Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News – May 12, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 12, 2017



Russia’s Putin says ready to help resolve North Korea nuclear issue

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

North Korea Poses ‘Existential’ Threat, US Intel Chief Warns
New York Times


North Korea calls US-South Korea plot ‘declaration of war’
Fox News
North Korea's U.N. Mission is calling what it says was a "terrorist" plot by the U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies to kill leader Kim Jung Un a "declaration of war.” 

North Korea sends rare letter of protest over new U.S. sanctions
North Korea sent a rare letter of protest to the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday warning that a new package of tougher sanctions would only spur its development of nuclear weapons, North Korea's state media reported.

North Korea Poses ‘Existential’ Threat, US Intel Chief Warns
New York Times
Dan Coats said the unprecedented nuclear and missile testing last year indicates leader Kim Jong Un is intent on proving North Korea's capability. The North's public claims suggest it could conduct its first flight of an intercontinental ballistic missile this year.

China official discourages linking U.S. trade moves to North Korea issue
China's vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao said on Friday that economic issues should not be politicized, when asked whether the outcomes of the 100-day plan for trade talks with the United States were related to the North Korea nuclear issue.



Iran’s Rouhani takes on hardliners in spirited last debate before vote
President Hassan Rouhani defended his efforts to improve Iran's economy against challengers who aim to topple him in an increasingly acrimonious election next week. Rouhani, swept into office in a landslide four years ago on promises to reduce Iran's international isolation, is seeking a second term after negotiating an agreement with world powers to curb Iran's nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions.


Russia’s Putin says ready to help resolve North Korea nuclear issue
Russia's President Vladimir Putin told his newly elected South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, in a phone call on Friday that he is ready to play a "constructive role" in resolving North Korea's nuclear threat, the South's presidential office said.


India test-fires ‘Spyder’ surface-to-air missile from Odisha test range
Financial Express
Spyder (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) is an acquired missile system from Israel which is a short-range, quick reaction surface-to-air missile to neutralize enemy targets up to a distance of 15 km and at heights between 20-and-9,000 meters.


Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Daniel R. Coats
The United States Intelligence Community’s 2017 assessment of threats to US national security. The order of the topics presented in this statement does not necessarily indicate the relative importance or magnitude of the threat in the view of the Intelligence Community.

US Sees Iran Working to Preserve Nuclear Deal
New York Times
The Latest on the Senate intelligence committee's hearing on global threats: The Trump administration's national intelligence director says the U.S. sees Iran working to maintain last year's nuclear agreement.


Will Moon Push for Engagement with Pyongyang?
The Cipher Brief, J. James Kim
In his first days in office, newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in has tried to reassure the governments of the United States, Japan, and China that he will work to reduce tensions with North Korea, however his preference for engagement over sanctions has some experts wondering if his North Korea policies will clash with those of the Trump Administration.

The Proliferating Ballistic Missile Threat
The Washington Times, Donald P. Loren
A global power exchange of ICBMs is unacceptable, albeit remote. But a post Sept. 11 world makes the threat from ICBM attack more likely from rogue or failed nations and terror-sponsored entities than superpowers. The tactics and strategies of the past, mutual nuclear posturing, de-escalation and negotiation, play a lesser role while the successful ability to intercept and defeat a single or small ICBM attack is paramount.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un Knows How to Wield Nuclear Power
South China Morning Post, Nicholas Khoo
Calling someone a maniac or irrational is often easier than the more challenging and important task of actually analyzing their behavior. In aggressively pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, the North Korean leader is quite rational.

Conventional Artillery and Nuclear Missiles in North Korea
Real Clear Defense, Eric Rasmusen
When we think about Korea in 2017, we need to put the Korean War out of our minds and make a fresh start. What’s relevant is not the Incheon landing or the Chosin Reservoir, it is the Cuban Missile Crisis and Dr. Strangelove.  We are a world like that of the ICBM, the Berlin garrison hostage, and mutually assured destruction.

A Strategy for (Modestly Increasing the Chance of) Saving the INF Treaty
Russia Matters, James M. Acton
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is, most likely, a dead pact walking. Not only are the prospects of Russia returning to compliance with the treaty extremely bleak, but even serious discussions between Washington and Moscow about the treaty’s implementation seem like a diplomatic bridge too far right now. Without a process that offers at least some hope of a solution, the treaty’s survival is likely to be threatened—probably sooner rather than later—by either abrogation or irrelevance.


Real-life WarGames? Expert Claims Careless Hackers Could Cause an Accidental Nuclear Apocalypse
International Business Times
If there's one thing we learned from the 1983 movie WarGames, it's that reckless hackers infiltrating military systems could unwittingly set-off a nuclear arsenal, thus sparking World War III. Today, one leading NATO cybersecurity expert has claimed governments around the world are failing to defend said nuclear facilities from the threat of hackers – and it may lead to an "accidental nuclear war." His comments come as leading technologists call for a "Digital Geneva Convention."

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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