Nuclear Policy News – April 30, 2018

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Kim Says He’d End North Korea Nuclear Pursuit for U.S. Truce
New York Times

Bolton says US considering Libya model for North Korean denuclearization

Pompeo Says Iran Nuclear Deal Could Only Be Preserved With a ‘Substantial Fix’
Wall Street Journal

Nuclear missile programs could move faster under new policy language
Inside Defense


Korean Accord Draws Praise, and Caution, From North’s Neighbors
New York Times4/28/18
China, Japan and Russia — North Korea’s neighbors — while offering praise for the summit meeting with South Korea that riveted the world this week, appeared to acknowledge one thing: Now comes the hard part.

U.S. Wants Proof North Korea Is Dismantling Its Nuclear Program
Wall Street Journal4/30/18
Top U.S. officials expressed caution about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s pledge over the weekend to shut down Pyongyang’s nuclear-test site, saying a dismantling of the North’s weapons program must be “irreversible” and verifiable.

North Korea’s Kim promised to open dismantling of nuclear site to outside world – Seoul
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he would close the country’s nuclear test site in May in full view of outside world, Moon’s office said on Sunday.

From nuclear weapons to peace: Inside the Korean summit declaration
North and South Korea made ambitious promises for peace on Friday, including to formally end the Korean War this year, but made only a vague commitment to “complete decentralization of the Korean peninsula” without specifics on how that key goal would be achieved.

Kim Vows to Close North Korea Nuclear Weapons Test Site by May, South Korea Says
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to shut down his country’s nuclear test site in May and disclose the process to experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States, Seoul’s presidential office said Sunday.

Kim Says He’d End North Korea Nuclear Pursuit for U.S. Truce
New York Times4/29/18
Keeping diplomatic developments coming at a head-snapping pace, the South Korean government said on Sunday that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had told President Moon Jae-in that he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States agreed to formally end the Korean War and promise not to invade his country.

Bolton says US considering Libya model for North Korean denuclearization
The White House is looking at Libya as one example of how it will handle potential negotiations with North Korea on dismantling its nuclear program, John Bolton, US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, said Sunday.

‘Sidelined’ China seeks to maintain influence as ties between North Korea and US improve
The Guardian4/30/18
Improved relations between the former foes could dramatically alter the power structure in the region, leaving Beijing on the outside

North Korea: Chinese foreign minister to visit Pyongyang after historic talks
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is to visit North Korea this week, after historic talks between the North and South last Friday.

Meltdown Imminent? The Decline of Japan’s Nuclear Export Industry
The Diplomat4/27/18
Cost overruns and declining credibility threaten to derail Tokyo’s nuclear export ambitions.


Pompeo says Trump likely to leave Iran nuclear agreement
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump is unlikely to keep the US in the Iran nuclear deal past the next deadline to certify the deal in May.

Pompeo uses meeting with Saudis as an opportunity to slam the Iran nuclear deal
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Iran “the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world,” during a joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart in Riyadh on Sunday, in a further signal the United States intends to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Pompeo Says Iran Nuclear Deal Could Only Be Preserved With a ‘Substantial Fix’
Wall Street Journal4/27/18
New U.S. secretary of state left the door open to preserving the deal supported by Washington’s NATO allies


Trump rebrands diplomatic norms as events in Asia, Europe and elsewhere spin on his axis
Washington Post4/27/18
President Trump on Friday placed himself at the center of the remarkable summit between the leaders of North and South Korea, taking credit for bold and innovative diplomacy that may open a path to peace where other leaders failed.

Nuclear missile programs could move faster under new policy language
Inside Defense4/27/18
As military officials repeatedly argue the United States needs to field new nuclear weapons as soon as possible, the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee is asking the Air Force to work with the Pentagon’s acquisition chief on plans to speed up the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent and Long-Range Standoff Weapon programs.


Trump’s incoherence on North Korea and Iran
Washington PostIshaan Tharoor
Macron’s conclusion — that Trump is mostly driven to fulfill his campaign promises (and systematically unravel the legacy of his predecessor) — is hardly a novel insight. But it’s still apt, especially as Trump champions the cause of diplomacy with North Korea while decrying diplomatic efforts toward Iran.

Don’t get too excited about the Korea summit. There’s a lot of work to do.
Washington PostWendy Sherman
Dialogue is certainly better than a march to war. That said, we all need to keep our expectations in check.

Libya as a Model for Disarmament? North Korea May See It Very Differently
New York TimesPeter Baker
A ruthless despot with a history of sponsoring terrorism surrendered his efforts to build a catastrophic weapon. But that despot, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, might not see it as such a good deal today.

The Price of Breaking the Iran Deal
SlateIlan Goldenberg and Ariane Tabatabai
Trump won’t spark an immediate crisis if he bails. But Iran will resume the process of going nuclear.

Trump May Already Be Violating the Iran Deal
The AtlanticPeter Beinart
The deal’s opponents keep saying Tehran has failed to live up to its commitments to the U.S. But what if it’s the other way around?

The Iran Regime-Change Crew Is Back
Defense OneVali Nasr
That probably spells doom for the nuclear deal.

How Trump’s Mixed Signals Complicate America’s Role in the World
New York TimesMark Fisher
To hear President Trump tell it, his approach to North Korea and Iran, marked by unpredictability and opposition to the diplomacy and compromise of his predecessors, will end the nuclear programs of both countries once and for all.

What happens if Donald Trump walks away from the Iran nuclear deal?
The Economist4/27/18
The re-imposition of American sanctions on Iran would have a destabilising effect

Pyongyang Is Playing Washington and Seoul
Foreign PolicyMichael J. Green
Hollow summits between North Korea, South Korea, and the United States only serve to benefit the North.

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