Nuclear Policy News – March 16, 2020

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NNSA Administrator should have fixed term, nat’l academies panel says
Exchange Monitor

Japan developing new anti-surface warheads for future hypersonic missiles

REPORT: Addressing Unresolved Challenges in U.S. Russia Relations

United States

NNSA Administrator should have fixed term, nat’l academies panel says
Exchange Monitor3/13/20
The head of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) should serve a fixed term, a National Academies panel said this week in an interim report on a four-and-a-half-year study into nuclear security governance.

Planned Los Alamos pit plant could surge to 80 a year, NNSA says
Exchange Monitor3/13/20
Confirming what appeared intuitively obvious, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said Tuesday the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico will have to manufacture 80 nuclear-weapon cores a year by itself in 2030, if a planned facility at Savannah River does not produce pits.

ANALYSIS: U.S. Russian nuclear arms control watch
Arms Control AssociationKingston Reif, Shannon Bugos
President Donald Trump said recently that he is open to meeting with the other heads of state of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to discuss arms control and will soon put forward a trilateral arms control proposal with Russia and China.

OPINION: Modernizing our nuclear enterprise infrastructure keeps Americans safe
Knox NewsLisa Gordon-Hagerty
Despite the aspiration of a world without nuclear weapons, we must take the world as it is, not as we wish it were.

East Asia

North Korea’s Kim guides another round of artillery drills
AP News3/13/20
North Korean state media said Friday that leader Kim Jong Un has supervised another round of artillery exercises, the latest in a series of exercises believed aimed at boosting its fighting capability.

U.S military officials warn of continued N. Korean missile threat
KBS World3/13/20
A high-ranking U.S. defense official has warned U.S. lawmakers that North Korea is accelerating efforts to deploy missiles capable of threatening the U.S. mainland, U.S. forces deployed in the Asia-Pacific theater and U.S. friends and allies.

Japan developing new anti-surface warheads for future hypersonic missiles
Japan is developing two advanced anti-surface warheads that will be fitted onto two hypersonic weapons that are currently also under development, as indicated by several documents obtained by Jane’s from the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo.

ANALYSIS: China’s nuclear arms are a riddle wrapped in a mystery
Foreign PolicyMichael Mazza, Henry Sokolski
Beijing’s plans to build new missiles, expand anti-satellite capabilities and increase nuclear material production far above civilian needs have the world guessing.

Middle East

Australia takes Iran concerns to nuclear watchdog
Speaking at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors’ meeting, Australia’s representative Richard Sadleir expressed Australia’s deep concern at Iran’s breaches of the international nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

Russia and Europe

REPORT: Addressing Unresolved Challenges in U.S. Russia Relations
CSISJeffrey Mankoff, Andrey Kortunov
The two sides can do little at this point to change the overall tenor of a relationship that has taken on an increasingly negative dynamic in recent years.

Multilateral Arms Control

OPINION: Dealing with the INF crisis
ELNEdward Lift
Not long ago, it seemed that nuclear arms control faced several difficult, but slowly developing problems—principally Iran, North Korea and the simmering issue of how to constrain tactical nuclear weapons.

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