Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News - June 27, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – June 27, 2017

TOP NEWS

North Korea Can Produce Hydrogen Bomb But Is Not Likely To, Stanford Professor Says
International Business Times

Russian Navy test-fires submarine-launched missile
Defense News

House bill threatens Russia with nuclear treaty suspension
The Hill

EAST ASIA

North Korea Can Produce Hydrogen Bomb But Is Not Likely To, Stanford Professor Says
International Business Times
North Korea is advancing the development of hydrogen bomb and is capable of producing tritium, an important component in making hydrogen bombs, Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist and professor at Stanford University, said Tuesday. The reclusive country has threatened the U.S. with hydrogen bomb and claimed last May that it successfully tested the atomic weapon.

Japan, U.S. to mull quicker missile defense upgrades, deployment of Aegis Ashore
The Japan Times
Japan will consider increasing the pace of upgrades to its ballistic missile defense system in cooperation with the United States as the allies race to meet the threat posed by an effective increase in the speed of North Korean missiles, a Japanese government source said. 

Foreign minister says Seoul has no plan to reverse THAAD deployment
Yonhap
South Korea will not reverse the planned deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system, its top diplomat said Monday, reiterating the government's stance apparently aimed at easing uncertainty surrounding the agreement with the United States reached by the previous government. 

North Korea at the top of agenda as South Korea’s new president comes to D.C.
Washington Post
During his upcoming visit to the U.S., Moon Jae-in will be going to the White House for what is shaping up to be a challenging summit, with the leaders taking sharply different approaches to dealing with North Korea and a continuing disagreement over an American antimissile system deployed to South Korea.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russian Navy test-fires submarine-launched missile
Defense News
The Russian military says it has successfully test-fired a submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile.  The Defence Ministry said the Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear-powered submarine launched the Bulava missile Monday from a submerged position in the Barents Sea. The ministry said the missile's mock warheads reached their designated targets on the opposite side of Russia — the Kura shooting range on the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula.

Trump will start ‘No win arms race’ with Russia by scrapping nuclear missile deal, warns Moscow’s Defense Committee Chief
Newsweek
Russia will respond if the U.S. pulls out of a key nuclear disarmament pact, warned a leading defense official in Vladimir Putin’s ruling party, despite allegations that Russia has repeatedly violated the treaty.

NATO’s senior military officer: Russia threat growing on all fronts
Politico
NATO’s senior military officer said the alliance was confronting efforts by Russia to increase its military capabilities on virtually every level and allies were on guard to prevent any repeat of the Kremlin’s military intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

SOUTH ASIA

Mexico, India to hold disarmament meet
The Hindu
India and Mexico have agreed to hold an important conference on regional and global disarmament. The meeting would be headed by the Joint Secretary of the disarmament division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) from the Indian side. It was taken up during the seventh meeting of the Mexico-India Joint Commission (JCM) and the fourth round of Foreign Office Consultations held on June 23 in Mexico City.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Trump eager for big meeting with Putin; some advisers wary
Military Times
President Donald Trump is eager to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin with full diplomatic bells and whistles when the two are in Germany for a multinational summit next month. But the idea is exposing deep divisions within the administration on the best way to approach Moscow in the midst of an ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. elections. 

Trump administration welcomes financial watchdog’s Iran sanctions reprieve
Al-Monitor
The Donald Trump administration expressed support today for an intergovernmental watchdog’s decision that rewards the Iranian financial system for its relative progress combating money laundering and terrorism financing. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) voted last week to continue suspending countermeasures on Iran indefinitely, while keeping the country on the banking advisory body’s black list. 

House bill threatens Russia with nuclear treaty suspension
The Hill
The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) stipulates that should the Russians violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and fail to comply within 15 months of the bill’s enactment, “the U.S. would no longer be legally bound by the treaty as a matter of domestic law,” according to a summary of the bill.

White House threatens Syria over possible chemical attack
Politico
The White House, in a rare high-stakes gambit that took some national security veterans off guard, announced Monday it has evidence that Syria is preparing to launch another chemical attack and warned that it will “pay a heavy price” for doing so. 

OPINION AND ANALYSIS

Has South Korea renounced “nuclear hedging”?
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Lami Kim=
The nonproliferation community may hail the Moon administration’s nuclear-free energy policy, as some view South Korea as a potential nuclear aspirant given the nuclear threats coming from its northern neighbor. Moon’s promise to reconsider South Korea’s pyroprocessing program and to phase out nuclear power may send a signal that Seoul is no longer pursuing a strategy of “nuclear hedging” that lies somewhere between nuclear pursuit and nuclear rollback, and is instead abandoning any future capacity to build nuclear weapons. 

Don’t Believe the Hype About European Defense
War on the Rocks; Luis Simon
Those invested in the notion that the European Union can become strategically autonomous interpret pretty much whatever happens out there as a catalyst for greater European defense cooperation. Every time there is some sort of global crisis or “external shock,” catalyst-related narratives pop up — there are just too many politicians, officials, and pundits in Europe who lust after such narratives.

Donald Trump’s bloodlust for war in the Middle East risks chaos
The Guardian; Trevor Timm
Lost among the deluge of stories about the Russia investigation and the Republicans’ push to take healthcare away from millions of people, the Trump administration is laying the groundwork for a disastrous regional proxy war against Iran in Syria, and possibly beyond.

SPECIAL INTEREST

The Terrifying Tale of the Russian Nuclear Submarine That Sank Twice
The National Interest
Under the conditions of the Cold War, Soviet workers, soldiers, and sailors of the Soviet Union did as well as they could. But the immense pressure of the Cold War inevitably produced accidents, often in the cutting edge systems that the Soviets needed most. K-429 sank because the Soviet leadership grew paranoid about American military advantages, and then sank again because the Soviets lacked the resources to maintain basic port facilities.

Middle East turmoil is disrupting a vital resource for nuclear energy, space flight, and birthday balloons
The Washington Post
The diplomatic and trade embargo on the tiny Middle Eastern nation of Qatar is creating devastating ripple effects around the globe, including in one little-noticed market: helium.

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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