Nuclear Policy News

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Nuclear Policy News – January 30, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 30, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Israel adds upper tier missile defense capability
IHS Jane’s

North Korea could test midrange missile before ICBM
UPI

U.S. Reviews Nuclear Strike Survival for Russia and China
Bloomberg

EAST ASIA

S. Korea’s joint chiefs of staff to lead key resolve exercise in March
Yonhap
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff will lead a combined military exercise with the U.S. from a new command center in March amid growing threats from North Korea, military officials said Monday. The exercise's command center will be set up in an underground bunker of South Korea's Capital Defense Command, as the JCS will lead the annual exercise with the U.S. staff playing a supporting role, according to the ministry. 

Trump reiterates ‘ironclad commitment’ to defend S. Korea: White House
Yonhap
After his phone conference with President Trump, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn remarked, “President Trump reiterated our ironclad commitment to defend the (Republic of Korea), including through the provision of extended deterrence, using the full range of military capabilities. The two leaders agreed to take steps to strengthen joint defense capabilities to defend against the North Korean threat."

North Korea could test midrange missile before ICBM
UPI
North Korea is likely to test-launch a midrange Musudan because the missile needs technical improvements, and its detonator and atmospheric re-entry need to be tested. South Korea military officials said North Korea has yet to perfect the technology that could allow for the atmospheric re-entry of a long-range ballistic missile.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Israel adds upper tier missile defense capability
IHS Jane’s
The upper tier element of the Arrow-3 includes high-velocity exo-atmospheric hit-to-kill interceptors and software block increments that will increase the interceptor’s capabilities appropriate to the evolving threat set.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Putin’s Russia in biggest Arctic military push since Soviet fall
Reuters
The nuclear icebreaker Lenin, the pride and joy of the Soviet Union's Arctic great game, lies at perpetual anchor in the frigid water here. A relic of the Cold War, it is now a museum. But nearly three decades after the Lenin was taken out of service to be turned into a visitor attraction, Russia is again on the march in the Arctic and building new nuclear icebreakers.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

U.S. Reviews Nuclear Strike Survival for Russia and China
Bloomberg
Under the little-noticed provision in this year’s defense authorization measure, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Strategic Command -- which plans and would execute nuclear strikes -- will evaluate the post-attack capabilities of the two nuclear powers. The law mandates a report on Russian and Chinese “leadership survivability, command and control and continuity of government programs.”

 

OPINIONS

Nuclear Balancing and the Curse of the Heavy ICBM
Rod Lyon, Real Clear Defense
Too big to hide, too heavy to move and too important for an opponent to ignore, the RS-28’s going to be a major factor locking us into a scenario in which Russia continues to deploy a substantial fraction of its strategic arsenal on destabilizing heavy ICBMs—regardless of what the new US administration decides.

Reality: Humanity can’t indefinitely avoid using nuclear weapons
Mustafa Kibaroglu,Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Realistically appraising nuclear weapons and their dangers demands the negotiation of a ban treaty. What is overly idealistic is to believe that humanity, if it possesses nuclear weapons indefinitely, will indefinitely manage to avoid nuclear war.

Can the US Prevent North Korea from Testing an ICBM?
Michael Elleman, 38 North
The likelihood of success is limited, if not improbable. In fact, the probability that the North Korean ICBM test will fail on its own is significantly higher than the probability of success. Preventing Kim Jong Un from developing an operational ICBM can be achieved if North Korea never tests prototypes of the missile. Without flight tests, Pyongyang will not know if the ICBM’s performance and reliability are adequate. However, sea-based missile defenses available today are not capable of reliably interrupting a North Korean ICBM test.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Army opens site of atomic bomb blast to the public for a day
Army Times
Trinity Site was the location for test officers on the Manhattan Project to finalize and test the atomic bomb. Visitors can see ground zero, where the bomb was placed for explosion, and the McDonald ranch house where the plutonium core of the bomb was assembled

 

UPCOMING PONI EVENT

The Future of Alliances and Extended Nuclear Deterrence
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 3:30-6:00pm at CSIS

A survey of the world today finds the nuclear landscape – from Russia, to North Korea, to India, Pakistan, and China – to be more uncertain and precarious than it has been any time since the end of the Cold War. Yet, even as nuclear dangers seem to be growing, there seems to be deepening discontent with the notion of nuclear deterrence. A growing chorus of voices questions the legitimacy of assurance and deterrence, fracturing what might have been thought at one point to be a consensus between allies. There also seems to be a growing skepticism about the benefits of the internationalist system on which deterrence, and especially extended deterrence, depends. We invite you to join us for a discussion on these issues facing the Trump administration.

RSVP HERE: https://www.csis.org/events/future-alliances-and-extended-nuclear-deterrence

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Nuclear Policy News – January 26, 2017

 Nuclear Policy News – January 26, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

US and Israel Run Successful Tests of David’s Sling
Defense News

NORAD Responds After Russian Bombers Zoom Around Japan
Military News

Rattled by Pakistan? India to Test Fire Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile
The Diplomat

Kim Jong Un wants to meet Trump, will never give up nukes, says defector
CNN

EAST ASIA

 

China may be developing new long-range air-to-air missile
Reuters
Last year, The People's Liberation Army posted pictures online of a J-11B fighter carrying a large, unidentified missile during drills. China may be testing this new, long-range air-to-air missile that could take out early warning aircraft and aerial refueling aircraft.

 

Kim Jong Un wants to meet Trump, will never give up nukes, says defector
CNN
During his campaign, President Trump said he would be open to meeting Kim. Thae Yong Ho, the most senior North Korean diplomat to defect in almost 20 years, makes a plea for the president to reconsider, saying it would give the North Korean leader legitimacy he currently doesn't have in his own country. Kim made it clear that if the US continued its current policy against North Korea, he would continue to add nuclear weapons to the country's military capability.

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

US and Israel Run Successful Tests of David’s Sling
Defense News
The series of tests is the fifth of its kind and is a “critical step in ensuring Israel has the capability to defend itself from a very real and growing threat,” MDA director Vice Adm. James Syring stated. The tests involved all subsystems of the weapon, pitting David’s Sling against threat-representative targets and taking them out with Stunner missiles.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

 

NORAD Responds After Russian Bombers Zoom Around Japan
Military News
A pair of Russian Tu-95 Bear nuclear-capable bombers flew around Japan on Tuesday, prompting the Japanese military to scramble fighter jets as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) increased its threat posture.

 

Russia says unperturbed by China’s missile deployment
Asia Times
The Kremlin mostly shrugged off Beijing’s reported deployment of intercontinental missiles near Russian borders, though some officials suggested strengthening missile defense systems near the country’s borders with China. “If this information is true, any military development in China is not perceived by us as a threat to our country,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said in televised remarks.

 

SOUTH ASIA

 

Rattled by Pakistan? India to Test Fire Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile
The Diplomat
India will test launch a K-4 intermediate-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile from a submerged pontoon platform in the Bay of Bengal at the end of the month, according to local media reports.

 

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

 

Mattis to Visit South Korean and Japan in First Trip
Defense News
During the trip, the threat of North Korea will undoubtedly be on the table. Mattis said, “I don't think we should take anything off the table” in regards to stopping the development of North Korean ICBM capabilities, adding, “It's a serious threat. And I believe that we've gotta do something about it.” 

 

 

OPINIONS

 

Renew and Strengthen America’s Strategic Deterrent
Roger Burg, Breaking Defense
Many Americans are asking whether the three legs of the nuclear triad are still relevant. My answer to this question is an emphatic, yes. Today’s discussion should not be about “if” we recapitalize the triad, but instead how to enhance the execution of the strategic deterrence mission.

 

5 Burning Nuclear Problems on Trump’s Desk
Jon Wolfsthal, Foreign Policy
There are too many ways in which nuclear weapon issues can go sideways. Accidents, mistakes, conflicts that get out of control — these can happen at any time, and no administration is ever fully prepared. Getting out of the gate cleanly — something they have not been able to do on foreign policy — is essential. Without it, the new team can find themselves playing Whac-a-mole with nuclear weapons. Not a great way to make America great again.

 

How Trump Should Handle Russian Nuclear Talks
Rebeccah Heinrichs, Breaking Defense
The new administration should move forward with setting the above preconditions for talks, which will take an enormous amount of diplomatic heavy-lifting and time. But until these conditions are met, the United States will not be negotiating from a position of strength, nor will it be getting a “good deal” for the United States. With this in mind, it would be prudent for the Trump administration to set aside the notion of further nuclear reductions and focus on other security initiatives where there may be common ground with the Russians.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

 

CSI Comes to Nuclear Security
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By identifying the processing history, intended use, and production location for all nuclear materials within a state, and collating that information into a national nuclear forensics library, states would have a strong mechanism to help combat illicit trafficking.

 

Scottish Cold War nuclear submarine collision kept secret for 43 years
The Guardian
The potentially catastrophic crash occurred in November 1974 when the SSBN James Madison, armed with 16 Poseidon nuclear missiles, was heading out of the US naval base at Holy Loch, 30 miles north-west of Glasgow.

