TOP NEWS Defense Ministry says it will seek funding for long-range cruise missiles Japan Times Russia says ready for talks with U.S. to try to save arms pact Reuters Wassenaar Arrangement Admits India as Its 42nd Member The Diplomat U.S. still open to dialogue with N.K. after pause in weapons testing: envoy Yonhap News Agency EAST ASIA Defense Ministry says it will seek funding for long-range cruise missiles Japan Times12/8/17 The Defense Ministry will request additional funding in the next fiscal year’s budget to procure long-range cruise missiles for fighter jets, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Friday. Onodera denied that the new acquisitions will constitute a shift in Japan’s strictly defense-oriented policy, under which the Self-Defense Forces do not possess the capability to strike other countries’ territory. Korea slams U.S. over growing talk of possible naval blockade Yonhap News Agency12/8/17 North Korea lashed out at the United States on Friday over the possible use of a naval blockade in the wake of its recent missile provocation, warning it would be tantamount to “war acts.” Moon urges efforts to build ‘stronger’ military to deter N. Korean provocations Yonhap News Agency12/8/17 President Moon Jae-in called on his top military officers Friday to build up the country’s defense capabilities to overwhelm and prevent North Korea from making any reckless provocations. During a meeting with some 150 military commanders, he also directed them to prepare for an early transfer of wartime operational control of South Korean troops from the United States. RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE Russia says ready for talks with U.S. to try to save arms pact Reuters12/8/17 Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it was ready for talks with the United States to try to keep a landmark arms control treaty that helped end the Cold War alive and that Moscow would comply with its obligations if the U.S. did. The ministry was referring to the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which was signed in 1987 and banned all Soviet and American short and intermediate-range land-based nuclear and conventional missiles. US development of ground-based cruise missile sparks Moscow’s concern over INF Treaty TASS12/8/17 The allocation of funds to develop a ground-based cruise missile under the US National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2018 heightens Moscow’s concerns over Washington’s commitment to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed 30 years ago, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with Kommersant. Russia chides Tillerson over U.S. rhetoric on North Korea Reuters12/7/17 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that U.S. military exercises and aggressive rhetoric were causing an unacceptable escalation in tension on the Korean peninsula, the Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday. Russia: Spike in radioactivity unrelated to nuclear plant Associated Press12/8/17 Russian authorities denied Friday that a radioactivity spike in the air over Europe resulted from a nuclear fuel plant leak in the Urals, saying their probe has found no release of radioactivity there. Andrei Ivanov of Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear corporation said that an inspection of the Mayak plant has proven that it wasn’t the source of Ruthenium-106, a radioactive isotope spotted in the air over Europe and Russia in late September and early October. SOUTH ASIA Wassenaar Arrangement Admits India as Its 42nd Member The Diplomat12/8/17 India has been admitted as the 42nd member of the Wassenaar Arrangement, a global export control regime. This development will burnish India’s nonproliferation credentials and broaden its access to sensitive technologies. On Thursday, the members of the Wassenaar Arrangement, during their two-day plenary meeting in Vienna, decided to admit India. U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY U.S. still open to dialogue with N.K. after pause in weapons testing: envoy Yonhap News Agency12/8/17 The United States would still be open to having dialogue with North Korea if the regime stopped its weapons testing and stated its willingness to hold talks, Washington’s envoy on its nuclear issue said Thursday. Conservative Trump ally Sen. Tom Cotton calls China more of a problem than partner in dealing with Pyongyang Japan Times12/8/17 Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said China has been “lying for 25 years” about wanting to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear capability. He accused Beijing of using North Korea as a diversion from economic warfare against the United States and other misbehavior. OPINION AND ANALYSIS Breaking the vicious cycle of the US-North Korea nuclear standoff Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsDuyeon Kim 12/7/17 [W]e must prevent such a nuclear crisis. To do so, Washington, Seoul, Beijing and the international community must curb Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development through diplomatic and economic pressure, while gearing up for negotiations for a diplomatic solution to all parties’ security concerns. It is High Time to do Away With the President’s Nuclear ‘Football’ Foreign PolicyThomas Keaney 12/8/17 The upcoming U.S. nuclear posture review needs to re-examine the conditions necessitating an immediate U.S. response with nuclear weapons (such as an attack that only the Russians now possess) and qualify presidential authority. Continuing with a Cold War process without specific limits should not be solely in the hands of this or any president. The time for doing nothing on North Korea is over The HillHerschel Campbell 12/8/17 There is no easy answer. However, not acting is simply no longer an option. The U.S. cannot tolerate an ICBM and nuclear–capable North Korea. It is not only a threat, but it establishes a dangerous precedent of non-action and would embolden our enemies. As Americans we must understand that this could result in a war with casualties unlike any we have seen since World War II. However, fear of a reaction by our enemies is paralyzing good decision-making. The time for doing nothing has run out. Reentry of North Korea’s Hwasong-15 Missile All Things Nuclear, David Wright 12/7/17 While we are still working through the details, this strongly implies that North Korea could use this missile to carry a nuclear warhead to cities throughout the United States. A final possible barrier people are discussing is whether Pyongyang has been able to develop a reentry vehicle that can successfully carry a warhead through the atmosphere to its target, while protecting the warhead from the very high stresses and heat of reentry. Dubious claim of week: Air Force’s “EMP missile” could disable N. Korean ICBMs Ars TechnicaSean Gallagher 12/7/17 [T]he odds of the US actually using CHAMP to fry a North Korean missile on the ground are extremely low—especially now that the news media have discussed the possibility. The announcement that discussions of doing so had happened were likely just to let North Korea know that the US has the capability to do so—to add uncertainty to future tests. The next time a launch fails, Kim Jong Un’s regime will be left asking if the failure was caused by a supply chain problem or by US microwave weapons. SPECIAL INTEREST US foresaw a costly victory in war with NKorea – in 1994 Associated Press12/8/17 Declassified documents published Friday show the United States believed its military and South Korea’s forces would “undoubtedly win” a conflict on the divided Korean Peninsula, with the understanding it would cost many casualties. The Pentagon estimated at the time that if war broke with Korea, some 52,000 American service members would be killed or wounded in the first three months. South Korean military casualties would total 490,000 in that time U.N. aviation agency not eyeing ‘no-fly’ zone around North Korea: sources Reuters12/7/17 The United Nations aviation agency is not considering the creation of a “no-fly” zone around North Korea because the direction of Pyongyang’s tests are not predictable, two sources familiar with the organization’s thinking said on Thursday.