Top News Pompeo: ‘Ways to go’ before North Korea meets denuke vow NBC News German bomb debate goes nuclear Politico U.N. moves to unblock humanitarian aid to North Korea The Japan Times Trump and Kim exchange letters amid denuclearization doubts ABC News U.S. Sanctions Russian Bank Over North Korea Wall Street Journal East Asia North Korea says ‘unprecedented’ heat wave causing heavy crop damage The Japan Times8/3/18 North Korea on Thursday warned that an “unprecedented” heat wave has caused heavy damage to crops as it urged citizens to “join the struggle” to prevent drought-like conditions from worsening and hampering food production in the impoverished country. The Korean peninsula has been gripped by a scorching heat wave in recent weeks, with dozens of deaths in the South blamed on soaring temperatures that have hit all-time highs. U.N. moves to unblock humanitarian aid to North Korea The Japan Times8/3/18 The U.N. Security Council is poised to back a U.S. proposal aimed at removing some of the hurdles that tough sanctions on North Korea have thrown up in the way of delivering humanitarian aid, according to documents obtained by AFP. North Korea’s humanitarian crisis has left about 10 million people — nearly half of the population — undernourished, according to U.N. officials, who have reported a drop in food production last year. China calls for peace mechanism for Korean peninsula Reuters8/3/18 China on Thursday called for a push to establish a peace mechanism for the Korean peninsula as well as denuclearization. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he hoped the United States and North Korea – who agreed at a summit in June to end a nuclear standoff – would maintain contact and resolve each other’s concerns to have success in their talks. US urges North Korea to declare nuclear capabilities Financial Times8/2/18 The new US ambassador to South Korea has urged Pyongyang to declare its nuclear facilities as a “starting point” for the US and North Korea to call an official end to the Korean war. The comments by Harry Harris underscore the two adversaries’ divergent priorities, with the US pushing disarmament while North Korea increasingly focuses on signing a peace treaty first. Middle East Iran’s foreign minister says China ‘pivotal’ to salvaging its nuclear deal Reuters8/3/18 Iran’s foreign minister said on Friday China was “pivotal” to salvaging a multilateral nuclear agreement for the Middle Eastern country after the United States pulled out of the pact earlier this year. Russia/FSU/Europe German bomb debate goes nuclear Politico8/3/18 Imagine a nuclear-armed Germany. As Germany’s foreign policy establishment becomes increasingly convinced that Donald Trump’s aggressive rhetoric toward Berlin and NATO represents a seminal shift in transatlantic relations, some are daring to think the unthinkable. U.S. Sanctions Russian Bank Over North Korea Wall Street Journal8/3/18 The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on Russia’s Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank, saying it handled transactions for North Korea in violation of United Nations bans. South Asia India going ahead with Chabahar Port project despite US sanctions The Statesman8/3/18 Despite the threat of renewed UN sanctions against Tehran, India appears to be going ahead with the Chabahar Port project that provides it a critical transport link to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan. The first container ship carrying grain destined for Afghanistan from the Kandla Port berthed at Chabahar earlier this week. U.S. Nuclear Policy Trump and Kim exchange letters amid denuclearization doubts ABC News8/2/18 After receiving another letter from Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump on Thursday thanked the North Korean dictator for his “kind action” in handing over the possible remains of U.S. soldiers from the Korean War. But even as Trump praised Kim “for keeping his word,” there are deep doubts about the strength of the document the two men signed in Singapore and North Korea’s understanding of the “complete denuclearization” the U.S. is demanding and North Korea agreed to. Pompeo: ‘Ways to go’ before North Korea meets denuke vow NBC News8/3/18 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says North Korea is far from living up to its pledge to denuclearize and remains in violation of numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions. Speaking Friday before he attends an Asian security forum with North Korea’s foreign minister, Pompeo told reporters in Singapore there was “still a ways to go before” achieving the goal of ridding the North of its nuclear weapons. Pompeo, in Asia, to Hold Talks on Turkey, North Korea, Iran Wall Street Journal8/3/18 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a tour of Southeast Asia on Thursday with a plan to urge allied countries to maintain sanctions pressure against North Korea despite ongoing diplomatic efforts. Identification Work Begins on Korean War Remains Now in US U.S. News and World Report8/2/18 The U.S. military is beginning the painstaking process of analyzing remains from the Korean War now that they are back on American soil after having been handed over by North Korea last week. Vice President Mike Pence and the top commander of U.S. forces in Asia, Adm. Phil Davidson, formally received the remains contained in 55 caskets during an emotional and solemn ceremony Wednesday after they arrived by military cargo jets from South Korea. Opinion and Analysis Opposition to Trump’s New Low-Yield Nuclear Warhead All Things NuclearStephen Young 8/2/18 The Trump administration’s program to deploy a new, low-yield variant of the W76 warhead carried by U.S. submarine-launched ballistic missiles has faced relatively strong opposition in Congress, with almost all Democrats and several Republicans supporting legislation to eliminate or curb the program. Indeed, the low-yield warhead is clearly outside the “bipartisan consensus” that supporters have often claimed exists for the Obama administration’s 30-year, $1.7 trillion program to maintain and replace the entire U.S. nuclear stockpile and its supporting infrastructure. Trump gets the headlines on North Korea. But keep an eye on South Korea. Washington PostDavid Ignatius 8/2/18 Beyond the Trump White House, there remains much skepticism that North Korea will ever give up its nuclear weapons. Recent leaks about North Korea’s continuing efforts to build its nuclear and missile arsenal underline the concern that President Trump gave up more than he got in Singapore. But the public rhetoric from Washington and Pyongyang is warming, after a chill, and it’s backed by some real moves to ease tensions.