Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News – May 19, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 19, 2017 


China Says Willing to put South Korea Ties Back on Track, Urges THAAD Resolution

NATO and Partners to discuss Weapons of Mass Destruction, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control at Helsinki

US Navy Moves Second Aircraft Carrier to North Korea

New Ferry Links North Korea and Russia Despite U.S. Calls for Isolation


Chinese Jets Intercept U.S. Radiation-Sniffing Plane, US Says
The New York Times
Two Chinese SU-30 aircraft carried out what the U.S. military described as an "unprofessional" intercept of a U.S. aircraft designed to detect radiation while it was flying in international airspace over the East China Sea.

Tokyo Seeks New Ways to Stop North Korean Missiles
Aviation Week
Japan is seriously considering Aegis Ashore and Tomahawk afloat. A committee of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party urged both measures on the Japanese government at the end of March. In the past few weeks, a series of official leaks has shown that the government agrees.

China Says Willing to put South Korea Ties Back on Track, Urges THAAD Resolution
Relations between Beijing and Seoul, strained by disagreement over South Korea's hosting of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, have taken on a more conciliatory tone with the election earlier this month of President Moon Jae-in. Xi told Moon's representative Lee Hae-chan on Friday that his visit showed the importance the new South Korean leader attached to relations with Beijing.

N. Korea Criticizes Moon’s Dual-Track Policy Toward It
North Korea on Friday sent a critical message via its official media to the newly launched liberal South Korean government over its policy that pursues the North's denuclearization and seeks dialogue at the same time, claiming that dialogue can never be compatible with confrontation.


Iran Nuclear Deal in Play as Hard-Line Candidate Gains on President
The Wall Street Journal
Voters choose Friday between candidates with conflicting visions—President Hassan Rouhani, who has made an opening to the West, and a political newcomer wary of where such a path leads.


New Ferry Links North Korea and Russia Despite U.S. Calls for Isolation
A new ferry between isolated North Korea and Russia docked for the first time at the Pacific port of Vladivostok on Thursday, in spite of U.S. calls for countries to curtail relations with Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs. 

More US Forces Needed in Europe to Deter Russia
Stars and Stripes
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe includes Republicans and Democrats from the Senate and House and representatives from the Defense and State departments and has been in place for more than four decades to examine European security issues. The United States should continue to support a robust conventional buildup in Eastern Europe to deter further Russian aggression there, panelists told an independent U.S. commission on Wednesday, just days ahead of President Donald Trump’s rollout of his 2018 budget.



India has capability to make 2600 Nuclear Weapons: Pakistan
India Today
Amid heightened tension between the two neighboring nations in the wake of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, Pakistan has said that India can produce 2600 nuclear weapons. Claiming the India has the fastest growing nuclear program in the world, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told reporters in Islamabad that India's nuclear aspirations pose a threat to strategic stability in the south Asian region.

India’s MoD Demands Early Induction of Ballistic Missile Defense System
Defense News
To ensure the early induction of India's homemade ballistic missile defense system, the country's Ministry of Defense has directed the state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization to urgently submit a final induction strategy and timeline for the BMD system.


NATO and Partners to discuss Weapons of Mass Destruction, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control at Helsinki
As a valued NATO Partner, Finland will host the 13th Annual NATO Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation from 29 to 30 May 2017 in Helsinki.


US Navy Moves Second Aircraft Carrier to North Korea
The US Navy is moving the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula where it will conduct dual-carrier training exercises with the USS Carl Vinson amid heightened tensions in the region.

Tillerson wants N.K. to Trust U.S. Promise of No Hostility, Refrain from Nuclear, Missile Tests
The remarks, made in a meeting with South Korea's special presidential envoy Hong Seok-hyun, are the latest in a series of signs that the U.S. may be moving toward dialogue and engagement after months of exchanging saber-rattling and harsh rhetoric with Pyongyang.


