Nuclear Policy News – June 11, 2018

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With smiles and a handshake, Trump and Kim could mask gulf on nuclear arms
Washington Post

Before Kim Meets Trump, China Gets Jittery About North Korea’s Intentions
New York Times

New $2.5B contract awarded to manage nuclear weapons lab
ABC News

Grand challenge: Bringing a diversity of perspectives into nonproliferation policy
BrookingsBonnie Jenkins


Trump and Kim May Define ‘Korea Denuclearization’ Quite Differently
New York Times6/10/18
When President Trump meets Kim Jong-un, the first face-to-face encounter between leaders of the United States and North Korea after nearly seven decades of hostility, they will talk about denuclearization and maybe even a peace treaty.

Concerns Ahead Of Trump-Kim Summit
To understand what’s at stake for the United States in the upcoming summit with North Korea, NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with former Ambassador Wendy Sherman and former NATO commander James Stavridis.

Nixed Iran nuclear deal looms over Trump’s North Korea talks
The president has abandoned what he says was a fatally flawed nuclear deal with Iran, but former U.S. officials contend he’ll be lucky to get a similar agreement with North Korea.

Pompeo says North Korea nukes must all go before sanctions end
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated US calls for North Korea to completely rid itself of all remnants of its nuclear weapons program before international sanctions are lifted on the pariah nation.

More Potential Questions About the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site Destruction
38 North6/8/18
Analysis of ground photos and video taken at North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site (courtesy of Sky News) from the recent site closing event can confirm only that the test tunnel entrances were sealed.

Hacks After Nukes: The Coming of North Korea’s Cyber Threat
The Diplomat6/8/18
The upcoming Trump-Kim summit may provide an opportunity to raise questions about North Korea’s cyber attacks.

Escalating Clash With Canada, Trump Is Isolated Before North Korea Meeting
New York Times6/10/18
President Trump escalated a bitter clash with some of America’s closest allies on Sunday, lashing out through his advisers at Canada’s prime minister in unusually personal terms and leaving himself with a diplomatic crisis as he arrived in Asia to negotiate a nuclear agreement with North Korea.

With smiles and a handshake, Trump and Kim could mask gulf on nuclear arms
Washington Post6/11/18
When President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands for the first time and sit down one-on-one here Tuesday, the bonhomie they plan to project will mask the huge gulf between their two countries as diplomats struggle to broker a deal for the rogue state to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Before Kim Meets Trump, China Gets Jittery About North Korea’s Intentions
New York Times6/10/18
In the sudden rush of diplomacy involving North Korea, China has appeared to have the upper hand, hosting the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, twice before his long-anticipated Singapore summit meeting with President Trump even begins.


Iran’s Rouhani wants more talks with Russia about U.S. nuclear deal exit
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday he wanted more talks with Russia about what he called the “illegal” U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.


Eight held as anti-nuclear protesters breach Belgian air base, suspecting U.S. atomic weapons on site
Japan Times6/11/18
Belgian police arrested eight anti-nuclear protesters after they entered an air base on Sunday in the east of the country, activists from Agir pour la Paix (Act for Peace) said.

Putin criticizes Donald Trump for leaving Iran nuclear deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran Nuclear deal in a speech Sunday.

Decades Later and Far Away, Chernobyl Disaster Still Contaminates Milk
New York Times6/8/18
More than three decades after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, cows far from the accident site still produce milk with dangerous levels of radiation, children still drink it and the problem could persist for decades to come, researchers reported on Friday.


New $2.5B contract awarded to manage nuclear weapons lab
ABC News6/8/18
Overseeing a top nuclear weapons laboratory that has had security and safety problems will be the responsibility of a new management team that includes two universities and a research firm that does work around the world, the U.S. government announced Friday.


A failed Trump-Kim summit would be a catastrophe
The summit may well end without major progress towards the elimination of nuclear weapons in Korea. But whatever the outcome, the summit must be seen as an early step in a complicated negotiation, and the diplomatic process must continue.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s Nuclear Summit and the Bid for History
The New Yorker6/18/18
In Kim’s attempt to unleash the economy and hold on to his dictatorship, he seems to be taking a lesson from China’s Communist Party: change, or die.

The Nine Steps Required to Really Disarm North Korea
New York Times6/11/18
The vast scope of North Korea’s atomic program means ending it would be the most challenging case of nuclear disarmament in history.

Trump can’t ask North Korea and Iran to become vegetarians
Washington PostGeorge Will
Today the question is: Would North Korea like to become Upper Volta without rockets and without exportable vodka or caviar?

How Japan Might Lose Out in the Korea Talks
New York TimesYoichi Funabashi
Even if Tuesday’s meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, goes well, Japan stands to lose from it in some ways.

A way forward with North Korea: the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
War on the RocksStephen Herzog
Based on my experience, North Korean accession to the CTBT deserves a hard, thoughtful look in both Washington and Pyongyang.

What a Secret Cold War Game of Nuclear Hide-and-Seek Teaches Us About North Korean Verification
Foreign Policy6/10/18
Making sure that Pyongyang actually destroys its nuclear weapons may be impossible.

This American Visited North Korea’s Most Sensitive Nuke Sites. What He Saw Blew His Mind.
Foreign Policy6/8/18
North Koreans wanted the renowned scientist Siegfried Hecker to know they could hide their bomb material and the United States would never find it.

What if Iran leaves the NPT?
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsAdam Scheinman
In apparent retaliation for the US decision to pull back from the Iran nuclear deal, Iranian officials warn that the country may withdraw from the landmark Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Four Scenarios Facing Israel as the U.S. Withdraws From the Iran Deal
The AtlanticAmos Yadlin and Ari Heistein
President Trump’s decision to depart the JCPOA leaves Israel to try to advance its strategic objectives across a very different geopolitical landscape.

Grand challenge: Bringing a diversity of perspectives into nonproliferation policy
BrookingsBonnie Jenkins
A number of recent articles have described the lack of women and people of color in national security, including WMD nonproliferation.

The ‘God Damn’ Tree That Nearly Brought America and North Korea to War
The AtlanticUri Friedman
In 1976, two American soldiers were axed to death over a poplar tree. What came next threatened to change the course of history.

If Trump ignores North Korea’s monstrous crimes, they’ll come back to haunt him
Washington Post6/10/18
People who argue that President Trump should set aside the issue of human rights when he meets Kim Jong Un on Tuesday ignore the fact that Kim’s regime is not just guilty of the abuses usually chronicled by advocacy groups — torture, disappearances and the like.

Trump Could Transform the U.S.–North Korea Relationship
The AtlanticPeter Beinart
Donald Trump is an ignorant, egotistical man. And in his summit on Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, those character defects may be America—and the world’s—best hope.

At the North Korea summit, empathy is the key
Washington PostFu Ying
One of the important conditions for diplomatic success is to understand the other party, so as to form the right judgement and the right moves in negotiations.


How a uranium hunter sniffs out nuclear weapons
There are two basic ways to find out the composition of radioactive material.

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