TOP NEWS No location, no agenda: Trump administration scrambles for North Korea talks Washington Post US-South Korean Military Exercises to Begin April 1 US News Why does Saudi Arabia want to spend billions to enrich its own uranium? Washington Post DoD’s cost of low-yield nuclear warhead for submarines set at $48.5 million Defense News EAST ASIA No location, no agenda: Trump administration scrambles for North Korea talks Washington Post3/19/18 In the rush to prepare Trump for his meeting with Kim Jong Un in May, the White House is overseeing a frantic scramble to resolve even the most fundamental questions on the U.S. side: Where will the summit be? Who will be at the table? What should be on the agenda? US-South Korean Military Exercises to Begin April 1 US News3/19/18 The Pentagon says the annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises postponed for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will begin April 1. Sweden briefs South Korea on its talks with North Yonhap News3/19/18 Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom briefed her South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, on the result of her recent talks with North Korea’s top diplomat, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Monday. MIDDLE EAST Why does Saudi Arabia want to spend billions to enrich its own uranium? Washington Post3/19/18 Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has reaffirmed the kingdom’s desire to keep up with Iran’s nuclear program, casting doubt on Saudi claims that it seeks to mine and enrich uranium solely for civilian use and reawakening fears of a Middle East nuclear arms race. Saudi crown prince, Trump to hold ‘critical’ talks on Iran nuclear deal CNBC3/19/20 In his inaugural visit since becoming the heir apparent to the Saudi throne, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is slated to meet with a number of high-profile political and industrial heavyweights. RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE France urges tough EU approach on Iran to save nuclear accord Reuters3/19/18 France urged the European Union on Monday to consider new sanctions on Iran over its involvement in Syria’s civil war and its ballistic missile programme, as Paris tries to persuade Washington to preserve a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. EU reluctant to amend Iran nuclear pact, sees security risk ABC News3/19/18 The European Union’s foreign policy chief says the EU is reluctant to change the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran even as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to walk away from the pact. U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY DoD’s cost of low-yield nuclear warhead for submarines set at $48.5 million Defense News3/19/18 The Pentagon expects to spend $48.5 million over the next five years developing a new low-yield nuclear capability for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. OPINION AND ANALYSIS Inter-Korean and US-North Korea Diplomacy, With Little Help From China The DiplomatAnkit Panda 3/20/18 It’s notable how sidelined China has seemed amid South Korea-engineered diplomatic breakthroughs. Trump, North Korea and Iran The StrategistMohammed Ayoob 3/20/18 Trump’s decision to meet with the North Korean leader has broader implications in the arena of nuclear non-proliferation. N. Korea will not give up nuclear weapons: Mearsheimer Yonhap News Agency3/20/18 There’s no way North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons because they have no reason to believe the United States will implement any denuclearization deal between them, John Mearsheimer, a professor at the University of Chicago well known for his realist views on international politics, said Tuesday. Let’s all pray Trump’s ill-conceived meeting with Kim Jong Un is delayed Washington PostJennifer Rubin If you are nervous about the prospect of an ignorant, undisciplined narcissist meeting with a rogue regime already thought to be in possession of multiple nuclear bombs, you’re not alone. Might Kim actually want to cut a deal? The StrategistRon Huisken 3/20/18 The contention that a single summit could deliver the sort of broad and in-depth agreement needed to sustain the follow-on negotiations is considered a pipe dream. The Case of the “Low-Yield” Trident Warhead Union of Concerned ScientistsStephen Young 3/19/18 What is this new warhead capability, and where does the proposal stand?