Top News: Ex-U.S. officials ask Japan leaders to accept no-first-use nuke plan Kyodo News North Korea developing nuclear, missile programs in 2021 -UN report Reuters France’s Macron calls on Iran again to return to nuclear talks Reuters United States Ex-U.S. officials ask Japan leaders to accept no-first-use nuke plan Kyodo News8/9/21 A group of former U.S. officials, including former Defense Secretary William Perry, and experts on nuclear disarmament sent an open letter Monday asking Japanese political parties not to oppose a “no-first-use” nuclear stance that may be announced by the United States. U.S. mulls changing course as nuclear talks stall: Iran snapshot Bloomberg8/9/21 The Biden administration faces the sobering reality that returning to the accord may no longer be feasible, as Tehran finds ways to cope with American sanctions and, potentially, build an atomic bomb. U.S. stresses diplomacy is ‘best path’ on Iran after Israelis threaten military action Newsweek8/9/21 The State Department has urged American allies to rely on diplomacy, not military action or threats, to stop Iran’s nuclear program, following last week’s belligerent remarks from Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. U.S. is concerned about China’s growing nuclear arsenal, Blinken tells Southeast Asian officials CNBC8/6/21 America’s top diplomat expressed concern to Southeast Asian foreign ministers about China’s growing nuclear arsenal, the State Department said Friday. ANALYSIS: Believe it or not: U.S. nuclear declaratory policy and calculated ambiguity War on the RocksMatthew Costlow 8/9/21 Words in the age of nuclear weapons have taken on even greater importance as the consequences for misperceptions can change — perhaps even end — civilization. Paradoxically though, clarity is not always preferable. U.S. nuclear strategists have long recognized there is a place for ambiguity in declaratory policy — stating one’s intentions and “red lines” clearly enough to deter attacks, but not so explicitly as to restrict freedom of action or encourage adversary aggression just short of the “red lines.” East Asia North Korea developing nuclear, missile programs in 2021 -UN report Reuters7/6/21 North Korea continued developing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs during the first half of 2021 in violation of international sanctions and despite the country’s worsening economic situation, according to an excerpt of a confidential United Nations report seen by Reuters on Friday. Middle East Iran nuclear talks could resume in September, says EU official The Times of Israel8/7/21 Iran is ready to resume talks reviving the nuclear deal with world powers under new president Ebrahim Raisi, and meetings could take place in Vienna from early September, a European Union official said on Saturday. Europe France’s Macron calls on Iran again to return to nuclear talks Reuters8/9/21 French President Emmanuel Macron urged Iran to resume talks on reviving its 2015 nuclear deal struck with world powers, the Elysee presidential palace said Monday in a statement issued shortly after a phone call between Macron and his Iranian counterpart. EU optimistic on nuclear deal despite Iran leadership change Politico8/7/21 European Union negotiators are optimistic on the chances of reviving the nuclear deal with Iran, despite the election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as the country’s new president, a senior EU official said Saturday. International Affairs UN chief hails Russian-U.S. arms control dialogue TASS8/9/21 UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed Russia’s and the United States’ aspiration for dialogue on arms control on the 76th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki. UN pledges full support to Nagasaki voices fuelling ‘powerful global movement’ against nuclear arms UN News8/8/21 In his message to the Nagasaki Peace Memorial on the 9 August anniversary, the UN Secretary-General said he continued to be humbled by the “selfless acts of the hibakusha, the name given to those who survived and continue to bear witness.