Nuclear Policy News – April 18, 2019

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North Korea says Pompeo is ‘talking nonsense,’ wants him replaced in nuclear talks
Washington Post

New Nuclear Missiles’ Cost Estimate Changes Again
Defense One

Addicted to Dominance: Masculinity, Competition, and the Making of Trump’s Nuclear Policy
Next Generation Nuclear Network – Rafael Loss

East Asia

North Korea Announces Testing of New ‘Tactical Guided Weapon’
North Korea says its leader Kim Jong Un has overseen the testing of a “new-type tactical guided weapon.” With nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea stalled, Kim emphasized that he is continuing to upgrade his country’s military. The report offered few details about the weapon, except that it was test-fired at various targets, carried a “powerful warhead” and had a “peculiar mode of guiding flight.”

North Korea says Pompeo is ‘talking nonsense,’ wants him replaced in nuclear talks
Washington Post4/18/2019
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry no longer wants to talk to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling for him to be replaced in nuclear talks with someone who “is more careful and mature in communicating,” state media reported Thursday. Pompeo’s main offense appears to be that he referred to Kim as a “tyrant” during a Senate hearing. Nevertheless the North Korean regime is clearly frustrated with denuclearization talks, analysts say, and by what it sees as unreasonable American demands and enduring hostility.

NKorea says it tested new weapon, wants Pompeo out of talks
North Korea said Thursday that it had test-fired a new type of “tactical guided weapon,” its first such test in nearly half a year, and demanded that Washington remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations. The test, which didn’t appear to be of a banned mid- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle negotiations, allows North Korea to show its people it is pushing ahead with weapons development while also reassuring domestic military officials worried that diplomacy with Washington signals weakness.

Putin to Meet North Korea’s Kim in Russia in April, Kremlin Says
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will travel to Russia for his first meeting with President Vladimir Putin later this month, the Kremlin said Thursday. Confirmation of the visit follows speculation that Kim would soon reach out to a long-time ally after failing to get sanctions relief during his last nuclear talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in February. The Kremlin statement gave no date or location for the meeting, though there have been reports it could take place next week as Putin travels to China.

U. S Nuclear Policy

US halts recent practice of disclosing nuclear weapon total
Military Times4/17/2019
The Trump administration has halted, without explanation, the recent U.S. government practice of disclosing the current size of the nuclear weapons stockpile. The decision was revealed in a recent Department of Energy letter to the Federation of American Scientists, a private group that studies nuclear weapons issues and advocates for government openness on national security issues.

New Nuclear Missiles’ Cost Estimate Changes Again
Defense One4/17/2019
The projected cost of new intercontinental ballistic missiles is expected to rise due to improvements needed to the Cold War-era silos that house the weapons, the commander of the U.S. Air Force nuclear weapons arsenal said Wednesday. But, Gen. Timothy Ray, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, said the price tag for the ICBMs — and the cost to maintain them over decades — is expected to be less than predicted.

Middle East

Exclusive: Dispute flares among U.S. officials over Trump administration Iran arms control report
A new Trump administration report on international compliance with arms control accords provoked a dispute with U.S. intelligence agencies and some State Department officials concerned that the document politicizes and slants assessments about Iran, five sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Opinion and Analysis

Addicted to Dominance: Masculinity, Competition, and the Making of Trump’s Nuclear Policy
Next Generation Nuclear Network – Rafael Loss4/16/2019
President Trump leverages hegemonic masculinities to exercise power in pursuit of his political agenda. How does this affect U.S. nuclear policy and what does it mean for the future of arms control?

Disputed narratives escalate tensions in Kashmir
East Asia Forum – Feroz Hassan Khan4/18/2019
Former US president Bill Clinton famously called the Line of Control in Kashmir the ‘most dangerous place on earth’. Clinton was referring to the violent, recurring and uncompromising nature of the India–Pakistan conflict in Kashmir where the addition of nuclear weapons could have perilous consequences. But the recent Pulwama–Balakot crisis was characterised as much by a disinformation spectacle as military operations.

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