Nuclear Policy News – November 6, 2017

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Japan should be capable of building nuclear weapon: LDP’s Ishiba
Japan Today

Securing North Korean nuclear sites would require a ground invasion, Pentagon says
Washington Post

Iran says to enrich uranium to 20% in ‘4 days’ if nuclear deal ditched
Tehran Times


Japan should be capable of building nuclear weapon: LDP’s Ishiba
Japan Today11/6/17
“Japan should have the technology to build a nuclear weapon if it wants to do so,” the former defense minister said in a speech in Tokyo. “But I don’t take the position that Japan should have nuclear weapons,” Ishiba added.

Korea warns Trump about ‘foolish remarks’ before S. Korea visit
Yonhap News Agency11/5/17
North Korea threatened “merciless punishment” on U.S. President Donald Trump over “foolish remarks” on Sunday, two days before his state visit to South Korea.

North Korean nuke test radiation could blow into Japan, report says
Fox News11/3/17
Radiation emanating from North Korea’s overused, crumbling nuclear test region could reportedly threaten northern Japan, as strengthening winds from the northwest blow the radiation across the Sea of Japan. Dr. Joel Myers, the founder and chairman of AccuWeather, said next week’s forecast could spread lingering radiation and threaten nearby countries with contamination from the Hermit Kingdom’s Sept. 3 nuke test.

Korea not interested in denuclearization talks with US
Yonhap News Agency11/4/17
North Korea has no interest in having talks on denuclearization with the United States, adding possessing nuclear arms is “irreversible” and “inevitable” to strengthen its “war deterrence,” the North’s state media said Saturday.

US, Australia and South Korea hold joint Navy drills
The US, Australian and South Korean navies are conducting joint exercises off South Korea intended to simulate the interception of shipments of nuclear material meant for North Korea.


Iran says to enrich uranium to 20% in ‘4 days’ if nuclear deal ditched
Tehran Times11/5/17
Ali Akbar Salehi, director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said on Saturday that Iran can enrich uranium to a purity of 20% in four days at the Fordow nuclear plant if the U.S. kills the 2015 nuclear deal. “5060 centrifuges work in Natanz [nuclear plant] and we can resume enrichment to 20% purity at Fordow in four days,” Salehi, a nuclear physicist, said in a televised interview.


Sweden has 65,000 nuclear shelters. Now it wants more.
Stars and Stripes11/3/17
Scandinavia may not be right in the path of a future nuclear exchange between the United States and North Korea, but given the latest threats between the two countries, it’s not taking any chances.


Securing North Korean nuclear sites would require a ground invasion, Pentagon says
Washington Post11/4/17
The only way to locate and secure all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons sites “with complete certainty” is through an invasion of ground forces, and in the event of conflict, Pyongyang could use biological and chemical weapons, the Pentagon told lawmakers in a new, blunt assessment of what war on the Korean Peninsula might look like.

Trump says ‘open’ to meeting with N.K. leader
Yonhap News Agency11/6/17
U.S. President Donald Trump said he would “certainly be open” to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as he embarked on his first trip to Asia last week.

Trump calls N.K. nuke program ‘threat to civilized world’
Yonhap News Agency11/6/17
“The era of strategic patience is over,” Trump said referring to former President Barack Obama’s policy stance under which he refused to hold negotiations while increasing sanctions until the North showed good faith.

Japan, U.S. confirm intention to cooperate with China, Russia on North Korea problem
Japan and the United States confirm their intention to cooperate with China and Russia to solve the problem of North Korea’s missile and nuclear program, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump on Monday.


Three reasons why Japan will likely continue to reject nuclear weapons
Washington PostMike Mochizuki
This latest debate is likely to end in the same way as previous debates, however. Japan will continue to adhere to its Three Non-Nuclear Principles and forswear nuclear weapons. Here are three reasons for that.

Reagan and the Case for Tactical Nukes in South Korea
The DiplomatJoseph Bosco
To resolve the problem of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, President Donald Trump should take a page from the book of Ronald Reagan, learning from when that president confronted a similarly fraught situation at the height of the Cold War.

Quantum Communications and Chinese SSBN Strategy
The DiplomatRaymond Wang
One area that merits close analysis is how quantum communications technology may influence the sea-based leg of China’s nuclear deterrent, the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) ballistic missile nuclear submarine (SSBN) force. Quantum technology has important implications for SSBN launch pre-delegation and patrol strategy. These implications are not alien to Chinese strategists and shipbuilders, who have already started interacting with top quantum physicists in China.

US nuclear modernization is not only affordable, but necessary
The HillPeter Huessy
We have largely failed to modernize since the Reagan era, having foolishly taken what USAF General Garrett Harencak correctly noted was a procurement holiday after the end of the Cold War. We cannot afford to make that mistake again. Our deterrent is aging and while extraordinarily capable now, needs to be replaced and modernized now.

Heed the pope’s warning on nuclear war – it’s saved us before
The HillAllen Pietrobon
When even the pope is deeply concerned about the world being near the precipice of war, we should consider the fact that there is a historical precedent of a new pope delivering a similar warning that foreshadowed a major nuclear crisis.

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