TOP NEWS Nuclear-Armed India and Pakistan Face Off in Renewed Escalation Bloomberg Iran’s Rouhani Stands by Moderate Ally Zarif After Surprise Resignation Reuters The Hanoi US-North Korea Summit: Why Pyongyang’s Crippled Economy Is Central The Diplomat South Asia Nuclear-Armed India and Pakistan Face Off in Renewed Escalation Bloomberg2/25/2019 It’s the biggest escalation between South Asia’s nuclear-armed rivals in decades and with a bitterly contested national election in India just weeks away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to exploit his military’s air strikes on a terrorist camp inside Pakistan Tuesday. East Asia The Hanoi US-North Korea Summit: Why Pyongyang’s Crippled Economy Is Central The Diplomat2/25/2019 There is debate on whether North Korea has slowly grown inured to aid since the 1990s, or it deliberately stalled economic development to concentrate resources on its military, but there is consensus on its enduring long-term need for aid. A peace declaration seems one of the possible outcomes of the summit, yet how can North Korea and the U.S. envision peace without solving this issue? Trump’s North Korea Summit Goal: Lock in the Steps to Denuclearization The Wall Street Journal2/24/2019 President Trump will press North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to take his first irrevocable steps toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula when the two leaders meet this week for a second summit in less than a year. Trump-Kim Summit in Vietnam: All the Latest Updates Al Jazeera2/26/2019 US and North Korean leaders to meet in Hanoi for high-stakes summit, eight months after landmark meeting in Singapore. Middle East Iran’s Zarif says he resigned ‘to protect the integrity’ of the Foreign Ministry Washington Post2/26/2019 ISTANBUL — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tuesday that he submitted his shock resignation to “defend the integrity” of the country’s Foreign Ministry, a move that roiled Iranian markets and has threatened to further unravel Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Iran’s Rouhani Stands by Moderate Ally Zarif After Surprise Resignation Reuters2/25/2019 President Hassan Rouhani stood behind one of his highest profile allies in Iran’s moderate faction on Tuesday, holding back from accepting the resignation Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, which an ally blamed on criticism of the 2015 nuclear deal. Russia/FSU/Europe From the Pentagon to Camp David, Russian state TV lists US nuclear targets after Vladimir Putin’s warning to Washington South China Morning Post2/26/2019 Russian state television has listed US military and strategic facilities that Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike, and said that a hypersonic missile Russia is developing would be able to hit them in less than five minutes. Without the INF Treaty, Europe could see a new missile power (Spoiler: It’s not Russia) Washington Post2/26/2019 More than a bilateral arrangement, the treaty also curtailed missile programs in former Soviet states, including Ukraine. The death of the INF could unshackle Ukraine’s missile program, too. Here’s what you need to know. Opinion and Analysis Trump, Kim And the Hanoi Summit — At Best, A Peace Mirage Los Angeles Times – Sue Mi Terry2/25/2019 Talk of a Nobel Peace Prize for President Trump, commonplace among his supporters before his first summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has been revived in advance of their second summit, in Hanoi this week. Indeed, the Japanese news media have reported that Trump asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to nominate him. But will the summit produce a breakthrough for peace or merely a peace mirage? After Terrorist Attack in Kashmir, Will India Seek Vengeance or De-Escalation? Washington Post – Christopher Clary2/25/2019 Once begun, tit-for-tat spirals are inherently dangerous — and almost unheard of between nuclear-armed nations. The losing country has an incentive to escalate, and that makes it difficult to keep a conflict limited. As Carl von Clausewitz observed nearly two centuries ago, this pushes conflict toward extremes. Special Interest The Iranian Nuclear Archive: Implications and Recommendations Institute for Science and International Security2/25/2019 An unappreciated development over the last year was Israel’s seizure in Tehran of significant portions of a “Nuclear Archive” that contained tens of thousands of files and CDs relating to Iran’s past efforts at nuclear weapon design, development, and manufacturing. It is now apparent that the archive is extremely rich in new information about Iran’s substantial, rapidly advancing nuclear weapons effort in the early 2000s.