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Nuclear Policy News – May 18, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 18, 2017

TOP NEWS

N.K. Preparing for Cruise Missile Strikes
Yonhap

Iran Nuclear Deal Will Remain for Now, White House Signals
The New York Times

Trump Pledges to Build Coast Guard Icebreakers
The Washington Post




EAST ASIA

N.K. Preparing for Cruise Missile Strikes
Yonhap
The North Korean army is repairing protective walls for gallery positions to brace for possible cruise missile strikes after witnessing such U.S. attacks on Syria last month.

China complains to U.S. about new Iran sanctions
Reuters
China said on Thursday it had lodged a complaint with the United States after it imposed narrow penalties on Iranian and Chinese figures for supporting Iran's ballistic missile program. China has complained repeatedly to the United States about unilateral sanctions against Chinese individuals and companies linked to either Iran or North Korea's nuclear or missile programs.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran Nuclear Deal Will Remain for Now, White House Signals
The New York Times
The Trump administration signaled on Wednesday that it would not, for now, jettison the Iran nuclear deal, despite the president’s harsh criticism of the agreement during the campaign. Facing a deadline of Thursday, the administration said it was waiving sanctions against Iran, as required under the deal. To have done otherwise would have violated the accord, freeing the Iranians to resume the production of nuclear fuel without any of the limits.

US Extends Iran Nuke Sanctions Relief, Adds Other Sanctions
Military Times
The Trump administration said Wednesday it will continue granting nuclear sanctions relief to Iran, keeping the Obama-era nuclear deal intact for now. But the U.S. also announced new unrelated sanctions in a bid to show it wasn't letting Tehran off the hook.

Iran says new U.S. sanctions on missile work show ‘ill will’
Reuters
Iran said on Thursday that new U.S. sanctions targeting its ballistic missile program could undermine the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, state television reported.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia’s Baltic Fleet to Receive Missile Corvette and Bombers
Newsweek
Russia’s Baltic Fleet will receive a new missile ship and more advanced fighter-bomber jets by the end of the year, its commander told the country’s state defense newspaper.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Trump willing to try engagement with North Korea, on conditions
Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump told South Korea's presidential envoy that Washington was willing to try to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis through engagement, but under the right conditions. Trump has said "a major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible and all options are on the table but that he wanted to resolve the crisis diplomatically, possibly through the extended use of economic sanctions.

Trump Pledges to Build Coast Guard Icebreakers
The Washington Post
President Trump pledged Wednesday to build icebreaker ships that the Coast Guard has long sought to be able to navigate polar waterways. The comments come as the administration prepares to release details about its proposed 2018 budget.

US Admiral: North Korea’s actions ‘recipe for disaster’
Military Times
Adm. Harry Harris Jr. stated "Combining nuclear warheads with ballistic technology in the hands of a volatile leader like Kim Jong Un is a recipe for a disaster. Kim Jong Un is not afraid to fail in public and every test he makes is a success because it takes North Korea one step closer to being able to deliver a nuclear-equipped missile anywhere in the world."



OPINIONS

Understanding North Korea’s Motives
Real Clear Defense, Danny Lam
The question of DPRK’s motives for acquiring a nuclear arsenal is central to the current debate about international security. Motives are ephemeral constructs that are difficult to assess. To wit, historians are still debating the motives of leaders of Germany, Japan, Britain, France, and US as to why they entered WWII. But without an effort to understand DPRK’s motives, it is impossible to craft a viable set of policies.

Restoring the Balance on NATO’s Eastern Flank
Defense News, Maciej Kowalski
One year ago, the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense site in Deveselu, Romania, achieved initial operational capability. While protection from a limited missile strike from outside the Euro-Atlantic area remains fundamental to the security of NATO, new threats have emerged and need to be addressed.

North Korea: The Military Options
The Atlantic, Uri Friedman
The Trump administration claims “all options are on the table” for dealing with North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program—from using military force, to pressuring China to cut off economic relations with North Korea, to Donald Trump negotiating directly with Kim Jong Un. But what do those options look like? And what consequences could they have?

Revamping America’s Nuclear Posture
The Washington Times, Robert Monroe
The nuclear weapons world has just changed for the fourth time. We’re in a new world, and new policies and actions are required. The first change was in 1945, when we created nukes. The second came in 1949, when Russia detonated a nuclear weapon and threatened global thermonuclear war. The third came in 1991, when we won the Cold War. With no enemies in sight America went into a nuclear freeze, and we’ve been sleepwalking ever since.

Fears Grow Over Russia’s Dangerous Nuclear Escalation
The Daily Caller, Peter Huessy
Vladimir Putin’s government continues to show signs that it would not hesitate to launch a nuclear war. Two top analysts of Russian strategic thinking joined Peter Huessy at a recent Mitchell Institute Forum on Capitol Hill to discuss Russia’s dangerous military doctrine.

Putin’s Maginot Line Exposed by North Korea’s Missile Launch
Foreign Policy Research Institute, John R. Haines
As Russian President Vladimir Putin aims his country’s missile defenses westward toward an ambiguous adversary, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un chipped a ballistic missile into Mr. Putin’s eastern backyard. Mr. Putin faces the perennial challenge of defending a largely indefensible border in Russia’s Far East.

Trump’s North Korean Nuclear Challenge
The Foreign Policy Initiative, Evan Moore
While the Trump administration’s emerging approach is in many ways commendable, it is not clear that the White House is willing to devote the degree of pressure that is required to force either Pyongyang or its Chinese patrons to change their behavior.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Is the US Prepared for a Nuclear EMP to Shut Down New York City?
The Hill
An EMP attack would be the most militarily effective use of one or a few nuclear weapons, while also being the most acceptable nuclear option in world opinion, the option most likely to be construed in the U.S. and internationally as "restrained" and a "warning shot."

Why Does North Korea hate the United States? Let’s Go Back to the Korean War
The Washington Post, Anna Fifield
There is some element of truth to the North Korean version of history. It’s only a kernel, and it is grossly exaggerated, but North Koreans remember very well what most Americans have forgotten (or never knew): that the Korean War was a brutal one.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 17, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 17, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Japan, U.S. Agree to Keep Up Pressure on Pyongyang, Say Dialogue Off Table For Now
Japan Times

US Intelligence Takes Increased North Korean Saber Rattling Seriously
Voice of America

Ambassador Nikki Haley Delivers Remarks before UN Security Council Consultations on DPRK
United States Mission to the United Nations




EAST ASIA

Seoul says it wants to reopen communication with North
Al Jazeera
South Korean announcement appears to indicate a ‘softer position’ as UN Security Council weighs sanctions on Pyongyang. "Our most basic stance is that communication lines between South and North Korea should open," Lee Duk-haeng, a spokesman for the South's unification ministry, told reporters on Wednesday.

Japan, U.S. Agree to Keep Up Pressure on Pyongyang, Say Dialogue Off Table For Now
Japan Times
Tokyo and Washington agreed Tuesday to continue to exert pressure on Pyongyang and beef up their trilateral cooperation with Seoul in reining in its nuclear and missile programs, while stressing that dialogue remained out of the question for the moment.

South Korea’s Moon says ‘high possibility’ of conflict with North as missile crisis builds
Reuters
The comments came hours after the South, which hosts 28,500 U.S. troops, said it wanted to reopen a channel of dialogue with North Korea as Moon seeks a two-track policy, involving sanctions and dialogue, to try to rein in its neighbor.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s re-engagement with the world at stake in Friday presidential vote
Reuters
Seeking a second term, pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani, 68, remains the narrow favorite, but hardline rivals have hammered him over his failure to boost an economy weakened by decades of sanctions. Many Iranians feel a 2015 agreement he championed with major powers to lift sanctions in return for curbing Iran's nuclear program has failed to produce the jobs, growth and foreign investment he said would follow.

Iran Air Sees Benefits of Nuclear Deal: 4 New ATR Aircraft Arrive
Financial Tribune
Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on Wednesday saw the touch-down of four brand new ATR 72-600 planes that joined the rejuvenating fleet of Iranian aircraft.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

‘You’ve got Russia and NK to think about’ – The view from Britain’s nuclear war town
BBC
Helensburgh on Scotland's west coast is home to the UK's nuclear weapons - but do the people living there want them? Here is an inside look from locals and politicians who live near the Naval Base near Faslane.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US Intelligence Takes Increased North Korean Saber Rattling Seriously
Voice of America
“We have assessed this as a very significant, potentially existential threat to the United States that has to be addressed,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told lawmakers during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last week on worldwide threats. “It is the highest priority, one of the highest, if not the highest priority of the intelligence community at this time,” Coats added.

U.S. aims to swag China on new North Korea sanctions after test
Reuters
The United States said on Tuesday it believed it could persuade China to impose new U.N. sanctions on North Korea following its latest ballistic missile test and warned that Washington would also target and "call out" countries supporting Pyongyang.

Ambassador Nikki Haley Delivers Remarks before UN Security Council Consultations on DPRK
United States Mission to the United Nations
“You are either with North Korea or you are not...We are going to send a very strong, unified message to North Korea: that the international community wants to support you, but as long as you test and as long as you continue your nuclear program, you are on an island by yourself.” -Ambassador Nikki Haley

 

OPINIONS

Missile Defense 101: North Korea Could Hit with Little Warning
Military Times, Eric Talmadge
The scenario has become pretty familiar by now. Sometime in the early morning, a missile roars off its launcher in North Korea and flies off — to a splash zone somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. But what if Pyongyang wasn't just testing its hardware or drilling its troops? How long would it take to hit its real-world, primary targets? Two experts talk to The Associated Press about what would happen if North Korea fired at targets near and far.

Take a lesson from the Cold War to work with North Korea
Defense News, Robert Haffa
The key to the case studies examined in Cold War American foreign policy was illustrating the use or misuse of historical analogies decision-makers were referencing in their choices, and making transparent how those historical cases did or did not fit the issue at hand. A similar methodology might prove useful to U.S. decision-makers currently pondering American foreign policy objectives and instruments in dealing with the nuclear weapons threat from North Korea.

Trump and Moon in Harmony for Now
38 North, Leon V. Sigal
While there are ample grounds for skepticism, the United States, South Korea and Japan may all be acting in concert to inch toward dialogue with Pyongyang—one of those rare moments when progress may be possible.

Congress and the Administration Must Reassess Failing Missile Defense Programs
Real Clear Defense, Gregory T. Kiley
The U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Battle Command System (IBCS) a program that points to broken processes. While the goals of the program are laudable and important to the warfighter, in development, execution, and oversight, the Department of Defense might be best served by hitting the pause button, culling some well-needed lessons learned, and resetting.

North Korea’s Hackers Fund Nuclear, Missile Programs By Stealing From Banks, Others
Newsweek, Greg Price
Hackers tied to North Korea are suspected in Friday’s global ransomware attack that infected roughly 300,000 machines in about 150 countries. Kim’s power and reach extend well beyond the country’s borders and include major hacking and cyberwarfare capabilities that in turn have helped fund the North’s defense programs.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Did North Korea Just Get the Ability to Nuke Seattle?
The Daily Beast, Gordon G. Chang
On Sunday morning, North Korea launched what it called a “new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket.” Pyongyang might have been uncharacteristically modest. The new solid-fuel “Hwasong-12” could be an intercontinental ballistic missile. Whether the missile is an ICBM—there is considerable disagreement about its range—the Kim regime is making fast progress.

What Would Happen If You Lived In A Nuclear Winter
Australia News
Thanks to sophisticated weather models built to analyze global warming, we know that even a relatively small nuclear skirmish would be extremely bad news. Simulations of full-scale war between smaller nuclear-armed countries suggest that a hundred multimegaton bombs would be exchanged, and the simultaneous detonation of a hundred nuclear devices would be bad for you even if you were on the other side of the globe.

Shadow Brokers Have North Korean, Russian Nuclear Program Data, Hackers say
Newsweek
The hacker group that is believed to have leaked NSA spying software last month offered to sell code that could be used to hack into phones, computers and software around the world. On top of the proposed sales, the Shadow Brokers stated they would conduct a monthly data “dump” beginning in June, dangling the idea that they are in possession of Russian, Chinese, North Korean and Iranian nuclear and missile programs data

 

UPCOMING EVENT

Debate: Modernization of Nuclear Missiles
The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) and Ploughshares Fund are pleased to invite you to the second in a debate series on a range of nuclear challenges and policy decisions the Trump administration will face in 2017. Participants will be asked to address the following statement: Resolved – Current plans to rebuild the U.S. nuclear arsenal are excessive, and the new ICBM and cruise missile should be cancelled or substantially curtailed.

The event is Tuesday, May 23, 2017 from 4:30-7:00pm at CSIS. Please RSVP here: https://www.csis.org/events/debate-modernization-nuclear-missiles

 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 16, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 16, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Report: North Korean diplomat open to US talks ‘under the right conditions’
CNN

Russian President Vladimir Putin Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ North Korea Missile Launch
Time

UN Security Council Condemns North Korea Missile Test
BBC

U.S. will ‘tighten the screws’ on North Korea, Nikki Haley says
Politico



EAST ASIA

North Korea’s Latest Missile Launch Suggests Progress Toward ICBM: Experts
Reuters
The North's official KCNA news agency said the new strategic ballistic missile named Hwasong-12, fired on Sunday at the highest angle to avoid affecting neighboring countries' security, flew 787 km (489 miles) on a trajectory reaching an altitude of 2,111.5 km (1,312 miles). The details reported by KCNA were largely consistent with South Korean and Japanese assessments that it flew further and higher than an intermediate-range missile (IRBM) tested in February.

Abe Seeks Talks with Chinese, South Korean Presidents at G-20 Summit
Nikkei Asian Review
Saying that it is too early to hold six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear development program, Abe stressed the need for exerting "solid pressure" on the country to cause it to change tack and create a situation where Pyongyang responds sincerely to demands from the international community.

Report: North Korean diplomat open to US talks ‘under the right conditions’
CNN
Choe Son Hui, director-general of the North America bureau chief of North Korea's Foreign Ministry spoke to reporters and made the remarks that North Korea would hold talks with the United States "under the right conditions." She made the remarks more than a week after President Donald Trump said he would be willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "under the right circumstances."

