Nuclear Policy News – February 22, 2019

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2nd Trump-Kim Summit Crucial Moment for Moon’s Presidency
Washington Post

New Cuban Missile Crisis? Bring it on says Russia’s Putin
Al Jazeera

The United States Is Still Trying to Sell North Korea on Denuclearization
The Atlantic

East Asia

Closing Nuclear Facility on Table As US-NKorea Summit Nears
Washington Post2/22/2019
The Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, the heart of the North’s nuclear development and research, is Kim’s biggest carrot as he tries to win security guarantees and free his country from the U.S.-backed trade sanctions that are hobbling its economy.

2nd Trump-Kim Summit Crucial Moment for Moon’s Presidency
Washington Post2/21/2019
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean President Moon Jae-in has staked his legacy on the stunning diplomatic progress he has forged with North Korea, as well as the behind-the-scenes orchestration of the U.S.-North Korean summits.

North Korea Sees Nuclear Weapons as Key to Its Survival
CBS News2/22/2019
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sees nuclear weapons, not alliances, as the “ultimate guarantor” of survival, according to former top CIA analyst Jung Pak.

The North Korea Summit Nobody Wanted
President Donald Trump is eagerly anticipating his second summit with Kim Jong Un, touting his “really meaningful” relationship with the North Korean strongman and insisting he’s ready to give up his nuclear arsenal. In Washington, he’s pretty much the only one who feels that way.


Putin Ratchets Up Nuclear Warning Against U.S.
Wall Street Journal2/20/2019
Mr. Putin said Russia wasn’t seeking a confrontation with the U.S. and wouldn’t make the first move to deploy the missiles. But if Washington has such plans once it abandons the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, this “will be a serious threat to us” and Russia will be “forced to provide for mirror and symmetrical actions,” he said.

New Cuban Missile Crisis? Bring it on says Russia’s Putin
Al Jazeera2/21/2019
Russia’s military is ready for its own “Cuban Missile Crisis” if the United States is foolish enough to want one and Moscow has the edge when it comes to a nuclear-first attack, President Vladimir Putin said.

Middle East

House Democrats Probe White House Push To Transfer Nuclear Technology To Riyadh
Then-White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and other senior officials pushed the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, despite objections from ethical and national security officials, according to a congressional report based in whistleblower accounts.


Trump Accidentally Just Triggered Global Nuclear Proliferation
Foreign PolicySarah Bidgood
Before the United States killed it, the INF Treaty didn’t just stem the arms race with Russia—it stopped the spread of nuclear weapons around the world.

Why Was The Trump Administration So Eager To Give Nuclear Technology To The Reckless Saudi Regime?
Washington PostEditorial Board
It would seem common-sensical for the United States to avoid transferring any nuclear technology to his regime without ironclad guarantees that it could not be used to build bombs. Yet the Trump administration appears to have persisted in considering proposals to do just that — in part at the urging of senior officials and lobbyists with troubling conflicts of interest.

The United States Is Still Trying to Sell North Korea on Denuclearization
The AtlanticUri Friedman
Days before Donald Trump’s second summit with Kim Jong Un, an administration official admits that Kim may not be prepared to part with his nuclear weapons.

Special Interest

Here’s What Happened To A Navy Plane That’s Vital To America’s Nuclear Triad
Navy Times2/21/2019
A Navy aircraft designed to keep U.S. leaders connected during a nuclear war was damaged while being towed out of a hangar at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma earlier this month, officials confirmed Wednesday.

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