 

It is two and a half minutes to midnight: 2017 Doomsday Clock Statement
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
This year’s Clock deliberations felt more urgent than usual. On the big topics that concern the board, world leaders made too little progress in the face of continuing turbulence. In addition to the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate change, new global realities emerged, as trusted sources of information came under attack, fake news was on the rise, and words were used in cavalier and often reckless ways

 

 

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Nuclear Policy News – January 25, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 25, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Congressman Lieu, Senator Markey Introduce the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017
United States House of Representatives

Russia Makes Progress on Fielding New Fleet of Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarines
The Diplomat

S. Korea, Fiji agree to boost military cooperation
Yonhap

Iranians believe Trump will violate nuclear deal
Al-Monitor

EAST ASIA

S. Korea, Fiji agree to boost military cooperation
Yonhap
S. Korea’s Defense Minister Han Min-koo asked Fiji to join international efforts to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear programs. Fiji expressed concerns about North Korea's nuclear programs in January last year, when the North conducted its fourth nuclear test. S. Korea and Fiji’s bilateral memorandum will pave the way for defense cooperation.

 

S. Korea to bolster detection capabilities against N. Korean WMDs
The Korea Times
The new systems include chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) reconnaissance vehicles, the towed array sonar system (TASS) designed to detect and track an enemy submarine, unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, and upgraded versions of the new Ulsan-class frigate

 

China Announces Deployment of New Long Range Nuclear Missile
Real Clear Defense
The Dong Feng ("East Wind") -41 missile, or DF-41, can carry up to a dozen nuclear warheads and China claims it has the longest range of any nuclear missile in the world. 

 

S. Korea, France agree to collaborate in pressing N. Korea to discard nukes
Yonhap
The two sides agreed that the international community should strengthen its pressure on North Korea and strive for thorough implementation of anti-North sanctions in order to leave the communist country with no other option than discarding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iranians believe Trump will violate nuclear deal
Al-Monitor
Of 1,000 Iranians polled from Dec. 10-24 last year, a month after Trump’s election, 77.5% were not confident that the United States would live up to its obligations under the JCPOA.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia Makes Progress on Fielding New Fleet of Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarines
The Diplomat
The Russian Navy’s fleet of Project 885-M Yasen M-class nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarines is slowly but steadily starting to take shape with the fourth boat of the class, the Krasnoyarsk, recently completing crucial hydraulic tests of its pressure hull.

 

SOUTH ASIA

Ababeel to ‘neutralize India’s defense shield’
The Express Tribune
With the successful test of its Ababeel missile, Pakistan has effectively acquired the capability to launch a missile from land, air and sea and defeat India’s ballistic missile defense shield. Additionally, the upgrading of its missile program is meant to counter India’s Cold Start Doctrine that seeks swift military action before Pakistan reacts.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN chief Guterres pledges commitment to achieving world free of nuclear weapons
UN News Centre
At the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Guterres emphasized his commitment in abolishing all weapons of mass destruction and regulating conventional weapons.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Congressman Lieu, Senator Markey Introduce the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017
United States House of Representatives
The Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress.

 

OPINIONS

The North Korean Security Challenge
Peter Huessy,Real Clear Defense
To forestall further proliferation while promoting strategic stability and deterrence on the Korean peninsula the United States must deploy effective and robust missile defense, highly capable strategic bombers, and an extended modernized nuclear deterrent. Suggesting that simply more talk is the best initial means of protecting America is the wrong strategy.

 

Encouraging Japan to Go Nuclear Won’t Denuclearize North Korea
Daniel Bob,38 North
A nuclear-armed Japan would endanger American—and Japanese—security interests, while only reinforcing North Korea’s determination to keep its nuclear weapons as the key to its survival.

 

Can Trump Have This Iran Deal or No Iran Deal
Arthur MacMillan, Foreign Policy
The debate surrounding the Iran deal’s future under Trump, however, has largely ignored one salient fact: The nuclear agreement was never between Washington and Tehran. It involves five other major partners — Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany — none of which are interested in renegotiating the “better deal” that Trump has said he can get. 

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Of Biscuits and Football: The Peril of Presidents and the Nuclear Codes
The Hill
Presidents in a mournful procession of forgetfulness have misplaced the nuclear codes as well as their bag-carriers repeatedly. The Biscuit arrangement is testimony to how very clever planners miscalculated human nature from the start — how the architects of the largely unchanged system since Eisenhower failed to anticipate the high probability that presidents would misplace the all-important nuclear codes.

 

A New Video Shows Kim Jong Un Celebrating a North Korea Missile Launch (video)
TIME
DPRK’s state-run television KRT shows Kim Jong Un supervising the test launch of an intermediate-range Hwasong-10 missile, before saying that the country now has the capability to target U.S. interests in the Pacific

 

U.S., Russia: A History of Containment
Real Clear Defense
The containment strategy is likely to remain a key fixture of U.S. foreign policy in Eurasia under the Trump administration. 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 24, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 24, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

China deploys ICBM near Russian border
TASS

Russia may deploy Nuclear-Powered Combat Vessels at Syrian Naval Base
Defense World

Pakistan conducts first flight test of nuclear-capable ‘Ababeel’ missile
The Indian Express

EAST ASIA

Japan launches first military communications satellite
Reuters
The satellites is one of three planned so-called X-band satellites, that will quadruple broadband capacity, unify a fractured and overburdened communications network and allow communications across more territory.

 

China deploys ICBM near Russian border
TASS
China has deployed top-notch Dongfeng-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles in the northeast Heilongjiang province. the Dongfeng-41 is a nuclear solid-fuel road-ICBM. With a range of 14,000 kilometers and a payload of 10-12 nuclear warheads, it can target anywhere in the world and is widely considered one of the most advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia may deploy Nuclear-Powered Combat Vessels at Syrian Naval Base
Defense World
Russia will be deploying up to 11 warships, including nuclear-powered combat vessels, at the Tartus naval facility in Syria

Why Trident Missile Test is Rocking UK Politics
The New York Times
Why did the failed test become a political issue? Because Mrs. May did not reveal it when she addressed Parliament to persuade lawmakers to spend £40 billion ($49 billion) on a new generation of Trident-armed submarines that would replace Britain’s aging current fleet. 

 

 

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan conducts first flight test of nuclear-capable ‘Ababeel’ missile
The Indian Express
The test flight was aimed at validating various technical parameters of the weapon system. The missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead up to 2,200 kms, which brings many Indian cities within its striking range. Ababeel is capable of delivering multiple warheads using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology.

 

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

At the Last Minute, Trump Asks Nuclear Safety Administrator to Stick Around After All
Gizmodo
The NNSA finally has an answer to the question of who exactly is in charge under President Trump. Trump’s transition team asked Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz to stay on as chief of the National Nuclear Security Administration until his eventual replacement could be named and confirmed by the Senate.

 

OPINIONS

The Art of a Deal With North Korea
Joel Wit and Richard Sokolsky, POLITICO
The use of U.S. military force against North Korea will be ineffective and carries great risks. And engineering regime change is a fool’s errand. Trump’s only realistic option for stopping North Korea’s nuclear march is this: reinvigorated diplomacy, followed by significantly ratcheting up the pressure if it fails. Can he do it? Will he?

 

Preventing another Pearl Harbor
Keith Payne, The Washington Times
North Korean nuclear missile threats to the United States must no longer elicit uneasy disdain. The Hawaiian Islands and West Coast may well be North Korea’s initial ICBM targets in the United States given their closer relative proximity to North Korean launch sites.

 

Staying on Course on Nuclear Modernization
Tom Karako, The Cipher Brief
With this year’s review of the state f U.S. nuclear forces, comes an opportunity to communicate to friends and adversaries alike that deterrence has returned to the top of the U.S. nuclear agenda. Communicating that priority should begin with the reaffirmation of commitment to modernizing the nuclear triad, as essential now for 21stcentury deterrence as it has ever been.

 

The Case for Arms Control and Drawing Down Nuclear Forces
Hans Kristensen, The Cipher Brief
Deterrence without arms control is dangerous; they must be two sides of the same coin. While maintaining sufficient (not excessive) nuclear forces to deter adversaries, arms control contributes to strengthening U.S. national security and that of its allies by achieving limitations on potential adversaries’ nuclear forces.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Raytheon wins $235 million SM-6 production contract
UPI
Under the contract, Raytheon will provide SM-6 missiles to be deployed on AEGIS-equipped cruisers and destroyers.

 

Now We’re Talking: SBIRS Missile Warning Satellite Responding to Ground Control
Lockheed Martin
“After a successful ULA launch, signal acquisition is the first critical event in SBIRS' mission to support the Air Force with early missile warning and defense," said David Sheridan, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) systems mission area. "With communications now established, our job begins to deliver SBIRS to its final orbit so we can complete deployments and operational testing in anticipation of the satellite's formal acceptance by the Air Force."

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 23, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 23, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

India to Continue with Indigenous Cruise Missile Program
The Diplomat

Iran says will ‘act appropriately’ if Trump violates nuclear deal
Tehran Times

Nuclear Stockpile About to Go Leaderless, Senator Warns Trump
Defense News

EAST ASIA

North Korea nuclear threat means South must not delay anti-missile system
Reuters
Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn said on Monday the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile defense system can not be delayed in the face of a growing North Korean nuclear missile threat and despite Chinese hostility to the move.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran says will ‘act appropriately’ if Trump violates nuclear deal
Tehran Times
Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said “We can very easily snap back and go back … not only to where we were, but a much higher position technologically speaking…I don’t want to see that day. I don’t want to make a decision in that course, but we are prepared.”