A Momentous Week for the Iran Nuclear Deal
President Trump’s first foreign trip could undermine an agreement that has kept Americans safe, nine former top Obama administration officials warn.

The World is a Safer Place, Thanks to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
State Department Blog, C.S. Eliot Kang
As the threat from North Korea grows, the NPT is at a critical moment.  This treaty sets an international norm supportive of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in conformity with strong international nonproliferation standards.  The NPT also helps isolate unlawful and provocative behavior such as North Korea’s illicit plutonium and uranium production and development of nuclear weapons.  Such actions create instability and threaten the security of millions of people, including in the United States.

Moon’s Secret Weapon is Sunshine
Foreign Policy, S. Nathan Park
The gains of the Sunshine Policy were real: It genuinely made the Korean Peninsula safer and sowed doubt in the minds of ordinary North Koreans about the Kim regime. Though its faults were equally real, that doesn’t mean we should dismiss the entire approach.

North Korea Showed Off A Lot of Missiles. What Might Be its Targets?
The Washington Post, Bonnie Berkowitz, Laris Larklis, and Tim Meko
Experts assumed Kim Jong Un had the capability to launch nuclear weapons even before last weekend’s test flight of a new missile that, on a normal, flatter trajectory, would have been capable of reaching Guam. But they don’t think he wants to fire them randomly.

A Malaysian Shipyard With North Korean Connections?
Arms Control Wonk, Daniel Salisbury
Open source investigations reveal that North Korea has also been involved – albeit to an unclear degree – with a Malaysian company apparently marketing North Korean designed military vessels including miniature submarines. Evidence, including a recent US sanctions listing in 2016 and a flashy Youtube video, suggest that the company – Kay Marine Sdn Bhd – has collaborated with North Korean partners and may have marketed North Korean designed military vessels since the UN arms embargo first entered force in 2006.

STRATCOM’s Sense of Urgency: Nuclear Posture Review
Real Clear Defense, Peter Huessy
It has been only a few weeks since the Pentagon launched a review of the U.S. nuclear posture — an examination of programs and policies that will guide the Trump administration’s strategy and budget proposals. STRATCOM officials have been staunch proponents of the modernization of the U.S. nuclear triad of Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic bombers and Ohio-class submarines armed with ballistic missiles. It is imperative to modernize.

The North Korean Nuclear Threat is Very Real. Time to Start Treating it that Way
The Washington Post, Stephen Rademaker
There’s every reason to continue pursuing sanctions and diplomacy, but we should not premise our policy on the expectation that such efforts are going to succeed in persuading North Korea to change course. We must also recognize that there is no acceptable military solution to the problem. None of these ideas represent a preferred response to the North Korean nuclear threat. They are, instead, a last recourse. But the past quarter-century teaches that we have no realistic alternatives

The Problem with Suppressing Controversy in the Non-Proliferation Treaty
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Andrea Berger
If there were only three words that delegates used to informally describe the atmosphere at the 11-day long 2017 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee meeting in Vienna, they were “business-like,” “efficient,” and “vanilla.” The plenary room saw surprisingly little debate on disarmament initiatives and on the call for the Middle East to be a zone that is free of weapons of mass destruction. Yet beyond the plenary chamber it is clear that not all is well with the treaty, and some contentious issues could escalate to the point where they collide in the next year.



CSIS Missile Defense Project, Ian Williams and Thomas Karako
An overview of North Korea’s Hwasong-12. The Hwasong-12 first appeared in North Korea’s “Day of the Sun” parade on April 15, 2017. It was speculated at the time that it could be a shortened version of North Korea’s untested KN-08 ICBM

North Korea: What Are the Options? (Podcast)
Cipher Brief, Jack Keane
Jack Keane, retired four-star general, former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army served the American people for almost 38 years as an infantry paratrooper who commanded every level from company through corps. What does he think of U.S. strategy in North Korea? How much of a threat is North Korea? How should Washington and its allies handle the threat? Here’s his perspective “In My Own Words”, no holds barred.

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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