Nuclear Policy News

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Nuclear Policy News - September 26th, 2013

TOP NEWS

Former U.S. envoy on N. Korea meets N. Korean official in Berlin
 
Iran seeks 'phased actions' in nuclear talks
 
RIP, Megatons for Megawatts
 
IAEA foresees continued growth in nuclear capacity
 
The U.S. Should Cut Its Nuclear Arsenal Before Sequester Does
 
EAST ASIA
 
N.Korea Could Conduct More Nuke Tests, Pundit Warns
 
North Korea is likely to conduct one or more nuclear test to miniaturize warheads that could be attached to missiles, a Chinese expert warns.
 
N. Korean leadership stabilization may take 1-2 more years: U.S. expert
 
SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un has not fully taken control of power and it may take a year or two for him to become firmly entrenched, a North Korean observer said Thursday.
 
South Korea seeks stealth jet edge while North's MiGs age
 
(Reuters) - South Korea's decision to reject a bid by Boeing (BA.N) to supply 60 warplanes and to re-issue a tender was made in the interests of stealth technology but may not be justified given North Korea's weak air capabilities, experts said.
 
Former U.S. envoy on N. Korea meets N. Korean official in Berlin
 
U.S. and North Korean officials have held informal talks over Pyongyang's nuclear program in Berlin, a diplomatic source said.
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
Iran seeks 'phased actions' in nuclear talks
 
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign minister is urging step-by-step compromises between his country and world powers to advance negotiations over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
 
Scrutiny Of Iran's Nuclear Program Likely To Highlight Israel's Secret Atomic Weapons Stockpile
 
JERUSALEM -- With a few words in a largely conciliatory speech to the United Nations, Iran's new president took aim at an Israeli fear: that international pressure on the Iranian nuclear program could lead to scrutiny of Israel's own secretive nuclear facilities.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
Indian Prime Minister to Meet Obama in Washington
 
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to meet President Barack Obama on Friday as the U.S. and India look to deepen military relations and increase cooperation on nuclear energy, hoping to invigorate their bond at a time when economic ties are strained.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
RIP, Megatons for Megawatts
 
Chances are good that if you’ve switched on a light in the United States in the last 20 years, you can thank a retired Russian nuclear warhead for lighting up the darkness.
 
Russia, China Hold Large-Scale War Games
 
Pentagon intelligence agencies are closely watching Russian and Chinese war games now taking place in Europe and Asia involving tens of thousands of troops.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
The nuclear question likely to be key issue in Iran-U.S. talks
 
UNITED NATIONS — After Secretary of State John F. Kerry sits down Thursday with his Iranian counterpart to start the highest level talks between the two nations in 34 years, negotiators for the two sides are likely to grapple with a highly sensitive issue:
 
IAEA and Iran: Resolving the nuclear impasse
 
President Hassan Rouhani generated a positive buzz yesterday with his United Nations General Assembly statements about Iran’s determination to resolve the nuclear impasse with the international community. Though he argued Tehran was not prepared to give up its enrichment program, the new president declared “nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran’s security,” adding that his government was now committed to “time-bound and result-oriented talks to build mutual confidence and removal of mutual uncertainties with full transparency” to resolve any doubts.
 
IAEA foresees continued growth in nuclear capacity
 
Global nuclear power generating capacity will continue to grow by 2030 but at a slightly slower rate than predicted a year ago, according to the latest estimates from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
 
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
 
Minuteman III test missile launches from Vandenberg
 
An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was launched during an operational test at 3:33 a.m. (PDT) today from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., marking the second successful Minuteman test launch this week.
 
OPINIONS
 
A nuclear Iran is still dangerous, even if the tone of voice has changed
 
The positions of the United States and Iran on Iran’s nuclear program remained unchanged on Tuesday, with the speeches of the countries’ two presidents, Barack Obama and Hasan Rouhani, at the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Rouhani reasserted Iran’s “right” to enrich uranium inside his country, but he did not specifically insist on the making of high-grade enriched uranium, which can be readily turned into weapons-grade uranium. Consequently, the next round of negotiations in Geneva next month is not yet doomed to futility, and the time is not quite ripe for a further tightening of sanctions on Iran.
 
North Korea doesn’t need China’s exports to build its nuclear weapons program
 
On September 24, China released a 236-page list of goods it would no longer export to North Korea because of their possible use in developing nuclear or other weapons. It was a sign that even Pyongyang’s closest ally was turning up the pressure on the diplomatically isolated country.
 
The U.S. Should Cut Its Nuclear Arsenal Before Sequester Does
 
WASHINGTON -- A think-tank warned on Tuesday that if the Pentagon does not make moderate reductions to its nuclear-weapons programs and related missions, it could be forced to accept undesired changes to its atomic assets because of “sequestration” budget cuts.
Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 25, 2013

TOP NEWS

North Korea progress is outpacing sanctions, experts warn
South China Morning Post

Iran’s Rouhani calls for ‘consistent voice’ from U.S. on nuclear issue
Reuters

Israel bleak about US-Iran rapprochement at UN Summit
Hindustan Times

China tightens nuclear sanctions against North Korea
VOA

Talking to Tehran makes sense
LA Times

EAST ASIA

N. Korea may learn to miniaturize nuclear warhead for ICBMs in few tests: researcher
Yonhap News Agency

North Korea may be one test shy of developing a technology to miniaturize a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on its long-range ballistic missile, a nuclear policy researcher said Wednesday.

North Korea progress is outpacing sanctions, experts warn
South China Morning Post

North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme is developing beyond the international community’s ability to rein it in with effective sanctions and export restrictions, regional analysts and nuclear experts warned on Wednesday.

S. Korea decides against picking Boeing’s F-15 SE as next fighter jet
Yonhap News

South Korea decided not to select Boeing's F-15SE as the country's next fighter jet Tuesday amid concern the sole-remaining candidate for the 8.3 trillion won (US$7.2 billion) project is not suitable as it lacks stealth features.

MIDDLE EAST

No place for nuclear weapons in Iran security doctrine
The Hindu

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that his country was poised to negotiate with the United States over the country’s disputed nuclear enrichment effort but insisted on continuing the peaceful nature of the programme.

Iran’s Rouhani calls for ‘consistent voice’ from U.S. on nuclear issue
Reuters

Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, expressed hope on Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama would not be swayed by "warmongering pressure groups" at home in dealing with the Iranian nuclear dispute and called for a consistent voice from Washington on the issue.

Israel bleak about US-Iran rapprochement at UN Summit
Hindustan Times

Israel voiced concern on Tuesday over a potential meeting of the US and Iranian presidents, saying Tehran sought reconciliation with world powers as a ruse to press on with its nuclear programme. Iran's new government has taken its charm offensive to the annual UN General Assembly, agreeing to international nuclear negotiations that would include its foreign minister seeing US secretary of state John Kerry.

SOUTH ASIA

India voices concern over Sino-Pak nuclear cooperation
Zee News

India has flagged concerns over Sino-Pak nuclear cooperation and China's assistance in building infrastructure in PoK ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's planned visit here next month.

Cabinet clears nuclear liability clause ahead of PM’s UNGA visit
Zee News

In a move which is likely to evoke sharp reaction from the Opposition, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared the contentious Nuclear Liability Clause, paving way for signing of an agreement between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and America's Westinghouse.

Come clean on nuclear plans, Putrajaya told
The Malay Online

Putrajaya needs to explain a report by an international nuclear lobby group claiming that Malaysia is planning to build up to five nuclear power plants by 2030, DAP's Charles Santiago said today.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

French leader meets Iran’s Rouhani, demands ‘concrete’ nuclear steps
Reuters

French President Francois Hollande became the first Western leader to meet new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday after warning that Paris expects "concrete gestures" by Iran to show it will give up a military nuclear program.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

China tightens nuclear sanctions against North Korea
VOA

China has tightened its restrictions on goods banned for export to North Korea as part of international sanctions against Pyongyang's nuclear program.

Austrian President urges nuclear disarmament in General Assembly
United Nations News Centre

Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation can only be achieved together, the President of Austria told the United Nations General Assembly, calling also for the Arms Trade Treaty to enter into force as early as possible.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Reassesing US Nuclear Weapons Policy
Cato Institute

Today Cato released a new white paper, “The End of Overkill? Reassessing U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy.” I am proud to have contributed to this effort with lead author Benjamin Friedman of Cato, and Matt Fay, a former Cato research assistant now enrolled in the History PhD program at Temple University. We argue that U.S. security does not require nearly 1,600 nuclear weapons deployed on a triad of systems—bombers, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs)—to deliver them. We estimate that a smaller arsenal deployed entirely on submarines would save roughly $20 billion annually while deterring attacks on the United States and its allies.

Obama challenges UN to confront Chemical, Nuclear weapons
ABC News

A new round of diplomatic outreach with Iran will be among President Obama's top second-term priorities, he told the United Nations today, though voicing cautious skepticism that any talks will lead to a dramatic change in relations.

OPINIONS

Talking to Tehran makes sense
LA Times

In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama on Tuesday promised to engage Iran's new leadership in negotiations to prevent the development of nuclear weapons in that country as part of a broader normalization of relations. The president was right to say that "the diplomatic path must be tested" despite concerns in this country and Israel that Iran will never abandon its ambitions to be a nuclear power.

US needs actions, not words, from Iran
LA Times

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to the United Nations this week is being analyzed in excruciating detail for signs that the long-stalled negotiations over Iran's nuclear program can finally gain traction. What exactly did Rouhani mean when he talked about peace and moderation? The media blitz has been interesting, but what really matters is what Rouhani does with his first 100 days in office.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 24th, 2013

TOP NEWS

North Korea 'has technology to build uranium-based nuclear bombs'
The Guardian

Israel sceptical about easing of pressure on Iran to halt nuclear programme
The Guardian

Ahead of UN Summit, Hopes for an India-Pakistan Meeting
VOA News

Kerry, Iran's foreign minister to meet at U.N.
LA Times

Here's the Deal the U.S. and Iran Should Make Right Now
Kenneth Pollack for the New Republic

EAST ASIA

North Korea 'has technology to build uranium-based nuclear bombs'
The Guardian

North Korean scientists are thought to have attained the ability to build uranium-based nuclear bombs on their own, cutting the need for imports that had been one of the few ways outsiders could monitor the country's secretive atomic work.

