear war, a global treaty has been negotiated that proponents say would, if successful, lead to the destruction of all nuclear weapons and forever prohibit their use. Negotiators representing more than 130 counties of the 192-member United Nations finalized the 10-page treaty this week after months of talks.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US, China grow further apart as North Korean threat rises
Military Times
U.S. President Trump's hopes for China's help with restraining North Korea appear to have gone nowhere, with the two sides growing further apart as their approaches and concerns diverge. China shows no sign of caving to U.S. pressure to tighten the screws on North Korea, while the North's recent missile tests have done little to rattle Beijing, in contrast to the anxiety sparked in Washington. China's bottom line continues to hold fast: No to any measures that might topple Kim Jong Un's hard-line communist regime.

Hackers are Targeting Nuclear Facilities, Homeland Security Dept. and F.B.I. Say
New York Times
Since May, hackers have been penetrating the computer networks of companies that operate nuclear power stations and other energy facilities, as well as manufacturing plants in the United States and other countries. Among the companies targeted was the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation, which runs a nuclear power plant near Burlington, Kansas.

Mattis: US no closer to war with North Korea after ICBM test
Fox News
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday that the U.S. was no closer to war with North Korea after the rogue nation successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier this week. "I do not believe this capability in itself brings us closer to war," said Mattis, who added that the North Korean launch also doesn't change the Trump administration's determination to pursue diplomacy to resolve the nuclear threat.

Trump warns of ‘severe’ consequences for North Korea as Russia, China balk at tough U.S. talk
Washington Post
President Trump on Thursday stepped up efforts to blunt North Korea, warning that the rogue nation could face “some pretty severe” consequences over its latest missile test and huddling for more than an hour with the leaders of Japan and South Korea. But even as Trump sought to use his proximity to world leaders ahead of the Group of 20 summit here to rally allies, the White House faced firm opposition from Russia and China over any retaliatory measures on Pyongyang.

OPINION AND ANALYSIS

Analysis: The message behind the murder: North Korea’s assassination sheds light on chemical weapons arsenal
Washington Post
In a case with a thousand plot twists, there has been but one constant in the murder investigation of Kim Jong Nam: Nothing is ever what it seems. Nearly five months after the killing, U.S. and Asian officials have a clearer view of the attack’s significance. In carrying out history’s first state-sponsored VX assassination in a country 3,000 miles from its borders, North Korea has demonstrated a new willingness to use its formidable arsenal of deadly toxins and poisons to kill or intimidate enemies on foreign soil, analysts say.

Time to Lose Your Illusions on North Korea
War on the Rocks, Richard Fontaine
The unveiling of North Korea’s new ICBM should inject a dose of realism into its North Korea policy. Too often, U.S. policy has aimed at attractive but unattainable objectives, and sought them through unrealistic means. The United States should respond to North Korea’s ICBM launch with a series of tough measures based on the actual, prevailing dynamics of power on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia. This requires dropping a few illusions.

North Korea has one big advantage over its adversaries
Washington Post, Charles Lane
As yet another crisis looms in Northeast Asia, don’t bet against North Korea. In international affairs, as in life, clarity of purpose can be a huge advantage. And of all the parties to this seemingly endless struggle, only the regime in Pyongyang has it.

Time for Trump to get Tough on China
Politico, Anthony Ruggiero
For far too long, the U.S. has hamstrung its own sanctions regime in the misguided hope that China would restrain North Korea. The thinking among top U.S. officials has been that Beijing would decrease cooperation on North Korea if the U.S. sanctioned China. But Beijing will take action if Chinese banks and companies have to pay the price for aiding and abetting North Korea’s illicit weapons programs, as China did last September following U.S. indictments against a Chinese company and four Chinese individuals.

 

Tuesday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS

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

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’
Politico

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