TOP NEWS North Korean foreign minister to visit Sweden Los Angeles Times Did Trump just threaten to withdraw U.S. troops from South Korea? Newsweek Trump’s likely pick to replace his National Security Adviser McMaster really wants to bomb North Korea Business Insider EAST ASIA North Korea’s growing nuclear threat – in 3 charts CNBC3/15/18 While the details of the unprecedented summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un begin to take shape, experts are reminding everyone that North Korea spent most of 2017 perfecting its missile arsenal. North Korea nuclear reactors show new signs of activity CNN3/15/18 New satellite imagery examined by Western experts suggests North Korea has begun preliminary testing of one of its nuclear reactors at the Yongbyon research facility. North Korean media have nothing to say about nuclear talks but plenty about alleged U.S. human rights abuses Washington Post3/15/18 The idea of a Trump-Kim summit quickly became headline news around the world. Everywhere, that is, except one place you might expect: North Korea. North Korean foreign minister to visit Sweden Los Angeles Times3/15/18 North Korea’s foreign minister is due to visit Sweden on Thursday, a surprise move that could be seen as a first step toward a meeting in the Scandinavian country between U.S. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Former US envoy says North Korea surprised Trump said yes to talks CNN3/15/18 The man who spearheaded US diplomatic efforts on North Korea until his unexpected retirement earlier this month said the North Koreans were “surprised” that President Donald Trump agreed to meet with leader Kim Jong Un so quickly. Did Trump just threaten to withdraw U.S. troops from South Korea? Newsweek3/15/18 Donald Trump appeared to threaten U.S. ally South Korea that he would withdraw American troops from the Korean Peninsula if it Seoul doesn’t give in to his demands on trade. Kim Jong Un wants US troops out of South Korea. Trump might too. Vox3/15/18 That puts Trump at a disadvantage heading into potential talks with Kim. U.S. must go into N.Korea summit with ‘eyes wide open’: commander Reuters3/15/18 The United States cannot be overly optimistic about the outcome of any summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and must go into it with “eyes wide open,” the head of the U.S. Pacific Command said on Thursday. MIDDLE EAST Saudi Arabia pledges to create a nuclear bomb if Iran does BBC3/15/18 Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told US network CBS News his country did not want to acquire nuclear weapons. “But without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we would follow suit as soon as possible,” he added. Iran nuclear deal may be the first casualty of Tillerson’s ouster Washington Post3/15/18 The nomination of Mike Pompeo to be the next secretary of state signals President Trump’s determination to quit the landmark Iran nuclear deal, which could cause it to unravel, according to national security and arms-control experts. SOUTH ASIA IAEA Director General in Pakistan: Nuclear Power and SDGs Highlighted IAEA3/15/18 IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano commended efforts by Pakistan to increase nuclear safety and security as the country works to triple its nuclear power capacity. U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY Trump’s likely pick to replace his National Security Adviser McMaster really wants to bomb North Korea Business Insider3/16/18 Conventional wisdom in Washington now indicates that Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN, would take over for McMaster in the top security adviser role to Trump. OPINION AND ANALYSIS If Donald Trump does meet Kim Jong Un, a lot could go wrong The Economist3/15/18 But things could be even worse if he doesn’t Rep: Rogers: Hill Must Fund Sea-Launched Nuclear Cruise Missile, Lower Yield Warhead Breaking DefenseMike Rogers 3/15/18 On the nuclear front, Putin’s revelations only make it clearer that President Trump’s 2018 NPR correctly assessed Russia’s intentions and wisely recommended responses. Mike Pompeo should talk to Iran. Here’s why. Washington PostJason Rezaian 3/15/18 Supporters of engagement with Iran shouldn’t give up hope. At a moment when Trump has surprised everyone by choosing the path of negotiations with North Korea, there are sound, practical reasons he should consider sticking with the same approach to Iran. What’s Really Behind Russia’s Public Support of the Trump-Kim Meeting? The DiplomatSamual Ramani 3/15/18 Despite endorsing the talks, Moscow does not expect the potential summit to successfully defuse the Korea crisis. South Korea’s president brought the Trump-Kim summit about The Economist3/15/18 Managing the tensions it will stir will be an even harder task Give North Korea All the Prestige It Wants Foreign PolicyStephen Walt 3/15/18 Donald Trump can afford the humiliation of negotiating with Kim Jong Un. Mike Pompeo Will Be North Korea’s Trump-Whisperer Foreign PolicyDov Zakheim 3/15/18 The new secretary of state could decide the success of the high-stakes Korea summit. A crucial first step for negotiating with North Korea War on the RocksJon Wolfsthal 3/16/18 For over a year, security and Korean experts have appealed for the Trump administration to give diplomacy a chance to end the nuclear standoff with North Korea. Now, the president has agreed to hold a summit with Kim Jong Un, though the details are yet to be worked out. This, it appears, is what Trump’s brand of high-risk, high-reward diplomacy looks like. Why China stopped making fissile material for nukes Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsHui Zhang 3/15/18 Beyond these policy restraints on the size of China’s nuclear arsenal, any large expansion would still be constrained by its limited inventory of fissile material.