Nuclear Policy News – August 5, 2019

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U.S. Defense Secretary says he favors placing missiles in Asia

Iran to further reduce commitments to nuclear deal: foreign minister

Trump’s coalition of one

U.S. Nuclear Policy

US formally withdraws from nuclear treaty with Russia and prepares to test new missile
The US military prepares to test a new non-nuclear mobile-launched cruise missile developed specifically to challenge Moscow in Europe, according to a senior US defense official.

U.S. Defense Secretary says he favors placing missiles in Asia
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that he was in favor of placing ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in Asia relatively soon, a day after the United States withdrew from a landmark arms control treaty.

Warren’s pledge to avoid first nuclear strike sparks intense pushback
The Hill8/4/19
Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking heat from all sides over her proposal to make it official U.S. policy not to be the first to use a nuclear weapon.

Middle East

Iran to further reduce commitments to nuclear deal: foreign minister
Iran will take another step to reduce its compliance with a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday without elaborating

East Asia

North Korea is a no-show at Asian summit, snubbing Trump administration again
Los Angeles Times8/4/19
The Trump administration was hoping to quietly resume nuclear-disarmament talks with North Koreans at a major Asian summit here this week, but Pyongyang’s officials were a no-show.

‘Kim does not want to disappoint me:’ Trump downplays a series of North Korean ballistic missile launches
President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday to downplay a series of North Korean ballistic missile launches and defend its leader, Kim Jong Un.

S. Korea-U.S. military exercise begins despite N. Korea warnings
Kyodo News8/5/19
South Korea and the United States began a joint military drill Monday despite warnings from North Korea, South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong Doo told parliament.

Multilateral Arms Control

End of missile treaty leaves a major vacuum in NATO defense
New York Times8/2/19
NATO repeated its support for the United States’ decision to abandon the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement on Friday and said it would respond in a “measured and responsible way” to a deployment of missiles by Moscow that violated the pact.


Trump’s coalition of one
PoliticoNahal Toosi
The president has yet to get serious buy-in from other countries for an operation to protect oil tankers sailing past Iran.

With a Democrat, a cooler head would prevail on Iran
New York TimesCarol Giacomo
Leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are in agreement with most Americans on the U.S. rejoining the JCPOA

U.S.-D.P.R.K. negotiations: Time to pivot to an interim agreement
38 NorthRobert Einhorn
Prospects for overcoming the current impasse will depend heavily on whether the Trump administration is now prepared to recognize that the North is unwilling, at least at the present time, to give up its nuclear weapons—and whether, as a result, the administration is now prepared to consider an agreement that imposes significant constraints on DPRK capabilities but falls short of requiring complete denuclearization in an agreed time frame.

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