Nuclear Policy News – January 18, 2018

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North Korea will ‘trigger’ war if it doesn’t give up on nuclear weapons, Tillerson warns

The Koreas’ Olympic Unity Could Be Fleeting
The Atlantic

Trump says ‘Russia is not helping’ with North Korea

India Tests Ballistic Missile, Posing New Threat to China
New York Times


North Korea will ‘trigger’ war if it doesn’t give up on nuclear weapons, Tillerson warns
Newsweek 1/17/18
The U.S. will continue to lead the international effort to pressure North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile development program via sanctions, but has warned that military options remain on the table.

US Redeploys Nuclear-Capable Bombers to Asia-Pacific
The Diplomat 1/18/18
The U.S. is deploying six B-52H Stratofortress bombers to the island of Guam in the Western Pacific.

North Korea crisis: South to continue talks with ‘clear eyes’
BBC 1/18/18
South Korea says it will continue high-level talks with North Korea with “clear eyes” amid global warnings that Pyongyang might be playing for time to continue its nuclear-arms programme.

The Koreas’ Olympic Unity Could Be Fleeting
The Atlantic 1/17/18
Ultimately, even if Wednesday’s announcement proves significant on the Korean peninsula, it may have little impact on international efforts to persuade Kim to renounce nuclear weapons.

North Korea to test submarine-launched ballistic missiles using new submersible barge
The Independent 1/17/18
North Korea appears to be preparing for future rocket tests by developing a second submersible barge from which to launch ballistic missiles, according to new satellite imagery.

China accuses U.S. of “Cold War thinking” with North Korea summit
CBS News 1/17/18
China on Wednesday said “Cold War thinking” was behind a meeting of U.S. allies on how to deal with North Korea’s nuclear threat, adding that the gathering risks splitting international opinion over the issue.


U.N. chief says don’t harm Iran nuclear deal over unrelated issues
Reuters 1/17/18
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Wednesday that any issues not directly related to the Iran nuclear deal “should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement,” his spokesman said amid U.S. concerns with Tehran.


Trump says ‘Russia is not helping’ with North Korea
CNN 1/18/18
US President Donald Trump may have found another whipping boy when it comes to reining in North Korea. On Wednesday, Trump accused the Kremlin of helping North Korea skirt international sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.


India Tests Ballistic Missile, Posing New Threat to China
New York Times 1/18/18
India tested a long-range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons on Thursday, paving the way for membership to a small list of countries with access to intercontinental missiles and putting most of China in its reach.


Exclusive interview with ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn
NHK World 1/18/18
The recipient of last year’s Nobel Peace prize visited Japan and urged the country to take a leadership role in nuclear disarmament. Beatrice Fihn heads the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. She sat down with NHK World’s Kazuaki Hirama in Tokyo as she wrapped up her first visit to the country.


Nuclear review repudiates Obama policy
Washington Times 1/17/18
The draft review states that President Obama’s policy of cutting nuclear forces and reducing reliance on strategic weapons did not lead to cutbacks by Russia, China or North Korea. Instead, those nations have aggressively built up nuclear forces, potentially tipping the nuclear balance in ways that could upset the U.S. strategy to deter a nuclear war.

‘Don’t Wait Until the Bombs Are Falling.’ Pentagon Papers Leaker Encourages More Like Him
Time 1/17/18
The country is currently not the closest we’ve ever come to nuclear war, says Daniel Ellsberg, but we are still likely to face annihilation. And recent false alarms in Hawaii and Japan, erroneously alerting residents to incoming missiles, do nothing to quell the anxiety.

Pentagon Reportedly Weighing Using Nukes In Response To ‘Large Cyberattacks’
Huffington Post 1/17/18
The Pentagon is reportedly pushing a new retaliation tactic should the U.S. ever be hit by a devastating cyberattack: America could nuke the culprit.

The US Air Force lost 4 nuclear bombs in Spain 52 years ago — and the disaster is still being felt now
Business Insider 1/17/18
A crash involving a B-52 Stratofortress bomber over Spain in 1966 resulted in four nuclear bombs being lost for 81 days.


North Korea’s long, complicated Olympic history
Washington PostAdam Taylor and Nick Kirkpatrick
North Korean involvement in the Olympic Games is nothing new. Pyongyang has a long and surprisingly successful history at sporting events such as the Olympics, but these events have sometimes been a source of international tension, too.

America and Russia May Find Themselves in a Nuclear Arms Race Once Again
National InterestRichard Burt and Jon Wolfsthal
For all if its complications, direct arms reduction engagement offers the best hope of heading off another disastrous cycle of nuclear one-upmanship between Washington and Moscow.

A reminder from Hawaii
Bulletin of Atomic ScientistsLauren Borja and M. V. Ramana
The false alarm in Hawaii is one of those rare instances when the public gets a peek into the secretive world of nuclear weapons. Within this world, errors and malfunctions of the kind witnessed in Hawaii occur in various other systems associated with the nuclear arsenal.

Would the Air Force Let Airman Trump Near a Nuclear Weapon?
New York TimesSteven Buser
As a psychiatrist for the United States Air Force, one of my responsibilities was evaluating the mental stability of airmen who handled nuclear weapons, using the standards laid out in what is called the Nuclear Personnel Reliability Program.

Thinking the unthinkable: nuclear war with North Korea
Asia TimesRichard Bitzinger
Admittedly, there is a wide gap between conceiving a war with North Korea and actually undertaking one – and thank goodness for that. However, conceptualizations are often the first step toward action, and this raises two big concerns.


Nuclear war, extreme weather top list of 2018 threats in global survey
USA Today 1/17/18
Nuclear war, cyberattacks and environmental disasters top the list of man-made threats to global stability in 2018, according to a survey of 1,000 international leaders from business, government, education and service groups.

One worked on the A-bomb. The other was a victim. How their grandsons now create art together.
Washington Post 1/18/18
Many contemporary artists in Japan don’t deal with the issue of the A-bomb, says Ito, who grew up there. He thinks that’s a mistake.

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