Nuclear Policy News – June 4, 2018

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The U.S. is trying to find a discreet way to pay for Kim Jong Un’s hotel during the summit
Washington Post

Kim’s tunnel explosions a goodwill gesture? Not so fast

Netanyahu heads to Europe with Iran on his mind
Washington Post

New U.S. military missile defense system could protect Europe from Russia and Iran


The U.S. is trying to find a discreet way to pay for Kim Jong Un’s hotel during the summit
Washington Post5/3/18
At an island resort off the coast of Singapore, U.S. event planners are working day and night with their North Korean counterparts to set up a summit designed to bring an end to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.

Anti-nuke Nobel winner ICAN offers to pay for Trump-Kim summit
Nobel Prize winning anti-nuclear campaign group ICAN has offered to pay for the cost of the historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, including the hotel bill for the impoverished state’s leader.

Pushing the Envelope: Why Was Kim’s Letter for Trump So Big?
US News6/2/18
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is known for pushing the envelope with threats and bluster as he seeks to leverage his nuclear weapons program into security and economic benefits for his country, but lately he’s gained notoriety for his envelopes alone.

Trump Dangles Aid Before North Korea. But Does Kim Jong-un Want It?
New York Times6/1/18
North Korea wants the United States to know: It’s not about the money.

Pentagon chief sees ‘bumpy road’ toward North Korea nuclear negotiations
The Hill6/3/18
Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Sunday cautioned that it will be “a bumpy road” toward nuclear talks later this month with North Korea.

Kim’s tunnel explosions a goodwill gesture? Not so fast
What first appeared to be a gesture indicating North Korea might be willing to dismantle its nuclear weapons program appears to have been little more than a propaganda effort for the world’s cameras.

Why U.N. sanctions did not bring North Korea to the summit table
There is evidence — anecdotal and data — that North Korea’s economy has stabilized over the past few years, and while U.N. sanctions are limiting its growth, the country is far from famine or total collapse.

Kim Jong-un removes top North Korea military figures ahead of Donald Trump summit
ABC News6/4/18
North Korea’s top three military officials have been removed from their posts, a senior US official said, a move analysts say could support efforts by the North’s young leader to jump-start economic development and engage with the world.

The Spies Have A Leading Role In The North Korea Summit
When Mike Pompeo became CIA director last year, he immediately set his sights on North Korea and its opaque nuclear program.

Japan at a crossroads over ‘pressure’ policy toward North Korea as Trump cozies up to Kim
Japan Times6/3/18
Japan has reached a turning point in deciding whether it will continue to advocate “pressure” on North Korea as its close ally, the United States, leans toward dialogue with Pyongyang.

‘The weirdness’ of dealing with North Korean officials
Those who have dealt with the mercurial and often maddening regime offer up tips. But some things are impossible to prepare for.

In Singapore, S. Korea’s minister counters doubts about nuclear talks with N. Korea
Yonhap News6/3/18
Making his Shangri-La Dialogue debut, South Korea’s military chief focused on convincing the world that it’s worth resuming full-fledged denuclearization talks with a North Korea that appears to be different from what it was in the past.

Rival Koreas agree to military, Red Cross talks for peace
Washington Post6/1/18
North and South Korea agreed Friday to hold military and Red Cross talks later this month on reducing tensions and resuming reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.


China and the European Union pledge to uphold implementation of Iran nuclear deal
China and the European Union have vowed to uphold the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which the U.S. withdrew last month.

Netanyahu heads to Europe with Iran on his mind
Washington Post6/4/18
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is heading to Europe in a bid to rally support from key allies for amending the international nuclear deal with Iran and for pushing Iranian forces out of neighboring Syria.


New U.S. military missile defense system could protect Europe from Russia and Iran
The U.S. military has floated the possibility of stationing a new missile defense system in Germany that would have the capability of protecting Europe from both Russia and Iran, according to reports.

Is Russia Working on a 5th-Generation Nuclear Sub With Hypersonic Missiles?
The Diplomat6/1/18
A new class of nuclear-powered submarines armed with Zircon hypersonic missiles is expected to be built by 2027.


India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-5
The Hindu6/3/18
Long-range ballistic missile Agni-5 was successfully test fired off Odisha coast on Sunday proving its reliability.


The U.S. Has Lost the Nuclear Race
US News6/1/18
Russia, China, France and South Korea are dominating world markets for new nuclear power plants. Could smaller, innovative reactors restore U.S. competitiveness?

New nuclear warhead still under fire from Democrats
Defense News6/2/18
U.S. House Democrats have failed in several attempts to hinder the Trump administration’s plan to expand America’s nuclear arsenal with a low-yield nuclear weapon, but four of them are poised to take another shot.


Trump Veers to a Korea Plan That Echoes Failures of the Past
New York Times6/2/18
President Trump never tires of pointing out that his predecessors left him the “mess” of a nuclear-armed North Korea — a legacy of errors he vows not to repeat.

A Better North Korea Strategy
Foreign AffairsVictor Cha and Katrin Fraser Katz
How to Coerce Pyongyang Without Starting a War

A North Korean Opportunity for America and China
CFRRichard Haass
It is not obvious, but North Korea could be the best thing for the relationship between the United States and China since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Trump’s North Korea Gamble Is a Real-Time Experiment
Defense OneKori Schake
Here’s how the president’s bets look when viewed through the lens of behavioral economics.

Hiding and biding no longer: how China could emerge the big winner of Korean Peninsula diplomacy
War on the RocksMason Richey
In this article, I briefly cover why such a compromise deal could emerge, and how it leads to a strategic victory for China.

Trump and the diplomatic trap
Asia TimesAngelo Codevilla
When President Donald Trump canceled the projected June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on May 24, he seemed to have stepped out of the classic diplomatic trap into which it seemed he had fallen. But by May 27 he seemed to step right back in it.

The Cybersecurity 202: North Korea is even less likely to give up hacking than nukes
Washington Post6/1/18
All eyes are on North Korea’s nuclear program as U.S. officials work to salvage a summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But there’s another pernicious weapon in the North Korean arsenal that the regime is perhaps even less likely to give up.

The Trump White House’s rookie mistake on North Korea
Washington PostJennifer Rubin
They’ve fallen for the oldest diplomatic trap in the book — making inputs (meetings, conferences, “dialogue,” etc.) the goal rather than determining what result they will accept and how to get it.

North Korea reportedly wants a McDonald’s. That could be a pretty big deal.
Washington Post6/2/18
It is little more than a footnote in the back-and-forth over the planned North Korea summit — but the rumor of a McDonald’s in Pyongyang is juicier than a three-patty Big Mac.


Nuclear Bunker, 200 Feet of Tunnels and a Fire Lead to a Murder Charge in Maryland
New York Times6/2/18
A man in Maryland has been charged with murder after his secretive project to build an underground nuclear bunker ended with the death of a worker hired to dig the network of tunnels.

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