Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News – March 16, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – March 16, 2017



The Latest: North Korean Diplomat Blames US for Rising Tension
The New York Times

Construction begins on Iran’s Bushehr-2 Nuclear Power Plant
Tehran Times

Tillerson: US has ‘failed’ to stop North Korea’s nuke program
The Hill


Japan Agrees with U.S. That North Korea’s Weapons ‘Not Permissible’
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday he agreed with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that North Korea's nuclear and missile programs were not permissible. Tillerson told a news conference with Kishida that they had affirmed a "strong and enduring" friendship between their countries, and U.S. commitment to Japan remained unwavering.

South Korea says China lacks understanding about THAAD
South Korean Defence Minister Han Min-koo told parliament China's concern about the THAAD system's radar was unfounded. "The THAAD system is the most minimum defense mechanism against North Korea's nuclear missile threats. China has been overly assessing the radar and excessively protesting against its deployment.”

The Latest: North Korean Diplomat Blames US for Rising Tension
The New York Times
Minister Pak Myong-ho (Bahk My-ung Ho') has told reporters in a rare briefing at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing Thursday that the joint exercises are aimed at carrying out pre-emptive strikes against North Korea. Pak says the drills were the reason the North had to take "extremely tough measures" to guard itself against such joint exercises that could "evolve into actual combat."




Iran to further boost defense capabilities
Tehran Times
Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan hailed on Wednesday Iran’s military achievements in the current Iranian year which will end on March 20, saying that the Islamic Republic will continue boosting its defensive capabilities.

Construction begins on Iran’s Bushehr-2 Nuclear Power Plant
Tehran Times
The implementation of Bushehr-2 project will take 10 years. The start-up of the second unit is scheduled for October 2024 and the third unit will be launched in April 2026.


Donald Trump’s administration backs India’s bid to join Nuclear Supplies Group
The Independent
Donald Trump’s administration has now endorsed India’s attempt to join the organization and has vowed to work closely with the nation. A US State Department spokesperson stated "The United States supports India's full membership in the four multilateral export control regimes, and we believe that India is ready for NSG membership."

Official Says Pakistan Promises Nuclear Arms Responsibility
Voice of America
Pakistan vowed on Tuesday to work to prevent non-nuclear states from gaining the technology that would put them on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons 



US anticipates new round of nuclear testing by North Korea
The major source of that intelligence for the US is spy satellites that survey the regime from overhead. US officials emphasize the intelligence from satellites is changing and that North Korea could test a missile or a nuclear device at any time with no warning being observed by the US.

U.S. military creates a video to improve Japan and South Korea relations amid North Korean missile tests
Military Times
The video is meant to emphasize U.S.-Japan-South Korea military cooperation to counter the growing threat of North Korea and shows U.S. B-1B bombers taking off from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, being escorted first by Japanese F-2 fighters over Japanese territory and then by South Korean F-15 fighters over South Korean territory

U.S. May Soon Increase Pressure on China to Constrain North Korea
New York Times
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will warn China’s leaders that the United States is prepared to step up missile defenses and pressure on Chinese financial institutions if they fail to use their influence to restrain North Korea’s nuclear and missile program.

Tillerson: US has ‘failed’ to stop North Korea’s nuke program
The Hill
Speaking in Tokyo, Tillerson said his visit to the region will serve as a platform to "exchange views" on a new geopolitical approach toward Pyongyang. “In the face of this ever-escalating threat, it is clear that a different approach is required. Part of the purpose of my visit to the region is to exchange views on a new approach.”

Breakthrough: The Missile Defense Agency Fires 2 SM-6 Interceptors at Once
Using an emerging "active seeker" technology, two SM-6 missiles were able to simultaneously track and destroy a single target, greatly improving the probability of a target kill. 


The Two European Nuke Plans
The New York Times, Max Fisher and Amanda Taub
Ulrich Kühn, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that the election of Donald J. Trump had so shaken German officials and writers that some were “flirting” with an unthinkable idea: a European nuclear weapons program, meant to potentially displace the suddenly uncertain American nuclear umbrella.

Continuation of Policy by Other Means: Ensuring that US-ROK Military Exercises Don’t Increase Risk of War
Asia-Pacific Journal, Peter Hayes
It is critical that military exercises not pre-empt US political objectives while President Donald Trump comes to grips with the “multilemma” that North Korean’s nuclear breakout poses for US strategic policy.

One More Time With Feeling: Clarification on Analysis of the Next Nuclear Test
38 North
Analysis by Frank Pabian and David Coblentz on North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which revealed its potential for additional testing with significantly higher yields. The analysis concluded that the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, contrary to previous assertions, could support nuclear tests up to 282 kilotons. It did not say the next test would be 282 kilotons.

A European Nuclear Weapon Alliance? (Letter)
The New York Times, Rick Wayman
Those advocating European nuclear weapons say they are seeking an “insurance policy.” Insurance policies pay out only when something goes wrong, which, in the realm of nuclear weapons, means it’s too late. The only way to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used is to abolish them. The world will begin an important step toward that goal this month.




Inside Oscar-Zero, A Nuclear Missile Bunker Frozen in Time
CBS News
Oscar-Zero was part of America’s Cold War nuclear defense shield. From 1965 until 1997, two U.S. Air Force officers were given the tremendous responsibility of working 24-hour shifts in this concrete-hardened bunker with access to keys that could launch an arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Lawrence Livermore Lab Publishing US Nuclear Weapons Test Films (VIDEO)
ABC News
These are no Hollywood effects. They're films of real U.S. nuclear tests conducted in the 1950s and 60s. They were made for science and measured to create parts of the nuclear prediction models that are still in use today.





Friday's Top Nuclear Policy News


Having nuclear weapons ‘matter of life and death’ for North Korea: RIA

Ending Iran nuclear deal would worsen North Korea situation: Kerry

North Korea writes open letter to Parliament urging Australia to move away from Trump administration
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Russia’s Lavrov warns one-sided changes could sink Iran deal
Associated Press

Receive Daily Nuclear Policy News

Subscribe to receive the Nuclear Policy News daily in your inbox!

Or subscribe to the Nuclear Policy News RSS Feed.