TOP NEWS U.S. approved secret nuclear power work for Saudi Arabia Reuters India Shot Down a Satellite, Modi Says, Shifting Balance of Power in Asia New York Times Constraining Iran’s future nuclear capabilities Brookings Institution Middle East U.S. approved secret nuclear power work for Saudi Arabia Reuters3/27/2019 U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has approved six secret authorizations by companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, according to a copy of a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The Trump administration has quietly pursued a wider deal on sharing U.S. nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia, which aims to build at least two nuclear power plants. Several countries including the United States, South Korea and Russia are in competition for that deal, and the winners are expected to be announced later this year by Saudi Arabia. US approves secret nuclear power work for Saudi Arabia Al Jazeera3/28/2019 Perry’s approvals, known as Part 810 authorisations, allow companies to do preliminary work on nuclear power in advance of any deal but not ship equipment that would go into a plant, a source with knowledge of the agreements told Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity. Asia/Pacific India Shot Down a Satellite, Modi Says, Shifting Balance of Power in Asia New York Times3/27/2019 Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Wednesday that India had test-fired a rocket that shot down one of its own satellites, escalating the country’s rivalry with China and Pakistan, and demonstrating a strategic capability in space that few countries possess. US: North Korean nuke work ‘inconsistent’ with disarmament AP3/27/2019 North Korea’s work on nuclear weapons and missiles is “inconsistent” with its stated intent to move toward nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula, the commander of American and allied forces in South Korea said Wednesday. A ‘palpable air of calm’ along Korea’s DMZ but growing concerns about rising regional rivals Military Times3/27/2019 Gen. Robert Abrams, head of U.S. Forces Korea, said today’s relative tranquility stands in stark contrast to a few years ago, at the height of North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests. “The tension has reduced significantly,” he told the House Armed Services Committee. “Along the demilitarized zone, on the West Sea, the East Sea, along the Northern Limit Line, inside the Joint Security Area, that for the first time since 1976…is now 100 percent demilitarized. Opinion/Analysis Ernest Moniz: Risk of nuclear attack highest since Cuban Missile Crisis Axios3/27/2019 In a lengthy interview, Moniz told Axios he is particularly concerned about the erosion of the U.S.-Russia arms control regime, which could collapse entirely if the Trump administration declines to renew the New START treaty. Five Ways to Counter INF Violations Valdai Discussion Club- Ulrich Kühn3/27/2019 Time is running out on the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. In early August, the Trump administration will legally pull out of the accord with Russia banning ground-launched missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. While it is not too late for a diplomatic solution and potential arms control measures to salvage INF’s legacy (see my last column here), it becomes increasingly clear that neither the likely perpetrator, Russia, nor the accuser, the United States, is willing to compromise. Don’t Stop Believing in Arms Control Inkstick Media -Aaron Richards3/28/2019 While the end of the INF Treaty may appear to create a potential arms race, all is not lost. The future of arms control should not be abandoned altogether, as some have argued. But we must take a new approach. Special Interest Constraining Iran’s future nuclear capabilities Brookings Institution3/28/2019 The United States needs a new strategy for effectively constraining Iran’s future nuclear capabilities. The Trump administration’s current approach has little chance of succeeding. But simply returning the United States to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a long-term solution. By the time the United States would return to the 2015 deal, key nuclear restrictions would soon expire.