Nuclear Policy News – August 15, 2018

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Top News

South Korea’s Leader Proposes Broad Economic Cooperation With the North
New York Times

North Korea marks war anniversary, preps for big spectacle
Associated Press

U.S. sanctions on Iran hit an unintended target: Ordinary Iraqis
Washington Post


East Asia

South Korea seeks progress on denuclearization at Sept summit
A third summit of Korean leaders planned for next month will be a further step toward denuclearization of the peninsula and a peace treaty to end the Korean War, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to work toward denuclearization at a landmark summit in Singapore with U.S. President Donald Trump in June, but the two countries have since struggled to agree on how to reach that goal.

South Korea’s Leader Proposes Broad Economic Cooperation With the North
New York Times8/15/18
President Moon Jae-in of South Korea on Wednesday offered a bold vision for economic cooperation with North Korea, including joint economic zones along the countries’ border and a linked rail network — provided that the North takes real steps toward giving up its nuclear weapons. “We must overcome division for our survival and prosperity,” Mr. Moon said in a speech marking National Liberation Day, which marks the end of Japan’s colonial rule over a then-unified Korea with the Allied victory in World War II.

North Korea marks war anniversary, preps for big spectacle
Associated Press8/15/18
North Korea marked the anniversary of the end of World War II and its liberation from Japanese colonial rule with a series of ceremonies ahead of what is expected to be a much bigger event next month — the 70th anniversary of its national foundation day. The celebrations Wednesday were decidedly low-key.

Middle East

U.S. sanctions on Iran hit an unintended target: Ordinary Iraqis
Washington Post8/14/18
The Trump administration’s decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran is rebounding on neighboring Iraq, hitting investors with dramatic losses at a time when the American ally is already facing unrest because of tough economic conditions.

South Asia

India Mulls 50% Iran Oil Cut to Win U.S. Waiver
India, the second biggest crude customer for Iran, may cut its imports from the Islamic republic by half to secure a waiver from the U.S. to continue with shipments, people familiar with the matter said. Officials from the U.S. had discussed the issue of a conditional waiver on sanctions in talks last month in New Delhi, the people said, requesting not to be identified as the discussion was private.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Space-based laser weapons could ultimately take out missile threats in boost phase
Defense News8/14/18
The Pentagon is eyeing space-based laser weapons technology as the ultimate solution to defeat a missile threat in its boost phase of flight, but the Defense Department is not yet at a point where it has determined the best possible solution. “Waiting until an adversary is in midcourse [phase of flight] is giving the adversary a free pass to launch,” Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, told reporters during a media roundtable at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium.

Construction issues still plague Polish Aegis Ashore site
Defense News8/14/18
Construction issues that have plagued the Polish Aegis Ashore missile defense site remain unresolved, but the U.S. Missile Defense Agency continues to work toward a resolution, according to the MDA director. Earlier this year, Gen. Samuel Greaves testified during several congressional hearings that the Aegis Ashore site in Poland would not reach its initial operational capability in 2018, but instead was delayed until calendar year 2020.

Opinion and Analysis

Why sanctions against Iran won’t make America safer
CNNDavid Andelman
Don’t count on sanctions to drive Iran to Donald Trump’s bargaining table. Bill Clinton tried that gambit 20 years go. It led to a decade of grief and misery for the Iranian people and set the world even closer to a nuclear-armed Iran.

Special Interest

Short Story Contest: A Day In The Life Of The Space Force, 2050
War on the Rocks8/13/18
Last week, the Trump administration outlined its plans to establish the sixth branch of the U.S. military: the Space Force. The force will supposedly be stood up by 2020, and the administration is already building hype with proposed logos and presidential tweets. Three decades from now, what will this new force look like? What kinds of people will make up its ranks, where will it go, and what wars will it wage – or deter? We invite you to envision – through fictional short stories – a day in the life of the Space Force in 2050. Please send us your most creative and vivid ruminations.

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