Nuclear Policy News – February 27, 2019

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Donald Trump And Kim Jong Un Kick Off Hanoi Nuclear Summit
Financial Time

India Pakistan: Kashmir Fighting Sees Indian Aircraft Downed
BBC News

US Nuclear General Worries Over Russia’s Weapons Outside New START

East Asia

Donald Trump And Kim Jong Un Kick Off Hanoi Nuclear Summit
Financial Times2/27/2019
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have begun their two-day summit in Hanoi, as the US president tries to revive efforts to persuade the North Korean leader to follow through on his pledge to abandon his nuclear weapons.

Trump and Kim Open Second Nuclear Summit in Hanoi
France 242/27/2019
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump met in Hanoi on Wednesday for their second summit, with the US president saying he will not back down on US demands for North Korea’s denuclearisation.

Seeking North Korea Deal, Trump Seems Willing to Ease U.S. Demands
New York Times2/26/2019
When he vowed to “solve” the North Korea problem just before his inauguration two years ago, President Trump made clear he meant eliminating its nuclear arsenal.

Russia Edges into Nuclear Talks Ahead of Kim-Trump Summit
Washington Post2/27/2019
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov inserted himself into the high-stakes nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea ahead of the second meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam’s capital on Wednesday.

As Trump And Kim Meet, One Of Beijing’s Chief Concerns Is The US-South Korea Alliance
China supports the reunification of North and South Korea, but Beijing is deeply worried about Seoul’s security alliance with the U.S., according to one analyst.

South Asia

India Pakistan: Kashmir Fighting Sees Indian Aircraft Downed
BBC News2/27/2019
The aerial attacks across the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Indian and Pakistani territory are the first since a war in 1971. The BBC’s Soutik Biswas, in Delhi, says the challenge for India and Pakistan now is to contain the latest escalation before things get completely out of control.

Imran Khan To Consult Nuclear Chiefs After India’s First Air Strike on Pakistan In Decades
ABC News2/27/2019
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will stage an emergency parliamentary session and meet with the body in control of Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal in response to India’s first air strikes on Pakistan since 1971.

Middle East

Iran President Rejects Resignation of Moderate Ally Zarif
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected the resignation of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday, standing by a moderate ally long targeted by hardliners in factional struggles over a 2015 nuclear deal with the West.


US Nuclear General Worries Over Russia’s Weapons Outside New START
In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, the head of U.S. Strategic Command said Russia is developing a nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered underwater unmanned vehicle, an intercontinental-range cruise missile, and a hypersonic nuclear weapon, which Moscow wants to keep out of existing arms agreements.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Navy’s New Nuke Sub on Track; Early Problems Fixed
Breaking Defense2/26/2019
The head of the Navy’s Columbia-class nuclear submarine program says that the program, despite earlier concerns over cost, schedule, and industrial base issues, is set to meet its goal of a first deployment in 2031, putting the service’s most expensive and consequential program on track.

Department of Energy Says First Low-Yield, Sub-Launched Nuke Warhead is Ready for Battle
Defense Daily2/26/2019
The Department of Energy certified Friday that a new low-yield, submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead is battle ready, the agency said Monday.

Opinion and Analysis

Can Trump Avoid Caving to Kim in Vietnam?
New York Times – Susan Rice2/26/2019
The United States can make progress toward reducing the North Korean nuclear threat if Mr. Trump is disciplined in his diplomacy.

Is War Coming to South Asia?
Al Jazeera – Happymon Jacob2/27/2019
Military standoffs or escalations between India and Pakistan are not new, nor is the use of military means to settle scores. However, what sets this round of escalation apart is that this is the first time since the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war that the two countries attack targets deep within each other’s territories.

After India’s Strike on Pakistan, Both Sides Leave Room for De-escalation
New York Times – Maria Abi-Habib2/26/2019
For the first time in five decades, Indian warplanes crossed into Pakistan and conducted airstrikes on Tuesday. But in the jarring escalation of hostilities, the leadership of each nuclear-armed country also appeared to leave itself a way out of pushing the conflict into war.

Trump-Kim Summit in Vietnam: What Is On The Table?
The Guardian – Julian Borger2/27/2019
A move to limit the North Korean arsenal and begin to re-integrate the country back into the international community, would be a significant step away from the brink of nuclear war.

Special Interest

South Africa Commits to UN Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons
South Africa this week became the 22nd state in the world to submit its ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) to the United Nations.

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