Top News:

Iran holds missile drill in Gulf of Oman amid tensions
Associated Press

Acting NNSA Chief Bookless leaving on inauguration day
Exchange Monitor

Kim Jong-Un uses party congress to double down on nuclear program
New York Times

United States

Acting NNSA Chief Bookless leaving on inauguration day
Exchange Monitor1/13/21
William Bookless will resign as acting administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) on inauguration day, Jan. 20, setting up career civil servant David Huizenga to shepherd the nuclear-weapons agency.

ANALYSIS: ICBMs and their importance for allied assurances and security
NIPPMichaela Dodge
1/11/21
Since the development of U.S. intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs), every U.S. administration—both Republican and Democratic—has considered them indispensable to U.S. national security.

ANALYSIS: Nuclear notebook: United States nuclear weapons, 2021
Bulletin of Atomic ScientistsHans Kristensen, Matt Korda
1/12/21
At the beginning of 2021, the US Defense Department maintained an estimated stockpile of 3,800 nuclear warheads for delivery by 800 ballistic missiles and aircraft.

East Asia

Kim Jong-Un uses party congress to double down on nuclear program
New York Times1/13/21
The North Korean leader said his economic policies had failed, but he called his nuclear arms buildup one of the great feats “in the history of the Korean nation.”

North Korea’s Kim urges stronger military capabilities as party congress ends
Reuters1/12/21
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for maximum military power and greater nuclear war deterrence, state news agency KCNA reported on Wednesday, as a rare ruling party congress came to a close after eight days of policy discussions.

Middle East

Iran holds missile drill in Gulf of Oman amid tensions
Associated Press1/13/21
Iran’s navy began a short-range missile drill in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday and inaugurated its largest military vessel, state TV reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

EU concerned about Iran’s nuclear ambitions
Vatican News1/13/21
European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, who supervises the agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear capabilities, has expressed concerns about Tehran’s ambitions.

OPINION: How Biden can help prevent war on Iran – right now
Foreign PolicyJonathan Tepperman
1/12/21
following last week’s Capitol Hill insurrection, the effort to evict President Donald Trump from the White House has started up again in earnest.

Russia and Europe

Russia wants UK, France to join nuclear disarmament process
Tass1/12/21
Russian ambassador to US said “these countries possess nuclear arsenals comparable to the Chinese one.”

OPINION: Biden should extend New START – And by the full five years
Defense OneShannon Bugos
1/12/21
Just weeks remain until the last treaty limiting the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals is slated to expire on Feb. 5.