Nuclear Policy News – January 25, 2018

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Trump Administration Slaps New Sanctions on North Korea
New York Times

Y-12 to begin producing replacement parts for 30-year-old nuclear warhead early
Knox News

Interview: Nuke warhead chief talks risk of nuclear war
Defense News

The U.S. Government Commissioned Fiction About a Nuclear Holocaust
The Atlantic


Trump Administration Slaps New Sanctions on North Korea
New York Times1/24/18
The Trump administration unfurled new sanctions on Wednesday targeting North Korea and its weapons program, underscoring the aggressive approach that President Trump has promised to take against the government of Kim Jong-un.

Ex-spy for Kim Jong Un says North Korea will use Olympics ‘as a weapon’ to build nuclear arsenal
“North Korea is using the Olympics as a weapon,” Kim Hyon-hui said. “It’s trying to escape the sanctions by holding hands with South Korea, trying to break free from international isolation.”

Trump administration takes more steps to crack down on North Korea’s nuclear weapons development
The Trump administration issued fresh sanctions Wednesday as it tries to stifle North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea set up first military parade of 2018 and new weapons are likely to be on show
North Korea is in the final stages of preparing for a massive military parade to be held on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country’s armed forces.

Lessons for today of USS Pueblo’s 1968 capture by North Korea
South China Morning Post1/25/18
Political experts say there is much to be learned from the warship crisis 50 years ago that brought the Korean peninsula to the brink of a second war


Trump’s Iran ultimatum
The Strategist1/25/18
In a public statement on 12 January, President Donald Trump again waived US sanctions against Iran, keeping alive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), at least for now.

Nuclear deal has ‘revealed U.S. lies’, Iran says
Tehran Times1/24/18
The Iranian people has experienced the U.S. “ill-wishes” and “unfair actions” during history and attach no value to the U.S. officials’ “hollow” and “empty” remarks, Qassemi said.The remarks by the Foreign Ministry official came after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech on Monday at the Israeli parliament (Knesset), said the United States is the “friend” of the Iranian nation.


New Tu-160 bomber to strengthen Russia’s nuclear triad — Putin
New Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber will strengthen Russia’s nuclear triad, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after watching the aircraft perform a flight demonstration in the city of Kazan.


India a responsible nuclear state, believes in ‘no first use’: Akbar
Times of India1/24/18
Union minister MJ Akbar on Wednesday asserted that India is a responsible nuclear state and believes in ‘no first use’ of such weapons, even as he questioned why no action is being taken at the global level against proliferation.

Asia’s escalating missile race
The Interpreter1/25/18
If the Cold War was one long arms race, the modern era could be accurately described as an arms jog. Countries are defined less by how many nuclear warheads they have, and more by what they can do with them.


North Korea Missile Threat Revives Talk of ‘Star Wars’
Scientists and NASA officials who spearheaded development of a space-based missile defense system in the 1980s are urging its revival to counter emerging nuclear threats from North Korea and other rogue states.

Armed Services Dem: US nuclear policy shouldn’t reflect Trump tweet
The Hill1/24/18
The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee is slamming the Pentagon’s soon-to-be-released Nuclear Posture Review as an implementation of President Trump’s boast of a “bigger and more powerful” nuclear button.

Trump’s nuke strategy will fuel an arms race, say House Democrats
Defense News1/24/18
Two key House Armed Services Committee Democrats are saying President Donald Trump’s newly drafted nuclear weapons strategy will feed an international arms race and increase the risk of a catastrophic nuclear war.

Top Scientists Release Plan for Changing US Nuclear-Use Protocol
Union of Concerned Scientists1/24/18
The U.S. protocol for ordering a nuclear attack should be revised to require not only an order from the president, but consent by the next two officials in the presidential chain of succession—the vice president and speaker of the House of Representatives—according to a paper published today in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Y-12 to begin producing replacement parts for 30-year-old nuclear warhead early
Knox News1/24/18
The Y-12 National Security Complex will soon build parts for W88 nuclear warheads, according to the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Interview: Nuke warhead chief talks risk of nuclear war
Defense News1/24/18
After four years of service at NNSA, during which he drew praise from both the pro-nuclear and nonproliferation communities, Klotz retired on Jan. 19. Before he stepped down, he joined Defense News for an exclusive interview to discuss the state of America’s nuclear arsenal and what challenges await his successor.


Germany’s Dangerous Nuclear Sleepwalking
Carnegie EuropeClaudia Major
The next German government will have to tackle several controversial security issues, from arms exports to meeting NATO’s target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense. But the one item that is particularly difficult for Berlin—and that it is ill-prepared to deal with—is nuclear weapons.

Nixing the Iran Deal Would Be Better Than a Fake Fix
Foreign PolicyRichard Goldberg
In laying out his criteria for legislation, the president opened the door to countless loopholes that defenders of the deal might try to exploit. If Trump lets them, he’ll unknowingly share responsibility with his predecessor, President Barack Obama, for facilitating and legitimizing a nuclear-armed Iran.

Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent Isn’t a Military Asset, and Shouldn’t be Funded as One
War on the RocksMark Galeotti
As if Brexit, a crashing cricket defeat against Australia, and a winter flu epidemic were not enough to be wrestling with, Britain is also in the throes of another painful defence review as it continues to try to maintain the essence of global military standing in a respectable but sluggish economy.

The Case for Tactical U.S. Nukes
Wall Street JournalMatthew Kroenig
The Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review isn’t yet public, but it is already under political fire.


After a missile scare and insult war with North Korea, it’s time to check the Doomsday Clock
Washington Post1/25/18
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will announce Thursday whether the symbolic Doomsday Clock is winding back, remaining at 2 ½ minutes to “midnight” — or moving a notch closer to the end of humanity.

The growing danger of great-power conflict
The Economist1/25/18
Even as civil and religious strife have raged in Syria, central Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq, a devastating clash between the world’s great powers has remained almost unimaginable. No longer.

The U.S. Government Commissioned Fiction About a Nuclear Holocaust
The Atlantic1/25/18
The strange story of how an appendix to an obscure report helped launch a blockbuster and push back the possibility of atomic war.

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