Top News Trump thanks Kim for handing over remains of war dead BBC News Russia Is Issuing North Korean Work Permits Despite U.N. Ban Wall Street Journal North Korean Denuclearization Potentially Moving In ‘Positive Direction’: Gen. Hyten Breaking Defense East Asia Trump thanks Kim for handing over remains of war dead BBC News8/2/18 US President Donald Trump has said he looks forward to meeting Kim Jong-un, as he thanked him for handing over possible remains of US Korean War dead. In a tweet, Mr Trump also thanked the North Korean leader for his “nice letter”, without elaborating. Japan conveys support for Iran’s efforts to stick to nuclear deal The Japan Times8/2/18 Japan has conveyed its support to Iran for the Middle Eastern country’s efforts to implement an international nuclear deal despite the withdrawal of the United States, a Japanese official said Thursday. During his talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Singapore, Foreign Minister Taro Kono reiterated that Tokyo continues to support the 2015 nuclear agreement reached by Iran and six major powers including Washington, the official said. ‘Mini-storytellers’: Japanese children pass on horror of Nagasaki bombings The Guardian8/1/18 As more and more survivors who directly witnessed the nuclear attack die, students are taking on responsibility for telling their stories. Middle East Iran is seen readying major exercise as tensions with U.S. simmer Reuters8/1/18 The United States believes Iran is preparing to carry out a major exercise in the Gulf in the coming days, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington, U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday. Russia/FSU/Europe Russia Is Issuing North Korean Work Permits Despite U.N. Ban Wall Street Journal8/2/18 Russia is letting thousands of new North Korean laborers enter the country and issuing fresh work permits—actions U.S. officials say potentially violate United Nations sanctions aimed at cutting cash flows to Pyongyang and pressing it to give up nuclear weapons. U.S. Nuclear Policy North Korean Denuclearization Potentially Moving In ‘Positive Direction’: Gen. Hyten Breaking Defense8/1/18 Gen. John Hyten, the man who might wage nuclear war should North Korea strike, says the prospects for “the potential denuclearization” of North Korea are moving “in a positive direction” since the Singapore summit. “From my perspective, the belief in a potential denuclearization of North Korea has changed,” Hyten told me at a press roundtable during Strategic Command’s annual deterrence conference. “The direction that things are moving is a positive direction. I don’t think anyone can deny that.” Opinion and Analysis The Difficulty of Navigating Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea and Iran The National InterestPaul Pillar 8/2/18 So far, therefore, the comparison between the nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the current administration’s impetuous trashing of the JCPOA. Talking to Iran would be smart. Too bad Trump won’t have the chance. Washington PostJason Rezaian 8/1/18 Iran’s nuclear negotiators, led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, actually made a deal. There are few scenarios now in which they would be able to reengage with Washington. Instead, the war of words — along with the strange flirtations that have come to signify U.S.-Iran relations — is likely to continue, as ideologues in Tehran and Washington are back in the driver’s seat. Why is Europe underplaying its hand on Iran? Al-MonitorAxel Hellman 8/1/18 Britain, France and Germany have struggled to turn their criticism of US policy into credible action to salvage the JCPOA. One key reason for this shortcoming is that European governments are radically underestimating their leverage.