Nuclear Policy News – March 30, 2018

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Trump Heralds South Korea Trade Deal, Then Says He Might Delay It
New York Times

‘I’ll win’: Trump reportedly told Putin he would beat him in a nuclear arms race
Business Insider

Pakistan Tests Sub-Launched Nuclear-Capable Cruise Missile


Two minutes to midnight: did the US miss its chance to stop North Korea’s nuclear programme?
The Guardian3/30/18
An unprecedented US mission to Pyongyang in 1999 promised to defuse Kim’s nuclear threat. But it all came to nothing – and then the hawks took power.

How sanctions might actually develop North Korea’s economy
U.N. sanctions on North Korea might be helping to decentralize the North Korean economy and make it more productive.

Can North Korea Handle a K-Pop Invasion?
New York Times3/30/18
It seems odd that the autocratic North Korean regime, which has sought to cut off its citizens from what it calls “decadent capitalism,” is now rolling out the red carpet for these performers.

Trump Heralds South Korea Trade Deal, Then Says He Might Delay It
New York Times3/29/18
President Trump heralded a new trade agreement with South Korea at his first public appearance in nearly a week on Thursday, but then immediately suggested that he might delay finalizing it while negotiating with North Korea over its nuclear program.

Trump says could ‘hold up’ Korea trade deal for N.K. issue
Yonhap News3/30/18
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to “hold up” a renegotiated free trade agreement with South Korea until he reaches a deal with North Korea on its nuclear weapons program.


‘I’ll win’: Trump reportedly told Putin he would beat him in a nuclear arms race
Business Insider3/29/18
President Donald Trump has apparently taken notice of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chest-beating over his country’s nuclear arsenal.

Russia tests its new nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile
Russia tested its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the second time on Friday.


Nuclear security worries drive latest U.S. penalties on Pakistan
The Commerce Department this week sanctioned seven Pakistani companies for alleged links to nuclear trade. Their place on an “Entity List” requires them to obtain special licenses to do business with the U.S.

Pakistan Tests Sub-Launched Nuclear-Capable Cruise Missile
Pakistan announced Thursday that it had successfully conducted another test-firing of a nuclear-capable, submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM), which has a range of 450 kilometers.


Trump Should Do His Nuke Deal Homework
Foreign PolicyPeter Harrell
The Iran nuclear accord contains lessons for talks with North Korea.

Blame Trump When Iran Races for the Bomb
Foreign PolicyTrita Parsi
If the United States breaks its end of the nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic’s hard-liners are going to want a weapon ASAP.

The Bolton threat to the Iran nuclear deal
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsAriane Tabatabai
McMaster’s ousting and Bolton’s arrival, potentially coupled with Mike Pompeo’s ascendance at the State Department as Tillerson’s replacement, make it much likelier for the administration to pull out of the nuclear deal and potentially even confront Iran militarily.

What Kim Jong Un Really Wants From President Trump
How could two of the world’s most bombastic leaders go, in the space of a few months, from trolling each other to displaying the mutual respect implied by a personal meeting?

Why did Kim Jong Un go to China? This is North Korea’s plan to ‘divide and conquer’ U.S. and its top rival in Asia
Kim Jong Un’s risky game of international chess, however, may see nuclear weapons take a back seat to a larger rivalry between the U.S. and China.

Did Kim’s Visit Just Hand China a Trump Card?
Foreign PolicyPatricia Kim
An unannounced visit boosted both Beijing’s and Pyongyang’s leverage in negotiations, but Washington still seems to have no plan.

Three takeaways from Kim Jong Un’s trip to China
Washington PostRush Doshi
Despite Xi’s opportunity to play host and international broker, his talks with Kim — and his warm words and offer to make a return visit to Pyongyang — reflected not strength but Beijing’s anxiety about its role in the upcoming talks over denuclearization, as well as China’s relationship with North Korea.

Trump and Kim Jong Un have a lot in common. Is that a good thing?
Washington PostDavid Ignatius
Nobody in Washington or abroad seems to know just what Trump wants to accomplish in the meeting — an ambiguity the president apparently views as a beneficial source of leverage.

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