North Korea ‘seizes moment’ to test missile
South China Morning Post
The test came just hours ­before China kicked off its Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, where Chinese President Xi Jinping is laying out his vision of globalization to leaders and delegations from dozens of countries. In meeting Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit, Xi said China and Russia were committed to a political solution to the North Korean nuclear issue.

In testing missile, North Korea challenges South’s new leader
Military Times
South Korea, Japan and the U.S. swiftly condemned the launch, which jeopardizes new South Korean leader Moon Jae-in's willingness for dialogue with the rival North.

North Korea missile detected by THAAD, program progressing faster than expected
Reuters
South Korea’s defense minister said the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile unit deployed by the U.S. military in the South detected the North Korean missile, marking the first time the controversial system has been put to use since its deployment last month.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia says North Korean missile falls 500km from its border
Yonhap News
The Russian defense ministry said Sunday the ballistic missile fired by North Korea landed about 500 kilometers from its border, saying it did not pose a danger to the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ North Korea Missile Launch
Time
In comments carried by Russian news agencies, Putin said Russia considers North Korea's missile launches and nuclear tests to be "unacceptable," adding that "we need to return to a dialogue with North Korea, stop intimidating it and find peaceful solutions."

 

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN Chief Condemns DPRK Ballistic Missile Launch
UN News Centre
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged Pyongyang to return to the path of denuclearization saying the latest ballistic missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a threat to peace and security in the region.

UN Security Council Condemns North Korea Missile Test
BBC
The UN Security Council has unanimously condemned North Korea's latest missile test and warned of new sanctions. In a statement, the 15-member Council demanded that Pyongyang conduct no further such tests.



U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

U.S. will ‘tighten the screws’ on North Korea, Nikki Haley says
Politico
The U.S. and its international partners will continue to “tighten the screws” on the regime of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un following its test of a ballistic missile over the weekend, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday morning. Haley stated that Kim is “in a state of paranoia” and that his nation’s barrage of missile tests are a symptom of that. She also said that pressure imposed by the U.S. has already been felt by the Kim regime.

Military Plans Flight Intercept Test of Ballistic Missile
Military
The distinctive missile telemetry ship MV Pacific Collector is in port at Aloha Tower, possibly for a key upcoming ballistic missile defense test. The 393-foot ship with twin domes housing 24-foot antennas is owned by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration and used in support of U.S. Missile Defense Agency missions.

Navy to Expand Integration of a New Ship-Defense Technology Able to Destroy Attacking Cruise Missiles
Scout
The Navy plans to expand its emerging "over-the-horizon" ship-launched cruise missile defense technology to a wider range of airborne sensor platforms beyond an E2-D Hawkeye and Marine Corps F-35B - to possibly include the Navy's own carrier-launched stealthy F-35C and F/A-18 Super Hornets.



OPINIONS

North Korea Missile Test Appears to Tiptoe Over a U.S. Tripwire
New York Times, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger
For months, Washington has been bracing for North Korea to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, waiting to see how close it could get to the United States and how aggressively President Trump should react. Now, it looks as if Kim Jong-un, the North’s 33-year-old leader, has a different plan — one intended to improve his ability to strike the United States without setting off an American military response.

North Korea’s Latest Missile Test: Advancing Towards an ICBM While Avoiding US Military Action
38 North, John Schilling
It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediate-range ballistic missile that might enable them to reliably strike the US base at Guam, but more importantly, may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. Given speculation over the past months about the possibility of military action by the Trump administration, the possible testing of ICBM subsystems in this low-key manner may be a North Korean hedge against the possibility of such action.

THAAD in South Korea Won’t Defuse Current Tensions
Real Clear Defense, Eric Gomez
While THAAD does reduce the chances of a successful North Korean missile attack against important U.S. military bases and some South Korean cities, it probably won’t do much to cool down the situation on the peninsula. In fact, THAAD could contribute to instability and increase the likelihood of a crisis.

Changing Course on the Korean Peninsula
Real Clear Defense, Ron Huisken
The Korean peninsula’s deservedly been labelled a ‘flashpoint’ for well over a half a century but flare-ups in tension appear to be happening more frequently. Under the Trump administration, Washington’s seemingly more inclined to allow matters to come to a head, hoping to then put the issue on a new trajectory. And certainly, the sensible way to think about the peninsula is in terms of a change in the trend of developments, rather than an abrupt and decisive transformation.

North Korean Nuclear Program Can’t Be Stopped with Weapons, says Siegfried Hecker (Interview)
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Elisabeth Eaves
Siegfried Hecker has the rare distinction of being an American who has visited both North Korean and Russian nuclear facilities. Here he answers questions on Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities, its most recent missile test, and what influence the new president of South Korea might have on the regional balance of power.

Time for a Nuclear Intervention with Japan
The Wall Street Journal, James M. Acton
In international friendships as in personal ones, interventions are sometimes necessary to prevent self-destructive behavior. Japan’s nuclear policy, which calls for the U.S. to help Tokyo help itself before it’s too late, is a case in point. The Trump administration should use its leverage to address Japan’s growing piles of unused plutonium.



SPECIAL INTEREST

Target Rich—North Korea’s Atomic Archipelago
Real Clear Defense, Todd Crowell
If the United States ever seriously considered making a pre-emptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile assets, it would have plenty of targets to choose from; perhaps too many. a targeteer would have to take into account nearly a dozen known nuclear weapons/ballistic missile sites, their locations drawn from open sources. Here is an overview of North Korea’s atomic archipelago. 

Evaluating the Iran Deal (Live Stream)
CATO
To discuss the deal and its prospects, Cato hosted Ambassador Wendy Sherman, who led the U.S. negotiating team for the Obama administration. The event also features Senior Counselor, Albright Stonebridge Group; Laura Rozen, Diplomatic Correspondent, Al-Monitor; Ariane Tabatabai, Visiting Assistant Professor of Security Studies at the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; Emma Ashford, Research Fellow, Cato Institute; moderated by Benjamin H. Friedman, Research Fellow, Cato Institute.

 

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Nuclear Policy News – May 12, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 12, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Russia’s Putin says ready to help resolve North Korea nuclear issue
Reuters

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

North Korea Poses ‘Existential’ Threat, US Intel Chief Warns
New York Times




EAST ASIA

North Korea calls US-South Korea plot ‘declaration of war’
Fox News
North Korea's U.N. Mission is calling what it says was a "terrorist" plot by the U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies to kill leader Kim Jung Un a "declaration of war.” 

North Korea sends rare letter of protest over new U.S. sanctions
Reuters
North Korea sent a rare letter of protest to the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday warning that a new package of tougher sanctions would only spur its development of nuclear weapons, North Korea's state media reported.

North Korea Poses ‘Existential’ Threat, US Intel Chief Warns
New York Times
Dan Coats said the unprecedented nuclear and missile testing last year indicates leader Kim Jong Un is intent on proving North Korea's capability. The North's public claims suggest it could conduct its first flight of an intercontinental ballistic missile this year.

China official discourages linking U.S. trade moves to North Korea issue
Reuters
China's vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao said on Friday that economic issues should not be politicized, when asked whether the outcomes of the 100-day plan for trade talks with the United States were related to the North Korea nuclear issue.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s Rouhani takes on hardliners in spirited last debate before vote
Reuters
President Hassan Rouhani defended his efforts to improve Iran's economy against challengers who aim to topple him in an increasingly acrimonious election next week. Rouhani, swept into office in a landslide four years ago on promises to reduce Iran's international isolation, is seeking a second term after negotiating an agreement with world powers to curb Iran's nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia’s Putin says ready to help resolve North Korea nuclear issue
Reuters
Russia's President Vladimir Putin told his newly elected South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, in a phone call on Friday that he is ready to play a "constructive role" in resolving North Korea's nuclear threat, the South's presidential office said.



SOUTH ASIA

India test-fires ‘Spyder’ surface-to-air missile from Odisha test range
Financial Express
Spyder (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) is an acquired missile system from Israel which is a short-range, quick reaction surface-to-air missile to neutralize enemy targets up to a distance of 15 km and at heights between 20-and-9,000 meters.



U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Daniel R. Coats
The United States Intelligence Community’s 2017 assessment of threats to US national security. The order of the topics presented in this statement does not necessarily indicate the relative importance or magnitude of the threat in the view of the Intelligence Community.

US Sees Iran Working to Preserve Nuclear Deal
New York Times
The Latest on the Senate intelligence committee's hearing on global threats: The Trump administration's national intelligence director says the U.S. sees Iran working to maintain last year's nuclear agreement.



OPINIONS

Will Moon Push for Engagement with Pyongyang?
The Cipher Brief, J. James Kim
In his first days in office, newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in has tried to reassure the governments of the United States, Japan, and China that he will work to reduce tensions with North Korea, however his preference for engagement over sanctions has some experts wondering if his North Korea policies will clash with those of the Trump Administration.

The Proliferating Ballistic Missile Threat
The Washington Times, Donald P. Loren
A global power exchange of ICBMs is unacceptable, albeit remote. But a post Sept. 11 world makes the threat from ICBM attack more likely from rogue or failed nations and terror-sponsored entities than superpowers. The tactics and strategies of the past, mutual nuclear posturing, de-escalation and negotiation, play a lesser role while the successful ability to intercept and defeat a single or small ICBM attack is paramount.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un Knows How to Wield Nuclear Power
South China Morning Post, Nicholas Khoo
Calling someone a maniac or irrational is often easier than the more challenging and important task of actually analyzing their behavior. In aggressively pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, the North Korean leader is quite rational.

Conventional Artillery and Nuclear Missiles in North Korea
Real Clear Defense, Eric Rasmusen
When we think about Korea in 2017, we need to put the Korean War out of our minds and make a fresh start. What’s relevant is not the Incheon landing or the Chosin Reservoir, it is the Cuban Missile Crisis and Dr. Strangelove.  We are a world like that of the ICBM, the Berlin garrison hostage, and mutually assured destruction.

A Strategy for (Modestly Increasing the Chance of) Saving the INF Treaty
Russia Matters, James M. Acton
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is, most likely, a dead pact walking. Not only are the prospects of Russia returning to compliance with the treaty extremely bleak, but even serious discussions between Washington and Moscow about the treaty’s implementation seem like a diplomatic bridge too far right now. Without a process that offers at least some hope of a solution, the treaty’s survival is likely to be threatened—probably sooner rather than later—by either abrogation or irrelevance.



SPECIAL INTEREST


Real-life WarGames? Expert Claims Careless Hackers Could Cause an Accidental Nuclear Apocalypse
International Business Times
If there's one thing we learned from the 1983 movie WarGames, it's that reckless hackers infiltrating military systems could unwittingly set-off a nuclear arsenal, thus sparking World War III. Today, one leading NATO cybersecurity expert has claimed governments around the world are failing to defend said nuclear facilities from the threat of hackers – and it may lead to an "accidental nuclear war." His comments come as leading technologists call for a "Digital Geneva Convention."

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 11, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 11, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

North Korea’s ICBMs Have ‘Important Shortfalls,’ Pentagon Says
Bloomberg

Going Under Cover: Enhanced Concealment Effort Noted at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site
38 North

Pentagon Wrestling with Closed Nuke C3 in the Cloud-Computing Era
Inside Defense

US May Send Patriot Missile to Lithuania amid Moscow Threat
Military Times






EAST ASIA

China Says It Successfully Tests New Type of Missile
Defense News
A brief statement on the ministry's website said the test took place recently in the Bohai Gulf and "achieved the intended result." It did not reveal the type of missile or provide other details.

North Korea’s ICBMs Have ‘Important Shortfalls,’ Pentagon Says
Bloomberg
Kim Jong Un’s regime “continues efforts to expand its stockpile of weapons-grade fissile materials,” but “there is still a lot of development needed before” it can deploy a weapon such as a mobile ICBM able to reach the U.S. mainland, Navy Commander William Marks, a Defense Intelligence Agency spokesman stated.

Report: Japan Considering Buying Tomahawks for Destroyer Fleet to Deter North Korea
USNI News
Late last week, a Japanese government official said the Japanese government was interested in acquiring the land-attack strike missiles as a hedge against North Korean missile attacks. “The government is eager to set aside funds to study the feasibility of acquiring the ability to strike enemy missile sites, and could do so in the draft budget for fiscal 2018,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

South Korea’s Leader Willing to Visit North, Talk to US, China
Military Times
New South Korean President Moon Jae-in said as he took office Wednesday that he is open to visiting rival North Korea under the right conditions to talk about its aggressive pursuit of nuclear-tipped missiles.

South Korea Urges ‘Parallel’ Talks and Sanctions to Rein in North Korea
Reuters
South Korea's new president launched international efforts to defuse tension over North Korea's weapons development on Thursday, urging both dialogue and sanctions while also aiming to ease Chinese anger about a U.S. anti-missile system.

Going Under Cover: Enhanced Concealment Effort Noted at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site
38 North
Commercial satellite imagery of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site from May 2 and 3 indicates a low level of activity continues around the North Portal, the tunnel where test preparations have been observed over the past few weeks. Additionally, what appears to be disruptive pattern camouflage paint has been added to the roofs of the Command Center buildings, which might be an attempt to reduce foreign capabilities to observe and monitor activities at the site from overhead.

North Korea Rattled by Commando-Carrying Guided Missile Sub
Defense Tech
“The moment the USS Michigan tries to budge even a little, it will be doomed to face the miserable fate of becoming an underwater ghost without being able to come to the surface,” the North’s propaganda website Uriminzokkiri said. That was how the North greeted the arrival of the 560-foot, Ohio-class Michigan at the South Korean port of Busan on April 25 — the anniversary date of the founding of North Korea’s army.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

US May Send Patriot Missile to Lithuania amid Moscow Threat
Military Times
U.S. defense officials said a long-range Patriot missile battery may be deployed to the Baltic region later this year as part of a military exercise. The move, if finalized, would be temporary but signal staunch U.S. backing for Baltic nations concerned about the threat from Russia.



MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Supporting the Safe, Secure, Peaceful and Sustainable Uses of Nuclear Energy
U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna
As Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna Andrew J. Schofer said in his statement today, “The world is indeed realizing the peaceful promise of the atom. This is the result of robust efforts to ensure that nuclear energy is used safely, securely, and under sound nonproliferation conditions that ensure it is not diverted for weapons use…  States that uphold their nonproliferation commitments should know that they have a strong partner in the United States toward that end.”

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

CIA Establishes Mission Center Focused on North Korea
The Hill
"Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct CIA efforts against the serious threats to the United States and its allies emanating from North Korea," CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in a statement. "It also reflects the dynamism and agility that CIA brings to evolving national security challenges."

Pentagon Wrestling with Closed Nuke C3 in the Cloud-Computing Era
Inside Defense, Rachel Karas
The military still lacks a technical solution for next-generation nuclear command, control and communications, though the operational requirements are "in good shape," the leader of U.S. Strategic Command said.

 

OPINIONS

No Time for Friction With South Korea
New York Times
In the end, neither carrots nor sticks have diverted North Korea so far from its single-minded pursuit of a nuclear deterrent, and a rift among the United States, South Korea and China would only encourage the North to barrel ahead. Mr. Moon’s openness to dialogue need not be at odds with a tough stance in Washington, if Mr. Moon and Mr. Trump meet and forge a clear and common overall strategy.

Bring Back the Nuclear Tomahawks
U.S. Naval Institute, Admiral Sandy Winnefeld and Dr. James N. Miller
An especially elegant use of such power would avoid a tit-for-tat violation of or, worse, a withdrawal from the INF treaty. Rather, Russia should feel the pinch from a capability that lies well within international agreements: a sea-based nuclear-armed cruise missile. This would require restoration of the Navy’s nuclear capability on Tomahawk cruise missiles in what was known as TLAM-Ns—Tomahawk land-attack missile-nuclear.

Trump’s North Korea Policy Just Got More Complicated
Defense One, Uri Friedman
The winner of South Korea’s presidential election on Tuesday, agrees with the American president that North Korea’s expanding nuclear arsenal constitutes a grave threat. Moon, like Donald Trump, believes sanctions on the North should be maintained. Like Trump, he’s willing to talk directly with Kim Jong Un. But they diverge on the sequencing.

 

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

North Korea Learned How to Test Nukes from the U.S.
Vice News, Keegan Hamilton
The government has indeed declassified info about America’s old nuke tests; there are even books on Amazon that describe how the underground tunnels were designed and spaced to keep nuclear blasts safely contained. In North Korea, each test creates a small earthquake, and there are standard formulas to calculate the distance between underground explosions using seismic readings. Lewis and his team created interactive 3D maps of Punggye-ri’s tunnels [see below] and overlayed them with the U.S. setup in Nevada. “It turns out you could almost perfectly just drop it right on top,” he said.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 10, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 10, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Deputy Secretary General Discusses Arms Control in Vienna
NATO

Chinese military conducts live-fire drills, weapons tests
Reuters

U.S. Criticizes Russian Build-Up Near Baltic States
Reuters

S. Korea’s next leader will engage North, reconsider THAAD
Fox News




EAST ASIA

Chinese military conducts live-fire drills, weapons tests
Reuters
China's military has conducted live-fire drills and weapons tests in the northeastern Bohai Sea close to the Korean peninsula, the country's defense ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry said the tests of new missiles and weapons were carried out by the People's Liberation Army's Rocket Force "in recent days" and were designed to raise operational capability to effectively deal with national security threats.

S. Korea’s next leader will engage North, reconsider THAAD
Fox News
President Moon Jae-in has been critical of the hard-line stances that conservative governments in Seoul maintained against North Korea over the past decade. Moon says the confrontational approach did nothing to prevent North Korea from expanding its arsenal of nuclear weapons and missiles and only reduced Seoul's voice in international efforts to deal with its rival.

N. Korea unveils ‘satellite photos’ of THAAD in S. Korea
38 North
The North's state-run Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station aired two pictures showing what were described as THAAD components installed at a golf course at the southern South Korean county of Seongju during a TV talk show aired on Monday

S. Korea Pushes Statement on N.K. Nukes During NPT Meeting
Yonhap
South Korea is pushing for an international nonproliferation panel's adoption of a statement calling for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and missile programs. South Korea and France are currently reviewing the draft statement and seek to submit it to the preparatory committee meeting for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) underway in Vienna.

 

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

U.S. Criticizes Russian Build-Up Near Baltic States
Reuters
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that a Russian missile deployment near the Baltic states was "destabilizing", and officials suggested the United States could deploy a Patriot missile battery in the region for NATO exercises in the summer.

 

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Deputy Secretary General Discusses Arms Control in Vienna
NATO
NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller began a two-day visit to Austria on Friday (5 May 2017) with a speech at the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP). Addressing a seminar on ‘NATO’s Enduring Commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty’, Ms. Gottemoeller outlined the Alliance’s efforts to preserve peace, limit proliferation and reduce the number of nuclear weapons.

 

 

OPINIONS

The World Didn’t Agree to a Nuclear-Armed Iran, Even in 10 Years
Wall Street Journal, Max Singer
Critics of the agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, often say the deal gives Iran permission to acquire nuclear weapons after 10 years. Yet the stated premise of the plan was that Iran would never build or acquire nuclear weapons—ever.

Signaling Resolve or Capability? The Difference Matters on the Korean Peninsula
War on the Rocks, Kyle Haynes
In order to accurately weigh the costs and benefits of military deployments as bargaining signals, we need a clear conception of what exactly these signals are intended to convey. In the North Korean context, demonstrating American capability may actually be more important than signaling its credibility.

Why start over in ballistic missile defense?
Defense News, Steven P. Bucci
Much discussion has revolved around the United States’ decision to dispatch a carrier strike group to the Korean peninsula and the implications of the subsequent delay in the “armada’s” arrival. Many analyses of the carrier strike group’s deployment implicitly assumed that dispatching such a potent symbol of American power was intended to “signal resolve” and bolster deterrent threats aimed at the North.

Yes, we do have a way to deal with North Korea
Politico, Peter Harrell
The Trump administration has a playbook from which to draw: the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Trump, who declared the Iran deal a “disaster,” won’t like the comparison. But there are broad similarities between North Korea’s and Iran’s efforts to develop their nuclear programs, and the policies that forced Tehran to the bargaining table can work against Pyongyang as well.

Diplomacy with North Korea Can Work
Defense One, Bernadette Stadler
There are lessons to be learned from the Agreed Framework, especially now that the Trump administration has indicated that diplomacy is back on the table. The main takeaway should not be that diplomacy doesn’t work, but that diplomacy can and does work when pursued tactfully, seriously and patiently.

Pentagon Unprepared for New Arms Race
Real Clear Defense, Sandra I. Erwin
Generals and admirals at the Pentagon fret about China’s ambitious military modernization plan. Cringing at the potential of a future war in the Western Pacific might involve Chinese missiles and submarines capable of overpowering America’s military. How the Pentagon moves to respond, however, calls for a fresh discussion on how China is building a technologically superior military.

A Third Nuclear Crisis on the Korean Peninsula
Japan Times, Yoichi Funabashi
If Pyongyang refuses to negotiate, then the increased sanctions must be accompanied by a coordinated policy of “containment” to prevent wild actions by North Korea. In the event of such a development, and if that leads to collapse of the regime, the five-party talks should immediately switch to mechanisms for a crisis response.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Nuclear South Asia
Arms Control Wonk, Michael Krepon
The Stimson Center is offering a free online course to help assess this state of play, what choices lay ahead, and how to avoid the mistakes that Washington and Moscow have made. The course is Nuclear South Asia: A Guide to India, Pakistan, and the Bomb.

Tunnel with nuclear waste collapses in Washington state
Military Times
A portion of an underground tunnel containing rail cars filled with radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday at a sprawling storage facility in a remote area of Washington state, forcing an evacuation of some workers at the site that made plutonium for nuclear weapons for decades after World War II.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 9, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 9, 2017

TOP NEWS

N. Korean Officials Meet U.S. Experts in Oslo
Yonhap

India’s Nuclear Exceptionalism: Fissile Materials, Fuel Cycles, and Safeguards (Report)
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Singapore to Enforce Death Penalty for Nuclear Terrorist Acts
Channel News Asia





EAST ASIA

Pyongyang Reiterates Resolve to Fight Against U.S.
Yonhap
North Korea on Tuesday reiterated its resolve to continue to fight against the United States as it marked the first anniversary of its leader being elected the chairman of the ruling party. 

N. Korean Officials Meet U.S. Experts in Oslo
Yonhap
North Korean officials began informal talks with a group of American experts in Oslo, Norway, amid speculation that Washington may seek dialogue with Pyongyang.

China says North Korea sending delegation to new Silk Road Summit
Reuters
Leaders from 28 countries will attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on May 14-15, an event orchestrated to promote Xi's vision of expanding links between Asia, Africa and Europe underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment. Despite Chinese anger at North Korea's repeated nuclear and missile tests, China remains the isolated state's most important economic and diplomatic backer.

Liberal Moon Jae-in wins South Korean election: exit polls
Reuters
Liberal politician Moon Jae-in won South Korea's presidential election on Tuesday, exit polls showed, an expected victory that would end nearly a decade of conservative rule and bring a more conciliatory approach toward North Korea.

Singapore to Enforce Death Penalty for Nuclear Terrorist Acts
Channel News Asia
A person who commits a fatal act of terrorism using radioactive material or nuclear explosive devices will face the mandatory death penalty under new laws passed in Parliament on Monday (May 8).The legislation paves the way for Singapore’s ratification of the United Nations’ (UN) International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT)

 

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia showcases Arctic hardware in Red Square military parade
Reuters
Russia rolled out air defense systems built to operate in sub-zero Arctic conditions on Tuesday as it showcased its military might at a parade on Moscow's Red Square.



SOUTH ASIA

India’s Nuclear Exceptionalism: Fissile Materials, Fuel Cycles, and Safeguards (Report)
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Mansoor Ahmed
This paper looks at the vertical proliferation potential of India’s unsafeguarded civil-military nuclear program.

 

OPINIONS

Trump, Iran, and the Nuclear Agreement
Real Clear Defense,Mohammed Ayoob
The Trump administration have gone out of their way to portray Iran as America’s inveterate enemy that needs to be ostracized and, if possible, militarily decapitated. There are important constituencies, both inside and outside the US, which would prefer Iran be confronted militarily in order to neuter its real and potential interventionist capabilities in the Middle East.

The Korean Peninsula Migraine—Outcomes No One Wants
The Nikkei Asian Review, Ian Bremmer
The great problem in knowing whether North Korea is about to explode is in judging which words to take seriously and which to ignore. Past U.S. presidents have shrugged off these threats and worked behind the scenes with China and South Korea to find safe ways to tighten the pressure on the regime. But things have changed, and it's now time for the world to pay closer attention.

Today’s Defense Department Lacks Nuclear Weapons Expertise
Investor’s Business Daily, Robert R. Monroe
DOD has disassembled its former dedicated, powerful, organization of nuclear weapons scientists and thinkers, who focus on the military aspect of nuclear weapons, and who would have alerted DOD's leadership to the urgent need. Hopefully, today's new national leadership will reverse the nation's nuclear weapons policies, and re-nuclearize DOD before it's too late.  Since our Cold Warriors have retired or passed on, few or none in DOD even know what needs to be done.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Giving Up Nuclear Weapons: It’s Rare, But It’s Happened (Podcast)
NPR
To this day, South Africa is the only country that's built its own nuclear weapons and then relinquished them. Three former Soviet republics — Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan — inherited nukes when the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991, and then gave them up. President Trump is now calling for North Korea to relinquish its nuclear arsenal, a step it says it will never take. History shows that countries are unlikely to give up their weapons unless there's a dramatic change in circumstances, as was the case in South Africa.

 

 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 8, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 8, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

N. Korea calls for end to confrontation on eve of election in S. Korea
Yonhap

U.N. Spots North Korea Nuclear Weapon Activity as State Media Warns of War
Newsweek

Pentagon eyeing military connection between Iran, N. Korea: report
Fox News




EAST ASIA

Chinese-North Korean Venture Shows How Much Sanctions Can Miss
The Wall Street Journal
For most of the past decade, a Chinese state-owned company had a joint venture with a North Korean company under sanctions for involvement in Pyongyang’s atomic-weapons program, Chinese corporate and government records show.

South Korea’s Presidential Election: A Look at Pivotal Issues
The New York Times
South Koreans will choose a new president on Tuesday in a vote that will turn on several crucial issues: relations with North Korea and the United States; economic inequality; and the enduring power of the country’s family-controlled conglomerates, known as chaebol. Here’s how these issues are playing out in the election.

N. Korea calls for end to confrontation on eve of election in S. Korea
Yonhap
With South Korea's presidential election just one day away, North Korea on Monday called for an end to the history of inter-Korean confrontation. On Tuesday, South Korea is to pick a new president to replace Park Geun-hye who was removed from her presidency in March over corruption charges.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Hardline foes of Iran’s Rouhani rap lack of payoff from nuclear deal
Reuters
In a debate in Tehran carried live on state TV, Rouhani battled criticism that few Iranians had enjoyed any tangible benefits from the 2015 deal under which Iran curbed its disputed nuclear activity in exchange for relief from global sanctions.

Iran’s presidential candidates vow to uphold nuclear deal in televised debate
The Washington Post
Each of Iran’s six presidential candidates committed Friday to uphold a nuclear deal with world powers should he win the May 19 election.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

As China-North Korea ties cool, Russia looks to benefit
CNBC
Recent bilateral projects indicate Russia and North Korea are deepening their relationship Both countries share a long history of ideological and economic relations — in 2014, Moscow wrote off 90 percent of Pyongyang's $11 billion debt from the Soviet-era — but recent projects indicate an even cozier relationship.



MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

U.N. Spots North Korea Nuclear Weapon Activity as State Media Warns of War
Newsweek
The chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said the international body has seen evidence that North Korea is pursuing its sixth nuclear weapons test in the midst of U.S. threats of military action to prevent such an action.

