Nuclear Policy News – August 6, 2021

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Top News:

U.S. urges Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi to resume nuclear talks
BBC News

North Korea conducting tests at reactor site: UN report

Russia to begin testing hypersonic missile from nuclear submarine

United States

Blinken expresses U.S. concern about China’s growing nuclear arsenal
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed deep concern about China’s growing nuclear arsenal during a meeting with foreign ministers of Asian countries and partner nations, a statement released on Friday said.

U.S. urges Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi to resume nuclear talks
BBC News8/5/21
The U.S. has called on Iran’s new president to return to talks on reviving a historic nuclear deal.

East Asia

North Korea conducting tests at reactor site: UN report
North Korea has conducted tests at the Yongbyon nuclear complex recently, according to a draft U.N. report obtained by Nikkei.

Top diplomats of United States, South Korea discuss ways to engage North Korea
While the allies both want North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and end its missile programme, they have at times disagreed on the approach, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in keen to build economic ties between the two Koreas while the United States has long insisted on action on denuclearisation as a first step.

Hiroshima marks 76th anniversary of U.S. atomic bombing
Associated Press8/6/21
Hiroshima on Friday marked the 76th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing, as the mayor of the Japanese city urged global leaders to unite to eliminate nuclear weapons just as they are united against the coronavirus.

Middle East

Israel is ready to strike Iran to stop its aggression, nuclear program – Gantz
The Jerusalem Post8/6/21
Israel is ready to strike Iran, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday, as tensions between the two countries continue to mount following a deadly drone attack eight days ago against a civilian commercial ship in the Persian Gulf.

ANALYSIS: The limits of military coercion in halting Iran’s nuclear weapons programme
Observer Research FoundationKunal Singh
This brief argues that military means are unlikely to sabotage the nuclear weapons programme of an advanced-stage bomb-seeker like Iran. Moreover, use of force could be counterproductive as it can incentivise Iran’s pursuit of the bomb, and it may erode the confidence required for diplomatic negotiations that can possibly help cease the weapons programme.


Russia to begin testing hypersonic missile from nuclear submarine
Tests of a hypersonic missile from a Russian submarine carrier are reportedly scheduled to take place at the end of August as Moscow proceeds apace with its plans to arm its underwater fleet with the deadly weapons.

ANALYSIS: Russia, the U.S. and the post-New START agenda
International Institute for Strategic StudiesWilliam Alberque and Chelsey Wiley
The relaunch of a bilateral US−Russia dialogue focused on reducing the risk of nuclear war might not necessarily produce a New START follow-up treaty, but, as William Alberque and Chelsey Wiley argue, it is nonetheless a significant contribution to risk reduction between the world’s two largest nuclear states.

ANALYSIS: U.S.-Russia Arms Talks: A Difficult Dance in Geneva
CEPAKurt Volker
The stated goal of the recent strategic stability talks in Geneva between the United States and Russia is to lay the foundations for a future nuclear arms control agreement. Until rigorous conditions are met, however, there will be no agreement that serves U.S. security interests.

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