Nuclear Policy News – January 26, 2018

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The Doomsday Clock is now just 2 minutes to ‘midnight,’ the symbolic hour of the apocalypse
Washington Post

Why nuclear stability is under threat
The Economist

Despite sanctions, North Korea exported coal to South and Japan via Russia – intelligence sources

U.S. war with North Korea would be ‘really tough’ to win, says top Marine


Nuclear war is ‘lurking like a time bomb’ despite inter-Korean talks, North Korean analyst says

A North Korean researcher at the country’s Social Science Institute warned that the recent inter-Korean dialogue did not lessen the threat of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula in an article published in the ruling party-controlled newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

China envoy says “complex” reasons why has not been to North Korea
China’s special envoy for North Korea said on Friday there were “complex” reasons why he has yet to visit the country, but that China’s efforts to help bring about the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and foster peace were relentless and unchanged.

North Korea’s Olympic unity efforts won’t ease tensions, former defense secretary Ash Carter says
The North-South Korean team unification at next month’s Olympics won’t defuse tensions over Pyongyang’s missile program, former Defense Secretary Ash Carter told CNBC on Thursday.

Despite sanctions, North Korea exported coal to South and Japan via Russia – intelligence sources
North Korea shipped coal to Russia last year which was then delivered to South Korea and Japan in a likely violation of U.N. sanctions, three Western European intelligence sources said.

Trump accused Russia of helping North Korea. Putin would have his reasons
By enabling Kim Jong Un’s international belligerence, Russia could alleviate some of the international scrutiny on Moscow’s own activities, analysts said.

Abe urges realism on nuclear disarmament
NHK World1/26/18
Japan’s Prime Minister says he wants to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons from a realistic standpoint, at a time when the imminence of the North Korean threat makes the US nuclear umbrella an absolute imperative.

Kissinger: Nuclear proliferation greater threat from North Korea than a strike
The Hill1/25/18
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned senators Thursday that nuclear proliferation from North Korea’s weapons program is a greater threat than Pyongyang attacking the United States.

U.S. war with North Korea would be ‘really tough’ to win, says top Marine
The commander of the U.S. Marine Corps has warned about the realities of getting into a war with North Korea, a militarized state that vowed to continue developing nuclear and ballistic weapons despite international pressure.

South Korea minister says military option ‘unacceptable’ on North Korea crisis
South Korea’s foreign minister said on Thursday the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear program must be resolved diplomatically, and she was certain Washington would consult her government first if a military option were to be considered.


Israel’s Netanyahu explains why previously ‘unimaginable’ Israeli-Arab alliances are now growing
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted to creating stronger strategic alliances with Arab countries in the wake of an emboldened Iran, calling it “an extraordinary thing” that he has not seen in his country’s entire history.


Putin hails new bomber as a boost to Russia’s nuclear forces
President Vladimir Putin praised a newly-built supersonic strategic bomber on Thursday after watching it in flight, saying it would beef up Russia’s nuclear weapons capability.


U.S. Senator From Hawaii Says States Should Not Send Missile Alerts
U.S. News1/25/18
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii said on Thursday that state and local governments should be prohibited from sending missile alerts like the errant warning that stirred hysteria across his state earlier this month.


We are one tantrum away from accidental war with North Korea
The HillAllan Lichtman
Beyond a still unimagined solution to the controversy with North Korea, the U.S. can strive to reduce the risk of war by accident or miscalculation.

Why nuclear stability is under threat
The Economist1/25/18
Mutually assured destruction has served as the ultimate deterrent, but for how much longer?

The odds on a conflict between the great powers
The Economist1/25/18
Despite the extraordinary decline in interstate wars over the past 70 years, many foreign-policy experts believe that the world is entering a new era in which they are becoming all too possible again.

The Missile Sanctions Gap: Re-Aligning U.S. and EU Iran Designations
Iran WatchValerie Lincy, Mana Mostatabi, Meghan Peri Crimmins
Closer collaboration between the United States and Europe increases the prospect of meaningfully restricting Iran’s missile work, whether through negotiation, economic pressure, or both.

We’re as close to Doomsday today as we were during the Cold War
Washington PostLawrence Krauss and Robert Rosner
To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger — and its immediacy.


The Doomsday Clock is now just 2 minutes to ‘midnight,’ the symbolic hour of the apocalypse
Washington Post1/25/18
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists advanced the symbolic Doomsday Clock a notch closer to the end of humanity Thursday, moving it ahead by 30 seconds after what the organization called a “grim assessment” of the state of geopolitical affairs.

The making of the Doomsday Clock: Art, science and the atomic apocalypse
Washington Post1/25/18
In June 1947, it appeared on the cover of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — a simple black-and-white clock over an electric orange background.

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