TOP NEWS NATO Foreign Ministers agree to enhance security in the Black Sea region NATO HQ 10 years after Obama’s nuclear-free vision, the US and Russia head in the opposite direction Brookings Institution- Steven Pifer South Korea Detained Domestic Ship Over Suspected North Korean Sanctions Violation Wall Street Journal Russia/FSU/Europe NATO marks 70th anniversary with Washington meeting of Foreign Ministers NATO HQ4/4/2019 Foreign Ministers gathered in Washington D.C. on Thursday (4 April 2019) to mark 70 years since NATO’s founding, and to continue adapting the Alliance. “Over seven decades, NATO has stepped up time and again to keep our people safe, and we will continue to stand together to prevent conflict and preserve peace,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. 5 Dark Clouds Hanging Over NATO’s 70th Anniversary NPR4/4/2019 Today, with the Soviet Union long gone and Germany reluctant to boost modest military outlays, NATO continues to fret about keeping America in and keeping Russia out. Here’s a look at five dark clouds hanging over NATO as it enters its eighth decade. NATO Foreign Ministers agree to enhance security in the Black Sea region NATO HQ4/4/2019 Meeting in Washington D.C. on Thursday (4 April 2019), NATO Foreign Ministers agreed a package of measures to improve NATO’s situational awareness in the Black Sea region and strengthen support for partners Georgia and Ukraine. East Asia South Korea Detained Domestic Ship Over Suspected North Korean Sanctions Violation Wall Street Journal4/3/2019 South Korean authorities revealed this week they had been detaining a domestic cargo ship for months due to suspicion that the vessel had helped supply illicit oil to North Korea, in a breach that casts doubts over Seoul’s level of enthusiasm for enforcing U.S.-led sanctions. Middle East Exclusive: U.N. nuclear watchdog inspects Iran ‘warehouse’ Netanyahu pointed to – sources Reuters4/4/2019 The U.N. atomic watchdog policing Iran’s nuclear deal has inspected what Israel’s prime minister called a “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran, three diplomats familiar with the agency’s work said. Quarterly IAEA reports say its inspectors have had access to all the places in Iran they have needed to visit, which IAEA chief Yukiya Amano repeated in a speech on Tuesday. U.S. Nuclear Policy Pompeo urges NATO allies to adapt to new China, Russia threats Al Jazeera 4/4/2019 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/pompeo-urges-nato-allies-adapt-china-russia-threats-190404181648211.html “We must adapt our alliance to confront emerging threats … whether that’s Russian aggression, uncontrolled migration, cyberattacks, threats to energy security, Chinese strategic competition, including technology and 5G … [or] many other issues,” Pompeo said. Opinion and Analysis 10 years after Obama’s nuclear-free vision, the US and Russia head in the opposite direction Brookings Institution- Steven Pifer4/4/2019 April 5 marks the 10th anniversary of the speech in which Barack Obama laid out his vision for a world without nuclear weapons. It did not gain traction. Instead, the United States and Russia are developing new nuclear capabilities, while the nuclear arms control regime is on course to expire in 2021. The result will be a world that is less stable, less secure, and less predictable. Dumbest Idea Ever: A ‘Small’ Nuclear War The National Interest – WarIsBoring4/4/2019 (This first appeared in 2016.) In the event of a rapidly escalating conflict with the Russians, should the United States conduct a “limited” nuclear strike to coerce the enemy to back down? Or, in Cold War nukespeak, should the United States “escalate to deescalate” the situation? Kim Jong Un Just Visited His Father’s Birthplace. That Could Be a Sign That He’s Up to Something TIME4/4/2019 Kim Jong Un has visited his father’s birthplace, something he traditionally does before making big decisions, the Korea Times reported on Thursday. The younger dictator visited the area before major developments in recent years, leading some to wonder if a major development may be coming. His visit in November 2013 came about a month before the execution of his uncle and apparent political rival Jang Song Thaek. He paid another visit in late 2014, just a few months before announcing his intention to hold a summit with South Korea. As NATO Envoys Celebrate, Signs of Fracturing from Within New York Times – David Sanger4/4/2019 The bonds among the core nations that signed the original treaty, which was displayed next to Mr. Pompeo, are fracturing. New members that were once Soviet states are turning authoritarian. This week, the Pentagon blocked delivery of equipment for the alliance’s most modern weapon, the F-35 fighter jet, to Turkey because the NATO nation would not back down on buying Russia’s most sophisticated antiaircraft system. Special Interest CSIS EVENT: Today – Challenges in Nuclear Verification with Director General Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) CSIS4/5/2019 Last month, Director General Yukiya Amano stated that “the IAEA stands ready to undertake verification and monitoring activities in North Korea if a political agreement is reached among countries concerned.” Additionally, the IAEA closely follows developments related to implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and plays a crucial role in verifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement. Please join the Project on Nuclear Issues on April 5 for a keynote address and discussion with Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency on nuclear safeguards, the work the IAEA performs and the current challenges that faces.