Nuclear Policy News – March 26, 2018

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US study group: N.Korea nuclear activity slows
NHK World

Russia names Putin’s new ‘super weapons’ after a quirky public vote

The return of John Bolton, a hawk on North Korea and Iran, sparks concerns around the world
Washington Post


Obama, in Japan, says NKorea’s isolation means less leverage
Washington Post3/25/18
Former President Barack Obama said Sunday that negotiations with North Korea on its nuclear weapons program are difficult, partly because the country’s isolation minimizes possible leverage, such as trade and travel sanctions against Pyongyang.

Will North Korea give up nuclear weapons? These photos suggest Kim Jong Un may be serious
North Korea has suspended activity at its main nuclear site, according to recent satellite imagery and expert analysis that appeared to support Pyongyang’s offers to solve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula diplomatically.

Former defense secretary: I’m skeptical about Trump-Kim Jong Un meeting
Cohen, who led the Defense Department under the Bill Clinton White House, maintained that he had reservations about the North Korea talks based on his personal experience.

Trump should insist on Libya-style denuclearization for North Korea: Bolton
Business Insider3/23/18
John Bolton, U.S. President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, said Trump should insist that any meeting he holds with North Korea’s leader must be focused squarely on how to eliminate that country’s nuclear weapons program as quickly as possible.

US study group: N.Korea nuclear activity slows
NHK World3/23/18
US researchers analyzing satellite imagery of a nuclear test site in North Korea report slower activities, which is noteworthy amid the country’s recent desire for dialogue. But the researchers do not rule out possibility of a temporary suspension.

Japan’s Security Alliance Dilemma
The Diplomat3/24/18
Tokyo has serious concerns about the U.S.-North Korea dialogue and also the potential of nuclear war.


Four Ways Trump Could Dump The Iran Nuclear Agreement
Five Thirty Eight3/26/18
President Trump ditched two key members of his foreign policy team in the span of two weeks, and perhaps no international agenda item is now set to undergo as big a change as the U.S. posture on the Iran nuclear deal.


Russia names Putin’s new ‘super weapons’ after a quirky public vote
Russia has unveiled the names for a new generation of nuclear-powered missiles touted by President Vladimir Putin as invincible after more than seven million people took part in a quirky public vote organised by the Russian military.


U.S. sanctions Pakistani companies over nuclear trade
The United States has imposed sanctions on seven Pakistani companies over suspicion they have links to the nuclear trade, potentially hurting Pakistan’s ambitions to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).


Inside the base that would oversee a US nuclear strike
If the unthinkable happens and a nuclear exchange between the US and North Korea or Russia happens, President Donald Trump will rely on a secure underground facility at a base in the middle of the United States to carry out his orders.

The return of John Bolton, a hawk on North Korea and Iran, sparks concerns around the world
Washington Post3/23/18
President Trump’s decision to make John Bolton his new national security adviser ricocheted around the globe Friday, unsettling allies and raising alarm that a hawk who advocates military action against North Korea and Iran will have the president’s ear.

‘America First’ Bears a New Threat: Military Force
New York Times3/24/18
The incoming national security adviser has called for the “swift takeover” of North Korea by the South. He and the newly nominated secretary of state have urged withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.


North Korea and the Problem of Managing Emerging Nuclear Powers
LawfareNicholas Miller
By freezing the roster of legitimate nuclear powers at the five that existed in 1968, the NPT makes it difficult for the United States to adopt realistic policies toward countries that have subsequently acquired nuclear weapons.

Why the United States might accept a nuclear North Korea
Washington PostElmar Hellendoorn
Once countries develop nuclear weapons, the U.S. works to influence, not annihilate, them.

3 Steps Trump Should Take Before Meeting Kim Jong Un
Foreign PolicyMichael Singh
Failure to prepare properly would carry significant risks.

John Bolton Is a National Security Threat
Foreign PolicyColin Kahl and Jon Wolfsthal
John Bolton wants regime change in North Korea and Iran, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it.

Yes, John Bolton Really Is That Dangerous
New York Times3/23/18
The good thing about John Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, is that he says what he thinks. The bad thing is what he thinks.

John Bolton’s Radical Views on North Korea
The AtlanticUri Freidman
The president’s new national-security adviser doesn’t seem to think the current strategy is likely to work.

Trump and Bolton’s Plan to Isolate Allies and Encourage Enemies
New York Times3/25/18
John R. Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, has never met a war he didn’t want.

Why North Korea called John Bolton ‘human scum and a bloodsucker’ in 2003
Washington Post3/23/18
When it comes to controversial selections for national security adviser, there are few more divisive than John Bolton.

Russian Nuclear Doctrine and Escalation
Arms Control Wonk3/23/18
What is Russia’s nuclear doctrine? Jeffrey talks to Dr. Olga Oliker about Russian nuclear doctrine and developments.

Red Glare: the origin and implications of Russia’s ‘new’ nuclear weapons
War on the RocksAustin Long
Why would Russia, which has over 1,500 deployed strategic nuclear warheads that can already be delivered from existing ballistic and cruise missiles, invest in these new, exotic — and, according to some, crazy — systems?

Beijing’s Anti-Satellite and Missile Defense Systems: A Threat to its Neighbors
NIPPDavis Florick
Chinese criticism of United States (US), ally, and partner missile defense investments is highly self-serving and ignores China’s own significant expenditure on missile defense and anti-satellite systems.

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