 

Experts Wary as World Praises Iran for Honoring Terms of Nuclear Deal
Defense News
According to nonproliferation experts, Iranian compliance should not be judged merely according to technical steps mandated in the agreement, but by its behavior regarding procurement of missile and nuclear components, which is not checked by the IAEA. 

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

UK’s May to defend free trade and Iran deal in talks with Trump
Reuters
At the annual “Republican Retreat” in Philadelphia, May intends to make clear to Trump that Britain is a strong supporter of the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers. She is also expected to discuss NATO with trump and the continued importance of the alliance as the bulwark against evolving threats.

 

MPs accuse Theresa May of covering Trident malfunction
The Guardian
While expressing “absolute faith” in Trident, she refused to go into any details about the incident, which the government said it could not explain for “obvious national security reasons.” May remarked, “There are tests that take place all the time, regularly, for our nuclear deterrents.”

 

SOUTH ASIA

India to Continue with Indigenous Cruise Missile Program
The Diplomat
India’s troubled nuclear-capable Nirbhay long-range cruise missile program has been given an 18-month grace period to address technical problems. Indian Minister of Defense Manohar Parrikar recently agreed to let Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) engineers continue to work on the program until June 2018. 

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Nuclear Stockpile About to Go Leaderless, Senator Warns Trump
Defense News
The National Nuclear Security Administration leaders, retired Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz and Madelyn Creedon, have not been asked to stay on through the transition process. This will be the first time in NNSA’s 16-year history, in which there will not be any continuity in leadership during a presidential transition.

 

 

OPINIONS

MoD cannot fall back on usual excuses to explain Trident misfire
Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian
Last year’s June test-firing of the UK’s Trident II D5 ballistic malfunctioned and veered towards the US when initially aimed toward west Africa. The problem appears to have involved telemetry data, information gathered from various points and fed to the missile. However, any teething troubles should have been worked out long ago.

 

Why Mattis Should Support Long Range Stand-Off Nuclear Cruise Missile
Adam Lowther, Defense News
In short, some well-placed and defended targets are unavailable to stealth aircraft. This means a stealthy cruise missile, which is only a fraction of the size of a stealth bomber, has a much greater probability of arrival at the designated target. And given that there are targets which neither a SLBM nor (ICBM) can hit — largely because their reentry angle will not allow it — LRSO is critical.

 

One Way to Disarm North Korea
Todd Crowell,Real Clear Defense
The world needs some new bargaining chips. They could be provided by re-introducing tactical nuclear weapons into South Korea. Such a move could be a game changer, turning talks into what are in effect nuclear disarmament negotiations.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

A Map of Vulnerabilities: Nuclear and Radiological Insecurity in South Asia
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
This interactive map shows vulnerable nuclear facilities, nuclear-capable bases, and personnel reliability program failures involving nuclear or radiological materials and facilities in India and Pakistan.

 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 19, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 19, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Possible Resumption of 5 Mwe Plutonium Production Reactor
38 North

Next SBIRS satellite prepped for launch
Defense News

Indian Military is Said to Revise Its War Doctrine
Defense News

Obama to Trump: Keep Russia sanctions separate from nuclear talks
Reuters

Israeli Air Force Deploys Operational Arrow-3 Missile Defense
Defense News

EAST ASIA

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Possible Resumption of 5 Mwe Plutonium Production Reactor
38 North
Commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea may be preparing to resume operations at its 5 MWe reactor. The exact implications of that activity remain unclear except to reaffirm that the Yongbyon facility remains the center of North Korea’s nuclear program.

North Korean ICBM test looking more likely, says South
The Guardian
Intelligence agencies believe they spotted missile parts being transported after regime boasted of upcoming launch. The test launch could coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday.


 

 MIDDLE EAST

Iran says not worried, has options if Trump axes nuke deal
New York Times
When asked what Iran will do If Trump's government walks away from the deal, Mohammad Zarif said, "President Trump likes surprises and we will make him surprised."

Israeli Air Force Deploys Operational Arrow-3 Missile Defense
Defense News
Designed to fly nearly twice as high at half the weight of Arrow-2 — which covers the lower-tier segment of AWS — Arrow-3 is Israel’s first line of defense against advanced, maneuvering Iranian Shihab-class ballistic missiles.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Nuclear material flown from Scotland ‘not for military’
BBC
A UK-US agreement on the transfer of highly-enriched uranium that involves sites in Scotland rules out the military's use of the nuclear material.


 

SOUTH ASIA

Indian Military is Said to Revise Its War Doctrine
Defense News
The Cold Start doctrine would prepare the Indian military for rapid mobility of armor and troops across the border and complete a mission before the nuclear threshold is reached. Retired Army brigadier Rahul Bhonsle stated, “The essential risk [of the Cold Start doctrine] is triggering a nuclear exchange.”

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Outgoing U.S. Envoy Says U.N. Needs to ‘Push’ Iran on Arms Embargo
New York Times
Although not technically part of the nuclear agreement, Iran is still subject to an arms embargo and other restrictions.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Obama to Trump: Keep Russia sanctions separate from nuclear talks
Reuters
Obama stated "I think it would probably best serve, not only American interests, but also the interests of preserving international norms if we made sure that we don't confuse why these sanctions have been imposed with a whole set of other issues."

 

OPINIONS

Banning the bomb: we’ll all go together
Matthew Harries, Prospect Magazine
As Trump takes office, the risk of nuclear use in a conflict between Russia and the west may be the highest since the Cold War. With diplomacy deadlocked, it is harder for the nuclear states to claim that the current approach is working. This has opened the door for the more radical idea of a legal prohibition: a ban treaty.

Why THAAD in South Korea is a Red Line for China
Robert Kelly, The National Interest
The Chinese “argument” against THAAD is so preposterous that it is hard to read its demands against Seoul as anything but bullying power politics. Beijing is subtly trying to expand its sphere of influence.


 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Next SBIRS satellite prepped for launch
Defense News
Prepped to launch on Jan. 19, the SBIRS GEO Flight 3 satellite is the latest to join an orbiting network of satellites that detects missile launches, supports ballistic missile defense, expands technical intelligence gathering and bolsters situational awareness on the battlefield.

Trump’s nuclear wake-up call
Politico
Trump’s Friday nuclear briefing does not involve grand nuclear strategy, nuclear experts and current and former U.S officials said. The briefing is meant to ensure that he understands how to quickly order a nuclear attack in the event of an emergency.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 18, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 18, 2017

TOP NEWS

Japan to launch missile defense satellite
United Press International

N.K. repeats threat to launch ICBM as Trump is set to take office this week
Yonhap

US diplomat confident that Trump would overcome Chinese hurdle on India’s NSG membership bid
International Business Times

Iran sticks to deadline of nuclear deal with centrifuge move: IAEA
Reuters


 

EAST ASIA


 

N.K. repeats threat to launch ICBM as Trump is set to take office this week

Yonhap
The North's repeated threat is seen as aiming to press Washington to change its stance toward Pyongyang. 

 

Japan to launch missile defense satellite

United Press International
Japan is planning to launch a missile defense satellite next Tuesday to upgrade the country's surveillance network that can detect and track North Korea missile launches.

 

Hiroshima mayor sends letter of thanks to Obama

Japan Times
Thanking Obama for his visit to Hiroshima last year, Mayor Kazumi Matsui writes “We strongly believe that you will continue your efforts to realize a world without nuclear weapons even after the completion of your term” as the president of the United States.

 

 

MIDDLE EAST


 

Iran sticks to deadline of nuclear deal with centrifuge move: IAEA

Reuters

The transfer of centrifuges and other equipment from Fordow to storage at another underground enrichment site at Natanz was completed within a deadline of one year from the day the deal was put in place, Jan. 16 of last year.

 

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

 

Obama issues warning on 1st anniversary of Iran nuclear deal

The Washington Post

Obama says the agreement is the product of years of work between Iran and six world powers, not just between the U.S. and Iran. He says a diplomatic solution that keeps Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and that the accord can’t be easily undone.

 

US diplomat confident that Trump would overcome Chinese hurdle on India’s NSG membership bid

International Business Times

Richard Verma, US envoy to India, stated that President-elect Trump will overcome any attempt by China to stymie India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group.

 

 

OPINIONS


 

Mattis Talks Nukes, but is Trump Listening?

Al Mauroni, War on the Rocks

Mattis emphasizes the need for “robust, flexible, and survivable” U.S nuclear forces that can support conventional operations, provide credible deterrence, and support “U.S. nonproliferation goals by extending deterrence to allies.”


 

An Iran Memo to Trump

Ariane Tabatabai, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The US president-elect should not only maintain the JCPOA, but also strengthen it. This would allow the United States to maintain its hard-earned credibility, putting the burden on Tehran to stick to its end of the deal. 

 

Russia, Military Modernization, and Lowering the Nuclear Threshold

Malcolm Davis, RealClearDefense

Russia is increasingly focusing on the use of its nuclear forces to enhance its ability to undertake military adventurism at the conventional level in a manner that’s highly threatening to NATO. 

