Nuclear Policy News – April 16, 2019

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Kim-Putin summit: Kremlin confirms preparations for historic talks in Russia
The Independent

Iran has a Europe problem
Washington Post – Jason Rezaian

Only Women Can Stop the Apocalypse
Foreign Policy – Xanthe ScharffUS Nuclear News

Security Brief: The Coming Clash Over America’s Nukes
Foreign Policy4/15/2019
How many nukes is enough nukes? Trump came into office vowing to expand America’s nuclear arsenal. But the Democratic-controlled House is set to block his efforts, particularly a plan to add new tactical nuclear weapons that could be used in a conventional war. The clash comes at a pivotal moment for global arms control, writes Foreign Policy’s Lara Seligman, as the Trump administration seriously considers dismantling at least one treaty with Russia that has set arms control policy for the past 30 years.

East Asia

South Korean president calls for 4th summit with Kim Jong Un
ABC News4/15/2019
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday he’s ready for a fourth summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to help salvage faltering nuclear negotiations between the North and the United States. Moon’s comments came after Kim issued his harshest criticism yet of South Korea’s diplomatic role last week, accusing Seoul of acting like an “overstepping mediator” and demanding that it diverge from Washington to support the North’s position more strongly.

Trump, Pompeo brush aside Kim’s deadline for nuclear talks flexibility
U.S. President Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday brushed aside North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s demand for Washington to show more flexibility in nuclear talks by year-end, with Pompeo saying Kim should keep his promise to give up his nuclear weapons before then.

Kim-Putin summit: Kremlin confirms preparations for historic talks in Russia
The Independent4/16/2019
The Kremlin has confirmed preparations are underway for a historic first summit between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. On Sunday, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported the North Korean leader would travel to Vladivostok as early as next week. The Russian president is due in Beijing for high-level meetings in 26-27 April, and followed that a summit could happen in the days immediately before.

Are Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un About to Have a Summit?
Top officials from both countries have met in recent months, fueling speculation that the rendezvous may be taking place sooner rather than later. Kim Chang Son, who is Kim’s de-facto chief of staff, visited Mosow and Vladivostock in March, and Russia’s Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev visited Pyongyang earlier this month, according to Yonhap.


US-Russia relations are getting worse, and that’s rising concerns about stumbling into a nuclear war
Business Insider4/15/2019
Scaparrotti, in his role as Supreme Allied Commander Europe, has met only twice with Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian general staff, but has spoken to him by phone a number of other times. “I personally think communication is a very important part of deterrence,” Scaparrotti said, referring to the idea that adversaries who know each other’s capabilities and intentions are less likely to fall into conflict. “So, I think we should have more communication with Russia. It would ensure that we understand each other and why we are doing what we’re doing.”

Russia Has Ceased ‘All’ Cooperation With NATO, Foreign Ministry Official Says
The Moscow Times4/15/2019
The Western alliance suspended military and civilian cooperation with Russia in the spring of 2014 in response to Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Several disputes, including a naval standoff in the Kerch Strait and the U.S. withdrawal from a Cold War-era nuclear treaty, have further strained ties between Russia and the 70-year-old bloc.

South Asia

India Test Fires Nuclear-Capable Nirbhay Cruise Missile
The Diplomat4/15/2019
The Indian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) today conducted the sixth flight test of the nuclear-capable Nirbhay cruise missile, India’s first indigenously designed and developed long-range cruise missile, from the Integrated Test Range on Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.

Opinion and Analysis

Why it’s time to negotiate a mutual No First Use policy with North Korea
NK News – Abigail Stowe-Thurston4/15/2019
Despite the ceremony and fanfare leading up to the second summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, the leaders departed early and emptyhanded. The U.S. and North Korean leaders suggested that negotiations would continue even though no deal was reached in Hanoi, but the future of talks appears uncertain. Negotiating a joint statement affirming that the United States and North Korea will not use nuclear weapons first against the other could help build confidence and create political space for Pyongyang to engage in more substantive disarmament steps.

Iran has a Europe problem
Washington Post – Jason Rezaian4/16/2019
Europe has been cooperating with Tehran on the nuclear deal and helping the Iranians to evade U.S. sanctions. Yet the relationship between Iran and Europe is hardly stable – and Iran’s leaders appear to be unnerved. “The Europeans should not believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran will wait for long,” Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Sunday, complaining about delays from Europe in implementing a non-dollar trade mechanism meant to lessen the blow of U.S. sanctions…A multinational approach is the best way to get Iran to fall in line, but it will only happen with Europe and the United States operating from the same playbook.

Only Women Can Stop the Apocalypse
Foreign Policy – Xanthe Scharff4/15/2019
Despite the paramount importance of solid and stable nuclear policy to U.S. and global safety, one clear avenue for improvement has been roundly neglected: Getting more women in the field. Research shows that, absent women’s full participation in nuclear issues, the potential for risk-taking behavior is higher, negotiated agreements are less likely to hold, and innovative ideas are left unheard.

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