TOP NEWS North Korea’s Kim told Xi he wanted to resume six-party disarmament talks: Nikkei Reuters U.S. Seeks 20-Year Prison Term for Turkish Banker in Sanctions Case New York Times Russia tests missiles in Baltic Sea, forcing partial closing of sea and airspace Defense News Perception and Misperception on the Korean Peninsula Foreign AffairsRobert Jervis and Mira Rapp-Hooper EAST ASIA North Korea could nuke the US as early as July 23, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defense Business Insider4/5/18 A government minister gave the assessment to a parliamentary committee earlier this year as part of its efforts to assess Kim Jong Un’s ability to precipitate a nuclear war. North Korea’s Kim told Xi he wanted to resume six-party disarmament talks: Nikkei Reuters4/5/18 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told Chinese President Xi Jinping during talks in Beijing last week that he agreed to return to six-party talks on his nation’s nuclear program and missile tests, the Nikkei newspaper said on Thursday. Sanctions-hit North Korea faces crisis over hard currency Financial Times4/4/18 Pyongyang burning through forex reserves amid tightening China trade curbs S. Korea closely monitoring N.K.’s recent diplomatic activities Yonhap News Agency4/5/18 South Korea is closely watching recent overseas diplomatic activities by North Korea ahead of upcoming summit talks, the foreign ministry said Thursday. MIDDLE EAST German FM vows ‘considerable efforts’ to protect Iran deal Washington Post4/5/18 Germany’s foreign minister says his government will exert “considerable efforts” to protect the Iran nuclear deal despite Berlin’s misgivings about Iran’s ballistic missiles program and its involvement in the Syria conflict. U.S. Seeks 20-Year Prison Term for Turkish Banker in Sanctions Case New York Times4/4/18 United States prosecutors asked a judge in Manhattan on Wednesday to sentence a Turkish banker to about 20 years in prison for his conviction in January in a broad scheme to evade American sanctions against Iran. RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE Russia tests missiles in Baltic Sea, forcing partial closing of sea and airspace Defense News4/4/18 Russia began testing missiles with live munitions in the Baltic Sea on Wednesday, forcing countries to shut down airspace and alter sea traffic routes. Pentagon: Russia Tested Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile Twice Washington Free Beacon4/4/18 U.S. intelligence agencies monitored two Russian tests of an experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile in recent months and found both tests failed to demonstrate the novel use of a reactor to fuel long-range flight, according to Pentagon officials. OPINION AND ANALYSIS Perception and Misperception on the Korean Peninsula Foreign AffairsRobert Jervis and Mira Rapp-Hooper 4/5/18 How unwanted wars begin North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center: Major Activity at the Five Megawatt Reactor 38North4/4/18 Commercial satellite imagery from March 30 indicates that North Korea may have shut down the 5 MWe (plutonium production) reactor for the time being. A Generational Shift in Pyongyang: Is Change Ahead? 38NorthJongsoo Lee 4/4/18 The recent developments since Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s speech raise the possibility of a generational shift in the leadership and political culture of North Korea at the highest level. Trump’s New National Security Team Likely Spells Disaster for the Iran Nuclear Deal LawfareSuzanne Maloney 4/5/18 Across a tense and unsettled region, Iran remains the 800-pound gorilla, but Iranian commanders are wary about the prospect of new pushback, promising that “we won’t be blindsided by the enemies.” Russia’s ‘Satan 2’ and the new missile race ReutersPeter Apps For all the focus on North Korean rocket and warhead tests, Pyongyang has only really been catching up with technology more established nuclear superpowers acquired in the 1950s and 1960s. Russia and China, in contrast, have pushed ahead with a new generation of weaponry. Are We In a New Nuclear Arms Race? Yale InsightsPaul Bracken The Defense Department’s newly released Nuclear Posture Review acknowledges the return to a “great power rivalry,” in which the U.S. jostles with a more aggressive Russia and China. Yale SOM’s Paul Bracken, an expert on defense strategy, talks about the consequences for U.S. foreign policy and businesses operating across borders. What North Korea Is Really Saying (And Not Saying) About Denuclearization The Diplomat4/5/18 A close reading of North Korean intent ahead of a proposed Trump-Kim summit. SPECIAL INTEREST The Secret Nuclear Blast Doors Protecting the Beijing Subway Popular Mechanics4/3/18 Subway stations were meant to protect the population in the event of nuclear war.