 

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

China must take strong steps against North Korea even if regime collapses, says Condoleeza Rice
International Business Times
Rice warned that North Korean missiles and nuclear weapons are capable of reaching Russia and the way they are improving, can eventually reach the US mainland in up to five years and once that happens, the US administration will not be able to deal with it.

U.S. House of Representatives Seeking Integrated Intelligence on N. Korea
Yonhap
Democratic Party Rep. Stephanie Murphy is the main sponsor of the bill titled "H.R. 2175: North Korea Intelligence Enhancement Act." The purpose of the bill is "to direct the Director of National Intelligence to establish an integration cell to monitor and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions with respect to North Korea, and for other purposes."

Pentagon eyeing military connection between Iran, N. Korea: report
Fox News
The United States is eyeing a military connection between Iran and North Korea after Tehran attempted to test-fire a missile from a submarine earlier this week, a news report said Friday. The missile launch from a "midget" submarine on Tuesday provided U.S. officials more evidence of North Korean influence in the Islamic Republic, with intelligence reports saying the submarine was based on a North Korean design

 

OPINIONS

Four Reasons Why Talking to North Korea Would Be Smart Strategy
Defense One, Jacob Stokes
The Trump administration should have a consistent policy supporting talks. Negotiations would be smart national security strategy, even if they come to naught. Trying to bargain with the Kim regime would be frustrating, given North Korea’s history of bad-faith negotiations and the heinous nature of the regime. Nevertheless, four major reasons rooted in tough-minded realism show why a diplomatic process makes sense.

Is it Time for the U.S. to Craft a New Iranian & Middle East Security Strategy (Part II)
Family Security Matters, Peter Huessy
One could argue that given the relative threats from Iran, stopping its pursuit of nuclear weapons should be of the highest priority. However, the American effort to curtail the Iran nuke program (but not its missiles or terrorist support or human rights atrocities) went through several phases not all of which were helpful to America's security. Thus concentrating largely on that objective was not necessarily beneficial to the U.S. as many have claimed.

A North Korean Nuclear EMP Attack?
38 North, Jack Liu
Recent press articles warn about the possibility of the North Koreans launching an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States, and there are even suggestions that the recent missile test failures may represent a thinly veiled EMP threat. However, such an attack from North Korea is unlikely, as it would require the North to have much larger nuclear weapons and the missile capability to deliver them.

The Downside of North Korea
Real Clear Defense, Charles V. Pena
Understanding that the costs and risks of military action against North Korea outweigh the perceived benefits. In other words, cooler heads and realism need to prevail, which means reasoned analysis of possible policies and their second and third order consequences. Otherwise, we will continue to pursue dangerous policies that cost more in lives and dollars than predicted, drain our military, and weaken our security.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Made in North Korea: As tougher sanctions loom, more local goods in stores
Reuters
From carrot-flavored toothpaste and charcoal facemasks to motorcycles and solar panels, visitors to North Korea say they are seeing more and more locally made products in the isolated country's shops and supermarkets, replacing mostly Chinese imports.

2016 PONI Journal
CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues
CSIS PONI’s latest publication includes papers from the 2016 Nuclear Scholars Initiative and PONI Conference Series.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - May 5, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 5, 2017

TOP NEWS

North Korea is building mysterious artificial islands that would be perfect for missile launches
Los Angeles Times

Netanyahu Warns Israel Not Bound by 2015 Nuclear Deal
The Times of Israel

History of U.S.-Iran Relations Points to Bad End Game
Real Clear Defense, Peter Huessy

How to Survive the First Hour of a Nuclear Attack
Vice

EAST ASIA

North Korea is building mysterious artificial islands that would be perfect for missile launches
Los Angeles Times
North Korea is building artificial islands in the Yellow Sea and topping them with what appear to be military installations, satellite images reveal.    

North Korea’s Sinpo South Shipyard: Activity at the Test Stand
38 North
Commercial satellite imagery of the Sinpo South Shipyard from April 29 indicates new activity at the facility’s missile test stand. The image, however, is of insufficient resolution to reach a determination as to whether the activity is related to maintenance, removal of the service tower or preparations for an upcoming test.

North Korea accuses CIA of ‘bio-chemical’ plot against leadership
Reuters
North Korea on Friday accused the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and South Korea's intelligence service of a plot to attack its "supreme leadership" with a bio-chemical weapon and said such a "pipe-dream" could never succeed.

North Korea threatens to launch attack against intelligence agencies of S. Korea, U.S.
Yonhap
North Korea threatened Friday to launch an anti-terrorist attack against the intelligence agencies of South Korea and the United States as it accused them of plotting to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

MIDDLE EAST

Netanyahu Warns Israel Not Bound by 2015 Nuclear Deal
The Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel is not bound by the 2015 agreement, signed between Iran and six world powers including the US, to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, and warned that Jerusalem will insure that Iran does not attain nuclear weapons.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Statement of General Curtis M. Scaparrrotti, Commander United States European Command 
United States Senate Committee on Appropriations
NATO Commander, General Curtis M. Scaparrottti, full statement on concerns about Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.  

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

New U.N. disarmament chief Nakamitsu backs proposal for global nuclear weapons ban
The Japan Times
Izumi Nakamitsu, the new U.N. undersecretary-general and high representative for disarmament affairs, said Thursday she will throw her full support behind negotiations to ban nuclear weapons.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US F-22s intercept Russian bombers, fighters near Alaska
CNN
Two Russian bombers, flanked by a pair of fighter jets, were intercepted by stealth US F-22 aircraft off the coast of Alaska on Wednesday, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The Russian TU-95 Bear bombers and their SU-35 fighter jet escorts stayed in international airspace but did fly as close to 50 miles from Point Hope, Alaska.

House passes bill to impose new sanctions on North Korea
Fox News
The House overwhelmingly voted Thursday to impose new sanctions on North Korea amid heightened tensions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The vote, 419-1, targets North Korea’s shipping industry and use of slave labor. It also requires that the Trump administration report to Congress within 90 days on whether North Korea should be reinstated on the government’s state sponsors of terror list. Such a designation would trigger more sanctions, including restriction on U.S. foreign assistance.

OPINIONS

History of U.S.-Iran Relations Points to Bad End Game
Real Clear Defense, Peter Huessy
The past decade has been primarily aimed at curtailing (temporarily) Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons by capping the amount of nuclear fuel Iran can produce and to what level of enrichment. In the final analysis, the JCPOA curtailment of its nuclear enrichment capabilities is only temporary and will eventually expire. That end game could leave Iran as an emerging nuclear weapons power. Only a new American Middle East Security Policy will prevent this outcome.

You Get Deterrence, and You Get Deterrence, Everybody Gets Deterrence!
War on the Rocks, Mara Karlin
It serves neither the country’s security nor the secretary to pin so much on deterrence alone. Doing so results in a superficial appreciation for one of the biggest dilemmas in the field of global security affairs. Efforts that are regular, rigorous, and sober will help the Department of Defense better approach deterrence.

U.S. Nuclear Security – Insider Threats (Podcast)
Real Clear Defense, Micah Zenko
Professor Matthew Bunn discusses insider threats in both the private and national security sectors. Bunn also shares insights from his invaluable dissertation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Guardians at the Gates of Hell: Estimating the Risk of Nuclear Theft and Terrorism—and Identifying the Highest-Priority Risks of Nuclear Theft, and talks about how nuclear security has evolved over the past quarter-century.

The Case Against New Nuclear Weapons
Center for American Progress, Adam Mount
Developing new nuclear capabilities would likely increase global nuclear competition, accelerating a new arms race; create uncertainty for existing modernization programs in the Pentagon budget and also at the national laboratories that maintain the nuclear stockpile; increase the likelihood that new countries could seek to acquire nuclear weapons; and do little to improve the ability of the U.S. armed forces to deter and defend against aggression around the world.

An Iran-Style Nuclear Deal with North Korea is the Best America Can Hope For
The Atlantic, Robert S. Litwak
Indeed, the Iran deal shows that even an agreement that could stop a regime before it has nuclear weapons at all is an imperfect solution with many detractors because it does not address what they view as the source of threat—the character of the regime. The open question is whether Trump would take such an imperfect nuclear deal. If not, the administration is left with the bad alternatives of bombing or acquiescing.

SPECIAL INTEREST

NATO-Russia relations: the facts
NATO
Since Russia began its illegal military intervention in Ukraine, Russian officials have accused NATO of a series of mythical provocations, threats and hostile actions stretching back over 25 years. This webpage sets out the facts.

How to Survive the First Hour of a Nuclear Attack
Vice
Let's say a 10 KT nuclear bomb was detonated without the US having advance warning. Here's a timeline of how that nightmare would likely play out in a major city like New York or Washington DC—and your odds of making it out alive.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 4, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 4, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Minuteman III test-fired from California coastal base
Air Force Times

North Korea threat: WH official says Kim could use nuclear weapons as blackmail
Fox News

US Special Operations Command training actively to ensure readiness for N.K. contingencies commander
Yonhap



EAST ASIA

North Korea threat: WH official says Kim could use nuclear weapons as blackmail
Fox News
Matt Pottinger, the Asia director on President Trump’s National Security Council, said there might be some truth to the idea that North Korea wants a nuclear deterrent to protect its communist regime, but the country’s robust conventional military has worked as a deterrent for decades. They have made no secret that they want to use these weapons as an instrument of blackmail to achieve other goals.

North Korea missiles designed to defeat US THAAD defense system
The Washington Times
North Korea has tailored its spate of ballistic missile tests to defeat the U.S.-stationed defense systems ready to protect the South and Japan from descending warheads, a report to Congress says.

N. Korea will never beg for China’s friendship
Yonhap
North Korea slammed China on Wednesday for criticizing its nuclear weapons program, saying it will never "beg" for the ally's friendship. In a commentary released by the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang took issue with recent reports in China's official media that the North's nuclear tests pose a threat to its neighbor's national interests.

After North Korea criticism, China says wants to be good neighbor
Reuters
China said on Thursday it wants to be good neighbors with North Korea, after the isolated country's state news agency published a rare criticism of Chinese state media commentaries calling for tougher sanctions over the North's nuclear program

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran attempted missile launch from submarine
Fox News
Iran attempted to launch a cruise missile from a submarine in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday but the test failed. An Iranian Yono-class “midget” submarine conducted the missile launch.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

UK Needs to Preserve Iran Deal
Financial Tribune
Britain can no longer rely on US leadership on Middle East policy and must work more closely with Europe to ensure the Iran nuclear deal stays in place, among other policies, a committee of British lawmakers said in a report on Tuesday.

 

SOUTH ASIA

India test fires nuclear-capable Agni-II missile
Economic Times
India on Thursday successfully test fired its medium-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-ll off the Odisha coast. It has a strike range of more than 2,000 km, is 20 metres long, weighs 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of 1,000 kg.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Minuteman III test-fired from California coastal base
Air Force Times
The unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile blasted off from a silo at 12:02 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base and delivered a single re-entry vehicle to a target about 4,200 miles (6,800 kilometers) away at Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, the Air Force Global Strike Command said.

US House sends budget deal to Senate
Defense News
The lower chamber on Wednesday voted 309 to 118 to advance the $1.1 trillion bill unveiled Monday after weeks of talks. The 1,665-page omnibus bill includes the 11 remaining appropriations bills, including $598.5 billion for defense, which is roughly $25 billion above 2016 levels. 

US Special Operations Command training actively to ensure readiness for N.K. contingencies commander
Yonhap
Gen. Raymond Thomas in a written statement for a House Armed Services Committee hearing held Tuesday, said the threat of "an increasingly rogue North Korea" is of growing concern to him, and the North's threat is no longer a regional one, but has "global implications."

 

OPINIONS

The Political and Military Vulnerability of America’s Land-Based Nuclear Missiles
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Jon B. Wolfsthal
As part of the agreement that resulted in the Senate’s approval of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty nuclear agreement with the Russian Federation, the Obama administration agreed to a nuclear modernization plan that includes retaining and upgrading the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). But from a military standpoint, these missiles are the most vulnerable and least essential components of the US nuclear arsenal.

Forget North Korea. The Next Nuclear Crisis Festers on the India-Pakistan Border
Huffington Post, David Wood  
While President Donald Trump is focused on North Korea’s nuclear madman, a more alarming threat is rising in South Asia: an explosive mix of nuclear weapons, terrorism and hair-trigger war plans.

Russia’s New Tsirkon Cruise Missile
Real Clear Defense, Roger McDermott
Russia’s high-precision capabilities might reduce the country’s dependence on nuclear deterrence. In the latest example illustrating this trend, recent media coverage has focused on developing the new 3M22 hypersonic cruise missile as part of the 3K22 Tsirkon (“Zircon”) system, which has resulted in hyperbolic claims about its potential speed.

How did North Korea get the Bomb? (Podcast)
BBC, Ruth Aleander, Kate Lamble, Phobe Keane, Estelle Doyle
Tensions between the US and North Korea are running high. Kim Jong-Un has been testing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons. The Trump administration wants Pyongyang to end its nuclear weapons programs and has said “all of our options are on the table” in pursuit of that goal. North Korea has said that a "super mighty pre-emptive strike” is planned if the US uses military force against them. But – our question this week – how did this poor and isolated country develop nuclear weapons in the first place?

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

How the U.S.  Prepared for Nuclear Catastrophe
Time
Garret Graff’s new book Raven Rock: The Story of U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself—While the Rest of Us Die presents a look at how nuclear disaster preparation shaped the modern world. The book recounts the history of "how nuclear war would have actually worked — the nuts and bolts of war plans, communication networks, weapons, and bunkers — and how imagining and planning for the impact of nuclear war actually changed.