 

 

SPECIAL INTEREST


 

Trump and Nuclear Codes

BBC

Although the president has extraordinary latitude to take the sole decision to launch [nuclear weapons]. the idea of a rogue president taking such a monumental decision is highly unlikely.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 17, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 17, 2017

 

Top News

India’s inclusion in nuclear club shall not be a ‘farewell gift’, China tells US
International Business Times


Statement by POTUS on One-Year Anniversary of Implementation Day under JCPOA
White House


Implementing the 2030 Agenda
International Atomic Energy Agency

 

EAST ASIA


S. Korea mulls over resolving trade friction from THAAD at WTO

Yonhap News

In response to China's retaliatory steps to block THADD deployment, South Korea is looking into relevant international law to deploy the missile defense system through the WTO. Using such global organizations as the WTO may not be feasible given the lack of clear evidence that the Chinese government has been involved

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

Iran says it will not renegotiate nuclear deal

Reuters

Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi explained that Iran will not renegotiate its nuclear agreement with world powers, even if it faces new U.S. sanctions after Donald Trump becomes president.


 

The Iran nuclear deal is a success—and the whole world is safer for it

The Guardian

The deal, one year after its implementation, is delivering on its main purpose: ensuring the purely peaceful, civilian nature of Iran’s nuclear program. The IAEA has issued four reports on the matter and has regularly verified that Iran is complying with its nuclear-related obligations.


 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

 

Russia expects dialogue with Trump on nuclear weapons: Lavrov

Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that such talks could cover hypersonic weapons, a U.S. missile shield in Europe, space weapons and nuclear testing.

  

SOUTH ASIA

 

Rising Tensions in Kashmir: A Growing Nuclear Danger on the Subcontinent

Michael Krepon, Foreign Affairs

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will inherit rising nuclear dangers in five regions of the globe.

 

India’s inclusion in nuclear club shall not be a ‘farewell gift’, China tells US

International Business Times

China is opposing India's inclusion in the NSG because the latter is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. India's application for membership has lapsed after two technical holds by China. Other than China, India's membership bid has the backing of almost all nations in the 48-member group.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

 

Implementing the 2030 Agenda

International Atomic Energy Agency

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano delivers remarks at the ACUNS Vienna UN Conference. The 2030 agenda highlights the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology as essential in reducing poverty and hunger, improving energy supplies, treating diseases such as cancer, and responding to climate change.  

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

 

Statement by POTUS on One-Year Anniversary of Implementation Day under JCPOA

White House

“One year ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verified that Iran had fulfilled key commitments spelled out under the JCPOA.”

 

OPINIONS

 

Why the United States is Losing its Technological Edge

Ben Fitzgerald, The National Interest

To address wide ranging threats from nuclear weapons to conventional systems, the Department of Defense needs to completely overhaul its approach to technology strategy, injecting free market principles to keep pace with technological change.


 

SPECIAL INTEREST

 

The Intersection of Cyber and Nuclear War

Paul Bracken, RealClearDefense

Cyber technology is making the hunt for mobile missiles faster, cheaper, and better. The consequences of this technological shift are many: an increase in the benefit of shooting first; more nervous, reactive intelligence tightly coupled to offensive forces; and arms races as attacker and defender go through cycles of measure and countermeasure.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - January 13, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 13, 2017

EAST ASIA

North Korea strengthens its emergency airfield capabilities
IHS Jane’s
1/13/17
Commercial satellite imagery shows that North Korea has been progressively modernising its emergency airfield capabilities since late 2015 by adapting highways for use as airstrips, building aircraft shelters, and developing contingency airfields.

How Might North Korea Test an ICBM?
38 North
1/12/17
We should consider the possibility that a test may occur in the near future. In which case, how might this happen and what might it mean?

China develops new 'humpback' nuclear submarines with 'capability of striking US'
International Business Times
1/13/17
Images of China's new nuclear submarines have emerged and are believed to carry a weapons arsenal powerful enough to reach the United States.

China, Russia agree on more 'countermeasures' against U.S. anti-missile system: Xinhua
Reuters
1/12/17
China and Russia have agreed to take further unspecified "countermeasures" in response to a U.S. plan to deploy an anti-missile system in South Korea, state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday.


US deploys radar in response to North Korea missile threat
CNN
1/12/17
The Pentagon has deployed high-tech radar to keep watch for a potential North Korean long-range-missile launch in the coming months, according to a US defense official.

MIDDLE EAST

Mattis breaks with Trump on Iran, Russia
Politico
1/12/17
Breaking with President-elect Trump, James Mattis said in his confirmation hearing to be defense secretary that he supports a permanent U.S. military presence in the Baltics to deter Russia — and reiterated that he believes the U.S. must stick to the Iran nuclear deal even if it is flawed.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

This Interactive Map Shows the High Stakes Missile Stand-Off Between NATO and Russia
Foreign Policy
1/12/17
To visualize the NATO-Russia missile defense stand-off, experts at the Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) put together an interactive map showing what each side has in its arsenal — from missile defense to land-based and naval-based strike capabilities.

Denmark to raise military spending, citing Russian threat
Reuters
1/13/17
NATO member Denmark plans to increase military spending in response to Russian missile deployments in the Baltic region that it perceives as a threat, its new defence minister said.

Economic downturn affecting Russian ICBM programme
IHS Jane’s
1/13/17
Orders for a new set of Russian ICBM launchers have been put on hold and may lead to a delay of more than a year in the programme. The cause is that deteriorating economic conditions in Russia are putting subcontractors responsible for the manufacture of critical components out of business.

 

SOUTH ASIA

Pak made counterproductive moves risking nukes: Biden
Business Standard
1/13/17
US Vice President Joe Biden singled out Pakistan along with Russia and North Korea for having have made counterproductive moves that only increase the risk that nuclear weapons could be used in a regional conflict.

India's missile programme a threat to regional peace: Pakistan
Business Standard
1/12/17
Pakistan on Thursday cautioned members of MTCR that introduction of "destabilising systems" like "missile defence programmes" and "inter-continental ballistic missiles" in South Asia pose a "risk" to regional stability, in an apparent reference to India.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Mattis Enthusiastic on ICBMs, Tepid on Nuclear Cruise Missile
DefenseNews
1/12/17
President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of defense believes the US needs to maintain its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program, but showed a willingness to consider whether developing a new nuclear cruise missile is the right path forward.

F-35 Could Carry B61 Nuclear Warhead Sooner Than Planned
DefenseTech
1/10/17
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is slated to be armed with the B61 nuclear bomb as early as 2020, but could carry the weapon sooner, a general said.

 

OPINIONS

The U.S. Must Talk to North Korea
Siegfried Hecker, The New York Times
1/12/17
After decades of broken policies toward Pyongyang, talking to the North Koreans is the best option for the Trump administration at this late date to limit the growing threat.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

America's missileers stand ready to launch nuclear weapons — and pray they won't have to
NPR, “The World”
1/12/17
For Joe Andrew, a retired chief master sergeant in the US Air Force, missiles were a part of life from childhood. “I knew just about every rocket that the US had,” he said.

Haunting Black and White Photos Document Abandoned Nuclear Missile Bases
The Creators Project
1/12/17
Curious about the relics of America and Soviet Russia’s nuclear weapon build-up, photographer Brett Leigh Dicks traveled to various nuclear ballistic missile bases both in the United States and Europe.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - January 12, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 12, 2017

TOP NEWS

N.K.'s possible inter-Korean proposals aim to break sanctions regime: report
Yonhap News

First new Airbus in decades arrives in Iran
Al Jazeera

Energy Department Releases First-Ever State of the National Labs Report
U.S. Department of Energy (press release)

The U.S. Nuclear Triad Needs an Upgrade
The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Nuclear Security
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

EAST ASIA

N.K.'s possible inter-Korean proposals aim to break sanctions regime: report
Yonhap News
North Korea may make surprise proposals to South Korea this year including reunions of separated families in a bid to break up the united international sanctions front, a report showed Thursday.

North Korea’s ICBM not yet able to reach the U.S. mainland, South Korea says
The Japan Times
North Korea has not yet acquired the technology of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, a South Korean Defense Ministry official said Wednesday.

Kim Jong Un Now Has Enough Plutonium to Make 10 Nuclear Warheads, a New Report Says
Time
North Korea now has enough material to make 10 nuclear warheads, according to the latest military analysis by its southern neighbor.

Tillerson Rejects Trump's Past Calls for Nuclear Proliferation
ABC News
President-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state broke with Trump on the issue of nuclear proliferation today during the first of what's expected to be a two-day confirmation hearing.

MIDDLE EAST

First new Airbus in decades arrives in Iran
Al Jazeera
The first Airbus passenger plane ordered by IranAir in decades after the lifting of international sanctions on the Islamic Republic has landed in the capital, Tehran, according to Iranian media.

Iran nuclear deal is in the crosshairs and may not survive a Trump administration
Washington Post
The Iran nuclear deal was written with several “sunset” provisions setting expiration dates, some of them 15 years into the future, when restrictions on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program would lift. Then Donald Trump was elected president, and a sunset on the deal itself became possible.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Biden warns Trump administration not to invest in nuclear buildup
The Hill
Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday warned the incoming Trump administration not to invest money in “nuclear buildup,” as he recalled relations with the former Soviet Union during the Cold War era.

Energy Department Releases First-Ever State of the National Labs Report
U.S. Department of Energy (press release)
Today, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced the release of the inaugural State of the Department of Energy National Laboratories Report. The report highlights the remarkable accomplishments and capabilities of the National Labs, evaluates some of the improvements DOE has made in recent years in its management and coordination with the labs, and charts a course for continued American leadership in science and technology.