China criticises Japan's X-band radar system plan
CNTV

China has criticized a Japanese plan to install a cutting-edge U.S. missile defense radar system. China's Foreign Ministry says it could harm regional stability and upset the strategic balance.

MIDDLE EAST

Russia-Israel Ties in Spotlight In Wake of Syria Deal
Al-Monitor

Among the confidential documents declassified by the Israeli State Archives on the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War is a fascinating letter sent in September 1972 by Prime Minister Golda Meir to German Chancellor Willy Brandt. In the document, which for some reason has not attracted much attention, Meir refers to the decision by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in July of that year to expel the 20,000 Soviet advisers from his country. Meir wrote that the Russian presence in Egypt was to prepare the army for a war with Israel, but that Sadat may have thought it would also force the United States to cooperate with the Soviets in pressing Israel to agree to a diplomatic solution on “Egypt’s terms” (i.e., withdrawal from territory Israel captured in the 1967 war). Meir assumed that with the departure of the Soviet advisers, “the grounds for the realization of these options have greatly diminished.”

Israel sceptical about easing of pressure on Iran to halt nuclear programme
The Guardian

Faced with a stream of conciliatory rhetoric from Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, and a diplomatic overture to Tehran by Washington, Israeli officials are voicing scepticism and concern about a possible easing of western pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear programme.

SOUTH ASIA

India's nuclear reactors are most safe in world: BARC
Economic Times

AMRITSAR: The country's nuclear reactors are one of the safest in the world, a senior BARC scientist said on Monday.

Ahead of UN Summit, Hopes for an India-Pakistan Meeting
VOA News

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to meet with his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, later this week in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Analysts hope the proposed meeting will revive talks aimed at normalizing relations and provide an opportunity to explore solutions for long-running bilateral disputes, including the dispute over Kashmir.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Tehran, Moscow agree to build new nuclear power plant - Iran’s nuclear chief
RT

Tehran and Moscow will cooperate on the future construction of a new nuclear power plant, according to Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi. The news comes as Russia hands over operational control of the first unit of the Bushehr nuclear plant to Iran.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

White House: N. Korea already has nuclear weapon, Iran doesn't
UPI

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- In dealing with North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs, it should be noted North Korea already has a nuclear weapon while Iran doesn't, a U.S. official said.

Iran hails start of 'new era' with nuclear talks at U.N.: report
Reuters

(Reuters) - A meeting between Iran's top diplomats and world powers at the United Nations this week will start a "new era" in efforts to end the dispute with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, the Iranian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Kerry, Iran's foreign minister to meet at U.N.
LA Times

UNITED NATIONS — In a sign of a potential thaw in relations, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will sit down Thursday with Secretary of State John F. Kerry and representatives of five other world powers in the highest-level formal meeting between U.S. and Iranian diplomats in more than three decades.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Aging nuclear bombs could take a hit in budget tug of war
UPI

OMAHA, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Hundreds of Cold War-era atomic bombs must be upgraded before their electronics fail, says the head of the Nebraska-based long-range bomber strike force.

OPINIONS

Iran's nuclear diplomacy: a moment of truth looms
Julian Borger for the Guardian

Some things never change. The UN media liaison unit gave both the wrong time and place to pick up badges for the general assembly. When journalists arrived, volunteers were still being trained. The badge-printing computers did not function properly.

Seelig: Time to ratify ban on nuclear testing
Jennifer Seelig for the Salt Lake Tribune

While all eyes were recently on Syria, another important international security issue escaped attention. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, signed 17 years ago this week, is not high on Congress’ to-do list, but it should be.

Why Netanyahu Wants to Scuttle a U.S.-Iran Deal
Marc Tracy for the New Republic

The U.N. General Assembly in September is one of two times each year that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can virtually guarantee himself space in the U.S. media, the other being the AIPAC Conference every spring. Several times in past years, his government has used the weeks preceding these events to drum up concern over his top priority, which is halting Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, so that he can then come to America, put a capper on the weeks of chatter, and then, hopefully, extract promises from President Barack Obama—who, for the record, has pledged to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb. To take just two examples: Israeli government sources provided ample quotes for two different articles, one in August 2010 and another in January 2012, suggesting that Israel was close to attacking Iran, kicking off much talk stateside and ending in renewed vows of U.S. support, roughly, for the Israeli position.

Here's the Deal the U.S. and Iran Should Make Right Now
Kenneth Pollack for the New Republic

When Hassan Rouhani, the new president of Iran, speaks at the United Nations General Assembly this week, the world will hold its breath.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 23, 2013

TOP NEWS

US experts: North Korean scientists are mastering domestic production of key nuke components
Washington Post

Would Ed Miliband trade our nuclear arsenal for the keys to Downing Street?
The Telegraph

Iran’s Nuclear Program ‘quite advanced’
PBS

Israel’s rearguard battle for nuclear ambiguity
Haaretz

Syria shows only decisive use of US force is unacceptable
Washington Post

EAST ASIA

China: North Korea Ready to Make Nuclear Commitment
ABC News

China's foreign minister pushed Friday for the restart of international talks on North Korea's nuclear program, saying that Pyongyang is ready to recommit to the goal of denuclearization.

US experts: North Korean scientists are mastering domestic production of key nuke components
Washington Post

North Korean scientists are able to build crucial equipment for uranium-based nuclear bombs on their own, cutting the need for imports that had been one of the few ways outsiders could monitor the country’s secretive atomic work, according to evidence gathered by two American experts.

China releases list of goods banned from export to N. Korea
Reuters

China has released a list of technologies and goods banned from export to North Korea because of their possible use in building nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, China's Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.

China worries over deployment of U.S. missile defense radar in Japan
Yonhap News

China expressed concern Monday over a media report that a Japanese prefecture agreed on the deployment of a U.S. missile defense radar to counter threats from North Korea's missiles

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s Nuclear Program ‘quite advanced’
PBS

HARI SREENIVASAN: World leaders will be arriving here in New York for the start of next week's U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Speculation is already rampant that President Obama will meet with the new Iranian president in an effort to resolve the long stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program. Yesterday, a deputy national security adviser told reporters, "We do believe there is time and space for diplomacy," something the Israeli government is much more skeptical about. How soon could Iran produce nuclear weapons? For more about this we’re joined now from Boston by David Albright, a physicist and founder and president of the non-profit Institute for Science and International Security, so David, my first question is what is the state of Iran's nuclear program today?

Iran President Rouhani Pushes for Nuclear Talks with West
Deutsche Welle

Speaking on the eve of his trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Rouhani laid out his demands for reaching a deal over Iran's nuclear program.

Iran’s Russian plant to be handed over in ceremony
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty

A ceremony is expected to be held in which Iran will take control of the Russian-built nuclear power station at Bushehr.

SOUTH ASIA

Nuke vendors pushing Centre to bypass law
Hindustan Times

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, on Sunday said the pressure of the ‘hidden hand’ of nuclear vendors’ remains on the government to bypass the civil liability for nuclear damages act, passed by Parliament. He said if the Centre was planning to permit the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to enter into arrangement with US nuclear vendors by waiving the “right to recourse”, it would be contrary to provisions of the liability laws and compromise state revenue.

Obama-Singh meet may focus on civil nuclear deal
Hindustan Times

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting at White House next Friday is likely to focus on how to operationalise the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal and enhanced defence cooperation.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Would Ed Miliband trade our nuclear arsenal for the keys to Downing Street?
The Telegraph

Since the United Kingdom became a nuclear power, successive governments have maintained a continuous strategic deterrent. If the Liberal Democrats have their way, this will end and the country will no longer be capable of instant retaliation to a nuclear attack. Under plans voted for at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow last week, the four-boat ballistic missile submarine fleet would be reduced to three, or more probably two, making the restoration of a continuous deterrent unlikely - or more probably, impossible.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Israel’s rearguard battle for nuclear ambiguity
Haaretz

Israel scored another victory this weekend in the rearguard action it is fighting to maintain nuclear ambiguity, when a resolution initiated by the Arab countries at the annual meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency was rejected by a vote of 51-43. The proposal called for Israel to place its nuclear facilities under UN supervision and to ratify the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

Israel skeptical about easing of pressure on Iran to halt nuclear program
The Guardian

Faced with a stream of conciliatory rhetoric from Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, and a diplomatic overture to Tehran by Washington, Israeli officials are voicing scepticism and concern about a possible easing of western pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear programme.

EU says Iran, 6 key nations to hold nuclear talks
ABC News

Iran's new foreign minister will join talks with six key nations trying to rein in the Islamic Republic's nuclear program later this week at the United Nations, the European Union's foreign policy chief said Monday.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US nearly detonated nuclear bomb over North Carolina – secret document
The Guardian

A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.

Nuclear Weapons Test from Vandenberg Air Force Base
The Las Vegas Guardian

California — Vandenberg Air Force Base launched a Minuteman III rocket this morning, September 22, at 3:01 AM PST. The target of this morning’s test was Kwajalein Atoll, an island in the Pacific Ocean some 4,200 miles away from the launch site. This is the first of two tests of a nuclear weapons delivery system scheduled this week from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

OPINIONS

Syria shows only decisive use of US force is unacceptable
Washington Post

If you are looking for the silver lining (very, very hard) on Syria, you might take faith in the notion that the U.S. administration will now be more mindful of other suspect deals and its critics will be ready to challenge the administration to stick to its long-held position. Mike Singh, for example, argues: “For the Obama administration, Syria must serve as a wake-up call as the administration enters a more serious phase of nuclear diplomacy with Iran. The White House has — quite inadvertently — partnered with Congress to forge a policy combining heavy pressure and repeated outreach that may now have Iran considering changing course.”