Floating Nuclear Reactors in the South China Sea
Real Clear Defense
In November 2016, China announced that it had begun building its first floating nuclear power plant, a project called a ‘top priority’ that would boost Beijing’s ‘strong maritime power strategy’. In February 2017, a government spokesperson for science and technology confirmed that a floating reactor would be operational by 2020 to help fuel China’s offshore activities.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 3, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 3, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Activity Continues Throughout the Site
38 North

Iran Hardliners Committed to Nuclear Deal
Financial Times

Japan calls for stronger Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty amid North Korea threat
The Japan Times

Test of U.S. Defense Against North Korea Missiles Set This Month
Bloomberg



EAST ASIA

N.K. claims U.S. strategic bombers flew over Korea early this week
Yonhap
North Korea claimed Tuesday that U.S. B-1B strategic bombers made flights over the Korean Peninsula early this week in an exercise on dropping nuclear bombs, saying that Washington is to blame for rising tensions.

U.S., China talk firmer U.N. response to North Korea’s missiles
Reuters
The United States is negotiating with China on a possible stronger U.N. Security Council response - such as sanctions - to North Korea's repeated ballistic missile launches, which the 15-member body normally condemns in a statement.

China demands immediate halt to THAAD missile system now ‘operational’ in South Korea
South China Morning Post
“We oppose the deployment of the THAAD system in [South Korea] and urge relevant sides to immediately stop the deployment. We will firmly take necessary measures to uphold our interests,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Activity Continues Throughout the Site
38 North
Based on satellite imagery alone, it is unclear if this activity indicates that a nuclear test has been cancelled, the facility is in stand-by mode or that a test is imminent. The presence of a large number of people dispersed throughout the facility in the latest image, however, is unusual and almost assuredly a component of an overall North Korean deception and propaganda effort.

China urges all sides in North Korea standoff to ‘stop irritating’ one another
Reuters
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, asked about the bomber flights, the drills and North Korea's response, stressed that the situation was "highly complex" and sensitive. "The urgent task is to lower temperatures and resume talks," he told reporters.

Japan’s Abe hopes for reform of pacifist charter by 2020
Reuters
Under the constitution's Article Nine, Japan forever renounced its right to wage war and banned maintenance of a military, though successive governments have interpreted it to allow a military exclusively for self-defense. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday he hoped the first-ever change to the country's 70-year-old pacifist constitution would be enacted by 2020.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran Hardliners Committed to Nuclear Deal
Financial Times
Iran’s hardliners are committed to the nuclear deal with world powers even as they use the accord to attack President Hassan Rouhani ahead of elections this month, a senior politician said. The agreement was a “done deal” and there would be no attempts to sabotage it, said Alireza Zakani, a senior figure in the hardliners’ camp and a former MP.

Iranians must give Rouhani second term to make good on nuclear deal: vice president
Reuters
Iran's president must get a second term to secure the economic benefits that he promised would result from a diplomatic thaw with the West, Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar said ahead of a May 19 election. Hassan Rouhani's hardline challengers for the presidency say he traded away too much in a 2015 deal with world powers that limited Iran's nuclear work but failed to deliver sufficient rewards.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia’s Military Buildup in Arctic Has U.S. Watching Closely
NBC News
Russia is trying to claim 460,000 square miles of the Arctic Ocean as its national territory — an area that includes the North Pole. Russian divers even planted a national flag on the North Pole seabed in a symbolic claim to the region's energy riches. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said it was "not to our advantage to leave any part of the world" to others. American Marines have even been deployed to train for Arctic warfare in Norway.

Russia has hidden nuclear bombs ready to detonate along US coastline, says former Kremlin spokesman
The Independent
A Russian military expert has claimed  Moscow has been "seeding" nuclear bombs off the US coastline. The Kremlin has dismissed the claim as "strange", while an independent expert referred to it as an act of "political warfare".

 

SOUTH ASIA

North Korea cut off by 3rd Partner: India
CNN
The Indian government announced last week it is halting all trade, except for food and medicine, as tension mounts on the Korean peninsula and the U.S. administration urges more global action to isolate Pyongyang. The ban came into force in April. It brings India into line with United Nations sanctions on North Korea.

 

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Japan calls for stronger Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty amid North Korea threat
The Japan Times
Taking part in the preparatory committee for the 2020 review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in Vienna, the first Japanese foreign minister to do so, Kishida also urged cooperation between nuclear states and non-nuclear states to prevent the spread of nuclear arms.



U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US: North Korea’s nukes may be a tactic for taking over South Korea
Military Times
North Korea's nuclear weapons development may be designed to take over arch-rival South Korea and coerce the United States into abandoning its close ally, a senior White House official said Tuesday, questioning the North's stated purpose of warding off a U.S. invasion.

Test of U.S. Defense Against North Korea Missiles Set This Month
Bloomberg
The Pentagon will attempt a new test by the end of this month of whether it can intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile like the ones North Korea is seeking to develop, according to the deputy director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.



OPINIONS

The Unsettling View From Moscow
Center for New American Studies, Alexander Velez-Green
Russian military strategists argue that if an attack on Russian vital interests appears imminent, Moscow must be prepared to use strategic non-nuclear or limited nuclear force first in order to deter or defeat the United States or NATO.

North Korea’s ‘failed’ missile test may have been a thinly-disguised threat
Nikkei Asian Review, Tetsuro Kosaka
North Korea again launched a ballistic missile in the morning of April 29, which exploded in mid-flight. Although many experts branded the test a failure, it could also have been a thinly-disguised warning. Pyongyang could have been saying, "We could launch an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack if things get really ugly." A powerful EMP would cause catastrophic damage to electrical grids and communications networks in surrounding nations, creating chaos.

Alliances Are Hard, Part 378, South Korea Edition
New York Times, Max Fisher and Amanda Taub
With every year that passes, North Korea poses a more credible nuclear threat to South Korea, which forces it to choose between escalating its deterrence — and accepting a higher level of risk to maintain the status quo —  or accommodating the North. Either option strains the US-South Korea alliance.

As U.S. and China find common ground on North Korea, is Russia the wild card?
Reuters, James Pearson and Alexei Chernyshev
Russian support for the Pyongyang regime could bring economic benefits for Moscow. It demonstrates Russia is a loyal partner to anti-Western regimes facing international isolation and sanctions. As Russia has close economic links with other countries at odds with the West, like Iran, Venezuela and Syria, this symbolic dimension of the Russia-North Korea relationship has strategic significance.



SPECIAL INTEREST

The North Korean Electromagnetic Pulse Threat, or Lack Thereof (Podcast)
NPR
Can a nuclear weapon in space fired by North Korea knock off much of the world's electricity? Jeffrey Lewis, of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, says not really.

Reuters War College Podcast: What North Korea Wants
Reuters
This week on War College, B.R. Myers will help us figure that out. Myers is a professor of international studies at Dongseo University in Busan, South Korea. He’s visited the north, speaks the language, and reads the literature and propaganda alike. He takes Pyongyang at its word when it says it wants to reunify the peninsula and he’s not hopeful for the future.  

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 2, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 2, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

N. Korea vows to develop nuclear program at full speed in reaction to Trump policy
Yonhap

European Union Doubles Down on Support for Iran Nuclear Accord
The Wall Street Journal

NPT “PrepCom” Sessions
IAEA

North Korea says U.S. bomber flights push peninsula to bring of nuclear war
Reuters




EAST ASIA

N. Korea vows to develop nuclear program at full speed in reaction to Trump policy
Yonhap
North Korea pledged Monday to bolster its nuclear weapons program at maximum speed, issuing the country's first official response to the recently released North Korea policy by the U.S. administration, which focuses on "maximum pressure and engagement."

North Korea says U.S. bomber flights push peninsula to bring of nuclear war
Reuters
North Korea accused the United States of pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war after a pair of strategic U.S. bombers flew training drills with the South Korean and Japanese air forces in another show of strength. The two supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers were deployed amid rising tensions over North Korea's pursuit of its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

Japanese under North Korean missile attack: ‘there is no way we can run from it’
South China Morning Post
North Korea has yet to meet its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the US mainland, but analysts believe its current arsenal is capable of striking the 50,000 US troops stationed across Japan.

THAAD Missile Defense System Initially Capable in South Korea
Reuters
The U.S. military's THAAD missile defense system in South Korea has reached an initial operating capability to defend against North Korean missiles. In addition to the new THAAD system, South Korea also operates a Patriot PAC-3 missile defense system

 

MIDDLE EAST

European Union Doubles Down on Support for Iran Nuclear Accord
The Wall Street Journal
The European Union rallied behind Iran’s nuclear deal during a high-level visit to the country over the weekend, vowing to safeguard the accord despite U.S. threats to scrap it and pledging to support the Islamic Republic’s economy.

 

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia Claims Hypersonic Missile Test
Real Clear Defense
On April 15, Russian officials claimed to have successfully tested the world’s first ever maneuvering hypersonic missile—the “Zircon” (3M22 Tsirkon). Following last month’s reportedly successful test, various Russian sources suggested that the “Zircon” will be introduced into the Russian Armed Forces as early as in 2018.

£1bn Nuclear Attack Submarine Launched
UK Defence Journal
HMS Audacious, the fourth of seven Astute class attack submarines, has been launched BAE Systems at its site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Armed with Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk land attack missiles, the Astute class submarines are the most highly-capable submarines ever built for the Royal Navy.

 

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

NPT “PrepCom” Sessions
IAEA
Every five years, Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) meet to review its implementation. Before the Review Conferences, Preparatory Committee (or "PrepCom") meetings are held. Today marks the First Session of the Preparatory Committee leading up to the 2020 NPT Review Conference.

U.S. Statement to the 2017 NPT Preparatory Committee
U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna
Statement by the United States in General Debate at the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Delivered by Ambassador Robert A. Wood, Permanent Representative of the United States to the Conference on Disarmament.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US Praises Beijing’s Efforts to Pressure Pyongyang Over Nuclear Crisis
South China Morning Post
US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s expressions of confidence in, and willingness to cooperate with, China and South Korea in the escalating standoff in Northeast Asia follow a ballistic missile test by North Korea’s military on Saturday. “We do see China starting to do something. We’ve seen it in Chinese public statements; we’ve seen it in the Chinese press”, McMaster said.

Donald Trump: I would be honored to meet Kim Jong-Un
BBC
The comments come amid escalating tensions over North Korea's nuclear program. The White House issued a statement following President Trump's remarks, saying North Korea would need to meet many conditions before any meeting between the two leaders could take place.

CIA Chief in South Korea for Talks on Nuclear Threat Posed by North
Voice of America
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo is in Seoul for talks with South Korean intelligence officials as top U.S. officials continue to express deep concerns about North Korea's nuclear weapons development program.

US Air Force to Conduct Another Missile Test as North Korea Tensions Rise
Fox News
The Minuteman III missile to be launched Wednesday by the Air Force will be unarmed, officials said. Pentagon officials said this new missile test, like the last one, is “long planned.”

Trump: US troops in Korea ‘not safe’ from North’s threat
The Washington Examiner
President Trump said the roughly 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea are probably not safe from the threat of the North, according to a transcript of an unaired Fox News interview. The president told a Fox interviewer that the forces deployed to the country are "brave" and understand the risk from Kim Jong Un's burgeoning nuclear program.

 

OPINIONS

Washington Must Act Now to Stop North Korean Missiles
Real Clear Defense, Sean Kennedy
It is the imperative that the government takes every option available to prevent that scenario we are ill-prepared to stop a targeted missile from North Korea at present. That must change. We need a missile defense system urgently that can protect both the U.S. homeland and our allies from the North Koreans and other dangerous regimes.

North Korea’s Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Program: Are the Tests Poised to Accelerate?
38 North, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
Commercial satellite imagery from April 19 has identified a second submersible test stand barge for North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) program at the Nampo Naval Shipyard, located on the country’s west coast. The discovery of a second missile test barge may have a number of implications for the future of North Korea’s SLBM program that appears to be an important priority for Kim Jong Un.

Exporting North Korea’s Nukes
Real Clear Defense, Chris Douglas
Nuclear weapons could be smuggled out of North Korea via China, or by fishing vessel or diesel electric submarine, and then be placed into containers on a cargo ship for transport to a port anywhere in the world.

Much Ado About Nothing: Politico’s Iran Deal Investigation Debunked
Huffington Post, Trita Parsi
In a post-fact era, even diplomatic triumphs that saved the United States from both the threat of nuclear weapons and another endless war in the Middle East face perpetual relitigation. The latest example is Josh Meyer’s article in the Politico claiming to reveal that the Obama administration gave previously undisclosed concessions to the government in Tehran as part of the nuclear deal. The article is not news, but comes across as yet another hit piece against the nuclear deal, promoted and celebrated by those in Washington who are unrelenting in their commitment to killing it.

Time for a New Middle East Policy to Deal With Iran
Real Clear Defense, Peter Huessy
Better policy options for dealing with Iran are available to the United States. Combining current policy initiatives already put forward by the new administration into a counter-Iran security policy. Going beyond the nuclear focus of JCPOA through its larger geostrategic goals. To get to such a policy, we have to understand better what in fact the goals of the Iranian Islamic Republic are, why they pursue nuclear weapons, and what are the objectives of their terror attacks against the United States.



SPECIAL INTEREST

The U.S. Navy Had Big Plans to Turn Battleships into Super Killer “Nuclear Battleships”
The National Interest
The firepower of the battleships—and their destructive range—would have increased substantially. Trading one turret for 20 Harrier jets was a pretty good deal. Add the Tomahawks and their ability to strike with precision at a thousand miles and the improvements looked even better. The resulting warship would have equaled the firepower of a Nimitz-class supercarrier.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – May 1, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – May 1, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

North Korean missile test fails after UN meeting on nukes
Military Times

Nuclear Warhead Modernization Needs Funding Increase, GAO finds
Defense News

Sea Power Underpinning US Response to Korea
Defense News

UN Security Council to Confer on North Korea Nuclear Program
Military Times





EAST ASIA

China ‘might agree’ to UN oil embargo of North Korea
South China Morning Post
Beijing would consider an oil embargo against Pyongyang in the case of further nuclear tests by its reclusive neighbor, according to diplomatic analysts. A suspension of oil supplies from Beijing could deal a much harder blow to Pyongyang than any of the existing sanctions, possibly paralyzing the government of Kim Jong-un.

North Korean missile test fails after UN meeting on nukes
Military Times
A North Korean mid-range ballistic missile apparently failed shortly after launch Saturday, South Korea and the United States said, the third test-fire flop just this month but a clear message of defiance as a U.S. supercarrier conducts drills in nearby waters.