OPINIONS

The U.S. Nuclear Triad Needs an Upgrade
The Wall Street Journal
This open letter is signed by the following retired four-star U.S. Air Force and Navy officers, all former commanders of the United States Strategic Command or its predecessor, the Strategic Air Command: Gen. C. Robert Kehler, Gen. Larry D. Welch, Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, Adm. Cecil D. Haney, Adm. Henry G. Chiles, Gen. Eugene E. Habiger and Adm. Richard W. Mies.

SPECIAL INTEREST

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Nuclear Security
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will discuss the Obama administration’s achievements in addressing the dangers posed by nuclear weapons under the Prague Agenda, and preview the nuclear security challenges facing the next administration.

The Government of the Marshall Islands and former Foreign Minister Tony de Brum Voted "2016 Arms Control Persons of the Year"
Arms Control Association
The Republic of the Marshall Islands and its former Foreign Minister Tony de Brum, garnered the highest number of votes in an online poll to determine the "2016 Arms Control Person of the Year." Over 1,850 individuals from 63 countries participated in the selection.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - January 11, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 11, 2017

TOP NEWS

U.S. says might not shoot down North Korean ICBM, eying intel
Reuters

Iran Agrees to Take Steps to Reduce Enriched Uranium Stockpile
The Wall Street Journal

US urges nuclear states to exercise restraint
Dawn

China’s New Ballistic Missile Submarine Could Change Its Prospects in Nuclear War
Popular Science

EAST ASIA

U.S. says might not shoot down North Korean ICBM, eying intel
Reuters
The U.S. military might monitor a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile test and gather intelligence rather than destroy it, as long as the launch did not pose a threat, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday.

North Korea has 50kg of weapons-grade plutonium: Seoul’s defense white paper
The Korea Herald
South Korea said Wednesday the North has made "considerable" progress in nuclear capabilities recently, citing the increased amount of its fissile material and improved warhead miniaturization technology.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran Agrees to Take Steps to Reduce Enriched Uranium Stockpile
The Wall Street Journal
Iran agreed to take steps that would push its stockpile of enriched uranium far below the 300-kilogram cap fixed in its 2015 nuclear agreement, potentially eliminating one flashpoint over an accord that President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly criticized during his election campaign, Western diplomats said.

Iran decides not to upset nuclear deal over U.S. sanctions extension
Reuters
Iran decided not to escalate a stand-off over the extension of U.S. sanctions at a meeting of diplomats overseeing the nuclear deal it reached with world powers in 2015, senior Russian and Iranian diplomats said after the session on Tuesday.

SOUTH ASIA

US urges nuclear states to exercise restraint
Dawn
At a State Department news briefing on Monday, US government spokesman John Kirby said he had seen reports of the missile launch but, instead of focusing on Pakistan, he underlined the need for all nuclear states to avoid such tests.

OPINIONS

Obama’s last chance to reduce the risk of nuclear disaster
Politico, Joe Cirincione
Before President Barack Obama leaves the White House, he could close a particularly dangerous door he left open – and fulfill a campaign pledge.

Will Trump Attack North Korea?
The National Interest, Doug Bandow
In his New Year’s Day address, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un said his nation was close to testing an ICBM which could hit the United States. Put a nuclear warhead on top and the North will have developed an effective deterrent against the global superpower.

The Right Nuclear Questions
U.S. News and World Report, John Tierney
Mattis will have a lot on his hands when he takes over the Pentagon, not least of which involves decisions that will further set the course for the maintenance and overhaul of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, an extensive process that could cost $1 trillion over three decades.

Navy’s Deterrence Fund Is Just Another Washington Budget Gimmick
Real Clear Defense, Mackenzie Eaglen and Rick Berger
The advancement of the Columbia-class nuclear ballistic missile submarines into a new program phase triggered a congressional provision to move its funding from the Navy shipbuilding account to a defense-wide account called the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund.

SPECIAL INTEREST

China’s New Ballistic Missile Submarine Could Change Its Prospects in Nuclear War
Popular Science
New photos of China's latest nuclear ballistic missile submarine, the "Jin" Type 094A, hints at a much-improved vessel—one that is larger, with a more pronounced "hump" rear of the sail that lets it carry 12 submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - January 10, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 10, 2017

TOP NEWS

Stopping a N. Korean Missile No Sure Thing, U.S. Tester Says
Bloomberg Politics

Obama Administration Seeks to Secure Iran Deal
Wall Street Journal

NNSA Denies Report Top Nuclear Officials Removed by Trump Team
DefenseNews

America Needs a Strong NATO Alliance
Kelly Ayotte, Real Clear Defense

EAST ASIA

Stopping a N. Korean Missile No Sure Thing, U.S. Tester Says
Bloomberg Politics
The U.S.’s $36 billion system of ground-based interceptors can’t yet be counted on to shoot down a nuclear-armed missile aimed at the West Coast by the likes of North Korea or Iran, the Pentagon’s weapons testing office says.

Japan says always gathering information on North Korea's nuclear missile
Reuters
Japan is always gathering and analysing information on North Korea's nuclear missile situation with great interest, its top government spokesman said on Tuesday.

China voices concern about North Korea statements on ICBM test
UPI
China expressed concerns regarding North Korea's repeated threats to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, according to Xinhua news agency.

Japan DM to visit Guam to inspect controversial missile defense system
Xinhua
Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada is to start a two-day visit to Guam, where she is slated to inspect the controversial U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

MIDDLE EAST

Obama Administration Seeks to Secure Iran Deal
Wall Street Journal
U.S., European and Iranian officials meet Tuesday in Vienna, a last opportunity for the Obama administration to bolster the Iranian nuclear agreement along with its partners before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

Diplomats: Iran to get natural uranium batch
Associated Press
Iran is to receive a huge shipment of natural uranium from Russia to compensate it for exporting tons of reactor coolant, diplomats say, in a move approved by the outgoing U.S. administration and other governments seeking to keep Tehran committed to a landmark nuclear pact.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Safran Hired to Upgrade Navigation System for French Subs
DefenseNews
France has awarded Safran Electronics & Defense a contract to upgrade the global navigation system on the French Navy’s nuclear ballistic missile submarines, the company said Monday.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan's Babur Missile Test Claim May Be Fake, Navy Sources Tell NDTV
NDTV
A day after Pakistan tweeted a video of what it claimed was the test launch of its Babur missile, claiming a giant leap in its naval nuclear programme, top sources have said that the video may be fudged.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Columbia Costs: Is It $100B OR $128B? Well, Yes. Read Kendall’s ADM Memo
Breaking Defense
Replacing aging Ohio-class nuclear missile submarines could cost so much it busts the Navy budget. But how much? That gets complicated. The media’s been saying $128 billion. The Navy would prefer we say $100 billion. Both figures are right. The difference is inflation.

US Navy Missile Submarine Gets Go-Ahead
DefenseNews
The program to build a new class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines for the US Navy passed a major procedural hurdle Jan. 4, the US Navy announced Monday, allowing engineers and designers to move to the detail design portion of the effort.

NNSA Denies Report Top Nuclear Officials Removed by Trump Team
DefenseNews
The National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) is pushing back at a news report that the transition team for president-elect Donald Trump plans to remove the heads of the agency when he takes office.

Air Force to Examine Maintenance Problems at ICBM Bases
DefenseNews
Before Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James ends her tenure as the service’s civilian leader, she intends to administer a couple of last action items related to the maintenance of intercontinental ballistic missile facilities.

OPINIONS

America Needs a Strong NATO Alliance
Kelly Ayotte, Real Clear Defense
Despite the shortcomings of many of our allies, in light of Russian aggression and growing transnational cyber and Islamist terrorist threats, a strong and unified NATO alliance remains vital to American national security interests.

North Korea: A Problem Without a Solution  
Rodger Baker, STRATFOR
Despite the power disparity between the United States and North Korea, Washington has little ability to alter Pyongyang's behavior without accepting significant political or military repercussions in return.

Not Even Rick Perry Is Stupid Enough To Resume Testing Nuclear Weapons
Jeffrey Lewis, Foreign Policy
If the United States resumes testing, credit will go to Trump’s aggressive bar-stool belligerence, not any technical need.

Trump Will Inherit the Biggest NATO Buildup in Europe Since the Cold War
The Atlantic, David Frum
Thousands of additional U.S. and NATO troops will soon face eastward toward Russia—a reversal of the long build down that reduced the U.S. force in Europe from more than 300,000 in the late 1980s to barely 100,000 in the aftermath of 9/11.

SPECIAL INTEREST

1956: Russia Almost Launched Nuclear War
Scout
The war began with an imperialist invasion to seize the Suez Canal. It ended with the Soviet Union threatening to nuke Britain, France and Israel.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - January 9, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 9, 2017

TOP NEWS

North Korea says can test-launch ICBM at any time: official news agency
Reuters

Iran to expand military spending, develop missiles
Reuters

Pakistan fires ‘first submarine-launched nuclear-capable missile’
Reuters

To Confront North Korea, talk first and get tough later
The Washington Post, William J. Perry

EAST ASIA

North Korea says can test-launch ICBM at any time: official news agency
Reuters
North Korea declared on Sunday it could test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at any time from any location set by leader Kim Jong Un, saying a hostile U.S. policy was to blame for its arms development.

East Asia Quiet as US-North Korea Tensions Escalate Over ICBM Test
Voice of America
The increasing tensions between the United States and North Korea over a possible intercontinental ballistic missile test are not provoking strong reactions in East Asia.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran to expand military spending, develop missiles
Reuters
Iranian lawmakers approved plans on Monday to expand military spending to five percent of the budget, including developing the country's long-range missile program which U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to halt.

