Nuclear Policy News – July 27, 2018

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Top News

North Korea hands over remains of Korean War soldiers to U.S.
CBS News

Air Force to have operational new nuclear-armed ICBM by late 2020s
Fox News

Australian PM Turnbull says ‘no reason to believe’ Trump is planning Iran strike
The Guardian


East Asia

North Korea hands over remains of Korean War soldiers to U.S.
CBS News7/27/18
The U.N. Command said Friday that the 55 cases of war remains retrieved from North Korea would be honored at a ceremony next Wednesday at a base in South Korea. A U.S. military plane flew to Wonsan, North Korea, on Friday to pick up what are believed to be the remains of U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War. The transfer is meant to fulfill a commitment made by leader Kim Jong Un during his summit with President Donald Trump in June.

How badly are sanctions hurting North Korea’s Kim Jong Un?
The Economist7/26/18
The increasingly severe trade and other sanctions the UN has imposed on North Korea have the aim of getting its dictator, Kim Jong Un, to give up his nuclear weapons. That the sanctions were causing pain plausibly played some part in bringing Mr. Kim to suspend his nuclear and missile testing, and to extend a hand first to South Korea and then to the United States, at a summit in Singapore in June with President Donald Trump. Their continuation, say Americans negotiating with North Korea, is essential to maintain pressure on Mr. Kim to disarm.

Middle East

Australian PM Turnbull says ‘no reason to believe’ Trump is planning Iran strike
The Guardian7/26/18
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says he has “no reason” to believe US president Donald Trump is preparing to bomb Iran’s nuclear capability imminently, despite reports to the contrary. The Australian ABC reported on Friday that senior ministers in the Turnbull government were preparing for the possibility the United States could bomb Iran’s nuclear capability, perhaps as early as next month.


Senators warn Europe against flouting US Iran sanctions
ABC News7/26/18
A group of Republican senators on Thursday warned European nations not to try to flout U.S. sanctions on Iran that will soon be re-imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark nuclear accord. The 10 senators, all of whom opposed the 2015 agreement, said in a letter to the ambassadors of Britain, France and Germany that they would be “particularly troubled” by any efforts to evade or undermine the sanctions.

Russia’s First Borei-Class Ballistic Missile Sub to Undergo Repairs
The Diplomat7/26/18
The first-of-class Project 955 Borei-class (“North Wind”) aka Dolgoruky-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Yuri Dolgoruky is expected to undergo repairs at the Zvyozdochka shipyards in Severodvinsk in northern Russia, the head of the shipyards, Sergei Marichev, told TASS news agency on July 25. It will be the first larger overhaul of the lead SSBN of the Russian Navy’s new Borei-class. A start date for the repairs has not be set. “A day is not far away” when overhaul work on the boomer will begin, Marichev said.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Air Force to have operational new nuclear-armed ICBM by late 2020s
Fox News7/26/18
The Air Force plans to fire off new prototype ICBMs in the early 2020s as part of a long-range plan to engineer and deploy next-generation nuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missiles by the late 2020s – by building weapons with improved range, durability, targeting technology and overall lethality, service officials said. The service is already making initial technological progress on design work and “systems engineering” for a new arsenal of ICBMs to serve well into the 2070s – called Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD.

Work to demolish nuke weapons plant to resume in September
Washington Post7/26/18
Work to demolish a former nuclear weapons production factory in Washington state may resume in September, about six months after it was halted when workers were exposed to radioactive particles, the U.S. Department of Energy said Thursday. The agency will implement extra safety measures for workers demolishing the Plutonium Finishing Plant on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which is near Richland. The plant was involved in producing much of the plutonium for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

Opinion and Analysis

Make Kim Jong Un pay this ‘Victory Day’
The HillSung-Yoon Lee
The Trump administration must muster up the fortitude to forgo pageantries and raise the cost of Pyongyang’s peace ploys. On this Armistice Day, the United States must reflect on the meaning of the ultimate sacrifice of tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers who fell defending “a country they never knew and a people they never met,” as it is inscribed on a plaque in the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

How the Media Wove a Narrative of North Korean Nuclear Deception
38 NorthGareth Porter
Since the June 12 Singapore Summit between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the US media has woven a misleading narrative that both past and post-summit North Korean actions indicate an intent to deceive the US about its willingness to denuclearize. The so-called intelligence that formed the basis of these stories was fed to reporters by individuals within the administration pushing their own agenda.

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