Nuclear Policy News – April 20, 2018

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Kim Jong Un Can Now Call South Korea’s Moon Whenever He Wants

Sanctions Are Hurting North Korea. Can They Make Kim Give In?
New York Times

America’s nuclear headache: old plutonium with nowhere to go

Should We Worry About a North Korean Chernobyl?


Kim Jong Un Can Now Call South Korea’s Moon Whenever He Wants
For the first time since the division of the peninsula, the two Koreas on Friday set up and tested a direct phone line for their leaders, South Korea said.

Sanctions Are Hurting North Korea. Can They Make Kim Give In?
New York Times4/20/18
The isolated North is finding ways to cope with tough new penalties. Is the economic pressure enough to get Kim Jong-un to give up his weapons?

China is boosting its undersea-warfare capabilities — and stealing US technology to do so, a US admiral says
Business Insider4/20/18
China has made marked advancements in its undersea-warfare capabilities and is using stolen US technology to further that progress, US Navy Adm. Philip Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Moon faces tough challenges ahead of summit with Kim
ABC News4/20/18
The meeting next week between the leaders of the rival Koreas will be the ultimate test of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s belief that his nation should lead international efforts to deal with North Korea.

Seoul: N. Korean leader removes major nuclear sticking point
ABC News4/19/18
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that his rival, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, isn’t asking for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula as a precondition for abandoning his nuclear weapons. If true, this would seem to remove a major sticking point to a potential nuclear disarmament deal.

S. Korean, Japanese nuclear envoys to discuss N.K. issue
Yonhap News Agency4/20/18
The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and Japan will meet early next week to discuss cooperation on North Korea and its nuclear issue, a foreign ministry official said Friday.


America’s nuclear headache: old plutonium with nowhere to go
In Energy Department facilities around the country, there are 54 metric tons of surplus plutonium.


Don’t be lured by Kim Jong Un’s sweet whispers of peace
Channel NewsAsia4/20/18
Kim Jong Un’s maximum engagement incorporates familiar bromides that Korea watchers have been hearing from his father and grandfather, says one observer at the Brookings Institution.

When India’s strategic backyard meets China’s strategic periphery: the view from Beijing
War on the RocksYang Xiaoping
Despite occasional strife, the two countries have operated in separate strategic theaters and avoided major conflict for more than half a century, since they fought a war over territorial disputes in 1962. But today, that may be changing as China makes economic and maritime inroads into Southern Asia.

What to expect from talks with North Korea
The Economist4/19/18
Not as much as America’s and South Korea’s leaders do

Should We Worry About a North Korean Chernobyl?
38NorthOleg Shcheka
The concern is that the North Koreans may attempt to launch nuclear power plants with substandard and poorly tested reactors.

5 lessons Trump can take from the Iran deal for the North Korea summit
Defense NewsLori Esposito Murray
While the Iran nuclear deal contains technical constraints and verification provisions that provide important groundwork for a North Korea deal, there are five lessons from the deal’s shortcomings that should serve as the main pillars for developing President Trump’s strategy.

Mushroom clouds beneath the surface: the dangers of a return to nuclear testing
War on the RocksPhilip E. Coyle and James McKeon
Resumed nuclear testing would bring with it not just environmental and health risks, but also the erosion of an important international norm and the likely setting off an international testing race – with no benefits for the United States.


For nuclear weapons reduction, a way to verify without revealing
MIT News4/19/18
How do you prove that real bombs and nuclear devices — not just replicas — have been destroyed, without revealing closely held secrets about the design of those weapons?

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