Nuclear Policy News – June 19, 2018

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“I don’t expect Bolton to last much longer”: how Mike Pompeo won the Trump-Kim summit
Vanity Fair

Kim Jong-un Returns to China, This Time With Leverage
New York Times

Pentagon Suspends Major War Game With South Korea
New York Times6

Trump: News media would have called Obama ‘a national hero’ for meeting Kim Jong Un
Washington Post


“I don’t expect Bolton to last much longer”: how Mike Pompeo won the Trump-Kim summit
Vanity Fair6/18/18
After the crucible of the Trump-Kim summit, it seems clear that Pompeo has been elevated, and Bolton diminished, by the president’s sudden love affair with Pyongyang. But Pompeo will also be the first to fall “if this thing goes to shit.”

North, South Korea agree to joint teams for Asian Games
The two Koreas agreed on Monday to march together under a unified peninsula flag and form combined teams to compete in the next Asian Games, they said in a joint statement, in the latest sign of a thaw between the old rivals.

Donald Trump could end Korean War if Kim Jong Un gives up nuclear weapons
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed Monday that President Donald Trump has agreed to not only guarantee North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un’s security, but to also alter the terms of a decades-old armistice in exchange for the young ruler’s vow to abandon nuclear weapons.

US intelligence officials: North Korea will sell nuclear tech to Iran
The HillHarry Kazianis
Senior U.S. intelligence officials worry that a new security challenge is emerging: that the Kim regime could sell advanced, long-range ICBM missile technology to rogue states like Iran.

Trump says Obama would have gone to war with North Korea, killing millions of people
President Donald Trump claimed Monday his predecessor, Barack Obama, would have engaged in a war with North Korea resulting in the deaths of millions of people, but also said the media would have praised Obama if the 44th president had “gotten along” with the totalitarian regime.

Kim Jong-un Returns to China, This Time With Leverage
New York Times6/18/18
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, arrived in Beijing on Tuesday amid an escalating trade conflict between China and the United States, one that gives him an opening to play the powers against each other as Washington presses him to dismantle his nuclear arsenal.

Pentagon Suspends Major War Game With South Korea
New York Times6/18/18
The Pentagon announced on Monday that it was suspending a major military exercise with South Korea that President Trump had criticized as a waste of money.

Trump: News media would have called Obama ‘a national hero’ for meeting Kim Jong Un
Washington Post6/18/18
President Trump on Monday suggested a double standard in news media coverage of his achievements and those of President Barack Obama, going on Twitter to complain that his predecessor would have received far more credit for meeting with the North Korean dictator.

China hopes for implementation of NKorea-US summit outcome
Washington Post6/19/18
Chinese President Xi Jinping told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday he hopes Pyongyang and Washington can fully implement the outcome of last week’s nuclear summit at which Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization in exchange for U.S. security guarantees.


How Trump and Three Other U.S. Presidents Protected Israel’s Worst-Kept Secret: Its Nuclear Arsenal
The New Yorker6/18/18
The two sides reached an unwritten understanding: the Israelis would not declare, test, or threaten to use their nuclear weapons; and the Americans would not pressure the Israelis to sign a landmark international nuclear-nonproliferation treaty known as the N.P.T.


Russia may have upgraded nuclear bunker in Kaliningrad, report says
Russia may have significantly modernized a nuclear weapons storage bunker in Kaliningrad, a sensitive exclave of Russian territory sandwiched between Poland and the Baltics, as tensions between Russia and the West continue to rise, according to a new report.

Russia military fires nuclear capable missile in new video amid tensions with NATO
The Russian military has released footage from one of its latest missile tests, showcasing a deadly nuclear-capable weapon currently deployed along the tense borders between Russian and U.S.-led Western military alliance NATO forces.


Pakistan has more nuclear warheads than India: report
The News6/19/18
Pakistan now has 140-150 nuclear warheads as compared to 130-140 of India, with China hovering around 280, as per the latest report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which was released on Monday.


Panel: Nuclear contamination found on worker at weapons lab
Washington Post6/18/18
Reports from an independent safety panel show radioactive contamination was found on a worker’s hands and other places at a nuclear weapons lab in New Mexico — the latest safety lapse at the facility as it ramps up work with nuclear material.


The Singapore summit — the beginning of an important journey
The HillJoseph Detrani
The Singapore summit was a unique opportunity for Kim Jong Un to hear from President Trump that North Korea can have a normal relationship with the United States, with security assurances, contingent on the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the North’s nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons facilities, and progress on resolving issues dealing with human rights and illicit activities.

Trump Wants a New Low-Yield Nuclear Weapon. But the US Has Plenty Already.
Union of Concerned ScientistsEryn Macdonald
It would be difficult to perceive any real gap in US capabilities—the existing arsenal certainly does not lack for nuclear options for any occasion.

Rebooting Inter-Korean Economic Relations: A Challenging Road Ahead
38 NorthBradley Babson
The dramatic shift in inter-Korean relations now underway provides a strategic opportunity to rethink future economic cooperation between the two Koreas.

The U.S. stood with Soviet dissidents. It should stand with North Korean ones, too.
Washington PostNatan Sharansky
In light of President Trump’s recent summit with Kim Jong Un, it bears remembering that the character of totalitarian rule, and the struggle for freedom against it, follows the same basic pattern the world over.

If a Trump-Iran Summit Happens, Ayatollah So
Wall Street JournalDavid Pollock
Making the offer would put pressure on the regime, with little risk to the U.S.

Parmanu: India’s first nuclear film
The Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsKarithika Sasikumar
The outsmarting of American satellite surveillance is at the core of this Bollywood take on the blast that kicked in the door of the nuclear club.

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