U.N. chief concerned Iran may have violated arms embargo: report
Reuters
The United Nations chief expressed concern to the Security Council that Iran may have violated an arms embargo by supplying weapons and missiles to Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah, according to a confidential report, seen by Reuters on Sunday.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

With Russia Threat Looming, Poland Pins Cautious Hopes on a Trump Administration
Foreign Policy
President-elect Donald Trump has rattled U.S. allies with his NATO skepticism and overt fondness of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But Poland is nonetheless pinning its hopes on Trump shoring up the military alliance, according to a senior Polish defense official.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan fires ‘first submarine-launched nuclear-capable missile’
Reuters
Pakistan fired its first submarine-launched cruise missile on Monday, the military said, a show of force for a country that sees its missile development as a deterrent against arch-foe India.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US energy boss lauds opening of nuke repository
U.S. News & World Report
It was the determination of workers over nearly three years and pure ingenuity that allowed the nation's only underground repository for low-level nuclear waste to recover from a radiation release, the head of the U.S. Energy Department said. 

OPINIONS

North Korea Is Too Nuclear To Fail
The National Interest, Scott A. Snyder
During his annual New Year’s address on Sunday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dropped a bombshell: He stated as part of his review of the past year’s accomplishments that North Korea has entered “the final stage in preparations to test-launch” an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). One that could hit the United States.

To Confront North Korea, talk first and get tough later
The Washington Post, William J. Perry
The pressure boiled over this past week when Kim Jong Un announced plans to test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental United States. In reply, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted, “It won’t happen,” seemingly suggesting he might take military action against North Korea’s missile program.

NATO: Seeking Relevance in the 21st Century
Huffington Post, Joseph V. Micallef
Founded in 1949, the 28-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is now 67 years old. Originally it was a political association. Following the onset of the Korean War it rapidly transformed itself into an alliance for mutual defense.

A New Start on North Korea
Huffington Post, David L. Phillips
North Korea’s nuclear proliferation will be one of Trump’s first and most vexing challenges. Japan, as the only country to ever suffer a nuclear attack, knows the urgent need to eliminate North Korea’s arsenal and normalize relations with Pyongyang. Successful negotiations will require robust engagement by the United States and a more pro-active role by Japan.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - January 6, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 6, 2017

TOP NEWS

Nuclear, missile tests show 'qualitative' improvement in North Korea capabilities: U.S.
Reuters

Turkey in 'crisis' over US presence at Incirlik nuclear base as Ankara pivots to Moscow
International Business Times

How to Stop a Nuclear Missile
The Atlantic

Death Star: Ultimate weapon of mass destruction
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Timothy Westmyer

EAST ASIA

Nuclear, missile tests show 'qualitative' improvement in North Korea capabilities: U.S.
Reuters
The United States said North Korea had demonstrated a "qualitative" improvement in its nuclear and missile capabilities after an unprecedented level of tests last year, showing the needed to sustain pressure on Pyongyang to bring it back to disarmament negotiations.

Key Outcomes of the U.S.-Japan-R.O.K. Trilateral Vice Foreign Ministerial Meetings
Office of the Spokesperson, US State Department
North Korea’s illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs directly threaten the security of the United States, Japan, and the ROK, the memo stated.

MIDDLE EAST

Russia will host meeting on JCPOA achievements in New York
Press TV
The Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations will hold a meeting to discuss the achievements of last year’s nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

Israeli Satellite Imagery Shows Russian Nuclear-Capable Missiles in Syria
Defense News
High-resolution imagery released on Thursday confirms what Moscow-watchers and intelligence analysts have known since March of last year: the deployment of Russian nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in Syria.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Turkey in 'crisis' over US presence at Incirlik nuclear base as Ankara pivots to Moscow
International Business Times
Turkey has said it is suffering a "crisis of confidence" over its relationship with the US as the NATO member reconsiders its position over the presence of U.S. forces at the strategic nuclear airbase at Incirlik on the border with Syria.

SOUTH ASIA

Chinese Nuclear Submarine At Karachi Could Have Spied On India's Warships
NDTV
Hours after NDTV reported that a Chinese nuclear submarine had been placed, through a satellite image, at Karachi last year, top sources in the Indian navy said that the submarine is from the most advanced and latest class built by China.

India breaks UN limits on nuclear weapons: Chinese daily
Business Standard
India has broken "UN limits" on development of nuclear weapons, a leading Chinese daily said, and demanded that Pakistan should get the same nuclear privileges.

Declassified: How India Tracked Pakistan’s Development of a Nuclear Device
The Diplomat
Based on newly declassified Indian documents, what follows is an account of what Indian external intelligence knew about Pakistan’s leading up to both countries coming out as the world’s sixth and seventh declared nuclear powers.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Putin and Trump: How to Make Nonproliferation a Priority in 2017
Hudson Institute, Richard Weitz
Renewing U.S.-Russian nonproliferation ties is vital since both countries have large stocks of nuclear weapons, advanced civilian and military nuclear complexes, and expertise in many nuclear and terrorism-related areas.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

How to Stop a Nuclear Missile
The Atlantic
Lasers-armed drones and interceptor missiles are among America’s possible tech options for impeding a North Korean nuclear strike.

Carter: U.S. improving 'nuclear, conventional deterrent capabilities' to cope with N.K. threats
Yonhap News
The United States is improving "our nuclear and conventional deterrent capabilities" in the face of North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday.

Engine Drops Out of B-52 During Training at Minot Air Force Base
Defense News
An engine dropped out of a B-52 bomber during a training flight on Wednesday, the Air Force has confirmed following questions from Defense News.

Will Trump Repeal Iran Nuclear Deal? Majority Of Americans Oppose Withdrawing From Obama's Foreign Policy Plan
International Business Times
Most Americans disagree with Trump and would like to keep the Iran deal in place, according to results from a new survey from the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation.

OPINIONS

Progress toward a nuclear-free world must keep moving forward
The Asahi Shimbun, Editorial
This year will mark the start of multinational negotiations for a treaty to ban nuclear arsenals. This opportunity should be taken to create a powerful global movement toward a future free from nuclear weapons. Japan should play a prominent role in promoting this concept.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You?
Politico Magazine
How an 89-year-old cold warrior became America’s nuclear conscience.

Death Star: Ultimate weapon of mass destruction
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Timothy Westmyer
The Death Star, in Star Wars generally and particularly in Rogue One, serves as a stand-in for the nuclear weapons arsenal with all the accompanying nuclear imagery, deterrence theory, and dangers shown to the audience. (Warning: This article contains plot spoilers, but we couldn’t help ourselves.)

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - January 5, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 5, 2017

TOP NEWS

Talk grows in U.S. of possibility of military strikes on N. Korea
Yonhap News

Chinese FM calls for S. Korea to halt THAAD deployment
Yonhap News

Kendall Says Full Speed Ahead on Navy Nuke Missile Subs: $125B Columbia Class
Breaking Defense

Time for Nuclear Straight Talk: Words Matter, And So Do Deeds
Defense 360, Rebecca Hersman

EAST ASIA

Talk grows in U.S. of possibility of military strikes on N. Korea
Yonhap News
Talk is growing in the United States of the possibility of using military strikes to take out North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities after the North's leader, Kim Jong-un, threatened he's close to testing a long-range missile apparently capable of hitting the U.S.

Chinese FM calls for S. Korea to halt THAAD deployment
Yonhap News
China's top diplomat called Wednesday for South Korea to halt the planned deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system when he met with a group of South Korean opposition lawmakers, according to the legislators.

Nuclear experts to Trump: More than tweets are needed to stop North Korea
Los Angeles Times
Despite the efforts of the last three American presidents, North Korea has continued advancing as a nuclear state. Can Donald Trump rein in the rogue state any better?

Trump Has Few Options Dealing With North Korea
U.S. News and World Report
Donald Trump says he is confident North Korea won't develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the United States. But his options for stopping the reclusive communist country are slim: diplomacy that would reward Pyongyang, sanctions which haven't worked, and military action that no one wants.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran Nuclear Propulsion: IAEA Firewalls
Arms Control Wonk
Last month Iran raised the specter that it may expand the scope of its nuclear activities, especially if its interpretations concerning what constitutes non-compliance with the JCPOA do not prevail

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Air Force Reviews Vendor Bids to Build New ICBMs Engineered with High-Tech Upgrades
Scout Warrior
The Air Force is now evaluating formal proposals from three vendors competing to build hundreds of new, next-generation Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles designed to protect the US homeland well into the 2070s and beyond, service officials said.

Kendall Says Full Speed Ahead on Navy Nuke Missile Subs: $125B Columbia Class
Breaking Defense
Pentagon procurement chief Frank Kendall just approved the Navy’s top-priority program, the Columbia-class nuclear missile submarine, to start detailed design work and engineering.

Navy Plans Stealthier Attack Submarines, Citing Breakthrough Acoustic Technology
Scout Warrior
Navy leaders say the service is making progress developing new acoustics, sensors and quieting technologies to ensure the U.S. retains its technological edge in the undersea domain – as countries like China and Russia continue rapid military modernization and construction of new submarines.

