Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News - October 3, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – October 3, 2017

TOP NEWS

Republicans might block Trump from killing Iran nuke deal
Politico

White House again rejects talks with North Korea on nuclear issue
Reuters

North Korea Called Me a ‘War Maniac.’ I Ignored Them, and Trump Should Too.
Politico, William J. Perry

EAST ASIA

Political polarization hampers efforts to counter N.K. threats
Yonhap News Agency
10/2/17
Rival parties' stark divergence on security is posing yet another nettlesome challenge to the South Korean government's efforts to cope with an increasingly provocative North Korea, observers said Monday. 

Fostering peace on Korean peninsula biggest contribution to mankind: PM Lee
Arirang
10/3/17
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon says fostering peace on the Korean peninsula is the biggest contribution Korea can make to mankind.

North Korea tension sidelines South’s Unification Ministry
Asahi Shimbun
10/3/17
As North Korea steps up its nuclear weapons tests and threats, the Unification Ministry, dedicated to improving relations with the North and eventual peaceful reunification, faces an almost existential crisis.

MIDDLE EAST

Ex-Netanyahu national security adviser urges US to keep Iran deal
Al-Monitor
10/2/17
“Doing away with the agreement is no real option,” said Arad, who served as national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during 2009-2011. “It simply removes from existence something that had been established, that presented certain assets and certain things that are tangible — and replacing that [with] nothing.”

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Putin lambasts war hysteria over North Korea
TASS
10/3/17
Russian President Vladimir Putin is certain that soaring military rhetoric over North Korea is harmful, but at the same time Moscow is critical of North Korea’s violations of UN Security Council resolutions.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Republicans might block Trump from killing Iran nuke deal
Politico
10/3/17
Even a few defections would make a difference in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow 52-seat majority. Democratic senators, even those who opposed the nuclear agreement two years ago, want the deal to remain in place. As it stands now, enough Republicans are undecided that GOP leaders would struggle to corral the votes needed to reimpose sanctions.

White House again rejects talks with North Korea on nuclear issue
Reuters
10/2/17
The White House on Monday ruled out talks with North Korea except to discuss the fate of Americans held there, again appearing to rebuke Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who said Washington was directly communicating with Pyongyang on its nuclear and missile programs.

A Nuclear Deal With North Korea May Be Tillerson’s Mission Impossible
New York Times
10/2/17
Apart from conflicting messages from President Trump and his aides about their willingness to enter negotiations, the hurdles to a meaningful dialogue with North Korea are high, and it will be even more difficult to reach a deal with the North than it was with Iran, analysts said.

OPINION AND ANALYSIS

North Korea Called Me a ‘War Maniac.’ I Ignored Them, and Trump Should Too.
Politico, William J. Perry
10/3/17
A quarter-century of close involvement with the challenge of nuclear deterrence in North Korea leaves me confident that a different approach holds vastly more promise. This approach would rely on diplomacy carried out in unambiguous but calm and measured language, backed by a thoroughly credible threat of punitive measures up to and including military force. The strategy would start with a clear appraisal of the risks we are trying to mitigate.

Why Pakistan must be like North Korea: Dawn columnist
The Straits Times, Munir Akram
10/3/17
Pakistan's ability to resist Indian diktat and to disagree with America's strategic design flows from one principal source: its nuclear and missile capabilities. Without this, Pakistan would have been attacked like Iraq or sanctioned like Iran. On the other hand, North Korea, despite its isolation, has been able to thumb its nose at America because of its demonstrated nuclear and missile prowess.

Analysis: Are Trump, Tillerson doing ‘good cop, bad cop’?
Associated Press, Matthew Pennington and Matthew Lee
10/3/17
If President Donald Trump and his top diplomat are playing “good cop, bad cop” with North Korea, it doesn’t appear to be working: Entreaties of diplomacy aren’t yielding meaningful talks, and military threats aren’t scaring Pyongyang into halting its nuclear advance.

The Iranian Nuclear Deal’s Sunset Clauses
Foreign Affairs, Ali Vaez
10/3/17
Undermining the Iran nuclear deal out of fear of its sunset provisions will only achieve one thing: it will bring that sunset far closer, without a realistic and achievable alternative to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.

North Korea Benefits From Nuclear Weapons. Get Used To It.
War on the Rocks, Mark S. Bell
10/2/17
War with North Korea should now be off the table and the denuclearization of North Korea is similarly unrealistic. If the United States wants to tamp down the current crisis, it needs to get used to North Korean nuclear weapons and the constraints they impose on U.S. foreign policy.

Abandoning Iranian Nuclear Deal Could Lead to New Wave of Cyberattacks
Foreign Policy, Kate Brannen
10/2/17
It remains uncertain which approach Trump will take, but whichever way he decides to go, his decision on the nuclear deal will not be made in a vacuum. There could be unintended consequences, particularly in the cyber domain, involving U.S. financial and corporate interests.

The Folly of Tactical Nuclear Weapons
Defense One, Michael Krepon
10/2/17
The arguments for adding another low-yield warhead design to the current U.S. stockpile don’t add up. We already have three warhead types whose yields can be dialed down (or up). They would be delivered by air, not by forces in the field, because the U.S. Army reached the conclusion that it’s folly to use tactical nuclear weapons in a land battle. However delivered, tactical nuclear weapons get in the way of U.S. soldiers.

The Middle Eastern Roots of Nuclear Alarmism Over North Korea
War on the Rocks, Rebecca Friedman Lissner
10/3/17
Why have foreign policy elites been so reluctant to reconceptualize the North Korea crisis accordingly? The answer lies with the legacy of the First Gulf War. Coming at the dawn of the post-Cold War Era, the conduct and after-action analysis of Operation Desert Storm shaped Washington’s threat assessments in enduring ways. The war highlighted the danger posed by regional powers’ nuclear proliferation, and America’s insufficient tools to counter the spread of the world’s deadliest weapons. As such, it inaugurated the post-Cold War preoccupation with nuclear proliferation as the primary threat to the United States in the unipolar era — a preoccupation that only compounded over time, as Washington grew increasingly accustomed to unfettered military dominance.

If the U.S. Reimposes Sanctions on Iran, Allies Will Follow
Foreign Policy, Richard Goldberg
10/2/17
Trump should decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement and hold a sanctions Sword of Damocles over the Iranian economy: change your behavior or risk total economic collapse before you could ever reach the point of a nuclear weapon. Cry as they might along the way, no European or Asian corporation is going to choose a terrorist regime over access to the U.S. dollar.

Scuttling Der Weinerplan
Arms Control Wonk Podcast, Jeffrey Lewis and Aaron Stein
10/3/17
Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the prospects for Trump to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal, why that would be a bad idea, why the "section T" talking point is tendentious nonsense, and why its time to make peace with the fact that the future of nonproliferation is mostly about persuading countries to take a pass on the bomb.

Friday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS

Having nuclear weapons ‘matter of life and death’ for North Korea: RIA
Reuters

Ending Iran nuclear deal would worsen North Korea situation: Kerry
Reuters

North Korea writes open letter to Parliament urging Australia to move away from Trump administration
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Russia’s Lavrov warns one-sided changes could sink Iran deal
Associated Press

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