TOP NEWS Mattis, in South Korea, Affirms ‘Ironclad’ Alliance Despite Halt to Drills New York Times U.S. Move May Trigger Iran ‘Exit’ for Foreign Subsidiaries Wall Street Journal Israel readies nuclear reactors for a Hezbollah or Iranian missile strike Newsweek Senate spending bill could slow sub-launched nuke Defense News EAST ASIA North Korea’s nuclear facilities cannot be closed with a handshake CNN6/28/18 On Wednesday, the North Korea watchers at 38 North released satellite imagery that shows North Korea making improvements to the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. While this report is unsettling, it is not at all surprising. What will it cost to denuclearise North Korea? Reuters6/29/18 At a summit in Singapore in early June with U.S. President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un pledged to “work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”. Mattis, in South Korea, Affirms ‘Ironclad’ Alliance Despite Halt to Drills New York Times6/28/18 During his brief visit to Seoul, the South’s capital, Mr. Mattis said that the United States would maintain current troop levels in South Korea and offered assurances that the two nations’ alliance was still “ironclad” despite the recent cancellation of a massive joint military exercise. Mattis seeks to allay Japanese concerns in North Korea denuclearization effort Washington Post6/29/18 The United States will uphold its commitment to Japan’s security while it seeks to implement President Trump’s nuclear deal with North Korea, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday. North Korea attack threat ‘has not changed,’ says Japan as it boosts missile defenses Newsweek6/28/18 Japan still regards North Korea as a potential threat and will not reverse plans to acquire two new ballistic missile defense systems, Tokyo has said. MIDDLE EAST Israel readies nuclear reactors for a Hezbollah or Iranian missile strike Newsweek6/28/18 Israel says it has had to beef up protection for two of its nuclear reactors, as they are missile targets for Iran and Hezbollah. As sanctions bit, Iranian executives bought African passports Reuters6/29/18 In recent years, numerous Iranians have bought passports from the Comoros Islands, a small nation between Mozambique and Madagascar. U.S. and Comoros officials worry the documents may have been used to skirt sanctions. U.S. Move May Trigger Iran ‘Exit’ for Foreign Subsidiaries Wall Street Journal6/28/18 Attorneys say the revocations mark a hard U.S. exit from the nuclear deal Trump’s Bid to Weaken Iran Is Strengthening the Saudi Economy Wall Street Journal6/28/18 Kingdom ramps up oil production as prices rise and sanctions pressure Tehran U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY Senate spending bill could slow sub-launched nuke Defense News6/28/18 The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a Pentagon spending bill Thursday that would order more study before the Trump administration can get a new low-yield, tactical nuclear weapon that it wants. OPINION AND ANALYSIS Low-hanging fruit: Ratify protocols for nuclear-weapon-free zones Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists6/28/18 To paraphrase former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld—who famously said that “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”—the absence of arms control partners is not evidence that opportunity is absent. North Korea has no intention of giving up its nukes — and now we have proof The HillHarry Kazianis 6/28/18 As if it wasn’t crystal-clear, satellite images emanating from North Korea prove once again what most Asia hands feared: Chairman Kim Jong Un has no intention of giving up his nuclear program or “denuclearizing” any time soon — and likely played President Trump in Singapore. What I Learned From Long Months Of North Korea Talks NPRJoel Wit 6/28/18 With Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about to embark on his third trip to Pyongyang — the first since the Singapore summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — the real work on achieving denuclearization is about to begin. North Korean deception, or too-rigid doctrine? Too early to know The HillDaniel Hoffman 6/28/18 For now, we should avoid making any precipitous conclusions based on a single data point — in this case, satellite collection of Yongbyon — and instead closely track Secretary of State Pompeo’s deft leadership of the the post-summit “mistrust and verify” strategy, which will determine whether North Korea will stay true to its history of double-dealing. How North Korea Could Go From Hermit Kingdom to Factory Hub Foreign Policy6/28/18 The summit, and the prospect of an end to international economic sanctions, could lead to a flood of foreign capital that could transform North Korea from a hermit kingdom into an economic juggernaut, concludes the study by Samsung Securities.