Nuclear Policy News – February 6, 2019

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2nd North Korea Nuclear Summit Will Take Place In Vietnam This Month, Trump Says

French Air Force Rehearses A Long-Range Nuclear Strike
Defense News

In Japan, Angela Merkel Warns Against Handling North Korea Naively
Deutsche Welle

East Asia

2nd North Korea Nuclear Summit Will Take Place In Vietnam This Month, Trump Says
A second nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is scheduled for the end of the month in Vietnam. President Trump made the announcement during Tuesday’s State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.

North Korea Is Making Sure Its Nukes Survive If The U.S. Strikes
Vice News2/5/2019
North Korea is taking measures to ensure its nuclear missiles cannot be taken out by U.S. military strikes, U.N. monitors said Monday.

In Japan, Angela Merkel Warns Against Handling North Korea Naively
Deutsche Welle2/5/2019
Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with Emperor Akihito on the second and final day of her visit to Japan. Without mentioning Donald Trump or US policy explicitly, Merkel said it was important not to simply listen to promises from Pyongyang on the issue of nuclear disarmament. With a view on Japan in particular, she advised against “striking deals there now at the expense of third parties.”


Russia Conducts Test of Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile
The Diplomat2/6/2019
Russia conducted a partially successful test of its developmental nuclear-powered cruise missile, the Burevestnik, on January 29, 2019, according to U.S. government sources with knowledge of Russia’s weapons programs. The test is the thirteenth to date to involve the experimental Burevestnik.

French Air Force Rehearses A Long-Range Nuclear Strike
Defense News2/5/2019
The French Air Force has successfully practiced a nuclear strike mission, sending aircraft on an 11-hour mission to sneak a nuclear-capable cruise missile through simulated enemy air defenses and nail it into the sands of a test range south of Bordeaux.

Now France Wants Hypersonic Missiles by 2021
The National Interest2/4/2019
Project V-MaX (Experimental Maneuvering Vehicle) aims to create a hypersonic glider with a speed of more than 3,700 miles per hour, or Mach 5, by 2021.

Middle East

IAEA Director General Visits Egypt, Highlights Support for Peaceful Nuclear Energy
International Atomic Energy Agency2/5/2019
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi talked of the importance of establishing a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East and Mr Amano reiterated the IAEA’s support and willingness to make available its experience in nuclear safeguards.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Donald Trump’s Nuclear Weapons Treaty Exit Opposed by Most in U.S., Including Republicans
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a key nuclear weapons treaty was opposed by most people in the United States, including fellow members of his Republican Party, a new survey conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation and Center for International and Security Studies has shown.

Opinion and Analysis

A Nuclear First Strike Should Still Be an Option for America
– Tyler Cowen
Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate introduced legislation last week to prevent the U.S. from using nuclear weapons unless first attacked by nuclear weapons from another country. The use of nuclear weapons remains the most important issue we face as a civilization. It is thus especially important that U.S. policy both engage with allies and reflect the lessons of game theory and nuclear weapons.

Special Interest

The Cost to Clean Up America’s Cold War Nuclear Waste Jumps to $377 Billion
Popular Mechanics2/5/2019
A new report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) estimates the total cleanup cost for the radioactive contamination incurred developing and producing these weapons at a staggering $377 billion, a number that jumped by more than $100 billion in just one year.

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