Nuclear Policy News – December 12, 2018

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Kim Jong Un Is Unlikely to Visit South Korea Before End of 2018

Test Validates New US Interceptor for European, Japanese Missile Shields
Defense One

Our deep divide over nuclear disarmament
The HillRebecca Davis Gibbons


East Asia

Kim Jong Un Is Unlikely to Visit South Korea Before End of 2018
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is not expected to visit the South before the end of the year, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office said Wednesday. Kim may still travel to Seoul in January for what could mark the first trip by any North Korean leader to the South’s capital, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said in a text message.

In China Visit, North Korea’s Foreign Minister Says Pyongyang Committed To Denuclearization
Associated Press/The Diplomat12/12/18
North Korea’s foreign minister said his country remains committed to ending its nuclear weapons program in talks Friday with his Chinese counterpart, according to China’s Foreign Ministry. The talks in Beijing between North Korea’s Ri Yong Ho and China’s Wang Yi came amid a lack of progress in international efforts to persuade North Korea to reverse its drive to build a nuclear arsenal.

Kim Jong-un Beauty Masks Are Pulled Off Shelves in South Korea
New York Times12/12/18
South Korea is known for its robust beauty industry, with the country’s focus on personal appearance so intense that it has recently drawn a backlash. But now the industry faces unwelcome attention of a different sort: a company’s decision to market Kim Jong-un beauty masks — complete with “nuclear bomb” packaging that promises to moisturize and whiten the face — has led to such an uproar that the product has been pulled from some store shelves.


Moscow slams U.S. ‘hysteria’ over nuclear-capable supersonic bombers sent to Caracas
Japan Times12/12/18
The Kremlin on Tuesday slammed Washington’s “undiplomatic” response to its deployment of two bomber planes to Venezuela for exercises. Two Russian long-range strategic bombers landed in Venezuela on Monday for what the Venezuelan government said were air force exercises aimed at strengthening the defense of the leftist-ruled South American country.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Test Validates New US Interceptor for European, Japanese Missile Shields
Defense One12/11/18
The new interceptor missile that will arm land-based missile defenses in Europe and Japan has passed a key test, the Pentagon said Tuesday. In a late-night test on Monday, a Raytheon SM-3 IIA interceptor lifted off from Hawaii and shot down a mock intermediate-range missile over the Pacific, Missile Defense Agency officials said.

Gap continues to widen between Trump and intelligence community on key issues
Washington Post12/11/18
President Trump continues to reject the judgments of U.S. spy agencies on major foreign policy fronts, creating a dynamic in which intelligence analysts frequently see troubling gaps between the president’s public statements and the facts laid out for him in daily briefings on world events, current and former U.S. officials said. [P]residential distrust that once seemed confined mainly to the intelligence community’s assessments about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election has spread across a range of global issues. Among them are North Korea’s willingness to abandon its nuclear weapons program, Iran’s nuclear and regional ambitions, the existence and implications of global climate change, and the role of the Saudi crown prince in the killing of a dissident journalist.

Opinion and Analysis

Our deep divide over nuclear disarmament
The HillRebecca Davis Gibbons
The nuclear nonproliferation treaty is unlikely to be a useful mechanism for promoting nuclear nonproliferation in perpetuity if the majority of its membership no longer buys the basic bargain: that those without nuclear weapons will not acquire them, those with nuclear weapons will take efforts to get rid of them.

Special Interest

Book Review: Indian Nuclear Policy
The DiplomatAnkit Panda
Many authors—Indian and non-Indian—have told parts of the story of India’s emergence as a nuclear weapons state, but none have done so as concisely and completely as Harsh Pant and Yogesh Joshi. The authors—a security scholar and historian, respectively—have published a five-chapter, 165-page, pocket-sized account of India’s nuclear policy as part of Oxford University Press’s “India Short Introductions” series. The result is an eminently readable crystallization of India’s nuclear story.

‘I Just Don’t Think It’s the Right Approach.’ Ambassador Christopher Hill on Why North Korea May Be Taking the U.S. for a Ride
TIMEInterview with Christopher Hill
Christopher Hill knows a thing or two about negotiating with North Korea. Currently Professor of the Practice in Diplomacy at the University of Denver, Ambassador Hill spoke to TIME by phone about the best way to leverage the recent warming of relations between Seoul and Pyongyang to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

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