Nuclear Policy News – August 1, 2018

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Top News

Trump Promotes Diplomatic Gains, but North Korea Continues Building Missiles
The New York Times

Iran wary of Trump offer for talks, but not ruling them out
Washington Times

Pakistan’s Khan Tells Indian PM Wars Can Breed Tragedies
Voice of America

East Asia

Trump Promotes Diplomatic Gains, but North Korea Continues Building Missiles
The New York Times7/31/18
President Trump has consistently touted the results of his North Korean diplomacy, insisting since his June summit meeting with Kim Jong-un that Pyongyang is no longer a nuclear threat and noting that its missile tests have stopped. But like other foreign policy assertions from the White House, reality has proved more complicated.

Kim vs. Trump: North Korea’s leaders have never kept their word on Nukes. Here’s what the US should do now
Fox News7/31/18
The top story in The Washington Post Tuesday began with this sentence: “U.S. spy agencies are seeing signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, according to officials familiar with the intelligence.” Shocked? You shouldn’t be.

Growing Chinese Nuclear Arsenal: Is China changing its doctrine?
The Times of India7/31/18
A development that deserves serious attention of all but particularly of India is the growing Chinese nuclear weapons and missiles coupled with deterring deployment pattern and indications of changes in the Chinese Nuclear Doctrine of “No First Use”.

Middle East

Iran wary of Trump offer for talks, but not ruling them out
Washington Times7/31/18
Iran reacted skeptically Tuesday to President Donald Trump saying that he’s willing to negotiate with his Iranian counterpart “anytime,” but top officials did not reject a sit-down out of hand.

South Asia

Pakistan’s Khan Tells Indian PM Wars Can Breed Tragedies
Voice of America7/30/18
Kashmir has been the issue that sparked two of the three wars between India and Pakistan. The territorial dispute remains at the center of bilateral tensions. There are long-standing fears another war could escalate into a nuclear exchange now that Indian and Pakistani armies both possess nuclear weapons.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Report Urges US, Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Arms Control
Voice of America7/30/18
The United States and Russia urgently need to restart cooperation to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, a new report says. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, or IISS, based in London released the report. It is called “Once and Future Partners: The United States, Russia and Nuclear Non-Proliferation.”

Opinion and Analysis

Tom Schelling, Mini-Nukes and the Nuclear Taboo
Arms Control WonkMichael Krepon
More than a decade has passed since Schelling’s Nobel Lecture, extending the taboo to over seventy years. His comments about Iran now apply to North Korea, as well. Schelling’s way of thinking seems profoundly wise to me. With prudent possession, wisdom and luck, this record of non-battlefield use can continue to be extended. Nothing in the field of nuclear arms control and disarmament is more important than the nuclear “taboo,” and almost nothing could be more catastrophic than its demise.

Cold War Fact: Russia Planned to Attack NATO with Hundreds of Nuclear Weapons
The National InterestKyle Mizokami
Some historians insist that the Soviet Union had a “fairy-tale” mindset when it came to a hypothetical war in Europe and the use of nuclear weapons. It’s also worth noting that the United States has done all the same insane planning. America’s Single Integrated Operational Plan had thousands of nukes annihilating the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China.

The nuclear spotting AI that could reveal what North Korea is REALLY doing
Daily MailAnnie Palmer
A novel computational model has linked social media posts and satellite imagery – previously incompatible data points – in such a way that could be used to find out what’s happening in targeted locations.  The hope is that the system could be used to identify future violations of nuclear nonproliferation agreements, according to the study, which was funded in part by the US Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

How America’s Myopic Focus on Iran Hinders Its Russia Policy
War on the RocksAaron Stein
As scholars have long observed, great power politics is a story of tragedy. And the United States is facing a tragedy largely of its own making: The Trump administration’s myopic focus on Iran risks a break with European allies precisely at a moment when there is positive momentum — and a clear pathway — to redefine American grand strategy in Europe.


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