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 20, 2013

TOP NEWS

North Korea’s nuclear envoys return home from China
Yonhap News Agency

Iran president blames Israel for ‘instability’, calls for Peace
World News NBC

Software update keeps B-52 at forefront of bomber fleet
U.S. Air Force

US, Britain must rethink nuclear strategy
Christian Science Monitor

No time left for negotiations with Iran: Israeli nuclear minister
Reuters

EAST ASIA

Japan premier urges full decommissioning of Fukushima nuclear site
LA Times

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe toured the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex Thursday and urged its owner to abandon hopes of restarting the only two intact reactors and concentrate instead on unfinished cleanup operations, Japanese media reported.

North Korea’s nuclear envoys return home from China
Yonhap News Agency

North Korea's veteran nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye-gwan, and his aides returned to Pyongyang on Friday after a five-day visit to Beijing, where he urged for the resumption of the six-party talks "without preconditions."

MIDDLE EAST

Iran president blames Israel for ‘instability’, calls for Peace
World News NBC

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed Israel for causing "injustice to the people" of the Middle East during an exclusive interview with NBC News in which he also called for peace, saying Iran is not "looking for war."

Putin: ‘Israel’s nuclear weapons just make it a target’
The Jerusalem Post

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons stockpile only serves to make the Jewish state “a target” and creates “foreign policy problems.”

Iran Said to Seek a Nuclear Accord to End Sanctions
NY Times

Iran’s leaders, seizing on perceived flexibility in a private letter from President Obama, have decided to gamble on forging a swift agreement over their nuclear program with the goal of ending crippling sanctions, a prominent adviser to the Iranian leadership said Thursday.

Pakistan fears abduction of nuclear scientist A Q Khan by US troops, ups his security
National Turk

Pakistan fears abduction of nuclear scientist and country’s father of nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadir Khan by US elite troops in repeat of May 2, 2011 Abbottabad-like-raid in which Alqaida chief Osama bin Laden was killed. The security of Khan has been increased manifold.

SOUTH ASIA

US welcomes Myanmar signing nuclear agreement
ABC News

The United States on Thursday welcomed Myanmar's signing of an agreement with the U.N. atomic watchdog that will require it to declare any nuclear activities and allow inspections — the latest step by the former pariah nation toward openness.

Accused of diluting nuclear liability law, government promises to stick to law
Times of India

The government's effort to find an honourable way around the constraint of the nuclear liability law without actually violating it ran into rough weather on Thursday with the opposition accusing it of seeking to dilute the law for the sake of US and other foreign suppliers.

India addressing concerns of US nuclear supplies: Shiv Shankar Menon
Zee news

New Delhi: India is "close to" clinching the commercial aspect of its civil nuclear deal with the US and is also addressing the concerns of US suppliers over its nuclear liability law, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon said Friday.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Consequences for Russian Missile Crash Will be Harsh
Ria Novosti

The people responsible for the crash of a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile at the start of September will be held accountable and possibly fired, a Russian military official told reporters on Friday.

Royal Navy names latest nuclear submarine HMS Artful
The Guardian

Britain's latest nuclear-powered submarine has been unveiled.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

No time left for negotiations with Iran: Israeli nuclear minister
Reuters

Iran is on course to develop a nuclear bomb within six months and time has run out for further negotiations, a senior Israeli minister said.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Software update keeps B-52 at forefront of bomber fleet
U.S. Air Force

The B-52 Stratofortress will soon receive a software upgrade that will keep the aircraft at the forefront of the U.S. strategic bomber fleet.

US plans to test nuclear missiles draws fire from peace activists
Daily Times Pakistan

The US plan to test nuclear missiles next week has drawn fire from international peace activists who have been calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons for years.

OPINIONS

US, Britain must rethink nuclear strategy
Christian Science Monitor

The recent British parliamentary decision against military action in Syria sparked a cascade of media headlines about the demise of the US-UK “special relationship.” Similar claims are likely to resurface as Britain considers how and if to replace its Trident nuclear submarines.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 19th, 2013

TOP NEWS

N. Korean Call for New Nuclear Talks Prompts Wary US Response
VOA News

Rouhani says Iran not working for nuclear bomb and he has "full power" to negotiate with U.S.
CBS News

Following Agni 5 Success India Plans Longer-Range Missile
Global Security Newswire

Generals speak to importance, relevancy of nuclear enterprise
AFNS

Let’s Be Honest About Israel’s Nukes
Victor Gilinsky and Henry Sokolski for the New York Times

EAST ASIA

N. Korean Call for New Nuclear Talks Prompts Wary US Response
VOA News

North Korea has called again for the resumption of multi-nation talks on its nuclear program. But the United States — a key participant in the so-called six-party negotiations — says Pyongyang first must take "meaningful action" on earlier promises to end its nuclear weapons program.

NNSA, Republic of Korea Ministry agree to minimize use of HEU in nuclear reactors
Your Industry News

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today signed an agreement with the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (MSIP) to continue cooperation on low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel development. This agreement will facilitate conversion of civilian research reactors in Europe so that the reactors will use non-weapons usable LEU fuel instead of highly enriched uranium (HEU), supporting President Obama’s goal to advance global nuclear security.

MIDDLE EAST

Rouhani says Iran not working for nuclear bomb and he has "full power" to negotiate with U.S.
CBS News

WASHINGTON Iranian President Hasan Rouhani said Wednesday that his country has never sought and will never seek a nuclear bomb, telling NBC News in an interview that he has full authority to resolve a standoff with the West.

Hailing 'flexibility', Iran leader commends new nuclear gambit
Reuters

(Reuters) - Talk by Iran's Supreme Leader of "flexibility" days before his government's debut at the United Nations General Assembly in New York suggests a new willingness at the highest level to explore a compromise solution to Tehran's nuclear row with the West.

SOUTH ASIA

Manmohan may carry nuclear liability dilution as gift for U.S. companies
The Hindu

Under sustained pressure from the Obama administration, the Manmohan Singh government is looking to use the opinion of the Attorney- General to effectively neutralise a key provision of India’s nuclear liability law that would hold American reactor suppliers liable in the event of an accident caused by faulty or defective equipment.

Salman Khurshid reiterates fears over China-Pakistan nuclear-ties
The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Khurshid has reiterated that India has serious concerns over China's expanding nuclear ties with Pakistan, raising the issue with visiting journalists from China.

Following Agni 5 Success India Plans Longer-Range Missile
Global Security Newswire

Emboldened by Sunday's launch of the nuclear-capable Agni 5, Indian weapon designers are turning their focus to developing a next-generation missile with an initial range of 3,700 miles, the New Indian Express reported.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russian Missile Forces to Adopt New Command System in 2016
Ria Novosti

MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces will use a new-generation automated command and control system from 2016, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

International links for African nuclear
World Nuclear News

African nuclear safety regulators are to step up their cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency as the continent makes increasing use of nuclear energy.

NATO chief 'encouraged' by Iran nuclear weapon pledge
AFP

Brussels: NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday he was very "encouraged" by Iran's pledge not to seek nuclear weapons, saying a more open approach was in Tehran's own best interest.

US cautions against arms race between India, China
Hindustan Times

US has cautioned against an arms race between India and China following a top Indian defence scientist’s claim that the country had the capabilities to build strategic missiles that could strike targets more than 10,000 km away.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Generals speak to importance, relevancy of nuclear enterprise
AFNS

Three Air Force generals discussed the state of the service’s nuclear enterprise during the Air Force Association’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 17.

OPINIONS

Let’s Be Honest About Israel’s Nukes
Victor Gilinsky and Henry Sokolski for the New York Times

THE recent agreement between the United States and Russia on Syria’s chemical weapons made clear what should have been obvious long ago: President Obama’s effort to uphold international norms against weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East will entangle the United States in a diplomatic and strategic maze that is about much more than Syria’s chemical arsenal.

India’s Nuclear Weapons Folly
Zachary Keck for the National Interest

Several weeks ago, I penned an article for The National Interest arguing that, in hindsight, India’s decision to acquire nuclear weapons has proven to be a strategic blunder. I based this argument on the grounds that, while domestic and ideational factors are needed to explain the precise trajectory of India’s nuclear program, the original impetus for pursuing them was to address the threat that China posed to Delhi in the aftermath of the 1962 border war and Beijing’s nuclear test two years later.

US needs cultural weapons for North Korea
Brian Min for Asia Times Online

THE recent agreement between the United States and Russia on Syria’s chemical weapons made clear what should have been obvious long ago: President Obama’s effort to uphold international norms against weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East will entangle the United States in a diplomatic and strategic maze that is about much more than Syria’s chemical arsenal.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 18th, 2013

TOP NEWS

North Korea Nuclear Talks: Pyongyang Urges Discussions 'Without Preconditions'
Associated Press

Russia's Reopening of Arctic Base May Be Response to NATO Missile Defense
National Journal

Iran sees 'opening' on nuclear diplomacy: official
Reuters

U.S. House passes bill on extending nuclear energy cooperation with S. Korea
Yonhap News Agency

Analysis: Following US-Russian agreement, Iran will aim for a deal of its own
Ariel Ben Solomon for the Jerusalem Post

EAST ASIA

North Korea Willing to Work to Resume Nuclear Talks, China Says
Bloomberg News

North Korea is willing to work with China to resume six-party talks aimed at curtailing its nuclear program, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said today.

North Korea Nuclear Talks: Pyongyang Urges Discussions 'Without Preconditions'
Associated Press

BEIJING -- North Korea's senior nuclear strategist called Wednesday for a new round of six-nation denuclearization talks without preconditions, a proposal unlikely to gain traction in Washington.

MIDDLE EAST

Israel under pressure to give up chemical, nuclear weapons
Jerusalem Post

The United States-Russian deal for the destruction of Syria’s huge chemical weapon stocks caused Israelis to breathe an audible sigh of relief.

