TOP NEWS North Korea Is Willing to Discuss Giving Up Nuclear Weapons, South Says New York Times North Korea may have made up to $200 million from bitcoins to fund its nuclear weapons Newsweek Donald Trump calls Putin’s nuclear weapons display ‘irresponsible’ in calls with allies Newsweek EAST ASIA North Korea Is Willing to Discuss Giving Up Nuclear Weapons, South Says New York Times3/6/18 North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has told South Korean envoys that his country is willing to begin negotiations with the United States on abandoning its nuclear weapons and that it would suspend all nuclear and missile tests while it is engaged in such talks, South Korean officials said on Tuesday. North Korea may have made up to $200 million from bitcoins to fund its nuclear weapons Newsweek3/5/18 North Korea may have made up to $200 million last year in cryptocurrency transactions, which they used to bypass international sanctions on Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons program, according to an expert. Japanese official allegedly did not rule out building nuclear weapons storage site in Okinawa Japan Times3/6/18 Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Akiba did not rule out the possibility of a nuclear weapons storage site being built in Okinawa Prefecture in comments he allegedly made in 2009 when he was a minister at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, a U.S. researcher said Monday. North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Complex: 5 MWe Reactor is Likely Operating, New Military Encampment Established 38North3/5/18 Commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center from February 25 indicates that the 5 MWe reactor continue to show signs of operation as indicated by steam vapor plumes emanating from the generator hall and river ice melt near the reactor. The Future of North Korean Provocations Council on Foreign Relations3/5/18 North Korea’s nuclear doctrine articulates two purposes for its arsenal: deterrence and coercion. A New Phase Opens on North Korea; Is the U.S. Ready? Wall Street Journal3/5/18 A high-level delegation from South Korea visits the North, potentially opening a new diplomatic path MIDDLE EAST ‘Iran can resume nuclear enrichment to 20% purity in 2 days’ Tehran Times3/5/18 “We are able to return to the former state and even to a new state several times better than the previous one. For example, we can take action in less than 48 hours if we want to enrich to the purity of 20 percent,” Kamalvandi asserted. When Israel Hatched a Secret Plan to Assassinate Iranian Scientists Politico Magazine3/5/18 In May 2003, the deputy head of the Mossad presented a top secret plan to the reclusive Israeli spy agency’s senior leadership, a group of some of the most hard-nosed security men in the world. The plan, the product of an intensive four-month effort, was an ultra-secret strategy to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE Donald Trump calls Putin’s nuclear weapons display ‘irresponsible’ in calls with allies Newsweek3/5/18 President Donald Trump agreed with the leaders of key U.S. allies Germany, the U.K. and France that Russia’s development and display of new nuclear weapons is “irresponsible,” in a series of private phone calls. Radioactivity may confirm Russian nuke-powered missile crash Asia Times3/6/18 Reports of higher radiation levels in northern Europe preceded Putin’s recent claim regarding new weapon in speech Putin’s Name-That-Nuke Contest Draws Thousands of Entries Military.com3/5/18 Russian President Vladimir Putin’s name-that-nuclear weapon contest for the “invincible” new additions to his arsenal of doomsday machines has already drawn thousands of entries, according to Russian state media. OPINION AND ANALYSIS As the US takes the leash off nuclear weapons, how will China react? South China Morning PostZhou Bo 3/5/18 Zhou Bo says the Trump administration’s nuclear posture review demonstrates that nuclear weapons still matter in our post-cold-war environment, but this is unlikely to change China’s defence-oriented nuclear policy Russia Is Offering an Olive Branch, Not Nuclear War Moscow TimesIgor Ivanov 3/6/18 The path to international security is complex, but Russia has proven it is prepared to lead the way The case for — and against — Trump’s North Korea policy VoxZack Beauchamp 3/5/18 I asked three experts whether Trump’s North Korea policy is working — and got three different answers. Expect North Korea to Add Nuclear Coercion to Its Provocation Playbook Defense OnePatrick McEachern 3/5/18 Kim’s nuclear arsenal is built to “deter and coerce.” We’re probably going to find out soon what forms the latter will take. The case for a hard, preemptive American strike on North Korea The HillRobert Monroe The U.S. must use conventional military force to dismantle — totally — North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability. Revisiting the value of the U.S. nuclear umbrella in East Asia War on the RocksEric Gomez 3/6/18 Both the North Korea and China challenges make Terence Roehrig’s book, Japan, South Korea, and the United States Nuclear Umbrella, a valuable tool for American analysts grappling with questions of extended deterrence in an increasingly volatile Northeast Asia.