Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News – May 16, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 16, 2017



Report: North Korean diplomat open to US talks ‘under the right conditions’

Russian President Vladimir Putin Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ North Korea Missile Launch

UN Security Council Condemns North Korea Missile Test

U.S. will ‘tighten the screws’ on North Korea, Nikki Haley says


North Korea’s Latest Missile Launch Suggests Progress Toward ICBM: Experts
The North's official KCNA news agency said the new strategic ballistic missile named Hwasong-12, fired on Sunday at the highest angle to avoid affecting neighboring countries' security, flew 787 km (489 miles) on a trajectory reaching an altitude of 2,111.5 km (1,312 miles). The details reported by KCNA were largely consistent with South Korean and Japanese assessments that it flew further and higher than an intermediate-range missile (IRBM) tested in February.

Abe Seeks Talks with Chinese, South Korean Presidents at G-20 Summit
Nikkei Asian Review
Saying that it is too early to hold six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear development program, Abe stressed the need for exerting "solid pressure" on the country to cause it to change tack and create a situation where Pyongyang responds sincerely to demands from the international community.

Report: North Korean diplomat open to US talks ‘under the right conditions’
Choe Son Hui, director-general of the North America bureau chief of North Korea's Foreign Ministry spoke to reporters and made the remarks that North Korea would hold talks with the United States "under the right conditions." She made the remarks more than a week after President Donald Trump said he would be willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "under the right circumstances."

North Korea ‘seizes moment’ to test missile
South China Morning Post
The test came just hours ­before China kicked off its Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, where Chinese President Xi Jinping is laying out his vision of globalization to leaders and delegations from dozens of countries. In meeting Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit, Xi said China and Russia were committed to a political solution to the North Korean nuclear issue.

In testing missile, North Korea challenges South’s new leader
Military Times
South Korea, Japan and the U.S. swiftly condemned the launch, which jeopardizes new South Korean leader Moon Jae-in's willingness for dialogue with the rival North.

North Korea missile detected by THAAD, program progressing faster than expected
South Korea’s defense minister said the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile unit deployed by the U.S. military in the South detected the North Korean missile, marking the first time the controversial system has been put to use since its deployment last month.



Russia says North Korean missile falls 500km from its border
Yonhap News
The Russian defense ministry said Sunday the ballistic missile fired by North Korea landed about 500 kilometers from its border, saying it did not pose a danger to the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ North Korea Missile Launch
In comments carried by Russian news agencies, Putin said Russia considers North Korea's missile launches and nuclear tests to be "unacceptable," adding that "we need to return to a dialogue with North Korea, stop intimidating it and find peaceful solutions."




UN Chief Condemns DPRK Ballistic Missile Launch
UN News Centre
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged Pyongyang to return to the path of denuclearization saying the latest ballistic missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a threat to peace and security in the region.

UN Security Council Condemns North Korea Missile Test
The UN Security Council has unanimously condemned North Korea's latest missile test and warned of new sanctions. In a statement, the 15-member Council demanded that Pyongyang conduct no further such tests.


U.S. will ‘tighten the screws’ on North Korea, Nikki Haley says
The U.S. and its international partners will continue to “tighten the screws” on the regime of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un following its test of a ballistic missile over the weekend, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday morning. Haley stated that Kim is “in a state of paranoia” and that his nation’s barrage of missile tests are a symptom of that. She also said that pressure imposed by the U.S. has already been felt by the Kim regime.

Military Plans Flight Intercept Test of Ballistic Missile
The distinctive missile telemetry ship MV Pacific Collector is in port at Aloha Tower, possibly for a key upcoming ballistic missile defense test. The 393-foot ship with twin domes housing 24-foot antennas is owned by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration and used in support of U.S. Missile Defense Agency missions.

Navy to Expand Integration of a New Ship-Defense Technology Able to Destroy Attacking Cruise Missiles
The Navy plans to expand its emerging "over-the-horizon" ship-launched cruise missile defense technology to a wider range of airborne sensor platforms beyond an E2-D Hawkeye and Marine Corps F-35B - to possibly include the Navy's own carrier-launched stealthy F-35C and F/A-18 Super Hornets.


North Korea Missile Test Appears to Tiptoe Over a U.S. Tripwire
New York Times, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger
For months, Washington has been bracing for North Korea to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, waiting to see how close it could get to the United States and how aggressively President Trump should react. Now, it looks as if Kim Jong-un, the North’s 33-year-old leader, has a different plan — one intended to improve his ability to strike the United States without setting off an American military response.

North Korea’s Latest Missile Test: Advancing Towards an ICBM While Avoiding US Military Action
38 North, John Schilling
It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediate-range ballistic missile that might enable them to reliably strike the US base at Guam, but more importantly, may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. Given speculation over the past months about the possibility of military action by the Trump administration, the possible testing of ICBM subsystems in this low-key manner may be a North Korean hedge against the possibility of such action.

THAAD in South Korea Won’t Defuse Current Tensions
Real Clear Defense, Eric Gomez
While THAAD does reduce the chances of a successful North Korean missile attack against important U.S. military bases and some South Korean cities, it probably won’t do much to cool down the situation on the peninsula. In fact, THAAD could contribute to instability and increase the likelihood of a crisis.

Changing Course on the Korean Peninsula
Real Clear Defense, Ron Huisken
The Korean peninsula’s deservedly been labelled a ‘flashpoint’ for well over a half a century but flare-ups in tension appear to be happening more frequently. Under the Trump administration, Washington’s seemingly more inclined to allow matters to come to a head, hoping to then put the issue on a new trajectory. And certainly, the sensible way to think about the peninsula is in terms of a change in the trend of developments, rather than an abrupt and decisive transformation.

North Korean Nuclear Program Can’t Be Stopped with Weapons, says Siegfried Hecker (Interview)
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Elisabeth Eaves
Siegfried Hecker has the rare distinction of being an American who has visited both North Korean and Russian nuclear facilities. Here he answers questions on Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities, its most recent missile test, and what influence the new president of South Korea might have on the regional balance of power.

Time for a Nuclear Intervention with Japan
The Wall Street Journal, James M. Acton
In international friendships as in personal ones, interventions are sometimes necessary to prevent self-destructive behavior. Japan’s nuclear policy, which calls for the U.S. to help Tokyo help itself before it’s too late, is a case in point. The Trump administration should use its leverage to address Japan’s growing piles of unused plutonium.


Target Rich—North Korea’s Atomic Archipelago
Real Clear Defense, Todd Crowell
If the United States ever seriously considered making a pre-emptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile assets, it would have plenty of targets to choose from; perhaps too many. a targeteer would have to take into account nearly a dozen known nuclear weapons/ballistic missile sites, their locations drawn from open sources. Here is an overview of North Korea’s atomic archipelago. 

Evaluating the Iran Deal (Live Stream)
To discuss the deal and its prospects, Cato hosted Ambassador Wendy Sherman, who led the U.S. negotiating team for the Obama administration. The event also features Senior Counselor, Albright Stonebridge Group; Laura Rozen, Diplomatic Correspondent, Al-Monitor; Ariane Tabatabai, Visiting Assistant Professor of Security Studies at the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; Emma Ashford, Research Fellow, Cato Institute; moderated by Benjamin H. Friedman, Research Fellow, Cato Institute.


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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