Iran seesawing on social media, nuclear policy may reflect infighting
LA Times

TEHRAN -- One day Facebook is a handy way for Iranian government ministers to confer with the people. The next day it can be denounced as "a Zionist tool."

SOUTH ASIA

Is India’s nuclear arsenal safe?
The Express Tribune

It confuses me immensely as to why the mainstream media and Western governments are constantly generating a hype about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal when they don’t seem concerned at all about the highly startling condition regarding the nuclear capabilities of India. Ever since the India-US nuclear deal has taken place, India has signed civil nuclear deals with more than half a dozen countries. Hence, the most precarious lie is advocated, that India has a strong track record of nuclear safety, to materialise these nuclear deals.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Leadership sees off conference rebels' call to axe Trident nuclear missiles
The Guardian

Liberal Democrats have voted to reduce rather than scrap Britain's Trident nuclear submarines in another significant victory for Nick Clegg.

Russia and US sign up to further nuclear cooperation
Power Engineering International

A joint agreement has been signed between the US and Russia to significantly expand cooperation on nuclear power, research and security projects.

Russia's Reopening of Arctic Base May Be Response to NATO Missile Defense
National Journal

Russia's decision to reopen an old military outpost in the Arctic may partly be a response to NATO's missile defense efforts, United Press International reported on Tuesday.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Iran sees 'opening' on nuclear diplomacy: official
Reuters

(Reuters) - An Iranian official said on Wednesday that he saw an "opening" in Iran's nuclear dispute with the West, a news agency reported, in the latest signal that Tehran expects fresh movement to break a decade-old deadlock.

Netanyahu to Focus on Iranian Nuclear Threat at U.N.
New York Times

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said Tuesday that he would focus on halting Iran’s nuclear program in a meeting with President Obama in Washington at the end of the month and in his annual speech before the United Nations General Assembly, using the Syria situation to increase pressure for a “credible military threat.”

U.S. House passes bill on extending nuclear energy cooperation with S. Korea
Yonhap News Agency

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill Tuesday on extending the South Korea-U.S. civilian nuclear agreement for two years.

IAEA frets over North Korea, Iran
UPI

VIENNA, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply concerned about threats posed by the nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US taking Trident plan 'seriously'
Herald Scotland

Lib Dem proposals to end round-the-clock deployment of nuclear submarines are being taken seriously in the US, Danny Alexander has claimed.

OPINIONS

Analysis: Following US-Russian agreement, Iran will aim for a deal of its own
Ariel Ben Solomon for the Jerusalem Post

If Tehran is willing to reach a sizable compromise on some aspects of its nuclear program, without totally dismantling it, then it may be possible not only to put off a US attack, but also to decrease sanctions.

India’s Undersea Nuclear Deterrent Poses Proliferation Challenges
Yogesh Joshi for World Politics Review

Despite India’s graduation from outlier to tepidly accepted member of the global nuclear order, one area of New Delhi’s nuclear activities continues to raise alarm: its undersea nuclear deterrent. India unveiled its first nuclear submarine, the INS Arihant, in July 2009. Though the ship was largely indigenous, Russia helped in designing the miniaturized nuclear reactor. Just last month, the nuclear reactor in INS Arihant went critical, clearing the way for its final operational trials in the Bay of Bengal. India has designs to produce four to five nuclear submarines by the end of this decade. When integrated with nuclear-tipped sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), these submarines will provide India with an underwater nuclear deterrent capability.

Only together can the U.S. and Russia resolve global problems
Sergei Karaganov for the Daily Star

When he canceled his scheduled summit in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin several weeks ago, U.S. President Barack Obama effectively terminated his four-year effort to “reset” the bilateral relationship. The meeting of the two presidents at the recent G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg was civil, but did not change the situation. The exchange of rhetorical barbs has continued, despite Russia’s new initiative on Syria’s chemical weapons. The failure of the “reset” should come as no surprise, owing to its deeply flawed foundations. Indeed, while the immediate cause of Obama’s decision to cancel the Moscow summit was Putin’s grant of temporary asylum to the former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the bilateral relationship has long been faltering. In 2011, after the U.S. and its allies convinced Russia’s former president, Dmitri Medvedev, not to block a United Nations resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, they launched a full-scale military bombardment of Libya, which helped bring down the regime – a move that Russian officials called “deceptive.”

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 17, 2013

TOP NEWS

Shutdown of Japan’s Last Nuclear Reactor Raises Concerns
Bloomberg

Iran signals ‘desire’ to end nuclear dispute with West
Reuters

Agni V and the South Asian Balance of Power
Zee News

China calls on U.S. for 'swift' resumption of N. Korea nuclear talks
Yonhap

Q&A Eric Schlosser on the Secret History of America’s Nuclear Arsenal
Rolling Stone Politics

EAST ASIA

Multilateral cooperation needed to bring North Korea back to table
Global Times

The Six-Party Talks have been suspended for more than four years since North Korea withdrew in May 2009.

Shutdown of Japan’s Last Nuclear Reactor Raises Concerns
Bloomberg

Japan’s last operating nuclear reactor was halted for maintenance yesterday, leaving the country nuclear free for the first time since July 2012 and prompting concerns about power availability this winter.

South Korea vows continued development, peaceful use of atomic energy
Yonhap

South Korea will continue to develop atomic energy for peaceful use, the country's vice minister for science said Tuesday, despite North Korea's nuclear ambitions that have so far led to three nuclear weapons tests.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran signals ‘desire’ to end nuclear dispute with West
Reuters

Iran said on Monday it wanted to settle a decade-old nuclear dispute with the West that has raised fears of a new Middle East war, but the United States said it must back words with action.

Iran not after nuclear weapons: Ayatollah Khamenei
Press TV

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has reiterated Iran’s opposition to the possession of nuclear weapons based on the beliefs of the Iranian nation.

Israel urges international community to step up pressure on Iran
Washington Post

Israel’s prime minister on Tuesday urged the international community to step up pressure on Iran despite signs of possible flexibility from the new Iranian leadership in upcoming nuclear talks.

SOUTH ASIA

Agni V and the South Asian Balance of Power
Zee News

India tested its nuclear-capable Agni V on Sunday. The missile, with a range of over 5,000 kilometres, may eventually have its range enhanced or be equipped with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) technology though there are no signs that either of these was achieved in this morning`s test. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been focusing instead on improving India`s second-strike capability by making its missiles faster, more agile, and road mobile (survivable). India`s latest missile, with its significant range increase over its predecessors, is seen as a China-centric missile and likely to be deployed after a few more trials only by 2017.

Myanmar to grant U.N. nuclear watchdog wider access
Reuters

The U.N. nuclear watchdog will gain wider inspection powers in Myanmar under an agreement to be signed this week, in a further sign of the formerly army-ruled Asian state opening up to the outside world.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Lib Dem conference: Members back nuclear deterrent alternative to Trident
The Independent

Liberal Democrat members today backed Danny Alexander's plans to replace the UK's round-the-clock nuclear deterrent with a cut-back alternative.

Why is France pushing so hard on Syria? History, ideals and a hunger to be heard
Washington Post

In a secretive compound north of Paris, colored blips and blotches on a computer-screen map of Damascus depict an armored vehicle at a highway, tanks, a blown-up building in a suburban field. An unusual glimpse at France’s military intelligence headquarters demonstrates how closely the French are watching what’s happening in Syria — and how involved the French government is in ending Syria’s civil war.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Kerry to meet Chinese counterpart for talks on North Korea, Syria
Yonhap

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Washington this week for talks mainly on North Korea and Syria, Kerry's department announced Monday.

China calls on U.S. for 'swift' resumption of N. Korea nuclear talks
Yonhap

China has urged the United States to pursue a "swift" resumption of the long-stalled talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program, China's foreign ministry said Monday, amid reports that the North appears to have restarted its nuclear reactor.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Neglecting our nukes
Politico

On Oct. 23, 2010, at about 1:30 in the morning, the underground launch control centers at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming lost communication with 50 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles. Instead of showing the status of the missiles, the computer screens in the control centers displayed the acronym LFDN — Launch Facility Down. Briefly losing contact with a few missiles wasn’t unusual. But having an entire squadron go down, simultaneously, was extraordinary. Closed-circuit television images of the missile silos, which sit miles away from their control centers, revealed that none of the Minuteman IIIs had lifted off. Almost an hour after the problem suddenly appeared, communication was re-established between the missiles and their launch crews. Nevertheless, heavily armed Air Force security officers spent the next few hours visiting all 50 silos, in the early morning darkness, to ensure that no security breach had occurred.

OPINIONS

Q&A Eric Schlosser on the Secret History of America’s Nuclear Arsenal
Rolling Stone Politics

It was a one-in-a-million bounce: A socket slipped from a wrench and fell about 70 feet before piercing the fuel tank of the most powerful missile in the United States' nuclear arsenal. What followed was a race to prevent an explosion that could have incinerated the state of Arkansas.

Eliminating Nuclear Weapons just as important as eliminating chemical weapons
Counterpunch

The apparent employment of chemical weapons in Syria should remind us that, while weapons of mass destruction exist, there is a serious danger that they will be used.

 

 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 13, 2013

TOP NEWS

China’s military urges U.S. to ‘take note of change’ by N. Korea

Yonhap News Agency

Iran’s Rouhani says wants nuclear issue resolved, but draws lines

Reuters

South Asian arms race raises risk of nuclear war: IISS Think Tank

Reuters

Putin holds first talks with new Iranian President

Ria Novosti

How to cope with an Iranian bomb

The Economist

EAST ASIA

North Korean nuclear reactor work ‘could end in catastrophe’
The Telegraph

Analysis of satellite images has shown white smoke emerging from the five-megawatt graphite-moderated reactor in recent weeks, according to the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Yongbyon: North Korea’s nuclear heartbeat
Global Post

The Yongbyon nuclear complex has been the beating heart of North Korea's nuclear programme for more than 50 years -- a source of great domestic pride and even greater global anxiety.