OPINIONS

Time for Nuclear Straight Talk: Words Matter, And So Do Deeds
Defense 360, Rebecca Hersman
President-elect Trump’s December 22 nuclear tweet sent shockwaves through the nuclear policy community. The reaction makes one thing abundantly clear: For the benefit of allies, adversaries, and the American people, the time is now to rethink how U.S. leaders publicly justify the purpose, size, and character of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The Technology Race to Build – or Stop – North Korea’s Nuclear Missiles
DefenseOne, Patrick Tucker
North Korean officials recently announced that the country was on the verge of testing a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, that could reach the United States.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - January 4, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 4, 2017

TOP NEWS

Trump Claim on North Korean Nukes May Underestimate Program
Associated Press

Japan plans evacuation drills with eye to North Korea
Nikkei Asian Review

Japan's Amano set to be re-elected IAEA chief unopposed
Kyodo News

How To Address Strategic Insecurity In A Turbulent Age
Huffington Post, Zbigniew Brzezinski

EAST ASIA

Trump Claim on North Korean Nukes May Underestimate Program
Associated Press
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to vow that North Korea won't develop a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the United States. But it might already have done so.

Japan plans evacuation drills with eye to North Korea
Nikkei Asian Review
Japan will hold its first-ever evacuation drills to prepare for an incoming ballistic missile -- a threat that is becoming more realistic as North Korea's missile tests grow more frequent.

FBI: Accused spy has 'vital' intelligence on China
USA Today
In the nation's first legal challenge of Chinese procurement of American nuclear know-how, the government has scored a victory in procuring the cooperation of the engineer prosecutors say was an operative for China, federal court records show.

Acting president calls for tangible outcomes in denuclearization efforts
Yonhap News
South Korea's acting president on Wednesday instructed top policymakers to ensure Seoul's efforts to pressure North Korea to denuclearize see tangible results this year, which he said would mark an "inflexion point" in the nuclear conundrum.

S. Korea to create special unit to strike at N.K. wartime leadership
Yonhap News
South Korea will this year launch a special unit tasked with incapacitating North Korea's wartime leadership, two years ahead of schedule, its defense chief said Wednesday, as it strives to better counter Pyongyang's evolving military threats.

MIDDLE EAST

Five Ways for Trump to Put Tehran on Notice
Wall Street Journal, Michael Makovsky
As the bipartisan opponents of President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement prepare to address its many shortcomings, they should beware of unwittingly repeating some of his mistakes.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Call for another review of French nuclear compo law
Radio New Zealand
Two French lawmakers have urged the social affairs minister Marisol Touraine to amend the decree on compensation for victims of France's nuclear weapons tests.

SOUTH ASIA

Will give 'hard' response to terror from across border: Gen Bipin Rawat
Economic Times
India will give a calibrated "hard" response to terror activities that will compel Pakistan to completely rethink its strategy on supporting insurgency and terrorism here, says new Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Japan's Amano set to be re-elected IAEA chief unopposed
Kyodo News
Japan's Yukiya Amano is set to be re-elected unopposed as head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, a diplomatic source said Tuesday.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

America's New Nuclear-Armed Submarines Must Serve for 42 Years (Until the 2080s)
The National Interest
Ultimately, the Navy hopes to build and operate as many as 12 new nuclear-armed submarines, to be in service by the early 2040s and serve well into the 2080s.

OPINIONS

Donald Trump’s Misguided Nuclear Proposals
RUSI, Timothy Stafford
Just before Christmas, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that the US ‘must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability’. The following day, the media reported that Trump had clarified his comment, stating ‘let it be an arms race … we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all’.

Japan, nuclear disarmament and the ban treaty
Japan Today, Daryl Kimball
Tensions between the world’s nuclear-armed states are on the rise. Progress on nuclear disarmament is stalled. Washington and Moscow are on track to replace their excessive nuclear arsenals at enormous cost; other nuclear-armed states are slowly improving their capabilities.

‘Let It Be An Arms Race’: Our Nuclear Adversaries Have Already Started
Breaking Defense, Adam Lowther
While a return to 20,000-plus operationally deployed strategic nuclear weapons is not desirable, over the past decade America’s adversaries have replaced aging delivery vehicles and warheads, giving Russia, China, and North Korea capabilities they did not have a decade ago. The arms race has started without us.

SPECIAL INTEREST

How To Address Strategic Insecurity In A Turbulent Age
Huffington Post, Zbigniew Brzezinski
The ideal geopolitical response to the crisis of global power is a trilateral connection between the United States, China and Russia.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - January 3, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 3, 2017

TOP NEWS

As Trump and North Korea’s Kim spar, China poses as the responsible actor
The Washington Post

North Korea’s claim on ICBM test plausible: experts
Reuters

Top Scientists Urge Trump to Abide by Iran Nuclear Deal
The New York Times

Air Force B-2 to Get New Digital Nuclear Weapons & Air-Ground Missiles
Scout Warrior

We Need To Talk: The Past, Present, And Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
War on the Rocks, Francis J. Gavin

EAST ASIA

As Trump and North Korea’s Kim spar, China poses as the responsible actor
The Washington Post
President-elect Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un have been trading threats this week, while China poses as the mature, reasonable kid on the block.

Trump aware of ‘urgency’ of North Korea nuclear threat: South Korea
Reuters
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's "clear warning" to North Korea shows he is aware of the urgency of the threat posed by its nuclear program and will not waver from a policy of sanctions against the isolated country, South Korea said on Tuesday.

North Korea’s claim on ICBM test plausible: experts
Reuters
North Korea has been working through 2016 on developing components for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), making the isolated nation's claim that it was close to a test-launch plausible, international weapons experts said on Monday.

Former North Korean Diplomat: Denuclearization Not Likely
The Diplomat
The deputy ambassador turned defector says Kim Jong-un will never give up North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

MIDDLE EAST

Top Scientists Urge Trump to Abide by Iran Nuclear Deal
The New York Times
Dozens of the nation’s top scientists wrote to President-elect Donald J. Trump on Monday to urge him not to dismantle the Iran deal, calling it a strong bulwark against any Iranian bid to make nuclear arms.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Trump Gets an Opening from Russia, But the Path is Risky
The New York Times
President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has pledged to reset relations with Russia, may have been tossed a lifeline by President Vladimir V. Putin on Friday.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan Plays Down Defense-Related US Sanctions
Voice of America
Pakistan says that the United States did not share evidence of wrongdoing before placing recent sanctions against certain defense-related Pakistani entities, but that it has pledged to work with Washington to address all concerns.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Air Force B-2 to Get New Digital Nuclear Weapons & Air-Ground Missiles
Scout Warrior
In coming years, the B-2 will be armed with with next generation digital nuclear weapons such as the B-61 Mod 12 with a tail kit and an Long Range Stand-Off weapon or, LRSO, an air-launched, guided nuclear cruise missile, service officials said.

Will America’s Nuclear Weapons Always Be Safe From Hackers?
The Atlantic
Future nuclear missiles may be siloed but, unlike their predecessors, they’ll exhibit “some level of connectivity to the rest of the warfighting system,” according to Werner J.A. Dahm, the chair of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.

US Tests Upgraded Nuclear-Armed, Submarine-Launched Trident II D5s
Scout Warrior
The US Navy is test-firing and upgrading its arsenal of Trident II D5 nuclear-armed submarine launched missiles designed to keep international peace -- by ensuring and undersea-fired second-strike ability in the event of a catastrophic nuclear first strike on the US.

OPINIONS

We Need To Talk: The Past, Present, And Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
War on the Rocks, Francis J. Gavin
As Donald Trump prepares to assume this charge, U.S. nuclear policy finds itself at a historical crossroads. The incoming administration will be presented with at least five tensions that will force difficult choices for the future of American nuclear strategy.

Why Trump Would Be Crazy to Give Putin What He Wants
Politico, Evelyn Farkas
Tensions are heating up between the Kremlin and the Obama administration, which imposed new sanctions on Russia on Thursday in response to Russia’s alleged and unprecedented interference in the U.S. presidential election, mistreatment of U.S. diplomats and cybertheft.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - December 19, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 19, 2016

TOP NEWS

S. Korea to keep policy stance over N.K. despite political turmoil: minister
Yonhap News

Iran calls for meeting of nuclear deal powers over U.S. sanctions
Reuters

$2.6B Contract Awarded for Sandia National Labs Management
Associated Press

The Polygon People
BBC World Service

EAST ASIA

S. Korea to keep policy stance over N.K. despite political turmoil: minister
Yonhap News
South Korea will maintain its current policy stance toward North Korea and make efforts to prod the country into giving up its nuclear weapons, Seoul's point man on unification said Sunday.

S. Korea welcomes NATO condemning N. Korea's nukes
The Korea Herald
South Korea on Friday welcomed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's a statement condemning North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran calls for meeting of nuclear deal powers over U.S. sanctions
Reuters
Iran has requested a meeting of a commission overseeing the implementation of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iranian state media reported on Saturday, in response to what Tehran calls a U.S. violation of the agreement.

Head of U.N. nuclear watchdog says Iran showing commitment to deal
Reuters
Iran has shown commitment to the deal on its nuclear program agreed with world powers, the head of the United Nations atomic energy watchdog said on Sunday, following complaints by Tehran over what it calls a U.S. violation of the accord.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

$2.6B Contract Awarded for Sandia National Labs Management
Associated Press
A subsidiary of Honeywell International has won a contract worth $2.6 billion to manage the sprawling New Mexico-based Sandia National Laboratories weapons and research laboratory that specializes in national security, nuclear weapons and other projects deemed vital for the U.S., federal officials announced Friday.

