TOP NEWS Japan warned U.S. over reductions to nuclear arsenal and sought flexible deterrence, 2009 memo reveals Japan Times Anticipating Trump’s next move, aides prep Iran deal pullout ABC News The Word That Could Help the World Avoid Nuclear War New York TimesJeffrey Lewis EAST ASIA Japan warned U.S. over reductions to nuclear arsenal and sought flexible deterrence, 2009 memo reveals Japan Times4/4/18 Japan’s dependency on the U.S. nuclear umbrella and the bilateral “nuclear bond” have been strengthened through under-the-table discussions, according to a 2009 Japanese government memo recently obtained by Kyodo News and interviews with officials. A leading Korea expert says the Trump-Kim meeting should be canceled CNBC4/3/18 The U.S. president isn’t prepared to negotiate with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, strategists argue. MIDDLE EAST Clouds form over Iran deal as Trump deadline nears The Hill4/3/18 Dark clouds are forming over the Iran nuclear deal as the calendar marches toward a May 12 deadline set by President Trump to improve the accord or see the United States effectively withdraw from it. Anticipating Trump’s next move, aides prep Iran deal pullout ABC News4/3/18 Anticipating an unpredictable president’s next moves, U.S. officials have started actively planning for the likelihood that Donald Trump will announce next month that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. OPINION AND ANALYSIS Kim Jong Un will not give up North Korea’s nuclear weapons NewsweekEvans Revere 4/4/18 It’s no wonder that veterans of U.S. nuclear talks with Pyongyang have been troubled by President Trump’s eagerness to talk to Kim Jong Un about “denuclearization,” especially since he seems convinced this long-sought goal may be within reach. Trump’s pressure against North Korea is best way to avoid war The HillRebeccah Heinrichs 4/4/18 The Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign against North Korea is working. Why Iran won’t rush to a bomb if Trump pulls out of the nuclear deal Washington PostReuel Gerecht and Ray Takeyh 4/3/18 If Trump abandons the deal, the Islamic Republic still isn’t likely to run amok, ramping up its nuclear program and killing American soldiers in the Middle East. The Word That Could Help the World Avoid Nuclear War New York TimesJeffrey Lewis Even as the situation has changed, many American policymakers have repurposed “denuclearization” as a synonym for North Korea’s disarmament. But that’s not what it means — and that’s not how Mr. Kim sees it. Trump has ‘two choices to avoid disaster’ at North Korea summit CNBCLeon Panetta 4/3/18 Here are the dangers for Trump and the clear choices he needs to make. Kim Jong Un Goes to China: Mending A Weathered Alliance 38NorthYun Sun 4/3/18 There is no doubt that Kim’s meeting with Xi has helped to mend a fraying Sino-DPRK relationship and will strengthen the North’s position in its upcoming meetings with the US and South Korea. The Iran deal will survive — for now The HillRichard Baffa 4/3/18 Iran may make a statement that it is no longer bound by the JCPOA but note that it is voluntarily continuing to comply with its provisions. Trump, don’t let John Bolton blow up the North Korea talks The HillTom Collina and Catherin Killough 4/3/18 Unless we are careful, high expectations may become our worst enemy. If we walk away from the Iran nuclear deal, what then? Washington PostJennifer Rubin 4/3/18 Those advocating a tough line for Trump now come face to face with the consequences of their own cheerleading to end the JCPOA. (“Fix it or nix it” has been their slogan.) It seems they are obligated to tell us how they are prepared to deal with the consequences of a retreat from the JCPOA and whether they actually contemplate a military solution.