China’s military urges U.S. to ‘take note of change’ by N. Korea
Yonhap News Agency

China's military has urged the United States to "take note of active change" by North Korea, the Chinese defense ministry said Friday, with Beijing and Washington still at odds over how to revive the long-stalled six-way talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear program.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s Rouhani says wants nuclear issue resolved, but draws lines
Reuters

Iran wants to end the stand-off with global powers over its nuclear programme swiftly but will not sacrifice its rights or interests for the sake of a solution, President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday.

Iran says it has reduced its 20 percent-enriched uranium stockpile by producing reactor fuel
The Washington Post

Iran says it has significantly reduced its stocks of 20 percent-enriched uranium by converting it to reactor fuel.

SOUTH ASIA

South Asian arms race raises risk of nuclear war: IISS Think Tank
Reuters

An arms race in South Asia and Pakistan's development of tactical "battlefield" nuclear weapons are increasing the risk of any conflict there becoming a nuclear war, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said on Thursday.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Putin holds first talks with new Iranian President
Ria Novosti

Russian President Vladimir Putin held the first meeting with his newly elected Iranian counterpart Friday, though both limited themselves to general statements following the talks, including on Syria and Iran’s nuclear program.

Putin hails Syrian chemical weapons commitment at SCO summit
Ria Novosti

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Syria’s decision to join an anti-chemical weapons convention Friday and said it was a “serious step” toward solving the ongoing Syrian crisis as he attended the opening day of a summit with regional leaders in Kyrgyzstan.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

S. Korea, US not sending government officials to 6-way meeting in China
Yonhap News Agency

Effectively spurning one of China's initiatives aimed at reviving multilateral talks with North Korea, South Korea and the United States have decided not to send government officials to a six-nation meeting to be held later this month, diplomatic sources here said Thursday.

Nuclear liability law poses challenge to Indo-US deal
The Economic Times

India's nuclear liability law posed a tough challenge for implementing the "transformational" Indo-US nuclear deal though there is a very strong desire to move forward, Nisha Desai Biswal, President Barack Obama's Indian-American nominee for a key post in South Asia, said.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US also demands Syrian transparency on nuclear research
The Washington Post

The Obama administration urged Syria on Thursday to come clean about its past nuclear research as well as its chemical arsenal, accusing President Bashar al-Assad of blocking access to facilities linked to a Syrian nuclear reactor destroyed by Israel in 2007.

Pentagon ‘very concerned’ about N. Korea’s nuclear activity
Yonhap News Agency

The Barack Obama administration voiced strong concern Thursday over North Korea's nuclear activity, narrowly exposed to the outside world mainly through satellites, following reports that the secretive communist nation seems to have restarted its reactor in Yongbyon.

OPINIONS

How to cope with an Iranian bomb
The Economist

Right now the world is gripped by Barack Obama’s efforts to enforce a ban on the use of chemical weapons by Bashar Assad. But the president’s red line in Syria is a faint scribble compared with America’s refusal to contemplate a nuclear weapon in Iran. Time and again Mr Obama has made it clear that, rather than accept an Iranian bomb, he would go to war. The Senate, torn over Syria, voted 90-1 last year against living with a nuclear Iran. Yet such “containment” is just what an engrossing new book by Kenneth Pollack proposes.

Atomic Gaffes

The New York Time

A little over 50 years ago a South Carolina doctor (and the grandfather of this reviewer) treated a family for injuries sustained when a sudden, inexplicable explosion tore through their backyard. The injuries were not serious, and after spending the night at the doctor’s house they returned home to discover that the object in the 50-foot crater left behind their house was an atomic bomb that had fallen from a passing Air Force plane. The bomb had not been “armed” with its nuclear core; the blast came from the explosives intended to trigger a chain reaction. The crater can still be seen today.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 12th, 2013

TOP NEWS

 
Satellite images suggest North Korea restarted small nuclear reactor, U.S. institute says
 
India gets ready for second test of nuclear-capable Agni-V ballistic missile
 
Putin to offer Iran 'arms, nuclear deal' at summit
 
Iran says to work "closely" with U.N. nuclear watchdog
 
AP ANALYSIS: Russia re-emerges as Mideast player
 

EAST ASIA

 
 
Satellite images suggest North Korea restarted small nuclear reactor, U.S. institute says
 
SEOUL — Recent satellite imagery suggests that North Korea has restarted a small nuclear reactor, allowing the secretive nation to potentially bolster its stockpile of plutonium for weapons, a U.S. research institute said Thursday.
 
Russia warns over North Korea work at 'nightmarish' nuclear reactor
 
Russia has warned that North Korea is apparently conducting work on a nuclear reactor, saying the ageing facility is in such a "nightmarish state" it could cause a disaster.
 
Concerns Raised vis NK Chemical Weapons History
 
Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons has grabbed the world’s attention in recent days, raising new questions over relations between states of concern. The list of such states includes North Korea and Syria, in particular regarding the possible proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
 
China, U.S. in 'in-depth' talks on resumption of N. Korea nuclear talks
 
BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Yonhap) -- Senior diplomats from China and the United States held "in-depth" talks on ways to resume the long-stalled talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program, China's foreign ministry said Thursday.
 

MIDDLE EAST

 
 
Analysis: Iran’s nuclear strategy will be sailing full steam ahead, with Russia as facilitator
 
Expert tells 'Post' that the way the Syrian issue is playing out is likely leaving the Iranians feeling "somewhat advantaged.”
 
U.S. Backing of Russian Plan Leaves a Wary Israel Focusing on Self-Reliance
 
JERUSALEM — In tallying winners and losers from the unexpected turn toward a potential diplomatic resolution of the crisis over Syria’s chemical weapons, Israel lands squarely in the question-mark column.
 

SOUTH ASIA

 
 
India gets ready for second test of nuclear-capable Agni-V ballistic missile
 
New Delhi: Agni-V, India's longest-range, nuclear-weapons-capable ballistic missile is scheduled to be tested for a second time from the Wheeler Island in Odisha this weekend.
 
Pakistan, India spar in Kashmir in worst border violence in years, sparking fears of bloodshed
 
SRINAGAR, India — After a decade of relative quiet, Indian and Pakistan troops are shelling each other with vigor again along their disputed border, raising tension between the nuclear-armed nations and forcing hundreds of villagers to flee.
 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

 
 
Putin to offer Iran 'arms, nuclear deal' at summit
 
MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Iran's new president for the first time this week, reportedly armed with an offer to supply missile systems and build a second nuclear power reactor that is likely to gladden Tehran and trouble the United States.
 
Russia Set to Launch Rokot Rocket After Long Suspension
 
PLESETSK, September 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will launch a light-class Rokot carrier rocket early on Thursday following a nine-month suspension due to attempts to fix a glitch in the rocket’s booster, a Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman said Wednesday.
 
 
Russia to Deliver More Air Defense Systems to Belarus in 2013
 
MINSK, September 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will deliver a third battery of Tor-M2 air defense systems to Belarus by the end of this year, Belarusian Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin said Wednesday.
 
 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

 
 
Iran says to work "closely" with U.N. nuclear watchdog
 
(Reuters) - Iran's new envoy to the U.N. nuclear agency said on Thursday he would cooperate with it to find a way to "overcome existing issues once and for all", potentially signaling a more flexible approach from Tehran's new administration.
 
EU demands Iran clarify nuclear aims
 
VIENNA (AP) — The European Union is threatening Iran with tough diplomatic action if it doesn’t cooperate with U.N. inspectors trying to determine whether it has worked on nuclear arms.
 
Australian Election Seen Likely to Speed Talks with India on Uranium Deal
 
WASHINGTON -- Newly elected leaders in Australia likely will push to conclude a trade agreement aimed at allowing uranium exports to India, issue experts told Global Security Newswire.
 
 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

 
 
Funding cuts would undercut U.S. submarine readiness, presence: Navy
 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. Navy officials warned Congress that any further delays or cuts in funding would undercut the readiness of the declining U.S. submarine fleet, which is already slated to drop by nearly 30 percent to 52 from 73 ships before rebounding in the 2030s.
 

OPINIONS

 
 
AP ANALYSIS: Russia re-emerges as Mideast player
 
With a few days' worth of surprise diplomacy, Vladimir Putin has revived memories of an era many thought was long gone, when Washington and Moscow jostled for influence while others looked on.
 
The case for a robust missile defense
 
The brutal chemical weapons attack in Syria serves as a horrible reminder of the nature of modern warfare. The major threat to global security is now radical actors with access to weapons of mass destruction, like these chemical agents and the kind of nuclear missiles under development in North Korea and Iran.
Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 11, 2013

TOP NEWS

Iran’s Rohani says ‘win-win’ nuclear deal is possible

Haaretz

Russia’s Syria proposal offers major powers clear advantages

Los Angeles Times

South Korea to parade North-focused cruise missile

Bangkok Post

Russia to Renew Offer to Supply Iran with Missile Systems and Nuclear Reactor

Business Insider

India’s nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V to be test-fired on Sunday

India Today

 

EAST ASIA

South Korea builds IAEA laboratory for safeguards inspections

Yonhap

South Korea has completed building a laboratory that can check samples for minuscule amounts of radioactive material, boosting inspection and non-proliferation capabilities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the country's nuclear watchdog said Wednesday.

South Korea to parade North-focused cruise missile

Bangkok Post

South Korea will show off a cruise missile capable of surgical strikes on the North Korean leadership when it stages a military parade in Seoul next month, the defence ministry said Wednesday.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s Rohani says ‘win-win’ nuclear deal is possible

Haaretz

Iran's president said Tuesday that the Islamic Republic can strike a "win-win" deal with world powers over its nuclear program, but that time is limited to reach an agreement.

SOUTH ASIA

The Nuclear Conundrum

The Hindu Business Online

Three months ago, India’s former foreign secretary and current coordinator of the National Security Council Advisory Board, Shyam Saran, took the unusual step of publicly taking on critics of India’s nuclear capabilities. These critics have long cited the inability of successive governments to address the many technical and organisational lacunae in India’s operational capabilities as the reason why they believe India’s nuclear foray is a prestige-driven enterprise.

