Nuclear Policy News – June 8, 2018

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North Korea Razes Missile Test Facility Ahead of Meeting With Trump
New York Times

Pompeo: Giuliani ‘doesn’t speak for the administration’ on North Korea
The Hill

With Little Evidence, Trump Claims Iran Has Curbed Activities in Middle East
New York Times


North Korea Razes Missile Test Facility Ahead of Meeting With Trump
New York Times6/7/18
Satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is razing some facilities used for testing one of its most dangerous missiles after its leader, Kim Jong-un, announced a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests, according to an analysis released this week.

Pompeo: Giuliani ‘doesn’t speak for the administration’ on North Korea
The Hill6/7/18
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday dismissed recent comments made by President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani about North Korea, saying the former mayor does not speak for the administration on that issue.


Trump Says Abandoning Iran Deal Has Already Curbed Tehran’s Bad Behavior
New York Times6/7/18
President Trump asserted Thursday that his decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal had already curbed Iran’s aggressive behavior, and he predicted that his hard-nosed tactics would also result in a successful nuclear negotiation with North Korea.

Trump requested Saudi oil support before Iran nuclear decision – sources
A day before U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, one of his senior officials phoned Saudi Arabia to ask the world’s largest oil exporter to help keep prices stable if the decision disrupted supply.

With Little Evidence, Trump Claims Iran Has Curbed Activities in Middle East
New York Times6/7/18
President Trump claimed that Iran is “no longer looking” to Syria or Yemen since he withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. Administration officials have said otherwise.

American companies are paying the price for Trump’s Iran policy
Major American businesses are preparing a retreat from Iran before President Trump’s crushing sanctions take effect.

Fact Checker: Trump’s claim that an Obama administration effort on Iran was ‘totally illegal’
Washington Post6/8/18
Ever eager to seize on possible malfeasance by his predecessor, President Trump is calling for a federal investigation into the Obama administration’s moves to assist Iran in gaining access to oil revenue after the international nuclear agreement was completed.


Budget amendments give Russia additional $1.57 billion for new weapons development
Amendments to the 2018 federal budget passed by the State Duma in the first reading on Thursday increase the financing of new weapons development by about $1.57 billion, a senior Russian MP has revealed.


Operations resume at underground US nuclear waste repository
Washington Post6/7/18
Routine operations have resumed at the U.S. government’s only underground nuclear waste repository following an evacuation in May that was prompted by the discovery of a misaligned drum of waste.


Forging a verifiable path to nuclear disarmament
Japan TimesPiet De Klerk and Robert Floyd
As officials from the United States and North Korea prepare for a summit meeting on Tuesday between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, nuclear experts must come to terms with a significant question: If Kim commits to dismantling his nuclear stockpile, how can the world be sure that he is following through?

A Decision Too Important for Rick Perry
The Atlantic6/7/18
The Trump administration and its allies in Congress want the secretary of energy to determine whether to develop a new class of low-yield nuclear weapons.

Whether The Kim-Trump Summit in Singapore Succeeds or Fails, North Korean Cyberattacks Likely to Continue
CFRAdam Segal
Getting Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons will be hard. Getting him to give up North Korea’s formidable offensive cyber capability will be even harder.

The Trump-Kim summit is still a good idea
Washington PostEugene Robinson
I have been and remain strongly in favor of the summit. I believe there is reason to believe it will do no harm — and reason to hope it might do some good.

North Korean disarmament: build technology and trust
NatureR. Scott Kemp
Researchers must improve ways to verify weapons declarations and collaborate on nuclear power, argues R. Scott Kemp.

Obama took lying to new heights with the Iran deal
Washington PostMarc Thiessen
When it comes to the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama administration increasingly appears to have been a bottomless pit of deception.

To reassure U.S. allies in Asia, admit mutual vulnerability with China
War on the RocksHugh White
Failing to acknowledge the reality of U.S. vulnerability undermines the credibility of America’s commitment to supporting its East Asian allies, and more broadly, to maintaining America’s strategic position in Asia.

Korean Peninsula Nuclear Summitry: The Time is Right
APLNJohn Tilemann
Management of the nuclear security threats in Northeast Asia has reached a critical turning point.

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