OPINIONS

How James Mattis Could Stop Trump From Ripping up the Iran Nuclear Deal
Ilan Goldenberg for Fortune
President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Mattis to be the next U.S. secretary of defense. Ironically enough, the man who places such a high priority on countering Iran’s bad behavior may turn out to be one of the new administration’s biggest supporters of the Iran Nuclear deal that aims to curb the country’s nuclear programs, which Trump criticized throughout his presidential campaign.

Trump, nuclear weapon realist, can correct Obama's idealistic blunders
Robert R. Monroe for The Hill
President-elect Trump’s miraculous election victory has arrived just in time to save America from a quarter century of nuclear weapons deterioration, caused by our post-Cold-War nuclear freeze followed Obama’s foreign and defense policy failures.

SPECIAL INTEREST

If nuclear war broke out where's the safest place on Earth?
Dr. Becky Alexis-Martin and Dr. Thom Davies for The Guardian
Nuclear tensions appear to be mounting again amidst political upheaval. So if the event of nuclear war, where should you head?

The Polygon People
BBC World Service
Between 1949 and 1989 the Soviet Union tested 456 nuclear bombs in Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan. The area the size of Belgium became known as the Polygon and when Kazakhstan became independent – 25 years ago this week - it inherited the world’s fourth biggest nuclear arsenal. The BBC’s Rustam Qobil visits the Polygon to piece together its remarkable story.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - December 16, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 16, 2016

TOP NEWS

Defying skeptics, Kim Jong Un marks five years at the helm of North Korea
The Washington Post

Statement of the North Atlantic Council on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
NATO Press Release

UN: Threat of a Hacking Attack on Nuclear Plans is Growing
ABC News

In 1968, a B-52 Bomber Crashed (With 4 Super Lethal Nuclear Weapons Onboard That ‘Exploded’)
The National Interest

EAST ASIA

Defying skeptics, Kim Jong Un marks five years at the helm of North Korea
The Washington Post
Kim Jong Un stood on the stage in front of the stylized portraits of his father and grandfather, men he wasn’t supposed to be strong enough or cunning enough to succeed, lauding the “thrilling explosion” of the most recent nuclear test and the “leap forward in all sectors of the national economy.”

Korea-US relations endure shock after shock throughout 2016
Yonhap News
Compared with a year ago, it's a totally different world, with North Korea way more nuclear with two additional underground blasts, Donald Trump set to take over as U.S. president, and South Korean President Park Geun-hye facing forced exit from office after impeachment.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran sanctions extended, but without Obama’s signature
The Washington Post
Sanctions against Iran were officially extended for another decade Thursday, even though President Obama did not sign the legislation, a symbolic move intended to show the White House’s disapproval of the bill.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Statement of the North Atlantic Council on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
NATO Press Release
The North Atlantic Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the continued development by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, and its inflammatory and threatening rhetoric.

Russia ‘to increase mobile missile patrols’
BBC News
Col Gen Sergei Karakayev said pontoon technology meant nuclear missiles could now be moved to new areas and "overcome practically any water obstacle".

SOUTH ASIA

First to use or not to use first: A curious case of Indian nuclear doctrine
The Hill
The Hindu nationalist party, BJP, when stepped in power corridors it pledged to “revise and update” India’s nuclear doctrine.

Have declared unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing: Pakistan
The Indian Express
Pakistan said it has declared a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing and has been forthcoming in offering to translate this into a bilateral arrangement on non-testing with India.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN: Threat of a Hacking Attack on Nuclear Plans is Growing
ABC News
The "nightmare scenario" is rising for a hacking attack on a nuclear power plant's computer system that causes the uncontrolled release of radiation, the United Nations' deputy chief warned Thursday.

Security Council underlines need to halt proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
UN News Centre
Expressing concern over the threat of terrorism and the risk that non-State actors may acquire or use nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, the United Nations Security Council today called on all countries to establish national controls to prevent proliferation of such weapons as well as their means of delivery.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

The Air Force Is Unworried by Trump’s Fickle Nuclear-Weapons Talk
DefenseNews
President-elect Donald Trump’s nuclear agenda remains opaque, but current Air Force officials are cautiously optimistic that he will stay the course on nuclear modernization.

OPINIONS

Putin’s Revenge
Politico, Michael Crowley
Today, as the U.S. grapples with a Russia with resurgent global ambitions, with a Kremlin that hacks our emails, manipulates our news—and, according to the CIA, actively worked to elect Donald Trump—it’s important to realize that for Putin, it’s not just a constant move for advantage.

A Lesson for Rick Perry: The Department of Energy Doesn’t Produce Much Energy
Foreign Policy, William Tobey
While the Department of Defense defends the country, and the Department of Treasury manages federal finances and supervises banks, the Department of Energy does not provide America’s energy. Yes, it markets hydroelectric power from dams run by the Army Corps of Engineers, but U.S. energy production is overwhelmingly a job for the private sector.

SPECIAL INTEREST

In 1968, a B-52 Bomber Crashed (With 4 Super Lethal Nuclear Weapons Onboard That ‘Exploded’)
The National Interest
Throughout the 1950s and ’60s American bombers carrying nuclear weapons crisscrossed the globe, ready at a moment’s notice to fly into the heart of Russia and bomb it back to the stone age. Strategic Air Command — a now defunct branch of the U.S. Air Force — commanded this airborne alert force.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - December 15, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 15, 2016

TOP NEWS

South Korea presidential hopeful: U.S. missile defense should wait
Reuters

Iran Sanctions Renewal Passes Without Obama Signature
Associated Press

Morale Improving, But Sustainment Problems Still Dog Air Force’s Nuclear Enterprise
Defense News

Nuclear Forces: Restore the Primacy of Deterrence
Tom Karako, CSIS

EAST ASIA

South Korea presidential hopeful: U.S. missile defense should wait
Reuters
The former leader of South Korea's main opposition party, who is leading polls of candidates to be the next president, said on Thursday deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system that has antagonized China should be decided by the next administration.

N. Korea test-fired SLBM this month
The Korea Times
North Korea test fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) this month, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK, Thursday.

China's state tabloid denounces U.S. 'arrogance,' calls for weapons buildup
UPI
China's state tabloid is calling for the expansion of defense spending on nuclear weaponry in response to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's critical stance toward Beijing.

US Media Over-Hypes Chinese Bomber 'Warning' in South China Sea
The Diplomat
The greater danger may not be China’s signal to President-elect Trump but the U.S. reading more into the signal than China intended.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran Sanctions Renewal Passes Without Obama Signature
Associated Press
In an unexpected reversal, President Barack Obama declined to sign a renewal of sanctions against Iran but let it become law anyway, in an apparent bid to alleviate Tehran's concerns that the U.S. is backsliding on the nuclear deal.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

In collapse of US-Russian military ties, some experts see nuclear risk
Associated Press
It’s not quite Cold War II, but the collapse of U.S. military relations with Russia could prove to be one of the most consequential aspects of President Barack Obama’s national security legacy while presenting an early test of Donald Trump’s hope for friendly ties to Moscow.

SOUTH ASIA

Strategic export control system robust, effective: Pakistan
The Nation
Pakistan has a robust and effective strategic export control system that is based on comprehensive legislative, regulatory, administrative and implementation measures and underscored its salient features, a senior Foreign Ministry’s official said yesterday.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

IAEA’s Role in Nuclear Security Takes Shape at High-Level Conference
Exchange Monitor
The role of the IAEA in the global nuclear security architecture is taking further shape as it inherits the commitments of its member states from the defunct Nuclear Security Summit process and adapts to expectations for a mission expanding beyond its traditional nuclear safeguards and security work.

Disarmament talks wrap up in Nagasaki
The Japan News
Officials of 21 countries and organizations on Tuesday concluded two-day U.N. disarmament talks in Nagasaki after discussing issues that must be resolved to realize a world without nuclear weapons.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Trump's Defense secretary pick may have doubts about land-based nuclear missiles
CNBC
Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to become Defense secretary, expressed concern last year about the Air Force's ground-based Minuteman III.

Morale Improving, But Sustainment Problems Still Dog Air Force’s Nuclear Enterprise
Defense News
After a visit to F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told Defense News that one of her last acts as the service’s top civilian will be to try to ameliorate maintenance issues discovered during her final trip to the base.

BAE receives $368m US Navy contract to support weapons systems on submarines
Naval Technology
BAE Systems has been awarded a $368m contract to support the US Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs office by providing systems engineering and support services for submarines.

OPINIONS

Nuclear Forces: Restore the Primacy of Deterrence
Tom Karako, CSIS
The United States needs a modern, flexible, and adaptable nuclear enterprise suited to the deterrence challenges of the 21st century.

Saving Europe From Itself—Again
Mark Helperin, Wall Street Journal
Rather than arriving late as in the two world wars, the U.S. should take military and diplomatic measures now to deter yet another catastrophe.

The ban treaty: An interim step, but politically profound
Joelien Pretorius, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
It is time for the next big building block in the process toward universal denuclearization—a treaty that outlaws nuclear weapons.

Read more…

Thursday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS

U.S. Pressed to Pursue Deal to Freeze North Korea Missile Tests
The New York Times

US Navy ballistic missile intercept test fails
Defense News

North Korea, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Instability: Strategic Issues for Managing Crisis and Reducing Risk
38 North, Rebecca Hersman

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