India’s nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V to be test-fired on Sunday

India Today

India's most capable weapon the Agni-V nuclear-capable ballistic missile, is all set to be tested from the Bay of Bengal on September 15. The 5,500-km range missile, capable of striking targets anywhere in China when operational, is being tested for the second time after its debut launch in April last year.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia to Renew Offer to Supply Iran with Missile Systems and Nuclear Reactor

Business Insider

Russian President Vladimir Putin will offer to supply Iran S-300 air defence missile systems as well as build a second reactor at the Bushehr nuclear plant, the Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday.

Austria checks suspected WMD proliferation cases

Reuters

Austria is checking dozens of cases in which foreign countries may have tried to obtain technology that can be used to make weapons of mass destruction, it said on Tuesday.

Nuclear control plan should be revived

Otago Daily News

Patman believes New Zealand can take the lead in reviving a nuclear disarmament proposal.

Almost from the moment the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the menacing shadow of the nuclear age has inspired visions of a world free of nuclear weapons.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Russia’s Syria proposal offers major powers clear advantages

Los Angeles Times

The Russian proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons has gained great momentum because it provides clear advantages to several world leaders and leaves as the losers a smaller group that lacks much power to influence the outcome.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Nuclear weapons lab earns high marks in large review

Albuquerque Journal

U.S. nuclear weapons labs have made significant progress in meeting the technical challenges of maintaining the nation’s nuclear stockpile in a post-Cold War world, according to a sweeping new independent review released Tuesday.

 

OPINIONS

Japan and the Fate of Nuclear Power

The Wall Street Journal

Nuclear power might well be a competent civilization's solution to its theoretical carbon-dioxide problem. Now if only humans had a competent civilization.

Securing WMD? It’s been done

Los Angeles Times

Secretary of State John F. Kerry was probably right when he said "it can't be done," referring to getting Syria, in a week's time, to surrender control of its chemical weapons. But timelines aside, compelling a Middle Eastern state through threat of military action to hand over weapons of mass destruction not only can be done, it has been done.

Attacking Syria Won’t Deter North Korea

The Diplomat

At Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the authorization of use of force in Syria, Secretary of State Kerry stated that “North Korea is hoping that ambivalence carries the day. They are listening for our silence.” Defense Secretary Hagel mentioned North Korea’s chemical weapons stockpiles, arguing that weakening of the norm against use of such weapons would “embolden other regimes to use or acquire chemical weapons.”  No doubt North Korean leaders are closely watching the U.S. debate over intervention in Syria, but they will exploit Syrian intervention for their own ends regardless of what action the United States decides to take.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 10, 2013

TOP NEWS

U.S. and South Korea Stand Firm on North Korea Talks

New York Times

Iran’s President Hasan  Rouhani: U.N. summit perfect time to talk about nuclear program

Washington Times

Russia, US clash over nuclear hazards posed by Syria attack

Boston Globe

UN Chief Backs Russian Push for Syrian Chemical Weapons Transfer

RIA Novosti

The Prague Agenda in 2013 – Challenges and Prospects

Scoop Independent News

 

EAST ASIA

US, South Korea Discuss Prospects for North Korea Nuclear Talks

Voice of America

The top U.S. and South Korean envoys on North Korea have met in Seoul to discuss efforts to denuclearize Pyongyang, as well as a proposal by China for informal talks. Washington says North Korea needs to show it is serious about abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weapons before the United States will resume negotiations. 

U.S. and South Korea Stand Firm on North Korea Talks

New York Times

Despite the recent easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, top American and South Korean nuclear negotiators reaffirmed on Tuesday that there would be no formal negotiations with North Korea until the country showed that it was willing to dismantle its nuclear weapon programs.

Intervention in Syria: The View from Pyongyang

Council on Foreign Relations

At Senate foreign relations committee hearings on authorization of use of force in Syria, Secretary of State Kerry stated that “North Korea is hoping that ambivalence carries the day. They are listening for our silence.” Defense Secretary Hagel mentioned North Korea’s chemical weapons stockpiles, arguing that weakening of the norm against use of such weapons would “embolden other regimes to use or acquire chemical weapons.”  No doubt North Korean leaders are closely watching the U.S. debate over intervention in Syria, but they will exploit Syrian intervention for their own ends regardless of what action the United States decides to take.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s President Hasan Rouhani: U.N. summit perfect time to talk about nuclear program Washington Times

Iran’s new president, Hasan Rouhani, said on Tuesday that this month’s meeting of the General Assembly in New York may prove the perfect setting to reignite talks about the nation’s nuclear program.

IAEA wary of Iran’s nuclear intent

United Press International

Iran needs to engage with U.N. weapons inspectors to allay concerns about a possible military dimension to its nuclear program, the IAEA said.

 

SOUTH ASIA

Liability-wary Russia to raise reactor price – India seeks to limit extra payments after accepting revision demand

The Telegraph

Russia is hiking the price of four Rs 41,600-crore nuclear reactors it is selling India under a landmark 2008 pact, worried about the liability regime Parliament approved in 2010 that Moscow fears could mean unlimited financial exposure in case of accidents.

Liam Fox upsets Pakistan after calling it 'the most dangerous country in the world'

The Telegraph (UK)

Liam Fox, the former Defence Secretary, has provoked a diplomatic spat with Islamabad after describing Pakistan as "the most dangerous country in the world" and one of the gravest threats facing humankind.

Generation Why’s Turn in South Asia

By Michael Krepon

In societies where seniority is highly valued, it’s hard for young analytical talent to be heard, and even harder to connect across the India-Pakistan border, given the difficulties young analysts have in obtaining visas.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia, US clash over nuclear hazards posed by Syria attack

Boston Globe

Russia and the United States clashed Monday over the nuclear hazards posed by any US attack on Syria, with Moscow pressing the UN atomic agency for a quick assessment of such dangers and the US dismissing the request as outside of the agency’s authority.

NATO: UK nuclear might ‘crucial’

Independent

Britain must not take advantage of the winding down of operations in Afghanistan to trim spending on defence, the head of Nato has warned.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

A Push for Indo-Japan Ties

The New Indian Express

Last week, India and Japan once again decided to pick up the threads of their ongoing negotiations on a civil nuclear energy co-operation pact. This was the fourth round of talks which have been in a state of suspended animation for the last three years. There is a new energy in Delhi-Tokyo ties since the coming to office of Shinzo Abe last December and Japan’s decision to relaunch the talks is a manifestation of this new reality. The talks have been stalled since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima on 2011. Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Abe had underscored the importance of civil nuclear co-operation between the two countries even while recognising the need for making nuclear safety a priority at their summit meeting earlier this year in May. They had directed their officials to accelerate the civil nuclear negotiations towards an early conclusion.

UN Chief Backs Russian Push for Syrian Chemical Weapons Transfer

RIA Novosti

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday backed a proposal from Moscow for Syria to place its stocks of chemical weapons under international control, in a bid to avert US-led military strikes on the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Energy Week Ahead: NRC’s Chief to Testify on Nuclear-Waste Plans

Bloomberg

Congress returns from a five-week recess to take up several perennial issues: turmoil in the Middle East, rising government debt and where to dump more than 65,000 tons of waste from the nation’s nuclear power plants.

Prompt Global Strike Too Prompt for Its Own Good?

Foreign Policy in Focus

Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS), still under development, is a weapons system designed to provide the military with the option to strike fast, even on the other side of the world. It affords the speed of nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, but without nowhere near the destructive power of a nuclear warhead.

Successful Missile Defense Test against Multiple Targets

U.S. Department of Defense

 

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Operational Test Agency, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, and U.S. Pacific Command, in conjunction with U.S. Army soldiers from the Alpha Battery, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, U.S. Navy sailors aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG-73), and U.S. Air Force airmen from the 613th Air and Operations Center successfully conducted a complex missile defense flight test, resulting in the intercept of two medium-range ballistic missile targets. The flight test was planned more than a year ago, and is not in any way connected to events in the Middle East.

 

 

OPINIONS

The Prague Agenda in 2013 – Challenges and Prospects

Scoop Independent News

Remarks

Rose Gottemoeller

As Delivered

Thank you for the introduction, Veronika. It is lovely to be here in Prague. My thanks to the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, First Deputy Minister Jiri Schnider, the Institute of International Relations Prague, the Metropolitan University Prague and the Faculty of Social Sciences from Charles University Prague for their work in putting this conference together. My last visit to Prague was in April 2010, the day President Obama and then-President Medvedev signed the New START Treaty.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 9, 2013

TOP NEWS

U.S. envoy on N. Korean nukes arrives in S. Korea

Yonhap News Agency

Iran nuclear: Firms' asset freeze annulled by EU court

BBC News

UN nuclear chief says resolution over nuclear Iran is 'essential and urgent'

Jerusalem Post

Russia Puts Submarine Trials on Hold After Bulava Failure

Ria Novosti

Leader of Venerable Scientific Watchdog Group Renews Focus on “Nuclear Dangers”

Scientific American interview with Charles Ferguson

 

EAST ASIA

U.S. envoy on N. Korean nukes arrives in S. Korea

Yonhap News Agency

A senior U.S. envoy on the North Korean nuclear program arrived in South Korea on Monday amid growing expectations over the resumption of the long-stalled six-party forum to denuclearize the North.

Security draft focuses on territories

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The government will highlight the need to beef up its capabilities to defend Japanese territories in its national security strategy, which is to be compiled for the first time as a set of comprehensive diplomacy and security policy guidelines, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

North Korea can't gain from nuclear threats: South Korea

Indo-Asian News Service

Seoul would pursue peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula by establishing a new inter-Korean relationship based on trust and cooperation with the international community, Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin said at a forum in Seoul.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran nuclear: Firms' asset freeze annulled by EU court

BBC News

The EU's top court has ruled that the EU should unfreeze the assets of seven Iranian banks and other businesses hit by sanctions.

