Nuclear Policy News – May 18, 2017
N.K. Preparing for Cruise Missile Strikes
The North Korean army is repairing protective walls for gallery positions to brace for possible cruise missile strikes after witnessing such U.S. attacks on Syria last month.
China complains to U.S. about new Iran sanctions
China said on Thursday it had lodged a complaint with the United States after it imposed narrow penalties on Iranian and Chinese figures for supporting Iran's ballistic missile program. China has complained repeatedly to the United States about unilateral sanctions against Chinese individuals and companies linked to either Iran or North Korea's nuclear or missile programs.
Iran Nuclear Deal Will Remain for Now, White House Signals
The New York Times
The Trump administration signaled on Wednesday that it would not, for now, jettison the Iran nuclear deal, despite the president’s harsh criticism of the agreement during the campaign. Facing a deadline of Thursday, the administration said it was waiving sanctions against Iran, as required under the deal. To have done otherwise would have violated the accord, freeing the Iranians to resume the production of nuclear fuel without any of the limits.
US Extends Iran Nuke Sanctions Relief, Adds Other Sanctions
The Trump administration said Wednesday it will continue granting nuclear sanctions relief to Iran, keeping the Obama-era nuclear deal intact for now. But the U.S. also announced new unrelated sanctions in a bid to show it wasn't letting Tehran off the hook.
Iran says new U.S. sanctions on missile work show ‘ill will’
Iran said on Thursday that new U.S. sanctions targeting its ballistic missile program could undermine the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, state television reported.
Russia’s Baltic Fleet to Receive Missile Corvette and Bombers
Russia’s Baltic Fleet will receive a new missile ship and more advanced fighter-bomber jets by the end of the year, its commander told the country’s state defense newspaper.
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
Trump willing to try engagement with North Korea, on conditions
U.S. President Donald Trump told South Korea's presidential envoy that Washington was willing to try to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis through engagement, but under the right conditions. Trump has said "a major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible and all options are on the table but that he wanted to resolve the crisis diplomatically, possibly through the extended use of economic sanctions.
Trump Pledges to Build Coast Guard Icebreakers
The Washington Post
President Trump pledged Wednesday to build icebreaker ships that the Coast Guard has long sought to be able to navigate polar waterways. The comments come as the administration prepares to release details about its proposed 2018 budget.
US Admiral: North Korea’s actions ‘recipe for disaster’
Adm. Harry Harris Jr. stated "Combining nuclear warheads with ballistic technology in the hands of a volatile leader like Kim Jong Un is a recipe for a disaster. Kim Jong Un is not afraid to fail in public and every test he makes is a success because it takes North Korea one step closer to being able to deliver a nuclear-equipped missile anywhere in the world."
Understanding North Korea’s Motives
Real Clear Defense, Danny Lam
The question of DPRK’s motives for acquiring a nuclear arsenal is central to the current debate about international security. Motives are ephemeral constructs that are difficult to assess. To wit, historians are still debating the motives of leaders of Germany, Japan, Britain, France, and US as to why they entered WWII. But without an effort to understand DPRK’s motives, it is impossible to craft a viable set of policies.
Restoring the Balance on NATO’s Eastern Flank
Defense News, Maciej Kowalski
One year ago, the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense site in Deveselu, Romania, achieved initial operational capability. While protection from a limited missile strike from outside the Euro-Atlantic area remains fundamental to the security of NATO, new threats have emerged and need to be addressed.
North Korea: The Military Options
The Atlantic, Uri Friedman
The Trump administration claims “all options are on the table” for dealing with North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program—from using military force, to pressuring China to cut off economic relations with North Korea, to Donald Trump negotiating directly with Kim Jong Un. But what do those options look like? And what consequences could they have?
Revamping America’s Nuclear Posture
The Washington Times, Robert Monroe
The nuclear weapons world has just changed for the fourth time. We’re in a new world, and new policies and actions are required. The first change was in 1945, when we created nukes. The second came in 1949, when Russia detonated a nuclear weapon and threatened global thermonuclear war. The third came in 1991, when we won the Cold War. With no enemies in sight America went into a nuclear freeze, and we’ve been sleepwalking ever since.
Fears Grow Over Russia’s Dangerous Nuclear Escalation
The Daily Caller, Peter Huessy
Vladimir Putin’s government continues to show signs that it would not hesitate to launch a nuclear war. Two top analysts of Russian strategic thinking joined Peter Huessy at a recent Mitchell Institute Forum on Capitol Hill to discuss Russia’s dangerous military doctrine.
Putin’s Maginot Line Exposed by North Korea’s Missile Launch
Foreign Policy Research Institute, John R. Haines
As Russian President Vladimir Putin aims his country’s missile defenses westward toward an ambiguous adversary, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un chipped a ballistic missile into Mr. Putin’s eastern backyard. Mr. Putin faces the perennial challenge of defending a largely indefensible border in Russia’s Far East.
Trump’s North Korean Nuclear Challenge
The Foreign Policy Initiative, Evan Moore
While the Trump administration’s emerging approach is in many ways commendable, it is not clear that the White House is willing to devote the degree of pressure that is required to force either Pyongyang or its Chinese patrons to change their behavior.
Is the US Prepared for a Nuclear EMP to Shut Down New York City?
An EMP attack would be the most militarily effective use of one or a few nuclear weapons, while also being the most acceptable nuclear option in world opinion, the option most likely to be construed in the U.S. and internationally as "restrained" and a "warning shot."
Why Does North Korea hate the United States? Let’s Go Back to the Korean War
The Washington Post, Anna Fifield
There is some element of truth to the North Korean version of history. It’s only a kernel, and it is grossly exaggerated, but North Koreans remember very well what most Americans have forgotten (or never knew): that the Korean War was a brutal one.