Nuclear Policy News – April 3, 2018

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US, South Korea Kick Off Annual Military Drill Without US ‘Strategic Assets’
The Diplomat

China tells North Korea it appreciates its efforts on denuclearization

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Reports of North Korea Preparing for Another Nuclear Test Not Supported by Commercial Satellite Imagery

Russia Conducts New Test of ‘Nudol’ Anti-Satellite System
The Diplomat


WH’s Bolton said very skeptical of N Korean denuclearization
Asia Times4/2/18
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said in a US TV broadcast on Sunday that incoming National Security Adviser John Bolton has expressed “very healthy skepticism” about North Korea’s move toward dialogue on denuclearization.

North Korea Issues Rare Apology Over Media Access to K-Pop Show
New York Times4/2/18
South Korean reporters visiting North Korea’s capital to cover a K-pop performance there received a surprise on Monday: an unusually graceful apology from a senior North Korean official.

Downscaled US-South Korea Military Drills Could Be Part of Nuclear Deal
Permanently ending the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises that began this week could become a key factor in the nuclear talks with North Korea to come.

US, South Korea Kick Off Annual Military Drill Without US ‘Strategic Assets’
The Diplomat4/3/18
This year’s iteration of the annually held joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises will last about half the time of past drills.

North Korea says Japan plans to take over Asia as Trump invites Abe for talks in U.S.
The White House announced Monday that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be traveling to Florida later this month to meet with President Donald Trump, who has agreed to become the first sitting U.S. president to meet a North Korean supreme leader in an effort to settle nuclear tensions in the region.

S. Korea seeks denuclearization declaration from summit with N. Korea: official
Yonhap News Agency4/3/18
South Korea is seeking a denuclearization declaration from the upcoming summit with North Korea, a presidential official said Tuesday.

South Korea Lacks Shelters, Equipment Needed in a Nuclear Attack
Wall Street Journal4/2/18
Study finds the country needs more gas masks and doors that shield evacuees from nuclear blast and fallout

China tells North Korea it appreciates its efforts on denuclearization
China appreciates North Korea’s “important efforts” to ease tension on the Korean peninsula, senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi told the North’s foreign minister on Tuesday, hours after he called on all sides to stay focused on talks.


Turkey grants Rosatom construction license for first unit of Akkuyu nuclear plant
Turkey’s TAEK atomic energy authority on Monday granted Russian builder Rosatom a construction license to start work on the first unit of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Russia Conducts New Test of ‘Nudol’ Anti-Satellite System
The Diplomat4/2/18
Russia carried out the sixth flight test of its new anti-satellite missile system on March 26 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, The Diplomat has learned from U.S. defense officials with knowledge of ongoing Russian weapons development.


India and Pakistan are quietly making nuclear war more likely
Both countries are arming their submarines with nukes.


Los Alamos museum decides against Japanese A-bomb exhibit
Albuquerque Journal4/2/18
The leadership of the Los Alamos History Museum has decided against hosting a Japanese exhibition on the history of the U.S. bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki over concerns about its presentation about abolishing nuclear weapons.


Japanese Foreign Minister’s Reports of North Korea Preparing for Another Nuclear Test Not Supported by Commercial Satellite Imagery
On March 31, 2018, Japan’s Foreign Minister, Taro Kono, in a lecture in Kochi city, is reported to have said that North Korea appears to be “working hard to get ready for the next nuclear test,” and the associated reporting claims that he had added that soil had been “removed from the tunnel at the nuclear test site where past tests were conducted.”

Does Trump Even Know What He Wants From Kim Jong-un?
SlateFred Kaplan
The president has shown no indication that he has any plan for next month’s all-important North Korea summit.

History Shows Peril and Promise of Trump-Kim Summit
Wall Street Journal4/2/18
Potential risks argue for careful preparations and clear thinking about American goals

Trump’s new national security team likely spells disaster for the Iran nuclear deal
What happens next?

If Trump walks away from the Iran deal, Tehran will win
Washington Post4/2/18
The danger in 12 years when some of the deal’s provisions end is real, but that does not mean President Trump should walk away from the deal in May.

‘Star Wars’ missile defense is back, but not how it should be
Asia Times4/3/18
Some space-based systems may work against Russian, Chinese ICBMs – but the US has no defense against hypersonic missiles and big tech hurdles remain


The Atomic-Bomb Core That Escaped World War II
The Atlantic4/2/18
Before two deadly nuclear mishaps, scientists used to risk “tickling the tail of a sleeping dragon.” An Object Lesson.

Hollywood Has No Idea How Nukes Work
Popular Mechanics4/2/18
These are the best and worst depictions of modern nuclear weapons in film and television.

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