Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News – May 10, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 10, 2017



Deputy Secretary General Discusses Arms Control in Vienna

Chinese military conducts live-fire drills, weapons tests

U.S. Criticizes Russian Build-Up Near Baltic States

S. Korea’s next leader will engage North, reconsider THAAD
Fox News


Chinese military conducts live-fire drills, weapons tests
China's military has conducted live-fire drills and weapons tests in the northeastern Bohai Sea close to the Korean peninsula, the country's defense ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry said the tests of new missiles and weapons were carried out by the People's Liberation Army's Rocket Force "in recent days" and were designed to raise operational capability to effectively deal with national security threats.

S. Korea’s next leader will engage North, reconsider THAAD
Fox News
President Moon Jae-in has been critical of the hard-line stances that conservative governments in Seoul maintained against North Korea over the past decade. Moon says the confrontational approach did nothing to prevent North Korea from expanding its arsenal of nuclear weapons and missiles and only reduced Seoul's voice in international efforts to deal with its rival.

N. Korea unveils ‘satellite photos’ of THAAD in S. Korea
38 North
The North's state-run Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station aired two pictures showing what were described as THAAD components installed at a golf course at the southern South Korean county of Seongju during a TV talk show aired on Monday

S. Korea Pushes Statement on N.K. Nukes During NPT Meeting
South Korea is pushing for an international nonproliferation panel's adoption of a statement calling for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and missile programs. South Korea and France are currently reviewing the draft statement and seek to submit it to the preparatory committee meeting for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) underway in Vienna.




U.S. Criticizes Russian Build-Up Near Baltic States
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that a Russian missile deployment near the Baltic states was "destabilizing", and officials suggested the United States could deploy a Patriot missile battery in the region for NATO exercises in the summer.




Deputy Secretary General Discusses Arms Control in Vienna
NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller began a two-day visit to Austria on Friday (5 May 2017) with a speech at the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP). Addressing a seminar on ‘NATO’s Enduring Commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty’, Ms. Gottemoeller outlined the Alliance’s efforts to preserve peace, limit proliferation and reduce the number of nuclear weapons.




The World Didn’t Agree to a Nuclear-Armed Iran, Even in 10 Years
Wall Street Journal, Max Singer
Critics of the agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, often say the deal gives Iran permission to acquire nuclear weapons after 10 years. Yet the stated premise of the plan was that Iran would never build or acquire nuclear weapons—ever.

Signaling Resolve or Capability? The Difference Matters on the Korean Peninsula
War on the Rocks, Kyle Haynes
In order to accurately weigh the costs and benefits of military deployments as bargaining signals, we need a clear conception of what exactly these signals are intended to convey. In the North Korean context, demonstrating American capability may actually be more important than signaling its credibility.

Why start over in ballistic missile defense?
Defense News, Steven P. Bucci
Much discussion has revolved around the United States’ decision to dispatch a carrier strike group to the Korean peninsula and the implications of the subsequent delay in the “armada’s” arrival. Many analyses of the carrier strike group’s deployment implicitly assumed that dispatching such a potent symbol of American power was intended to “signal resolve” and bolster deterrent threats aimed at the North.

Yes, we do have a way to deal with North Korea
Politico, Peter Harrell
The Trump administration has a playbook from which to draw: the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Trump, who declared the Iran deal a “disaster,” won’t like the comparison. But there are broad similarities between North Korea’s and Iran’s efforts to develop their nuclear programs, and the policies that forced Tehran to the bargaining table can work against Pyongyang as well.

Diplomacy with North Korea Can Work
Defense One, Bernadette Stadler
There are lessons to be learned from the Agreed Framework, especially now that the Trump administration has indicated that diplomacy is back on the table. The main takeaway should not be that diplomacy doesn’t work, but that diplomacy can and does work when pursued tactfully, seriously and patiently.

Pentagon Unprepared for New Arms Race
Real Clear Defense, Sandra I. Erwin
Generals and admirals at the Pentagon fret about China’s ambitious military modernization plan. Cringing at the potential of a future war in the Western Pacific might involve Chinese missiles and submarines capable of overpowering America’s military. How the Pentagon moves to respond, however, calls for a fresh discussion on how China is building a technologically superior military.

A Third Nuclear Crisis on the Korean Peninsula
Japan Times, Yoichi Funabashi
If Pyongyang refuses to negotiate, then the increased sanctions must be accompanied by a coordinated policy of “containment” to prevent wild actions by North Korea. In the event of such a development, and if that leads to collapse of the regime, the five-party talks should immediately switch to mechanisms for a crisis response.



Nuclear South Asia
Arms Control Wonk, Michael Krepon
The Stimson Center is offering a free online course to help assess this state of play, what choices lay ahead, and how to avoid the mistakes that Washington and Moscow have made. The course is Nuclear South Asia: A Guide to India, Pakistan, and the Bomb.

Tunnel with nuclear waste collapses in Washington state
Military Times
A portion of an underground tunnel containing rail cars filled with radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday at a sprawling storage facility in a remote area of Washington state, forcing an evacuation of some workers at the site that made plutonium for nuclear weapons for decades after World War II.

Monday's Top Nuclear Policy News


North Korea Lawmaker: Need Nukes Because of US Threat
New York Times

Nobody will trust U.S. to engage in long-term negotiation: Zarif
Tehran Times

U.S. officials try to ease concerns Trump may quit Iran deal

Tillerson: US prefers diplomacy with NKorea, but has options
Associated Press

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