Nuclear Policy News – June 28, 2018

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North Korea Is Rapidly Upgrading Nuclear Site Despite Summit Vow
Wall Street Journal

Pompeo: North Korea remains a nuclear threat
CNN Politics

US begins to dismantle Iran nuclear deal sanctions relief
Fox News

Rouhani Outlines What Iran Wants to Remain in Nuclear Accord

Putin: New Russian weapons decades ahead of foreign rivals
Washington Post


North Korea Is Rapidly Upgrading Nuclear Site Despite Summit Vow
Wall Street Journal6/27/18
Satellite images show no evidence of dismantling after Kim Jong Un’s commitment at summit to denuclearize

Pompeo: North Korea remains a nuclear threat
CNN Politics6/27/18
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told US lawmakers on Wednesday that North Korea remains a nuclear threat, but defended President Donald Trump for tweeting earlier this month, “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

Mattis positive on China talks set to discuss North Korea
Fox News6/27/18
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his Chinese counterpart are striking a positive note as they sat down to tackle the thorny issue of how to get North Korea to fulfill a pledge to abandon its nuclear program.

Mattis, Chinese leaders reaffirm importance of N.K. denuclearization
Yonhap News Agency6/28/18
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and top Chinese leaders agreed Wednesday on the importance of a complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the Pentagon said.

Korea peace process tests harmony among regional powers
Yonhap News Agency6/28/18
This week’s international forum here on Korea peace has highlighted the need to coordinate subtly different positions among key players.

North Korea could account for nearly a quarter of a unified Korean Peninsula’s economy one day, UBS says
A peace treaty formally ending the Korean War and opening the North-South border would increase foreign investment, helping the economy, UBS economist Li Zeng and analyst Yong-Suk Son say.

Mattis seeks to defuse tensions during visit to China, but gaps remain
Washington Post6/27/18
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis held talks with Chinese officials on Wednesday, marking the first face-to-face encounter between leaders of the countries’ militaries since the United States declared Beijing to be a primary challenge to American security.


US begins to dismantle Iran nuclear deal sanctions relief
Fox News6/27/18
The Trump administration is moving to dismantle the sanctions relief that was granted to Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal from which President Donald Trump has withdrawn.

Iran says removing oil from market by November impossible
Removing Iranian oil from the global market by November as called for by the United States is impossible, an Iranian oil official told the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Wednesday.

Iran reopens nuclear plant that had been idle for nine years
The Hill6/27/18
The government of Iran has ordered a formerly idle nuclear plant to resume operations on Wednesday to be ready in case discussions with European leaders over saving the nuclear agreement vacated by the Trump administration fall through.

Rouhani Outlines What Iran Wants to Remain in Nuclear Accord
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has sent a list of demands to France, Germany and Britain as its price for staying in the nuclear accord, vowing not to give in to growing U.S. pressure to curb its oil sales and complicate efforts to salvage the deal.


NATO chief warns Russia has developed weapons that ‘lower threshold’ for nuclear war
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that Russia has developed new “military capabilities” which “lowers the threshold” for the country to use nuclear weapons.

Putin: New Russian weapons decades ahead of foreign rivals
Washington Post6/28/18
Russian President Vladimir Putin is boasting about his country’s prospective nuclear weapons, saying they are years and even decades ahead of foreign designs.


U.S. lawmakers introduce bill to increase oversight of N. Korea negotiations
Yonhap News Agency6/28/18
Two United States senators have introduced a bill calling for greater congressional oversight of the U.S. government’s nuclear negotiations with North Korea.

Workers of Hawaii agency that sent false missile alert allegedly slept on duty
An employee of the Hawaii agency that mistakenly sent cellphone and broadcast alerts about an imminent missile attack earlier this year said he saw staff members watching movies or TV on the job.


Oil Geopolitics and Iran’s Response
CFRAmy Myers Jaffe
For those who might construe Iran’s relatively mild public statements following the OPEC session as a sign that Iran had no real cards to play, a glance at regional conflicts might indicate otherwise.

Mattis’s Last Stand Is Iran
Foreign PolicyMark Perry
As the defense secretary drifts further from Trump’s inner circle, his mission gets clearer: preventing war with Tehran.

Make US-Japanese nuclear cooperation stable again: End reprocessing
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsVictor Gilinsky and Henry Sokolski
In a little-noticed but remarkable statement last week, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono described a key pillar of the Japanese-American alliance—US-Japanese peaceful nuclear cooperation—as “unstable.”

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