Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News – March 15, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – March 15, 2017



China’s Premier Li Keqiang Has Called for a Return to Talks on North Korean Nukes

Tillerson to press China on North Korea in tough first Asia trip

Senators Reject Call for New Nuclear Weapons, Ending Nuclear Testing Ban 


Tillerson looks to global effort on Iran as model for North Korea


China ready to neutralize THAAD, retired PLA general say
South China Morning Post
China knew it might not be able to stop Seoul deploying a US anti-missile system and was prepared to counter with its own anti-radar equipment, a retired PLA general said on Monday.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang Has Called for a Return to Talks on North Korean Nukes
Li said China was a strong supporter of U.N. resolutions aimed at nudging the North toward ending its programs, and had "fully complied" with economic sanctions on Pyongyang.

China begins new work on disputed South China Sea island
China has started fresh construction work in the disputed South China Sea, new satellite images show, a sign that Beijing is continuing to strengthen its military reach across the vital trade waterway.

U.S., South Korea discuss North Korean threat, China warns of risk
The U.S. and South Korean military chiefs warned on Tuesday that North Korea could "conduct provocative actions" in response to large-scale joint drills between the two countries, as China's premier also said tensions could lead to conflict.


Anti-ballistic missile system for India metros soon
The Indian Express
After successful trials of two homegrown interceptor missiles in a gap of 20 days at both high and low altitudes, India is now planning to deploy the anti-ballistic missile system to protect its metros from hostile aerial attacks.


Tillerson looks to global effort on Iran as model for North Korea
Tillerson will explore with regional powers the creation of a broader international campaign similar to the Obama administration's global approach on the nuclear deal with Iran. Key to that will be more European participation.

North Korea threat looms over Tillerson’s Asia Trip
ABC News
Tillerson will find shared anxiety at North Korea's saber-rattling but less agreement about how to deal with it, and unresolved questions about how the United States and China, the world's two largest economies, can manage growing differences.

Tillerson to press China on North Korea in tough first Asia trip
The chances of Tillerson persuading China to do more to curb North Korea's weapons programs while in Beijing appear scant, given China's anger at the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea last week, and Trump's repeated threats to impose punitive tariffs on Beijing to correct a large trade imbalance.

Senators Reject Call for New Nuclear Weapons, Ending Nuclear Testing Ban

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined with 12 Senate colleagues demanding the Defense and Energy departments reject a recent Pentagon report that called for new “limited-use” nuclear weapons and suggested ending the nuclear testing ban.


Trump’s ‘Deterrence Bounce’ and the Dangers of Shock-Jock Diplomacy
Foreign Policy, Lori Esposito Murray

The problem is not the absence of a foreign-policy doctrine. There is, in fact, a Trump doctrine. While the country and the world immediately recognize that this president does things differently, in the art of diplomacy, words matter.

“Peace Through Strength”: Deterrence in Chinese Military Doctrine
War on the Rocks, Dennis Blasko

As China has grown stronger economically and militarily over the past two decades, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has developed a parallel understanding of the need for a strong military. Through long-term military modernization, Beijing aims to create a capable and credible military force to protect China’s core interests.

March Missiles: Predicting North Korea Provocation
CSIS Beyond Parallel, Marie DuMond

A Predata-Beyond Parallel prediction indicates there is a 43% chance of North Korean WMD activity taking place in the next 14 days. In the next 30 days, there is a 62% chance for North Korean WMD activity. Beyond Parallel defines WMD activity as nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.

Why the real quarrel between Beijing and Seoul isn’t about THAAD
South China Morning Post, Cary Huang

One big problem is that Beijing has been trying to balance efforts towards two contradictory goals – serving its geopolitical and ideological needs. On the one hand, Beijing wants to see a denuclearized Korean peninsula, but, on the other, it fears the loss of a communist ally.

Can Trump Stop Kim Jong Un?
POLITICO, Toby Dalton and John Wolfsthal

None of the options available to President Trump are attractive, but several are fraught with dangerous side effects. The worst ideas would spark an armed conflict or undermine South Korea’s confidence in U.S. security guarantees, potentially pushing Seoul to develop its own nuclear weapons.

Nuclear posture Review: Response to Russia?
The Cipher Brief, Walter Pincus

Pressure is growing for development of a new, U.S., low-yield, land-based or air-launched, tactical nuclear weapon as a response to Russia’s recent deployment of a nuclear-capable, intermediate-range, land-based cruise missile.

Nuclear missile surprises
The Washington Times, Peter Vincent Pry

Evidence continues to mount that the establishment view is wrong. They are grossly underestimating the technological sophistication of rogue state nuclear and missile programs.

China won’t solve Washington’s problem with Kim Jong Un
Defense One, Minxin Pei

Unless the upcoming April summit in Mar-a-lago reaches a grand bargain that stabilizes U.S.-China relations across the board, the risks that the Trump administration will push back against China on trade and security will remain high and China will have little incentive to help America out where North Korea is concerned. If anything, the unfolding crisis in North Korea could get far more dangerous.

Get Real on Iran’s Missile Program
War on the Rocks, Bharath Gopalaswamy and Amir Handjani

After four years during which the Obama and Rouhani administrations worked on a framework to de-escalate tensions between the United States and Iran, it’s now conceivable to envisage a situation where the war of words and posturing could escalate into a military conflict.

India is letting NSG and Masood Azhar get in the way of good relations with China
Hindustan Times
The reason why Sino-Indian relations are in a bad state has a lot to do with the way India conducts its foreign policy, rather than their much talked up geopolitical rivalry.


The Feds Are Spending Millions to Help You Survive Nuclear War
Over the last ten years the US has poured millions of dollars into technologies and treatments it hopes to never have to use, but could, in the event of a nuclear catastrophe.

Soviet-era nuclear testing is still making people sick in Kazakhstan
Public Radio International
With the help of the Americans and the Russians, Kazakhstan buried and sealed two main underground testing sites. Now they’re in the process of clearing every inch of the Polygon of radioactive remnants. It’s slow and expensive work.


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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