Nuclear Policy News

Nuclear Policy News - September 29, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – September 29, 2017

TOP NEWS

Japan’s defense chief warns of possible North Korea provocation on October 10
Reuters

Russia and North Korea to discuss nuclear crisis in Moscow
Reuters

Senators Question Strategy for Halting NKorea’s Nuke Program
Associated Press

EAST ASIA

Japan’s defense chief warns of possible North Korea provocation on October 10
Reuters
9/29/17
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera urged caution on Friday because more provocation was possible from North Korea on Oct. 10, when the start of lower house election campaigns in Japan coincides with one of the North’s main anniversaries.

China Support for North Korea clampdown growing: U.S. official
CNBC
9/28/17
China is making progress in enforcing sanctions imposed on North Korea, a U.S. State Department official said on Thursday, and urged skeptical members of Congress not to rush to enact new ones before giving Beijing’s efforts a chance to take effect.

IAEA says North Korea’s rapid weapons progress poses new, global threat
Reuters
9/28/17
The United Nations nuclear watchdog’s chief said on Friday North Korea’s sixth nuclear test conducted on Sept. 3 showed the isolated country has made rapid progress on weapons development that posed a new, global threat.

MIDDLE EAST

Amano: Iran’s nuclear program different from North Korea
Tehran Times
9/28/17
Yukiya Amano, chief of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Tuesday that Iran’s nuclear program is different from situation in North Korea, noting “in the JCPOA’s case, diplomacy worked.”

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia and North Korea to discuss nuclear crisis in Moscow
Reuters
9/28/17
Russian and North Korean officials will meet in Moscow on Friday to discuss the North Korea crisis, a move welcomed by the United States, which has been locked in am increasingly heated war of words with Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Senators Question Strategy for Halting NKorea’s Nuke Program
Associated Press
9/29/17
A senior State Department official acknowledged Thursday that U.S. intelligence agencies don’t believe North Korea will ever pull the plug on its nuclear program, raising concerns among lawmakers over the Trump administration’s strategy for bringing a mounting crisis to a peaceful close.

Trump keeps Europe guessing on Iran nuclear deal
Financial Times
9/28/17
It is unclear [if] a US attempt to force renegotiation or new sanctions would see the agreement survive. 

US presses for more Iran nuclear inspections
Daily Mail
9/28/17
The United States pressed Thursday for the International Atomic Energy Agency to carry out more nuclear inspections in Iran, warning that failure to do so would make the nuclear deal with Tehran "an empty promise."

Former NATO military chief: there’s a 10% chance of nuclear war with North Korea
Vox
9/28/17
And that’s precisely what makes his assessment of the escalating standoff with North Korea so jarring. Stavridis believes there’s at least a 10 percent chance of a nuclear war between the US and North Korea, and a 20 to 30 percent chance of a conventional, but still bloody, conflict.

OPINION AND ANALYSIS

The road to diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula
CNN, Ernest J. Moniz and Sam Nunn
9/29/17
It is imperative that we focus now on steps to reduce these risks, including first and foremost the risk of use of nuclear weapons, but also of devastating conventional forces on both sides of the 38th parallel. Unlike with Iran, where it made sense to keep the talks confined to the nuclear program in order to prevent nuclear weapons development, North Korea negotiations must address broader issues.

Brookes: Trump stockpiles reasons to blow up Iran nuke deal
Boston Herald, Peter Brookes
9/28/17
Trump also said he’d made up his mind about what to do about it — though he didn’t tip his hand as to what exactly that was. If I had to bet, it isn’t a continuation of the status quo. Considering the deal’s shortcomings, that’s understandable.

On North Korea, Is Trump Flunking Crisis Management 101?
USA Today, Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky
9/28/17
We give President Trump high marks for putting the North Korea nuclear challenge at the top of the international agenda, and injecting urgency into coping with a serious threat that has defied the efforts of three previous administrations. Let’s call it “strategic impatience,” the opposite of the Obama administration’s policy of strategic patience. But on almost every other aspect of Crisis Management 101, Trump is failing the course — and the consequences could be deadly. 

How to Tell If North Korea and America Are Actually Headed to War
The Atlantic, Uri Friedman
9/28/17
But while words matter, they aren’t all that matter. Actions may be a better indicator of where the crisis stands and what could come next. And the governments of the alleged dotard and Rocket Man have been taking actions that tell a different story than the apocalyptic rhetoric does.

Trump Goes Rogue on Iran
Bloomberg, Nick Wadhams
9/29/17
Yet after a week of speeches, backroom negotiations, and top diplomatic meetings, the U.S. appears more isolated and its allies more united around the importance of the agreement. The week also exposed the administration’s internal division over Iran—and disdain for the details of the accord.

There’s a way out on North Korea
Washington Post, Fareed Zakaria
9/28/17
There is no good — let alone perfect — policy for the North Korean problem. But the Trump administration needs to stop the insults, get serious and try to find some way to stabilize the situation. Otherwise, we are on a road that will force Washington to either go to war or tacitly admit defeat to the Little Rocket Man.

Prepare for the Worst With North Korea
Real Clear Defense, Matthew R. Costlow
9/28/17
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have pledged to hold North Korea accountable for its actions, using all the diplomatic and military means at their disposal. The world wishes them the best. But lest they become too reliant on hoping for the best, they should also prepare for the worst.

SPECIAL INTEREST

North Korea Continues Work on Second Barge Used for SLBM Testing
38 North
9/28/17
Recent commercial satellite imagery from September 1 and 21, indicates that North Korea continues to work on its second submersible ballistic missile test stand barge at the Nampo Navy Shipyard on the country’s west coast. The intentions in acquiring this second barge and the purpose of the ongoing work are unclear, but there are several possibilities, none of which are mutually exclusive.

Two North Korean Spies, a Ukrainian Jail and a Murky Tale
New York Times
9/28/17
The North Korean spy, posing as a member of his country’s trade delegation in Belarus, thought he was photographing a secret scientific report on missile technology as he snapped away with a small camera in a dingy garage in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, the home of Ukraine’s Soviet-era rocket industry.

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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