Japan Issues 1st Order to Protect U.S. Ships Amid N. Korea Tensions
Nikkei Asian Review
Japan has issued its first order for forces to protect U.S. military vessels since new security legislation was enacted last year. Defense Minister Tomomi Inada ordered the dispatch of the Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carrier Izumo on Monday to protect a U.S. Navy supply vessel in the Pacific.

S. Korean, U.S. Security Chiefs Reaffirm No THAAD Payment by Seoul
Yonhap
The national security chiefs of South Korea and the United States on Sunday reaffirmed their initial agreement that Seoul will only provide land for the U.S. deployment of a high-tech missile defense system here without further costs as demanded by President Donald Trump.

Duterte, Trump Talk North Korea
Nikkei Asian Review
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called on President Donald Trump to be prudent in his handling of North Korea during an overnight phone call after an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Pasay City concluded on Saturday. President Trump also invited President Duterte to the White House to discuss the importance of the United States-Philippines alliance

 

 

MIDDLE EAST

Turkey Arrests Iranian, seizes anti-tank missile parts
Fox News
Turkish authorities have arrested an Iranian national who they say tried to smuggle in parts of a Russian-made anti-tank missile system with the suspected aim of delivering them to a terror organization.

 

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN Security Council to Confer on North Korea Nuclear Program
Military Times
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with his counterparts from allies Japan and South Korea and was set to chair a ministerial meeting of the U.N.'s top decision-making body. The U.S. wants to tighten the implementation of sanctions and build international resolve to isolate North Korea so it eventually disarms. 

France, Japan, the U.K. and U.S. Send China and North Korea a Tough Message
Forbes
France’s Mistral amphibious assault carrier docked in Nagasaki, Japan on April 29 in advance of military exercises to be conducted with the U.K., U.S., and Japan. Nagasaki is the closest major Japanese port to South Korea, and coming at a time of tension on the peninsula, the French and U.K. naval presence sends a strong message to both China and North Korea.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Nuclear Warhead Modernization Needs Funding Increase, GAO finds
Defense News
A new Government Accountability Office report on the NNSA, a quasi-independent branch of the Department of Energy that manages the nuclear stockpile, warns that the agency has five major modernization programs that will be underfunded in the coming years — which in turn could lead to program delays.  

Trump: North Korea ‘disrespected’ China with missile test
ABC News
President Donald Trump said Friday that North Korea had "disrespected" China by attempting to launch another ballistic missile. Trump has said he is counting on Chinese President Xi Jinping to encourage North Korea to give up its pursuit of ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. Trump has also said he thinks Xi will do the right thing. China is North Korea's benefactor.

McCain on Pre-emptive Strike on North: “We have to consider that option’
Politico
Sen. John McCain said Sunday the Trump administration should consider a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if the U.S. determines that country's regime can mount a nuclear weapon onto a ballistic missile, but cautioned military action should be last resort.

Sea Power Underpinning US Response to Korea
Defense News
The aircraft carrier Carl Vinson is operating in the Philippine Sea and, according to the head of U.S. Pacific Command, is within about two hours' flying time to the Korean Peninsula.

Trump is not ruling out military action against North Korea
The Washington Post
President Trump did not appear to be ruling out military action against North Korea if the country pushes forward with its nuclear weapons program. “He’s going to have to do what he has to do. But he understands we’re not going to be very happy,” Trump said of the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

Trump confers with Asia allies on North Korea nuclear threat
Reuters
Trump spoke to the prime ministers of Thailand and Singapore in separate phone calls about the North Korean threat and invited both of them to Washington.

Trump Warns North Korea’s Missiles Will Get Better
Military Times
President Donald Trump said after North Korea's latest failed rocket launch that communist leader Kim Jong-Un will eventually develop better missiles, and "we can't allow it to happen."


OPINIONS

Russian Nuclear Weapons Policy
Real Clear Defense, Mark B. Schneider
There are three elements of the Russian nuclear threat that impacts the U.S. and our allies. They are: 1) The Russian doctrine concerning the first use of nuclear weapons; 2) Russian modernization programs which are aimed at facilitating first use of nuclear weapons by a combination of precision low-yield and high-yield capabilities; and 3) programs involving active and passive defense.

Missing the Point on Iran’s Ballistic Missiles
War on the Rocks, Behnam Ben Taleblu
The enduring lesson of the diplomacy that led to the JCPOA is that Washington must relearn what was once common-knowledge: that diplomacy and pressure work best when married together. Therefore, to be successful, statesmen must avail themselves of a “combined arms” approach when dealing with adversaries. Any strategy that relies on diplomacy with nothing behind it would leave Washington again with one arm tied behind its back.

GMD: The Only Program That Can Stop a North Korean Warhead from Reaching America
Forbes, Loren Thompson
Nobody in Washington knows whether Kim can be deterred by the kind of strategy America has long applied to Russia and China. t is obvious the American homeland needs to be defended against a North Korean attack. At present, there is only one program capable of doing that. It is called Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), and its interceptors in Alaska and California were deployed mainly with North Korea in mind.

The US Must Become More Aggressive About Stopping Iran Nuclear Development
The Hill, Robert Monroe
The current course of pursuing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran will lead to a world of nuclear horror and chaos, a globe covered with the radioactive ruins of great cities. The alternative course – of preventing Iran from producing nuclear weapons – leads to the caging of the nuclear genie and the world’s long-term peaceful coexistence with nuclear weapons. And we have months, not years, to make the choice.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Why Launching a War Against North Korea Would Be Immoral (Video)
The Atlantic
Most American presidents of the 20th century understood that preventive war is immoral and dangerous. But, in the past two decades, striking first has become an accepted foreign policy strategy of both Democrats and Republicans. In this short video, Atlantic writer Peter Beinart argues that Americans need to relearn the wisdom of the past: that preventive war threatens world peace.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – April 27, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – April 27, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Nuclear Tests Will ‘Never Stop,’ North Korean Government Official Says
CNN

Iran’s Military Fires New Cruise Missiles Amid Gulf Tensions With U.S.
Newsweek

White House Briefs Senate Amid Scary Moment with North Korea
Military Times

EAST ASIA

Nuclear Tests Will ‘Never Stop,’ North Korean Government Official Says
CNN
A North Korean government official in a rare interview promised his country's nuclear tests would "never stop" as long as the US continued what they viewed as "acts of aggression."

North Korea Stages Big Artillery Drill as U.S. Submarine Docks in South
Reuters
North Korea conducted a big live-fire exercise on Tuesday to mark the foundation of its military and a U.S. submarine docked in South Korea in a show of force amid growing concern over the North's nuclear and missile programs.

U.S. Sets Up Missile Defense in South Korea as North Shows Power
Los Angeles Times
South Korea's trumpeting of progress in setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as high-powered U.S. military vessels converge on the Korean Peninsula and as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing.

China Warns North Korea Another Nuclear Weapons Test Would Take Relations Beyond ‘Point of No Return’
The Independent
“The game of chicken between Washington and Pyongyang has come to a breaking point,” an official from the ruling Communist Party said in Beijing, adding that if North Korea followed through on vows to carry out a sixth nuclear test, “it is more likely than ever that the situation will cross the point of no return. 

Japan, U.S. hold missile defense drill in Sea of Japan
The Japan Times
The exercise on Tuesday, apparently to confirm readiness for possible ballistic missile launches by North Korea, involved the MSDF destroyer Chokai and U.S. guided-missile destroyer Fitzgerald, according to Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Seoul: North Korea Holds Drill to Mark Military Anniversary
Military Times
South Korea's military said Tuesday that North Korea held major live-fire drills in an area around its eastern coastal town of Wonsan as it marked the anniversary of the founding of its military.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s Military Fires New Cruise Missiles Amid Gulf Tensions With U.S.
Newsweek
Iran's special naval forces were equipped this weekend with new anti-ship cruise missiles capable of advanced precision and rapid deployment. "Equipping the Iranian naval forces with this missile marks an effective step toward increasing the country’s defensive capability and deterrence power," Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan said.

White House Intervened to Toughen Letter on Iran Nuclear Deal
Wall Street Journal
President Donald Trump told aides to toughen a State Department letter last week that declared Iran in compliance with a landmark nuclear deal, senior U.S. officials involved in a policy review said.



U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Air Force Launches Unarmed Missile for Test in California
Airforce Times
An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile has been launched from a U.S. Air Force Base in California on a flight to a target in the Pacific Ocean. The missile lifted off at 12:03 a.m. Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

White House Briefs Senate Amid Scary Moment with North Korea
Military Times
All 100 senators were invited and transported in buses for the unprecedented, classified briefing. President Donald Trump's secretary of state, defense secretary, top general and national intelligence director were to outline for them the North's escalating nuclear capabilities and U.S. response options.

After North Korea-focused day, administration policy remains opaque
Defense News
After weeks of vocal rhetoric on North Korea, the Trump administration on Wednesday seemed to take a step back, emphasizing economic sanctions and diplomacy over direct military action.

White House Outlines ‘Trump Doctrine’ as President Nears 100-Day Mark
Time
President Trump's decision to strike Syria after its use of chemical weapons and his decision not to label China a currency manipulator to win its support against North Korea's nuclear missile development are key components of an emerging "Trump Doctrine," White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told reporters Tuesday.

Trump ‘Armada’ Sent to Deter Kim Can’t Shoot Down His Missiles
Bloomberg
The U.S. Navy flotilla sailing toward the Korean peninsula to deter Kim Jong Un’s regime lacks a key capability: It can’t shoot down ballistic missiles. The Navy’s lack of ballistic missile defense capability on the scene means the Trump administration’s high-profile show of force has a significant gap as it warns North Korea against another missile test and pressures it to back down from its nuclear program.

Senator: Trump Won’t Let North Korea Build Missile to Reach US
Military Times
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says he emerged from a dinner meeting with Donald Trump confident the president will not allow North Korea to build a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States. 



OPINIONS

Kim Jong Un is a Survivor, Not a Madman
Foreign Policy, Andrei Lankov
North Korea’s system might look bizarre to us from the outside, but the Kims are the ultimate political survivors, hard-edged rationalists whose actions have always had a clear purpose: keeping the family in power.

The Coming US Crackdown on Iran
New York Post, Benny Avni
President Trump may not be quite ready to tear that deal up, as he promised on the campaign trail, but his administration has begun to heavily scrutinize Iranian behavior in the Middle East that undermines our strategic position and the security of our allies.

A Paradigm Shift in North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Development
38 North, Young-Keun Chang
The transition from liquid to solid propellant missiles will bring about a fundamental paradigm shift in North Korean missile systems (Figure 8). A road-mobile ICBM, tentatively named the Pukguksong-3, employing solid propellant rocket motors could easily achieve the range performance required to hit the US mainland in the future, making it a serious potential threat to the United States.

North Korea is a problem, but China and Pakistan are just as harmful
The Hill, Michael Mazza
In recent weeks, all eyes have been on a looming showdown between the United States and North Korea. But the Korean peninsula is not Asia’s sole nuclear hotspot, nor is the Beijing-Pyongyang relationship the region’s only malign axis. China’s relationship with Pakistan has done, and continues to do, real harm to U.S. interests.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Japan warns citizens they might have only 10 minutes to prepare for a North Korean missile
The Washington Post, Anna Fifield
The Japanese government is preparing its citizens in case a North Korean missile comes their way — possibly with less than 10 minutes’ warning. The prime minister’s office issued new “actions to protect yourself” guidelines this week, including for the first time instructions on how to respond if a North Korean ballistic missile is heading toward Japan.

North Korea Missile Launches: 1984-Present
CSIS Missile Threat, Ian Williams
The following database provides a chronology of North Korea missile launches and nuclear detonations. These entries include full flight tests of ballistic and cruise missiles, both successful and unsuccessful, and nuclear tests.

 

 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - April 25, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – April 25, 2017

TOP NEWS

North Korea stages large-scale artillery drill as U.S. submarine docks in South
Reuters

Entire U.S. Senate to go to White House for North Korea briefing
Reuters

General Election 2017: Lib Dems to keep ‘nuclear deterrent’
BBC News

Blasts from the Past: Old Nuke Test Films Offer New Insights
Scientific American

EAST ASIA

North Korea stages large-scale artillery drill as U.S. submarine docks in South
Reuters
North Korea conducted a big live-fire exercise on Tuesday to mark the foundation of its military as a U.S. submarine docked in South Korea in a show of force amid growing concern over the North's nuclear and missile programs.

US Navy guide-missile sub calls in South Korea
CNN
The USS Michigan -- a guided-missile submarine -- arrived in South Korea for what a US defense official described as a show of force amid tensions between the US and North Korea.

Japan warns citizens they might have only 10 minutes to prepare for a North Korean missile
The Washington Post
North Korea might be talking about building missiles that can reach the United States, but Kim Jong Un’s regime already has lots of missiles that can reach Japan. So the Japanese government is preparing its citizens to be ready in case a missile comes their way — something that could come with less than 10 minutes’ warning.

As North Korea Speeds Its Nuclear Program, U.S. Fears Time Will Run Out
The New York Times
Behind the Trump administration’s sudden urgency in dealing with the North Korean nuclear crisis lies a stark calculus: a growing body of expert studies and classified intelligence reports that conclude the country is capable of producing a nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks.

Entire U.S. Senate to go to White House for North Korea briefing
Reuters
All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Monday.

US-China to Launch 4 Rounds of Talks, as Trump ‘Looks Forward’ To Beijing Visit
Voice of America
The U.S. and China are launching four rounds of talks, as U.S. President Donald Trump heads to China later this year in a visit aimed at strengthening cooperation to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

General Election 2017: Lib Dems to keep ‘nuclear deterrent’
BBC News
The Liberal Democrats would "maintain a credible nuclear deterrent" if they won power, leader Tim Farron says. But Mr Farron also advocated replacing the current system of continuous-at-sea deterrence with more irregular patrolling patterns.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

355-Ship Navy Takes At Least 18 Years: CBO
Breaking Defense
The Force Structure Assessment calls for a 38 percent increase in nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) above earlier plans, from 48 to 66, but Labs says there’s no way to build that many subs that fast.

