Nuclear Policy News – February 24, 2020

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Top News

The U.S. Navy’s new nuclear cruise missile starts getting real next year
Defense News

South Korea seeks ‘speedy resumption’ of U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks

U.S. can’t continue tolerating Russian ‘noncompliance’ on Open Skies, says Esper
Defense News

United States

NNSA seeks $53M for W93 in fiscal 2021, won’t disclose first production unit date
Exchange Monitor2/21/20
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is seeking $53 million in fiscal 2021 for the planned W93 sea-based ballistic-missile warhead: two years sooner than the agency previously thought it would need funding for the weapon.

The U.S. Navy’s new nuclear cruise missile starts getting real next year
Defense News2/21/20
The Pentagon intends to create a program of record for a new nuclear-armed, submarine-launched cruise missile in its next budget request, with the goal of deploying the weapon in 7-10 years, according to a senior defense official.

Pentagon chief visits nuke base to highlight weapon spending
Associated Press2/20/20
Defense Secretary Mark Esper used his first-ever visit to a nuclear missile field in frigid North Dakota to tout the Trump administration’s multibillion-dollar plan for a top-to-bottom modernization of the nuclear arsenal.

East Asia

South Korea seeks ‘speedy resumption’ of U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks
South Korea’s foreign minister called on Monday for a quick resumption of stalled U.S.-North Korean nuclear talks, adding that her government stood ready to engage with Pyongyang to facilitate dialogue.

North Korea’s Sinpo South shipyard: low-level activity
38 North2/20/20
Recent commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Sinpo South Shipyard indicates a low level of activity continues.

U.S. Senate panel to hold hearing on N. Korea policy
Korea Herald2/20/20
A U.S. Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing next week with former U.S. government officials to discuss North Korea policy, the panel’s website showed Wednesday.

OPINION- Why Donald Trump should extend nuclear arms treaty with Russia now and worry about China later
South China Morning PostWill Saetren
When things go wrong, the Unite States likes to be able to point the finger of blame at others.

Middle East

Austrian minister to travel to Iran amid nuclear tensions
Associated Press2/19/20
Austria’s foreign minister said Wednesday that he will travel to Tehran this weekend amid efforts by European countries to keep alive Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers.


Esper plays nuclear war: Russia nukes Europe, U.S. fires back
Defense One2/21/20
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper took part in a classified military drill this week in which Russia and the United States traded nuclear strikes, Pentagon officials said on background Friday.

OPINION: Russia’s ground-based nuclear shield set to become invulnerable
Russia BeyondVitaly V. Kuzmin
In five years, Russia will complete the modernization of its nuclear arsenal, including missiles.

ANALYSIS: Russia’s shifting views of multilateral nuclear arms control with China
BrookingsSteven Pifer
Over the past year, President Donald Trump and administration officials have made clear the importance they attach to engaging China in nuclear arms control along with Russia.

South Asia

ANALYSIS: The U.S.-India relationship Is bigger than Trump and Modi
The AtlanticWilliam J Burns
For sheer political spectacle, encounters between Donald Trump and Narendra Modi are hard to top.

Opinion: To subdue China U.S. might start Arms Race between Pakistan & India
Global VillageRimal Irfan
As U.S. President Donald Trump‘s maiden visit to India draws near, the country is racing, desperately, to erect walls to cover up the city’s slums and hide these unseemly sights.

Multilateral Arms Control

U.S. can’t continue tolerating Russian ‘noncompliance’ on Open Skies, says Esper
Defense News2/20/20
The U.S. has yet to make a determination on whether to remain in the Open Skies arms control agreement, but Defense Secretary Mark Esper is warning that America “can’t continue” to tolerate Russian “noncompliance” with the treaty.

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