Nuclear Policy News – March 27, 2019

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India touts military capability with launch of anti-satellite missile
Financial Times

Missile Defense Agency Claims Successful Warhead Intercept
NPR – National Security

Would Iranians welcome a new nuclear deal? Think again.
The Washington Post

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Missile Defense Agency Claims Successful Warhead Intercept
NPR – National Security3/26/2019
The Missile Defense Agency says it has conducted another successful test of its ground-based interceptor system.

Udall Will Not Seek Re-Election in 2020
Exchange Monitor3/26/2019
Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a friend of the Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories who has spent the last two decades on Capitol Hill, on Monday announced he will not run for re-election in 2020.

Middle East

Would Iranians welcome a new nuclear deal? Think again.
The Washington Post3/27/2019
It has been almost a year since President Trump withdrew the United States from the landmark nuclear deal with Iran. Yet the expectation Washington will rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at a future date remains stubbornly strong. More than 50 retired generals and diplomats issued a statement urging Washington to reenter the deal.

US congressional watchdog to probe Saudi nuclear power talks
Financial Times3/26/2019
A US congressional watchdog has agreed to investigate the White House’s discussions about sharing nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia.


Russia’s New Nuclear Missiles Squeeze Response Time
Scientific American3/27/2019
As treaties end, Russia focuses on hypersonic weapons that could “tighten the noose” on current U.S. defenses


India’s NSG hopes may again hit Chinese Wall at Vienna meet
The Economic Times3/27/2019
After refusing to list Masood Azhar as a global terrorist despite overwhelming global opinion, India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) could run into a Chinese wall at the April 1-2 meeting of the elite group in Vienna.

India touts military capability with launch of anti-satellite missile
Financial Times3/27/2019
India successfully tested a new anti-satellite missile on Wednesday — a move that Prime Minister Narendra Modi said had catapulted the country into the space “super-league” but which analysts said risked drawing international opprobrium.

Secret Kim Opponents Claim North Korea Embassy Raid in Spain
Bloomberg LP3/27/2019
A secretive group seeking to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime claimed responsibility for a raid last month on North Korea’s embassy in Madrid, alleging the country’s overseas missions are conduits for illicit funds.

It’s been 4 days since Trump’s confusing North Korea tweet, and we’re still confused
On March 22, Trump tweeted that he would terminate “additional large scale Sanctions” on Pyongyang that he claimed had been announced that day. That led to widespread confusion because no sanctions had been issued that day.


U.S. nuclear policy is undemocratic
The Baltimore Sun3/26/2019
One person has the authority to end the world. There are no checks and balances on this particular presidential power. This has caused more angst lately because the current president sometimes uses Twitter to taunt other foreign leaders and brags about the size of his nuclear button. But the truth is, it has always been a scary situation. And, it has always been fundamentally undemocratic.

Military options for denuclearizing North Korea
The Washington Times – Peter Vincent Pry3/26/2019
After North Korea’s H-Bomb test in September 2017, some analysts, myself included, urged the White House to consider possible military options, using conventional surgical strikes to denuclearize North Korea quickly, while minimizing escalatory risks.

Why China Isn’t Standing By Iran
Bloomberg Opinion3/27/2019
The regime in Tehran was counting on Beijing to defy U.S. sanctions and keep up, even increase, trade. China has other priorities.

After Balakot: India-Pak ties and nuclear bombast
The Asian Age3/27/2019
Politicians on both sides of the border are prone to loose talk and nuclear sabre-rattling is part of their lexicon. We know that in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrikes, India and Pakistan went into some form of nuclear readiness.

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