OPINIONS

France’s next big challenge: defense policy
Politico, Paul Taylor
France prizes its strategic autonomy but can no longer afford to go it alone as a pocket superpower. That means the two options represented by the finalists in the presidential election — independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and anti-EU nationalist Marine Le Pen — represent a crucial fork in the road when it comes to France’s defense and foreign policy.

Asking for Trouble on Iran
The New York Times, Editorial Board
As with other foreign policy issues, the Trump administration’s approach to Iran has been full of mixed messages. Yet amid the confusion, there has been an ominous tendency to demonize Iran and misrepresent the threat it presents. This could lead to an unnecessary and risky confrontation.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Blasts from the Past: Old Nuke Test Films Offer New Insights
Scientific American
Between 1945 and 1962 the U.S. conducted more than 200 atmospheric nuclear weapon tests and captured the detonations on film. Multiple cameras capable of recording 2,400 frames per second covered each blast, creating a highly technical record of the U.S. nuclear arsenal—and a visual deterrent against its use.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – April 21, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – April 21, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

South Korea on Heightened Alert as Isolated North Readies for Army Celebration
CNBC

Romania Wants Patriot Air-And-Missile Defense Systems
Defense News

Watch Tillerson’s Full Statement on Iran
The Washington Post



EAST ASIA

With Eye on North Korea, China Puts Bombers on ‘High Alert’
CNN
Chinese air force land-attack, cruise-missile-capable bombers were put "on high alert" on Wednesday as the US sees evidence that the Chinese military is preparing to respond to a potential situation in North Korea.

South Korea on Heightened Alert as Isolated North Readies for Army Celebration
CNBC
South Korea said on Friday it was on heightened alert ahead of another important anniversary in North Korea, with a large concentration of military hardware amassed on both sides of the border amid concerns about a new nuclear test by Pyongyang.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Trump raps Iran as violating ‘spirit’ of nuclear deal
The Washington Post
Iran is failing to fulfill the “spirit” of its nuclear deal with world powers, President Donald Trump declared Thursday, setting an ominous tone for his forthcoming decision about whether to pull the U.S. out of the landmark agreement.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Romania Wants Patriot Air-And-Missile Defense Systems
Defense News
“Romania has announced their intent to enhance their defensive capability by procuring Patriot,” Raytheon confirmed in a statement.

Putin Sends Troops to Russia’s Border with North Korea
Daily Mail
It comes days after it emerged that China is also sending 150,000 soldiers to its southern frontier to cope with the tidal wave of North Koreans Beijing fears would flee across the border if war breaks out.

 

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN Security Council Condemns North Korean Missile Launch
CNN
The UN Security Council has formally condemned North Korea's latest missile launch, demanding that it "immediately" cease further actions that violate resolutions.



U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Trump Praises Chinese Efforts on North Korea ‘Menace,’ Pyongyang Warns of Strike
Reuters
Trump told a news conference "some very unusual moves have been made over the last two or three hours," and that he was confident Chinese President Xi Jinping would "try very hard" to pressure Beijing's ally and neighbor North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

Watch Tillerson’s Full Statement on Iran
The Washington Post
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on April 19 said the Trump administration is reviewing its Iran policy. Tillerson also said the Iran nuclear deal fails to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

 



OPINIONS

With North Korea, We Do Have Cards to Play
The Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer
There are deals to be made. They may have to be underpinned by demonstrations of American resolve. A preemptive attack on North Korea’s nuclear facilities and missile sites would be too dangerous, as it would almost surely precipitate an invasion of South Korea. The Korea crisis is real and growing. We are not helpless. We have choices. We have assets. It’s time to deploy them.

The World Must Secure Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons
The New York Times, Rahmatullah Nabil
Pakistan must be forced to stop playing a double game, supporting extremist groups while publicly proclaiming that it is fighting terrorism. Second, the government in Islamabad should welcome the help of the United Nations Atomic Energy Agency in securing nuclear assets. Government agencies inside Pakistan have admitted that the country’s nuclear assets are in danger. The rest of the world should take heed and try to protect them before it’s too late.

The Coming Crisis with Iran
The New York Times, Trita Parsi
The administration has now said it will conduct a 90-day review of whether lifting sanctions — as required by the nuclear deal — will be in line with American national security interests. But that timeline is not long enough to save the deal and stop the United States and Iran from sliding dangerously back to a path toward war.

Have North Korea’s Missile Tests Paid Off?
BBC
So when will North Korea actually test an ICBM? The answer to that is, when it is good and ready to.The two new solid fuel ICBMs seen on the parade are years away from testing. But high-level UK embassy defector Thae Yong-ho said Pyongyang aims to complete the development of one ICBM by the end of 2017 or early 2018. Testing and "completing" are two different things.



SPECIAL INTEREST

Understanding Nuclear Weapon Risks
United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
This month, UNIDIR released its report on "Understanding Nuclear Weapon Risks" - a multi-author study that looks at various sources of detonation risk, from technological aspects to human and operational elements to doctrinal considerations, among others, and considers recent security developments of relevance.

PNNL’s New National Security Role—To Trace Nuclear Bombs, Terrorism
Tri-City Herald
The source of smuggled radioactive material or the plutonium in a nuclear detonation will be easier to trace with the launch of a new project at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.The national lab in Richland will work with the Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office to process and analyze small samples of the radioactive isotope used in nuclear weapons.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – April 20, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – April 20, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

North Korea warns of ‘super-mighty preemptive strike’ as U.S. plans next move
Reuters

Tillerson Declares the Iran Nuclear Deal a Failure
The New York Times

Russia Vetoes UN Statement on North Korea’s Missile Tests
CNN

US tells North Korea: We Don’t Want a Fight, Don’t Start One
Military Times





EAST ASIA

North Korea warns of ‘super-mighty preemptive strike’ as U.S. plans next move
Reuters
The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, did not mince its words. "In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists' invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes," it said.

S. Korea’s Top Diplomat to Attend UNSC Meeting on N.K. Issue
Yonhap
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se will join the UNSC meeting to be held in New York on April 28 that will focus on North Korea's nuclear stalemate and its denuclearization

U.S. Sends Nuclear Sniffer Plane to Korea
Yonhap
The U.S. Air Force dispatched a nuclear sniffer aircraft Thursday to the east of the Korean Peninsula amid the possibility of North Korea's imminent nuclear test

 

MIDDLE EAST

US Accuses Iran of ‘Alarming Provocations’ Amid Nuclear Tensions
BBC News
In a statement on Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said a review, which he had announced in a letter to Congress a day earlier, would look at the whole US policy towards Iran - taking in not only Tehran's compliance with the nuclear deal but also its actions in the Middle East.

Tillerson Declares the Iran Nuclear Deal a Failure
The New York Times
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared the Iran nuclear deal a failure on Wednesday but left open the possibility the Trump administration will uphold it nonetheless.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia Vetoes UN Statement on North Korea’s Missile Tests
CNN
Russia has derailed a proposed UN Security Council statement that would have condemned North Korea's latest missile launch test, using its veto to torpedo the motion.

 

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Risk of ‘Accidental’ Nuclear War Growing, UN Research Group Says
Defense One
A new report from the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, or UNIDR, argues that as the modern battlefield becomes more technologically complex, crowded with more sensors, satellites, drones, and interconnected networks, the risks of another nuclear accident are on the rise.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Inert, Upgraded B61 Gravity Bomb Dropped USAF F-16C
IHS Janes
Conducted by USAF's 422nd Flight Test and Evaluation Squadron based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, the test was designed to demonstrate the aircraft's capability to deliver the weapon, and testing the functioning of the weapon's non-nuclear components, including the arming and fire control system, radar altimeter, spin rocket motors, and weapons control computer.

US tells North Korea: We Don’t Want a Fight, Don’t Start One
Military Times
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations had a message for North Korea on Wednesday: "We're not trying to pick a fight so don't try and give us one."  "The ball is in their court," Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters. "They shouldn't try and play at this point."

Pence Says to North Korea: ‘The Sword Stands Ready’
Military Times
Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday warned North Korea not to test the resolve of the U.S. military, promising it would make an "overwhelming and effective" response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons.

As Korea tensions deepen, Carl Vinson Strike Group Deployment Extended
Navy Times
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group’s deployment has been extended by 30 days to patrol the waters off the Korean Peninsula as tensions deepen on with the rogue North Korean regime.



OPINIONS

Is the United States Really Blowing Up North Korea’s Missiles?
Foreign Policy, Jeffrey Lewis
There’s just no evidence to support the fantasy that Kim Jong Un’s rockets are falling prey to a super-secret U.S. cyber-program.

South Koreans Feel Cheated After U.S. Carrier Miscue
The New York Times, Choe Sang-Hun
The episode raised questions about whether major allies of the United States, like South Korea and Japan, had been informed of the carrier’s whereabouts, and whether the misinformation undercut America’s strategy to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions by using empty threats.

Why Mattis Versus Kim Jong-Un Will End Badly For Us All
War on the Rocks, Van Jackson
It’s getting harder to ignore that the Pentagon, under Secretary Jim Mattis, may have a coercive theory of victory that largely mirrors that of North Korea under Kim Jong-Un. The danger is in the fundamental incompatibility of these disturbingly similar sets of strategic beliefs.

The North Korea-Trump Nightmare
The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof
If a military strike is unthinkable, and so is doing nothing, what about Trump’s plan of nudging China to apply pressure to North Korea? It’s worth trying, but I don’t think it’ll work, either. The only option left, I think, is to apply relentless pressure together with China, while pushing for a deal in which North Korea would verifiably freeze its nuclear and missile programs without actually giving up its nukes, in exchange for sanctions relief.



SPECIAL INTEREST

Hawaii’s Renewed Jitters About Nukes
The Atlantic, Adrienne Lafrance
State lawmakers in Hawaii have formally asked the Department of Defense to help with nuclear disaster preparedness in the state. Such plans haven’t been updated at the local level in decades, since 1985, according to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. In the early 1980s, Hawaii’s fallout shelters were still stocked with medical kits and food. But those supplies have long since been thrown out, and funding for such shelters evaporated.

How to build a $2.7B nuclear submarine (Photo gallery)
CNET
A sneak peak of the construction going on for the next batch of Virginias in the works, Block III.

North Korea Marks Late Founder’s Birthday With Video Depicting Massive Nuclear Strike On U.S.
The Japan Times
A North Korean musical show celebrating the anniversary of its late founder has conveyed an explosive message for the United States — one depicting a massive nuclear strike on an unnamed city.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – April 19, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – April 19, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

U.S. Says Iran Complies with Nuke Deal, But Orders Review on Lifting Sanctions
Reuters

Mikhail Gorbachev Warns of New Cold War with US-Russia Arms Race ‘in full swing’
The Independent

US Nuclear Modernization Programs Put at Risk by Yearlong Continuing Resolution
Defense News

 

EAST ASIA

S. Korea, U.S., Japan Unite Against China’s THAAD Retaliation
Yonhap
Senior defense officials from the three countries made the call at the Defense Trilateral Talks (DTT) in Tokyo, which focused on their joint response to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. In a joint press statement, they pointed the finger apparently at Beijing for its thinly veiled economic sanctions on Seoul, although they did not mention it by name.

North Korea warns ‘thermonuclear war could break out at any moment’
The Guardian
A senior North Korean official has accused the US of turning the Korean peninsula into “the world’s biggest hotspot” and creating “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment”.

China Defends North Korea Trade After its Trucks Haul Missiles
Defense News
Photos provided by the North Korean government showed the submarine-launched missiles being pulled by trucks bearing the logo of the Chinese company Sinotruk. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China conducts "normal" business with its neighbor North Korea while adhering to sanctions imposed beginning in 2006 by the United Nations Security Council.

Vice Unification Minister [South Korea] Meets with Japan’s Top Envoy Over N.K. Issue
Yonhap
Vice Minister Kim Hyung-suk held the meeting with Amb. Yasumasa Nagamine to exchange views on security concerns and the importance of cooperation in responding to North Korea's threats, according to Seoul's unification ministry. "They shared the view that North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations pose direct threats to the security of South Korea and Japan," the ministry said.

‘All Options’ Considered for Dealing With North Korea
Voice of America
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who hosted Pence for talks in Tokyo, said he appreciates the Trump administration's "all options" approach. Abe added that he hopes for peaceful dialogue with North Korea, but that “dialogue for the sake of dialogue” has no value.

 

 

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. Says Iran Complies with Nuke Deal, But Orders Review on Lifting Sanctions
Reuters
In a letter to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, on Tuesday U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iran remained compliant with the 2015 deal, but said there were concerns about its role as a state sponsor of terrorism.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russian Rockets Fuel Tensions in the Balkans
ABC News
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has said he negotiated the purchase of the S-300 anti-aircraft rockets during talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin this month and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko last month.

Russian bombers fly near Alaska; Air Force scrambles jets
Fox News
A pair of Russian nuclear-capable bombers flew near Alaska Monday night, two U.S. officials stated, coming as close as 100 miles from Kodiak Island -- the first time since President Trump took office that Moscow has sent bombers so close to the U.S.

Mikhail Gorbachev Warns of New Cold War with US-Russia Arms Race ‘in full swing’
The Independent
“The relationship between the big powers continues to worsen. This creates the impression that the world is preparing for a war. So all the indications of a Cold War are there.”Asked whether the situation could “turn hot”, Mr Gorbachev cautioned that “anything is possible if we just keep watching, sit back and do nothing”.



U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US Nuclear Modernization Programs Put at Risk by Yearlong Continuing Resolution
Defense News
Lawmakers have until April 28 to either pass new spending bills or extend the current continuing resolution, which would keep weapons programs running at the same funding levels as 2016 and prevent any new ones from starting.

‘We are with you 100 per cent’: US VP Mike Pence reassures Japan over North Korea during Visit
South China Morning Post
Pence arrived in Tokyo from South Korea, where he assured leaders of the “iron-clad” alliance with the United States. He also warned the reclusive North, which has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in defiance of UN sanctions, that the “era of strategic patience” was over.