Assad tells Charlie Rose no evidence he is responsible for Syria chemical attack

The Guardian

The Syrian president, Bashar Assad, has said there is no evidence he is responsible for the deadly gas attacks the US government claims left 1,429 people dead, including 426 children.

UN nuclear chief says resolution over nuclear Iran is 'essential and urgent'

Jerusalem Post

The UN nuclear chief told Iran on Monday it was "essential and urgent" for it to address concerns about suspected atomic bomb research, signalling his hope that the new government in Tehran will stop stonewalling his inspectors.

 

SOUTH ASIA

Pak. reiterates its Credible Minimum Deterrence

The Hindu

The National Command Authority (NCA) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reviewed developments at the regional level and reiterated that, as a responsible nuclear weapons state, Pakistan would continue to adhere to the policy of Credible Minimum Deterrence, without entering into an arms race with any other country. However, it will not remain oblivious to the evolving security dynamics in South Asia and would maintain a full spectrum deterrence capability to deter all forms of aggression, according to an official statement.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia Puts Submarine Trials on Hold After Bulava Failure

Ria Novosti

MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has put trials of two nuclear subs on hold following an unsuccessful launch of a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on Friday, a Russian defense ministry spokesman said on Saturday.

U.S., Russia clash over Syria reactor at U.N. nuclear meeting

Reuters

(Reuters) - U.S.-Russian tensions over Syria spilled into a U.N. nuclear watchdog meeting on Monday when the two clashed over whether inspectors should analyze possible risks involved if a reactor near Damascus were to be hit during U.S.-led strikes.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Kazakh President discuss cooperation with U.S. and European leaders

Trend News

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed cooperation with his U.S. and European counterparts on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Saint- Petersburg (Russia) on Friday, Kazakh presidential press-service reported.

US, EU see new hope for Iran nuclear talks

AFP

Vilnius (Lithuania): The European Union and the US are moving closer to resuming international talks with Iran on its disputed nuclear program, buoyed by recent changes in Tehran's leadership, officials said on Friday.

IAEA, Kazakhstan negotiate low enriched uranium bank deal

New Europe

ASTANA - The IAEA’s Host State Agreement is going through an approval process, ambassador at large of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Barlybai Sadykov told reporters. “Presently, the state agencies concerned are working on finalising the draft Host Agreement prepared by the Agency (IAEA). Once the text of the agreement is agreed upon, it will have to be approved by the IAEA Board of Governors, after which it will be legally executed, and the practical work on setting up the bank in Kazakhstan will begin,” Sadykov said.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

B-2 undergoes comm upgrade

USAF

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) -- After a 20-year wait, the B-2 Spirit will receive a significant new communications upgrade.

 

OPINIONS

Leader of Venerable Scientific Watchdog Group Renews Focus on “Nuclear Dangers”

Scientific American interview with Charles Ferguson

Since the Cold War ended more than 20 years ago, the U.S. and Russia have reduced their nuclear arsenals, and the prospect of a nuclear war has receded from many peoples’ consciousness. And yet the two former adversaries and seven other nuclear powers–including China, Great Britain, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel—are estimated to possess more than 17,000 nuclear weapons. Now as much as ever, we need guidance on how to reduce and eventually eliminate the risks of nuclear weapons.

The Case for India’s Nuclear Weapons

Dhruva Jaishankar

Both the benefits and limitations of nuclear weapons are best captured by a single fact: of all nuclear-armed adversaries, only the Soviet Union and China in 1969 and India and Pakistan in 1999 ever fought a war with one another. The benefits are intuitive. There have been only two such episodes in the 68 years since Hiroshima, and both were limited in scope and duration. The shortcomings of nuclear weapons are equally obvious: the fact that such conflict took place at all and that military competition between and against nuclear powers often took other forms, including the use of proxies and nonstate actors. After all, nuclear weapons did not prevent American and Soviet allies from killing tens of millions of each other’s people between 1945 and 1991, nor did they deter the 9/11 attacks.

To stop Iran, Obama must enforce red lines with Assad

Stephen Hadley

The Arab Awakening has caused a crisis in the Middle East that will take years to sort out. There is one Middle East crisis, however, that must be resolved in months, not years.

How China Reads North Korea

Joel Wunthrow

As the crisis in Syria unfolds, a less noticed problem has been the widening gap between China and the United States about how to handle another “rogue regime”—North Korea. After signs of growing cooperation with the U.S. earlier this year, China has reverted to a heavy emphasis on dialogue as a solution to the DPRK nuclear issue. The United States should redouble its efforts to ensure that Beijing continues to adequately pressure Pyongyang.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 6, 2013

TOP NEWS

North Korea agrees to reopen military hotline to South

AFP

Iran Shifts Responsibility for Nuclear Talks

Wall Street Journal

IAEA is looking into Russian warning on Syria nuclear site

Reuters

Holding Assad Accountable

By Orde F. Kittrie and Gregory D. Koblentz

Every president a hawk

By Frank Harvey

 

EAST ASIA

North Korea agrees to reopen military hotline to South

AFP

North Korea agreed today to reopen a military hotline to South Korea this week in another step towards improving frosty ties between the two countries, officials said.

Little progress in China's efforts to convince N. Korea to change course

Yonhap News Agency

China appears to have been unable to make much headway in the latest diplomatic efforts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program, diplomatic sources with knowledge of last week's talks between the two said Friday.

Obama, Chinese president huddle on North Korea’s nuclear issue at G-20

Washington Times

President Obama and the president of China discussed North Korea’s nuclear weapons program Friday during a private meeting at the G-20 summit in Russia.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran wants to allay world concern on nuclear issue: FM

AFP

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Friday Iran wants to allay concerns over its nuclear programme, suspected of hiding efforts to build an atomic bomb, and resolve the impasse with world powers.

US risks sending 'empty threats' to Iran: Analysts

AFP

Iran is carefully watching the divisive US debate on whether to launch military strikes against its chief ally, Syria, but the Obama administration may be at risk of sending Tehran the wrong message, analysts warn.

Iran Shifts Responsibility for Nuclear Talks

Wall Street Journal

BEIRUT—Iranian President Hasan Rouhani signaled a possible shift in the nation's nuclear policy on Thursday by announcing that the Foreign Ministry would take charge of nuclear negotiations with the West.

 

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan slams discriminatory policies on nuke technology

Business Standard

Pakistan Thursday said the "discriminatory trends and policies" involving nuclear technology could have "serious implications" for its national security and the global non-proliferation regime.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

IAEA is looking into Russian warning on Syria nuclear site

Reuters

The UN nuclear watchdog has received a request from Russia to assess the impact if a missile were to hit a small Syrian reactor and is considering the issue, the Vienna-based agency said on Friday.

Obama and Putin: Can This Relationship Be Saved?

Bloomberg News

On his way to the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, this week, President Barack Obama said relations between the U.S. and Russia had merely “hit a wall.” His message -- that this isn’t a big deal, don’t panic -- was clear.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN officials call for end to nuclear testing

The Nation

Senior UN officials Thursday called on member states to take action to ban nuclear testing, stressing their horrific effects on human lives and the environment.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Good news from NIF

Laser Focus World

In the early morning of August 13, 2013, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) generated a record yield of nearly 3 × 1015 fusion neutrons from a cryogenic deuterium-tritium target. That's three times the previous record, and welcome good news from the giant laser at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA) after its failure to reach ignition by the target date of October 2012.

US Navy, GAO at Odds Over Carrier Issues

Defense News

Concerns and criticisms about the past, present and future of the US Navy’s new Gerald R. Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers permeate a report released Thursday from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress.

 

OPINIONS

Holding Assad Accountable

By Orde F. Kittrie and Gregory D. Koblentz

The United States and possibly allies are preparing to launch military strikes against Syria in response to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons.

The limited, U.S.-led military attacks currently being discussed will force the Assad regime to pay a price for violating the international legal prohibition on chemical-weapons use, as well as President Barack Obama’s red line. They might also reduce Syria’s ability to conduct future chemical attacks. However, an effective effort to reduce the long-term risk of chemical weapons or other WMD use in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East must also include legal and economic steps to deter further chemical attacks, including by holding individual perpetrators accountable.

Every president a hawk

By Frank Harvey

Last week, National Post columnist Jonathan Kay invoked Charles Krauthammer’s doctrine of “democratic realism” to make the case against bombing Syria. Unless the West is faced with a “strategic necessity” tied to an “existential enemy” (an enemy “that poses a global mortal threat to freedom”), Mr. Kay argues, the United States and its allies, including Canada, should resist the desire to intervene militarily. The liberal internationalist penchant to intervene in foreign conflicts for humanitarian reasons, Mr. Kay claims, rarely serves our long-term strategic interests or core values.

Don’t Wreck Relations with Russia and China over Syria

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Most opponents of the Obama administration’s plan to launch missile strikes against Syria have rightly focused on the possible costs in American blood and treasure if the United States becomes entangled in that country’s civil war. There is, however, a more subtle, yet extremely worrisome, cost: the potential damage to America’s relations with other important nations, especially Russia and China.

For Israel, a U.S. Strike Is a No-Brainer

By Daniel Nisman

For the past two weeks the Syrian conflict has put the Jewish state on an emotional roller coaster. It began with the massive chemical attack which occurred four hours’ drive from Tel Aviv and continued with the debate over military intervention which prompted Bashar al-Assad and his allies to threaten retaliation against Israel.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 5, 2013

TOP NEWS

China calls nuclear talks 'important platform' in denuclearizing N. Korea

Yonhap News Agency

To achieve lifting of sanctions on Iran, Rouhani needs a nuclear deal - expert

Trend News Service

Russia warns of nuclear catastrophe if US strike hits Syrian reactor

Thomson Reuters

US confident of Pakistan's nuclear assets security: State Department

KUNA (Kuwait News Agency)

The endless quest for credibility: Why we never seem to have enough

By Steve Chapman

 

EAST ASIA

S Korea warns of Syria-North weapons link

IOL News

South Korea's defence ministry on Thursday called for fresh attention to North Korean chemical weapons, suggesting such arms might have been traded between Pyongyang and Syria.

