Nuclear Policy News – December 13, 2018

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Top News

Kim Jong Un’s Seoul Trip on Ice as Korean Detente Cools
Wall Street Journal

North, South Korea check work to ease tension in ‘milestone’ step

Alone at UN, Pompeo blasts Iran nuclear deal, but searches for common ground on missile threat
ABC News


East Asia

Kim Jong Un’s Seoul Trip on Ice as Korean Detente Cools
Wall Street Journal12/12/18
Cracks in the hard-won detente between North and South Korea are emerging, raising doubts about the path ahead after a year of warming ties. With nuclear talks with the U.S. at a standstill and sanctions thwarting progress on inter-Korean economic projects, signs of Pyongyang’s frustration point to new obstacles in the rapprochement.

North, South Korea check work to ease tension in ‘milestone’ step
North and South Korean officials inspected work to ease tension on their militarized border on Wednesday, checking on the demolition of bunkers and probing for secret tunnels, despite scant progress on persuading the North to give up nuclear arms. The two sides destroyed 11 guard posts within 1 km (0.6 mile) of each side of the heavily fortified border and withdrew equipment and personnel late last month, as a first step in a military pact reached in September between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Middle East

The Latest: Iran accuses US of ‘lies’ about its missiles
Associated Press12/12/18
Iran’s deputy U.N. ambassador is accusing the United States of what he says is “another series of lies, fabrications, disinformation and deceptive statements” about the Iranian ballistic missile program. Eshagh Al Habib told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that “Iran’s ballistic missile program is designed to be exclusively capable of delivering conventional warheads required to deter foreign threats.” He said it is not to deliver nuclear weapons.

Alone at UN, Pompeo blasts Iran nuclear deal, but searches for common ground on missile threat
ABC News12/12/18
The U.S. was alone at the United Nations Security Council in blasting the Iran nuclear deal Wednesday, as the U.N., European Union, and several European allies praised the agreement for preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and expressed disappointment in the U.S. decision to withdraw, one month after all of its sanctions snapped back into place on Iran. Speaking before the Security Council, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the U.N. to reimpose a ban on Iran on all ballistic missile activity, saying afterwards, “Now it’s time for the Security Council to get serious about this real risk from proliferation from the Iranian regime.”

U.S. Nuclear Policy

U.S. wants U.N. to ban nuclear ballistic missile work by Iran
The United States will push the U.N. Security Council to toughen its stance to prevent Iran from working on ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and carrying out test launches, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday. Pompeo also told the Security Council an arms embargo on Iran should not be lifted in 2020 and called on the council to establish “inspection and interdiction measures, in ports and on the high seas, to thwart Iran’s continuing efforts to circumvent arms restrictions.”

Opinion and Analysis

The INF nuclear treaty is worth saving. Trump and Putin should give it a 6-month try.
USA TodayRichard Burt and Ellen Tauscher
Treaties should only remain in force if they benefit American and allied security, and sometimes treaties outlive their usefulness. But the INF still can protect these interests, and Russian security as well, if all sides are prepared to show that they remain in compliance.

The nuclear crisis makes clear: Time to reimagine arms control
The HillAndy Weber and Christine Parthemore
Trump and Putin still can save the INF Treaty. But whether it remains in force or is demolished, the crisis over its fate must mark the starting point in a new future for global arms control.

Special Interest

Facing Nuclear Reality: 35 Years After The Day After
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsDawn Stover
A look back at The Day After and the role played by ordinary citizens in a small Midwestern city shows how the risk of nuclear war took center stage in 1983, and what it would take for that to happen again in 2018.

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