Trump Warns North Korea as Pyongyang Vows More Missile Tests
Fox News
Asked what would happen if North Korea were to test another missile – as it has vowed to do – Trump cryptically replied: “We’ll find out.”

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Deployment Extended for Korea Presence Operations
USNI News
The deployment of Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group has been extended by a month so the CSG can conduct presence operations off the coast of Korea, the commander of the strike group said late Tuesday in a message to his crew.

 

 

OPINIONS

What North Korea Should Teach Us About Iran
Gatestone Institute, Alan M. Dershowitz
We failed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. As a result, our options to stop them from developing a delivery system capable of reaching our shores are severely limited. The hard lesson from our failure to stop North Korea before they became a nuclear power is that we must stop Iran from ever developing or acquiring a nuclear arsenal.

Time for Better U.S.-China Grand Bargain on North Korea
The National Interest, Doug Bandow
President Donald Trump put North Korea front and center in talks with China. In doing so, he’s created an opportunity for the two nations to cooperate to more effectively press the North to freeze, if not end, its nuclear program. But to move forward, the Trump administration must do more than dramatically wave its military sticks. It needs to take the initiative and offer more carrots as well.

The Dangers of Trump’s Strategic Impatience with North Korea
The Washington Post, Ishaan Tharoor
Trump and his advisers have repeatedly called the “unpredictability” of their moves and policymaking a virtue. They have also consistently played up the role of American military might as a prime mover in international affairs. But there's a reason previous administrations have taken a careful, calibrated approach on North Korea — and one anchored in regional diplomacy, not the presence of an “armada” — as Trump put it — of American warships.

North Korea and Mar-a-Lago: Did it Make Any Difference?
38 North, Alan D. Romberg
The outcome of the Mar-a-Lago summit between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping cannot yet be characterized as a breakthrough, it certainly was not the acrimonious breakdown that many predicted. From where this observer sits, it was, at the very least, a modest success and perhaps more than that.

North Korea: Talks Will Fail Because We Have Nothing They Want
Real Clear Defense, Sam Roggeveen
Sigmund Freud is supposed to have said that 'sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar'. But sometimes a missile test is just a missile test, a method for developing and perfecting the ability to launch a warhead against an adversary. And that's ultimately what North Korea wants.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – April 18, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – April 18, 2017

 

TOP NEWS


North Korea ‘will test missiles weekly’
BBC News

EU, Iran Sign First-Ever Nuclear Safety Cooperation Project
New Europe

Mattis says North Korea missile test meant to provoke
Reuters

Russia’s new Arctic Trefoil military base unveiled with virtual tour
BBC News




EAST ASIA

North Korea ‘will test missiles weekly’
BBC News
North Korea will continue to test missiles, a senior official has told the BBC in Pyongyang, despite international condemnation and growing military tensions with the US. "We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis," said Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol.

N.K. sets up special operation forces amid military tensions
Yonhap
The country unveiled the existence of the Korean People's Army (KPA) special forces for the first time at a military parade Saturday to mark the 105th birthday of late founder Kim Il-sung.

China’s Korea policy ‘in tatters’ as both North and South defy sanctions
The Washington Post
Beijing and Washington share the same goal — a peninsula free of nuclear weapons — but they often appear to be trying to realize that goal in mutually incompatible ways.

Pence Reaffirms U.S.-Japan Alliance Amid North Korea Provocations
The Wall Street Journal
Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday mixed tough words on North Korea with a gentle touch on trade, refraining from pressing Japan for economic concessions at a time of regional tension.

The US and South Korea agree ‘early’ deployment of THAAD missile defense system
The Independent
Operations to install the THAAD began in early March, the day after the North launched four ballistic missiles, when the United States flew in the "first elements" of the system to a military base near the South Korean capital Seoul.



MIDDLE EAST

The White House is Considering Ramping Up Existing Sanctions to Hold Tehran’s Feet to the Fire
Foreign Policy
The Trump White House is poised to ratchet up existing sanctions against Iran and is weighing a much stricter interpretation of the nuclear agreement between Tehran and major world powers.

EU, Iran Sign First-Ever Nuclear Safety Cooperation Project
New Europe
The 2.5 million euro project aims to enhance the capabilities of the Iranian Nuclear Regulatory Authority.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia’s new Arctic Trefoil military base unveiled with virtual tour
BBC News
The Arctic Trefoil permanent base is in Franz Josef Land, a huge ice-covered, desolate archipelago. The Russian military sees the resource-rich Arctic as a key strategic region.

 



U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

North Korean aggression shows need for more US forces in the region, says top lawmaker
Military Times
Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s recent military actions “erratic” and said adding U.S. military forces in the region could both act as a deterrent to North Korea and a diplomatic push to China to intervene.

US Carrier still thousands of miles from Korea
Defense News
A week after the U.S. announced the carrier and its escorts would leave Singapore, forego port calls in Australia and instead return to Korean waters, the carrier and its group had yet to head north.

Pence warns North Korea ‘era of strategic patience is over’
Military Times
Pointing to the quarter-century since the United States first confronted North Korea over its attempts to build nuclear weapons, the vice president said a period of patience had followed. "But the era of strategic patience is over," he declared.

Mattis says North Korea missile test meant to provoke
Reuters
The failed North Korean missile test over the weekend was an attempt by the reclusive country to "provoke something," U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday, pledging that the United States will work with China to reduce tensions.

OPINIONS

Russia violations make it time to shelve INF Treaty
Washington Times, Michaela Dodge
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice.” We’re all familiar with that old saying. But what do they say about fool me thrice? That’s exactly what Russia has done: violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty three times over.

Pence Talks Tough on North Korea, but U.S. Stops Short of Drawing Red Line
The New York Times, Mark Landler and Jane Perlez
Vice President Mike Pence issued a fresh warning to North Korea on Monday not to test America’s resolve. But behind the threatening talk, the White House is taking a more calculated approach, giving the Chinese government time to show whether it is ready to use its influence to curb its erratic, nuclear-armed neighbor.

Is North Korea Working Toward a ‘Carrier-Killer’ Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile
The Diplomat, Ankit Panda
North Korea tested on Sunday — the day after the military parade — was something called the KN-17. That represents a brand-new KN missile designation by the United States, which just weeks ago unveiled that it would be calling the Pukkuksong-2 the KN-15. The KN-17 is a single-stage, liquid-fueled missile that — critically — could be used to target ships.

With US and North Korea each testing the other’s resolve, is the world hurtling towards war? Not quite
South China Morning Post, Niall Ferguson
Brinkmanship is ­effective only if your adversaries ­believe that you are more prepared to go over the brink than they are. Nor should the domestic political benefits of successful brinkmanship be forgotten. Am I surprised that we are back on the brink, after all these years? No.

Mini-nukes: Still a bad choice for the United States
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, James E. Doyle
Building “mini” or tailored nuclear weapons might well lower the threshold to nuclear war; risking that outcome would only make sense if it were absolutely clear that introducing these weapons would remedy some dangerous weakness in deterrence.



SPECIAL INTEREST

The Nuclear Posture Review is underway. Here’s what to look for
Defense News, Aaron Mehta
The Pentagon on Monday officially kicked off its Nuclear Posture Review, or NPR, a major strategic undertaking that will set the Trump administration’s nuclear policy. 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – April 17, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – April 17, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

North Korean Medium-Range Missile Test Fails, US Says
The New York Times

Statement by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on North Korea Missile Test
Department of Defense

Parade in Pyongyang a step back from brink, says analysts in China
South China Morning Post




EAST ASIA

North Korean Medium-Range Missile Test Fails, US Says
The New York Times
The White House believes that Sunday's test involved a medium-range ballistic missile that failed within 4-5 seconds after launch, and that it did not involve an intercontinental ballistic missile.

N. Korea Unveils New ICBM at Military Parade
Yonhap
North Korea on Saturday unveiled what appears to be its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), staging a large-scale military parade in Pyongyang amid increased military tensions on the peninsula. "It's presumed to be a new ICBM. It seems longer than the existing KN-08 or KN-14 ICBMs, an official said.

Parade in Pyongyang a step back from brink, says analysts in China
South China Morning Post
North Korea refrained from conducting a nuclear test to mark a national celebration on Saturday, instead holding a military parade seen as a sign of defiance but also of restraint.

Failure to sanction China helped North Korea, former officials say
Politico
Even as Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping pledge to stop North Korea’s fast-advancing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, there’s one uncomfortable secret that neither leader has publicly acknowledged: Chinese banks and businesses are playing key roles in providing Pyongyang with access to the global markets they need to acquire critical parts and technologies.

 

MIDDLE EAST

As Elections Approach, Iran President Hassan Rouhani Takes Hardline on Missile Projects\
NDTV
Iran will ask 'no one's permission' to build up its missile capability, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday, in what appeared to be a defiant response to US efforts to hamper the Iranian military.

 



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

There’s a ‘father of all bombs’ too and Russia has it
The Times of India
In 2007, Russia tested the Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power (ATBIP), which has been dubbed the 'father of all bombs (FOAB)' as it is four times more powerful than the MOAB. Though lighter at 7,000kg, the bomb has a blast yield equivalent to that of 44 tons of TNT.



SOUTH ASIA

World’s biggest bombs: India’s SPICE no match for America’s MOAB or Russian FOAB
Hindustan Times
Neither India nor Pakistan nor even China possesses non-nuclear bombs that are in the league of MOAB, developed in the early 2000s. In fact, their stockpile doesn’t come anywhere close to MOAB-like munitions.



MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

The 30th Anniversary of the Missile Technology Control Regime
The State Department
It is in the interest of the American people and the wider global community to oppose the spread of missile systems and technology to those who would misuse it. The United States looks forward to continued close cooperation with all members of the MTCR – and with states that are not members but have adopted export controls consistent with the Regime’s standards – to further promote missile nonproliferation and global security.



U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Statement by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on North Korea Missile Test
Department of Defense
The president and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment.

Pence warns North Korea of U.S. resolve shown in Syria, Afghan Strikes
Reuters
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence put North Korea on notice on Monday, warning that recent U.S. strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed that the resolve of President Donald Trump should not be tested.

Trump says China ‘working with us’ on North Korean issue
South China Morning Post
“Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens!” Trump said in a tweet early Sunday to his 28 million followers. The comment was Trump’s first in response to a failed missile test by North Korea overnight.

US Conducts Tests for Upgraded Nuclear Bomb|
The Hill
Sandia National Laboratories conducted a test last month to assess the non-nuclear capabilities of the B61-12, the report said. As part of the test, an F-16 dropped an inert version of the weapon over a Nevada desert.

H.R. McMaster After North Korea Failed Missile Test: Trump ‘will take action’ to protect US
Washington Examiner
McMaster echoed his boss on U.S. military strategy, saying "we do not want to telegraph in any way how we'll respond. "What is clear, McMaster added, is "that the president is determined not to allow this kind of capability to threaten the United States. And our president will take action that is in the best interest of the American people."



OPINIONS

How to Make a Deal with North Korea
Politico, William J. Perry
The United States could readily strike nuclear facilities in North Korea, just as we struck a military airfield in Syria. But the consequences could be far more destructive. I believe that North Korea would respond with some sort of military strike against South Korea, which in turn could rapidly escalate into a broader war. Any such war would lead to the eventual defeat of North Korea, but with devastating results, especially to our ally, South Korea.

North Korea’s Military Parade: What We Didn’t See
CNN, David Schmerler
During similar parades in the past, North Korea has shown off its military hardware as a sign of strength and defiance to those who oppose the state. This year we were expecting to see a new missile, but what we got was something of a scale never seen before.

A ‘Cuban Missile Crisis in Slow Motion’ in North Korea
The New York Times, David E. Sanger and William J. Broad
All the elements of the North Korean nuclear crisis — the relentless drive by Kim Jong-un to assemble an arsenal, the propaganda and deception swirling around his progress, the hints of a covert war by the United States to undermine the effort, rather than be forced into open confrontation — were on vivid display this weekend.

How Weapons of Mass Destruction Became ‘Red Lines’ for America
The Atlantic, Jonathan Hunt
Since the 1960s, categorical opposition to weapons of mass destruction—biological, chemical, and nuclear—has been a hallmark of American foreign-policy thinking. When reports noted that images of “young children and babies being gassed” reportedly moved Trump to action in Syria, they were echoing a long tradition, one that has both helped to justify international cooperation to combat the most terrible weapons of war, and given license to presidents to strike out in humanity’s name.

Russia is Watching Us. Good!
Washington Examiner, Matthew R. Costlow
This is great news for the United States and NATO because the Russians tipped their hand by detailing exactly which allied actions concern them and what weapon programs they are watching. This is great news for the United States and NATO because the Russians tipped their hand by detailing exactly which allied actions concern them and what weapon programs they are watching.

Behind North Korea’s Fizzled Missile: Has China Lost Control of Kim?
The Daily Beast,Gordon G. Chang
The quick end to Sunday’s test undercuts the fearsome image of Kim Jong Un’s ballistic missiles. What does a deeply embarrassed dictator do next? Kim may have to do something we consider horrible if he wants to remain in power.



SPECIAL INTEREST

On Easter, Pope denounces ‘oppressive regimes’ but urges restraint
Reuters
Pope Francis denounced "oppressive regimes" in his Easter message on Sunday but in an apparent call for restraint urged world leaders to prevent the spread of conflicts, as tensions rose in North Korea and Syria.

Take a 3D tour of North Korea’s nuclear test site, thanks to open source intelligence
The Verge
Using that seismic information, along with satellite images and high-resolution topography data released by both NASA and Japan’s Ministry of the Economy, Trade, and Industry, Jeffrey Lewis and his colleagues at the Monterey Institute of International Studies have created a 3D model of what they think the tunnels stretching beneath the mountains of Punggye-ri look like.

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Monday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS

North Korea Lawmaker: Need Nukes Because of US Threat
New York Times

Nobody will trust U.S. to engage in long-term negotiation: Zarif
Tehran Times

U.S. officials try to ease concerns Trump may quit Iran deal
Reuters

Tillerson: US prefers diplomacy with NKorea, but has options
Associated Press

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