China calls nuclear talks 'important platform' in denuclearizing N. Korea

Yonhap News Agency

China said Thursday that the long-stalled six-party talks still remain an "important platform" to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, amid signs of a new push to get Pyongyang to rejoin the disarmament dialogue.

 

MIDDLE EAST

To achieve lifting of sanctions on Iran, Rouhani needs a nuclear deal - expert

Trend News Service

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani's priority is a softening, if not lifting of sanctions, which is a precondition for country's economic recovery, Senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, James M. Dorsey told Trend.

‘US pressure nixed Israeli strike on Iran last year’

Times of Israel

An Israeli plan to attack Iran in 2012 was canceled due to US objections, a former head of Israel’s National Security Council confirmed Tuesday.

Israel Deploys New Iron Dome Batteries

Aviation Week

Disappointed with the delay in the U.S. decision to launch a strike against the Syrian regime, Israel is bracing for possible consequences. The Israel Air Force (IAF) was placed on high alert, took delivery of a sixth counter-rocket Iron Dome system and is preparing to deploy a seventh.

 

SOUTH ASIA

Nuclear programme central for country’s defence: NCA

The News (Pakistan)

A meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) was held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday and attended by all members of the NCA, the Federal Ministers of Finance and Interior, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Services Chiefs.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia warns of nuclear catastrophe if US strike hits Syrian reactor

Thomson Reuters

Russia said on Wednesday that a military strike on Syria could have catastrophic effects if a missile hit a small reactor near Damascus that contains radioactive uranium.

US Wary in Courting Russian Support for Syria Strike – Experts

Ria Novosti

US officials are likely cautious about disclosing to Russia comprehensive intelligence about an apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria and see little chance of convincing Moscow to accept outside military intervention in the civil war there regardless of the facts on the ground, US national security experts said Wednesday.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

US confident of Pakistan's nuclear assets security: State Department

KUNA (Kuwait News Agency)

The United States has reaffirmed confidence in Pakistan's nuclear weapons security and welcomed Islamabad's reiteration of its commitment to objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation, said an official press release on Thursday.

Eight nuclear states possess around 17,270 nukes

The News (Pakistan)

The 2013 report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has revealed that eight nuclear countries—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel possess a total of approximately 17,270 nukes including operational warheads, spares, those in both active and inactive storage and intact warheads scheduled for dismantlement.

Japan wants Pranab’s 2008 pledge in N-pact

Times of India

Japan wants India to incorporate then foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement before Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in 2008, which paved the way for New Delhi to carry out nuclear commerce, in the bilateral agreement for civil nuclear agreement under discussion.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US: US, China oppose North Korea nuclear test

Associated Press

Washington and Beijing have agreed that a nuclear test by North Korea would lead to its further isolation and set back efforts to restart regional talks on its nuclear disarmament, a U.S. envoy said.

 

OPINIONS

The endless quest for credibility: Why we never seem to have enough

By Steve Chapman

The United States boasts the most powerful military on Earth. We have 1.4 million active-duty personnel, thousands of tanks, ships and planes, and 5,000 nuclear warheads. We spend more on defense than the next 13 countries combined. Yet we are told we have to bomb Syria to preserve our credibility in world affairs.

How U.S. Actions are Seen in the Middle East

By Yaakov Lappin

Whatever decision is made by the White House and Congress on intervening in Syria, the military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel continues to flourish, and is deeply appreciated by Israeli defense officials.

Saudi Arabia’s Looming Security Challenges

By Samir Tata

The cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s national security strategy has been the de facto alliance with the United States that has been in place since 1932. The basic bargain was, that in return for US control over access to Saudi oil, Washington would guarantee the political, military and economic security of the kingdom. Over the next decade, however, Saudi Arabia and the United States will have to transform the nature of their security arrangement from that of an informal ‘client-patron’ relationship to a more formal - albeit limited - partnership. For Washington, the key drivers of the new partnership will be quite simple. The US wants to deny its adversaries access to the Persian Gulf’s energy resources and streamline its security commitments to reflect an era of fiscal and economic austerity. For Saudi Arabia, things are a little more complicated.

Pakistan and the Nuclear Nightmare

By Dan Twining

The Washington Post has revealed the intense concern of the U.S. intelligence community about Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. In addition to gaps in U.S. information about nuclear weapons storage and safeguards, American analysts are worried about the risk of terrorist attacks against nuclear facilities in Pakistan as well as the risk that individual Pakistani nuclear weapons handlers could go rogue in ways that endanger unified national control over these weapons of mass destruction.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - September 4th, 2013

TOP NEWS

U.S. Failure to Strike Syria May Embolden N. Korea, Hagel Says
 
Israel missile test amid fear of Syria escalation
 
Russia Defense Ministry Warns About ‘Playing With Arms’ After Israel Launch
 
Report: Conventional Prompt Global Strike Weapons Face Challenges
 
US-Iran Nuclear Deal Hinges On Syria Vote
 

EAST ASIA 

North Korea Could Launch a Nuclear-Weapon Strike, South Says
 
North Korea has the ability to “weaponize” its nuclear technology and put a warhead on a missile, the South Korean Defense Ministry said, contradicting the U.S. position that the country is years away from gaining the technology.
 
U.S. Failure to Strike Syria May Embolden N. Korea, Hagel Says
 
A failure to punish Syria over its alleged use of Sarin gas against civilians could embolden other rogue states such as North Korea, which is already stockpiling chemical weapons, U.S. officials said.
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
Iran is Key to Obama’s Case For Syria Strikes
 
Iran has increasingly become one of the Obama administration’s top talking points in the case for military action against Syria.
 
Israel missile test amid fear of Syria escalation
 
Israel has carried out a joint missile test with the US in the Mediterranean, amid heightened tension over possible Western military strikes on Syria.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
Pakistan nukes under intensive US surveillance
 
The United States has ramped up its surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arms, according to top-secret US files that show Washington’s new level of distrust of the South Asian country.
 
Choppy Waters
 
India became the fifth nation in the world with the capability to indigenously design and build its own aircraft carrier recently. INS Vikrant, the new aircraft carrier, was launched by the defence minister amidst great fanfare. The launch came in the wake of the announcement that the reactor in India’s first indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant, has gone critical, marking a turning point in New Delhi’s attempt to establish a nuclear triad. But the celebrations came to an abrupt end when INS Sindhurakshak, one of the 10 kilo-class submarines that form the backbone of India’s ageing conventional submarine force, sank with its crew after explosions at the naval dockyard in Mumbai. Together these developments underscored the giant strides that India has taken as well as the challenges that confront its attempts to emerge as a global naval power.
 
Pakistan says nuclear controls are firmly in place
 
Pakistan on Tuesday described its nuclear policy as one of “restraint and responsibility” and declared that it has a well-established regimen of controls to “ensure the safety and security” of its nuclear facilities.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
Obama heads to Russia summit looking for support of Syria strike
 
President Barack Obama heads this week to a global summit in Russia, hoping to rally international support for his bid to launch a military strike against Syria.
 
Fifty Years After Above-Ground Blasts, A Sense of Calm at Kazakhstani Nuclear Site
 
It’s been a half-century since the last atmospheric nuclear test was conducted at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. In the years since, the grass has grown back to cover craters created by the explosions. There are even some wildflowers.
 
Russia Defense Ministry Warns About ‘Playing With Arms’ After Israel Launch
 
Hours after Israel admitted to firing “ballistic targets” that resembled missiles in the Mediterranean, a launch that the country did not priorly announce, Russia’s Defense Ministry spoke out against “playing with arms and missiles” in such a “volatile” region.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
India, Japan to intensify talks on civil nuclear pact
 
India held its first post-Fukushima talks on civil nuclear accord with Japan on Tuesday with both sides deciding to intensify negotiations to reach an early settlement.
 
Latin America reaffirms anti-nuclear commitment
 
The Treaty of Tlatelolco is the conventional name given to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is embodied in the OPANAL (the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, Spanish Acronym)).
 
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
 
Report: Conventional Prompt Global Strike Weapons Face Challenges
The U.S. military has been putting research and development funding into conventional prompt global strike weapons, but more studies need to be done on the implications of actually using them, a new report released Sept. 3 said.
 
Pacific countries to remind U.S. of nuclear test responsibility
 
Pacific countries to remind U.S. of nuclear test responsibility
Leaders of Pacific countries said Wednesday they will call on the United States to face up to its responsibility and compensate victims of nuclear tests it conducted in the Pacific Ocean following World War II.
 
OPINIONS
 
US-Iran Nuclear Deal Hinges On Syria Vote
 
Many have pointed out that the Iranian government is watching closely what the Barack Obama administration does in Syria. With the president having declared a year ago that the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons “would be a game changer,” the Iranian government wonders what the new game will be. It does so not only out of interest in its clients in Syria, but more important, to judge what Obama’s reaction might be if Iran acquires a nuclear weapons capability, which the president has declared as another red line.
 
Nuclear Weapon Stockpiles: Past and Present
 
Two decades after the end of the Cold War there are still some 17,000 intact nuclear warheads around the world, according to a study published in the new issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
 
The power of treaties
 
International weapons conventions may not be perfect, but they are a vital mechanism for making wars less barbaric and less frequent — a cause that should galvanize scientists and others.
Read more…

Wednesday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS


Continued Activity at Key Plutonium Production Facilities at North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Complex; Purpose Unclear
38 North

Russian envoy calls for restraint amid tensions on Korean Peninsula
Yonhap

CTBTO keeps close eye on N. Korea’s nuclear activity
Yonhap

US dismisses claim it is capable of launching ‘surprise nuclear missile strike against Russia’
The Independent

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