TOP NEWS North Korea Asks for Direct Nuclear Talks, and Trump Agrees New York Times US intel chief: North Korea is the ‘hardest intelligence collection target’ Defense News Russia’s new nuclear weapons are technically plausible… The Economist EAST ASIA North Korea Asks for Direct Nuclear Talks, and Trump Agrees New York Times3/8/18 North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has invited President Trump to meet for negotiations over its nuclear program, an audacious diplomatic overture that would bring together two strong-willed, idiosyncratic leaders who have traded threats of war. Japan says North Korea must commit to abandoning nuclear development completely Reuters3/8/18 Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Friday North Korea must commit to abandoning nuclear development completely in order for meaningful talks to take place with Pyongyang. Will the U.S. talk to North Korea? China and Russia may take advantage of Trump’s silence Newsweek3/8/18 North Korea has pursued its most ambitious diplomatic overture to its southern, U.S.-backed rival in years—but President Donald Trump’s hardline stance could encourage rising powers China and Russia to seize the opportunity. N Korea missiles may be ‘political’ rather than actual military deterrent for Pyongyang Asia Times3/9/18 US analyst doubts if North will fully develop ICBMs US intel chief: North Korea is the ‘hardest intelligence collection target’ Defense News3/8/18 On North Korea, Ashley called the isolationist country the United States’ “hardest intelligence collection target. RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE Russia’s new nuclear weapons are technically plausible… The Economist3/8/18 The real question is whether there is any strategic or tactical need for them. Russia ‘Hopeful’ After U.S. Senators Urge Weapons Dialogue — Lawmakers The Moscow Times3/9/18 Russian lawmakers have said they are “hopeful” after U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Secretary of State urging dialogue with Russia over arms control. U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY U.S. Says It Can Meet Threat From Russia’s New Nuclear Weapons Aviation Week3/9/18 Russian President Vladimir Putin’s dramatic unveiling of a phalanx of new ballistic, cruise and hypersonic missiles may be alarming, but it is confirmation of what U.S. government and military officials have long known—that the U.S. lead in these areas is eroding. Trump’s threat of nuclear war with North Korea is making a lot of money for these weapons companies Newsweek3/8/18 As President Donald Trump threatens to launch a nuclear war with North Korea, a small handful of private companies is benefiting from the heightened threat, according to a March report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which unveiled information about the secretive nuclear weapons industry. OPINION AND ANALYSIS North Korea won’t give up its nuclear weapons. The U.S. has 3 good reasons to talk anyway. Washington PostMark Bell 3/9/18 The United States has plenty to gain from talks and has plenty of interests in North Korea beyond denuclearization. Is Putin’s nuclear boasting for real? The StrategistPaul Dibb 3/9/18 How seriously should we take President Vladimir Putin’s address to the Russian Federal Assembly on 1 March 2018, where he boasted about radical breakthroughs with Russia’s new nuclear weapons? Nuclear burden-sharing dictates that Germany acquire the F-35 Defense NewsDan Goure 3/8/18 Nuclear deterrence is again at the forefront of strategic planning issues — not only for the United States but also its major allies, particularly the members of NATO. Welcome to the Korean Game of Thrones National InterestBruce Klingner 3/8/18 Does this week’s development on the Korean Peninsula portend a peaceful resolution or the setup to a Red Wedding? The inter-Korean agreement and Pyongyang’s offer to Trump Bulletin of Atomic ScientistsDuyeon Kim 3/8/18 It is certainly good news that the first-ever US-North Korea summit could take place this year. But the future remains uncertain and highly complicated because of their fundamentally opposed positions on the nuclear issue and many intertwined and complex regional issues. The U.S. and Russia Must Stop the Race to Nuclear War TimeMikhail Gorbachev 3/9/18 When I became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, I felt during my very first meetings with people that what worried them the most was the problem of war and peace. Do everything in order to prevent war, they said.