Nuclear Policy News – August 23, 2018

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Top News

Trying to keep nuclear deal alive, EU unveils Iran aid
Washington Post

John Bolton meets Russian counterpart in Helsinki summit follow-up
The Guardian

Why Should North Korea Give Up Its Nuclear Weapons?
New York Times 

East Asia

North Korea nuclear diplomacy and pressure
Voice of America8/22/2018
The commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, General Vincent Brooks, said Wednesday that, while nuclear diplomacy with North Korea may be successful, Washington must continue applying pressure so that ‘there’s not a reason or even an ability’ for the North to back off.

Second Trump-Kim meeting could boost nuclear talks: ex-CIA official
Yonhap News Agency8/23/2018
A second meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could give a boost to negotiations to dismantle the North’s nuclear weapons program, a former U.S. intelligence official said Wednesday.

Images indicate North Korea halted dismantling of launch site: think tank
Satellite photos from last week indicate North Korea halted work to dismantle a missile engine test site in the first part of August, in spite of a promise to U.S. President Donald Trump at a June summit, a Washington think tank reported on Wednesday.

Middle East

Trying to keep nuclear deal alive, EU unveils Iran aid
Washington Post8/23/2018
The European Union is announcing its first financial support package to help bolster Iran’s flagging economy, part of the bloc’s commitment to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive.

Merkel cool on EU independent payment system to save Iran deal
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she agreed with her foreign minister that relations with the United States were changing but she stopped short of backing his call for a separate EU payments system to save a nuclear deal with Iran.

Iranians feeling ‘imprisoned’ in their country as Trump sanctions bite
Washington Post8/23/2018
With the Trump administration reimposing sanctions aimed at cutting off Iran economically from the world, it’s the Iranian people who are feeling isolated.


John Bolton meets Russian counterpart in Helsinki summit follow-up
The Guardian8/23/2018
The US and Russia are expected to agree to resume a dialogue on nuclear arms and other strategic issues when their security officials meet in Geneva. The meeting on Thursday between John Bolton, the US national security adviser, and his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, is a follow-up to the Helsinki summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in July.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

An Air Force Stealth B-2 Spirit Just Test-Dropped a Nuclear Bomb
The National Interest8/23/2018
The Air Force’s B-2 Stealth bomber has test-dropped an upgraded, multi-function B61-12 nuclear bomb which improves accuracy, integrates various attack options into a single bomb and changes the strategic landscape with regard to nuclear weapons mission possibilities.

Opinion and Analysis

Why Should North Korea Give Up Its Nuclear Weapons?
New York Times David C. Kang
To reach a final deal on the denuclearization of North Korea, the Trump administration must give up something substantial. But Washington isn’t budging.

Special Interest

Brazil Considers the Nuclear Option
For four years, a corruption scandal has kept Brazil down for the count on some of its biggest projects, including a third nuclear energy plant. Now, however, things appear set to change as the country emerges from the graft probe and stalled construction work resumes on nuclear facilities — particularly the third nuclear plant. Boasting the world’s sixth-largest uranium reserves, Brazil is also eager to attract investments to its uranium-mining industry, including the Caetite mine in the northeastern state of Bahia. In all, Brazil hopes to meet the demand for nuclear plants, construct a multipurpose nuclear reactor and further harness atomic energy for medicine and agriculture. But in turning its face once more to nuclear power, Brazil could also leave the door open to the production of nuclear weapons — a development that could elicit far more pushback at home and abroad.

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