Nuclear Policy News – January 23, 2018

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North Korea, U.S. clash at disarmament forum

U.S., European Officials to Meet on Iran Nuclear Deal
Wall Street Journal

Most Americans don’t trust President Trump with the ‘nuclear button’
Washington Post

Limited Strikes on North Korea Would Be an Unlimited Disaster
Foreign Policy


North Korea ‘Handful of Months’ from being able to hit U.S. with Nuclear Weapons, CIA Director Warns
North Korea is only a “handful of months” away from being able to hit the mainland United States with a nuclear weapon, CIA Director Mike Pompeo warned in an interview with CBS This Morning’s Norah O’Donnell that aired Monday.

North Korea, U.S. clash at disarmament forum
North Korea said on Tuesday it had a “powerful and reliable” nuclear deterrent to thwart any attack and accused the United States of deploying military assets nearby under the pretext of ensuring security at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.


U.S., European Officials to Meet on Iran Nuclear Deal
Wall Street Journal1/22/18
The U.S. and three European countries will begin formal talks as early as next week on what the Trump administration considers flaws in the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said they might not meet a White House deadline for a fix.

Tillerson sees progress in fixing Iran nuclear deal with Europeans
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday that he sees progress in getting European support for tough new penalties against Iran that could prevent a U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

France says Iran not respecting U.N. text on ballistic missiles
France’s foreign minister accused Iran on Monday of not respecting part of a U.N. resolution that calls on Tehran to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.


Experts Weigh in on the U.S. Government’s Plans to Loosen Nuclear Weapon Constraints
A new draft by the U.S. Department of Defense could loosen constraints on nuclear weapons use. The proposed policy has alarmed arms control advocates, and experts think there’s reason to worry.

Most Americans don’t trust President Trump with the ‘nuclear button’
Washington Post1/23/18
About half of Americans are concerned that President Trump might launch a nuclear attack without justification, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.


Limited Strikes on North Korea Would Be an Unlimited Disaster
Foreign PolicyLuke O’Brien
There’s no clear upside — and plenty of potential downsides — to punching Pyongyang in the nose.

 Give the Low-Yield SLBM its Day in Court
Defense OneVincent Manzo
Lowering the yield on some SLBMs would be a modest force structure change, not a major departure from the United States’ approach to nuclear deterrence. A low-yield SLBM would diversify the means of delivery for proportionate response options to limited nuclear attack.

Trump could push us into arms negotiations
Washington PostScott Malcomson
When Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced the new National Defense Strategy Friday by stressing that “inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security,” he solidified a theme prominent in other security policies laid out by President Trump’s administration.

A United Korea Olympic Team Has Never Improved Relations. This Year Will Be Different.
FortuneWilliam J. Parker and Steven S. Honigman
All eyes will be on The Republic of Korea (ROK) and The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as athletes from South and North Korea march under one flag. This international sports event could be a constructive early step toward solving the nuclear conundrum on the Korean Peninsula.

Europe Must Fight to Preserve the Iran Deal
Foreign PolicyEllie Geranmayeh
European leaders should heed past experience and take a firmer stand against Donald Trump’s dangerous policy toward Iran that risks another confrontation in the Middle East.

With nuclear weapons, evacuation is not an option
The HillDavid Krieger
Nothing protects against thermonuclear weapons: not shelter, not nuclear deterrence, not missile defenses.

Trump’s Nuclear Strategy Is Basically The Same As Obama’s
ForbesLoren Thompson
The biggest difference between the Trump administration’s proposed nuclear strategy and that of the Obama administration is that Trump will fund nuclear forces vigorously whereas Obama did so only reluctantly.

Nuclear Posturing
SlateFred Kaplan
Trump’s official nuclear policy isn’t that different from his predecessors’. That’s what makes it so scary.


The Mineshaft Gap: The Lavish Bunkers Where Putin, Trump Plan to Fight a Nuclear War
We reconstructed U.S. and Russian nuclear bunkers in Minecraft to illustrate the continuing dangers posed by keeping nuclear weapons on high alert and other nuclear policy relics of the Cold War.

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