TOP NEWS South Carolina Fights U.S. Plan to Abandon Nuclear Project Employing 1,800 Wall Street Journal Iran nuclear chief says uranium stockpile reaches 950 tons Washington Post The Trump-Putin summit produces little. What can come next? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists EAST ASIA Japan and U.S. extend nuclear pact as Tokyo looks to reduce plutonium stockpile Japan Times7/17/18 Japan and the United States extended a bilateral nuclear agreement Tuesday that has served as the basis for Tokyo’s push for policies emphasizing the recycling of nuclear fuel. The pact, which entered into force in July 1988, has authorized this nation to reprocess spent fuel, extract plutonium and enrich uranium for 30 years. How China hopes to profit from its close ties to North Korea South China Morning Post7/18/18 While UN sanctions have limited the scope for economic engagement, there are still many areas where China can do business with North Korea. Trump says ‘no rush’ on North Korea nuclear negotiations CNN7/18/18 President Donald Trump said Wednesday there is “no rush” in its negotiations with North Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program, and that “Russia has agreed to help.” MIDDLE EAST Iran Sues U.S. At World Court For Leaving Nuclear Deal Radio Free Europe7/17/18 The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has confirmed that Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States over the reimposition of sanctions against Tehran by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, claiming the move violates the nuclear treaty Tehran signed with the United States and five other world powers. Iran nuclear chief says uranium stockpile reaches 950 tons Washington Post7/18/18 Iran continues to acquire uranium and is close to finishing a factory where it can build more centrifuges to enrich it, the country’s nuclear chief said Wednesday, adding also that uranium stockpiles have nearly doubled in the last few years. U.S. Nuclear Policy South Carolina Fights U.S. Plan to Abandon Nuclear Project Employing 1,800 Wall Street Journal7/18/18 The U.S. Energy Department says it is spending $1.2 million a day on a partially built South Carolina nuclear facility that it wants to abandon due to soaring costs. Last month, a federal judge ordered the work to keep going, while South Carolina pursues a legal bid to force the Energy Department to stay the course. RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE Summit between Russia and North Korea is on the agenda – RIA Reuters7/18/18 A summit between the leaders of Russia and North Korea is “on the agenda”, Russia’s ambassador to North Korea, Alexander Matsegora, was cited as saying by RIA news agency on Wednesday. Russia ready to extend New START, but has many questions for US — Putin TASS7/16/18 Russia is ready to extend the bilateral Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), but has questions about its implementation by the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a Fox News interview on Monday. OPINION AND ANALYSIS NATO Already Vastly Outspends Russia. Its Problems Are Not About Money. Defense OneWilliam D. Hartung 7/17/18 Whether the goal is 2 percent of GDP – the alliance’s long-stated goal – or 4 percent, a fantastic figure Trump floated as well – the real question is whether NATO or the United States need to spend more on traditionally military assets to ensure their security. Contrary to Trump’s assertions, the answer is no. The Trump-Putin summit produces little. What can come next? Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsSteven Pifer 7/17/18 With the summit now past, the hope has to be that follow-on discussions between US and Russian officials will tackle the problems that burden the bilateral relationship and, in what will be a slow and painstaking process, find ways to resolve some problems. One such area is arms control. What Next for the North Korea Negotiations? The DiplomatKan Kimura 7/15/18 In the wake of the summit, there are few realistic roads ahead for the international community. Is Helsinki Trump’s Iran Deal? Wall Street JournalWalter Russell Mead 7/16/18 https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-helsinki-trumps-iran-deal-1531778677 The president may be indulging Russia as his predecessor did the Islamic Republic.