Nuclear Policy News – May 1, 2018

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North and South Korea start to dismantle border speakers, fulfilling summit pledge

Trump, Hoping for ‘Great Celebration,’ Wants to Hold North Korea Talks in DMZ
New York Times

Israel Says Secret Files Detail Iran’s Nuclear Subterfuge
New York Times

Russia Launches Floating Nuclear Power Plant; It’s Headed To The Arctic


North and South Korea start to dismantle border speakers, fulfilling summit pledge
North and South Korea began dismantling loudspeakers that blared propaganda across their heavily fortified border on Tuesday, South Korea’s defense ministry said, fulfilling a promise made at last week’s historic summit.

Trump, Hoping for ‘Great Celebration,’ Wants to Hold North Korea Talks in DMZ
New York Times4/30/18
President Trump on Monday fanned expectations for his meeting with Kim Jong-un, saying he would like his talks with the North Korean leader to take place at the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas because “there’s a great celebration to be had on the site” if the negotiations are successful.

Trump reportedly considered withdrawing all US troops from South Korea before the Winter Olympics — but John Kelly stepped in
Business Insider5/1/18
President Donald Trump reportedly considered withdrawing all US troops from the Korean Peninsula — around 28,000 of them — before the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according to an NBC News report published on Monday.

She Sells Baby Pacifiers. Why Is Her Bank Asking About North Korea?
“We’re in the twilight zone as to why and how this happened.”

North Korea’s vow to shut Punggye-ri nuclear site appears mostly symbolic
NBC News4/30/18
Kim Jong Un has already demonstrated that he has a credible nuclear deterrent and recently said the test site had “completed its mission.”

U.S. Wants Proof North Korea Will Dismantle Its Nuclear Program
Wall Street Journal4/30/18
Top U.S. officials expressed caution about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s pledge over the weekend to shut down Pyongyang’s nuclear-test site, saying a dismantling of the North’s weapons program must be “irreversible” and verifiable.


What Netanyahu Did and Didn’t Say About Iran’s Nuclear Program
The Atlantic4/30/18
What Israel’s prime minister included in his presentation is as striking as what he left out.

Israel says it holds a trove of documents from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons archive
Washington Post4/30/18
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said Israel is in possession of tens of thousands of documents and discs that prove that Iran lied about the history of its nuclear weapons program when it signed the 2015 nuclear deal.

Israel Says Secret Files Detail Iran’s Nuclear Subterfuge
New York Times4/30/18
Revealing a huge archive of stolen Iranian nuclear plans, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accused Iran on Monday of lying for years about its efforts to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran Gains, Then Loses, Nuclear Weapons Program Thanks to White House ‘Clerical Error’
New York Magazine5/1/18
“These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people,” said the statement from Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.


Russia Launches Floating Nuclear Power Plant; It’s Headed To The Arctic
Russia launched the world’s first floating nuclear power plant on Saturday. A massive floating nuclear power plant is now making its way toward its final destination at an Arctic port, after Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom launched the controversial craft over the weekend. It’s the first nuclear power plant of its kind, Russian officials say.

Putin stresses importance of observing Iran nuclear deal by all signatories – Kremlin
The situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program was in focus of a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Kremlin press service said on Monday.


Trump’s high-stakes nuclear poker tactics on full display
President Donald Trump is turning two crucial foreign policy dramas — over the Iran deal and a startling opening on the Korean peninsula — into one big game of televised nuclear poker.


Netanyahu and Iran’s Atomic Archive: What’s New and What’s Not
Defense OneJoshua Pollack
Among the new bits: Tehran’s nuclear planners envisioned an arsenal so small as to make Kim Jong Un giggle.

The past 72 hours in North Korea news, explained
VoxAlex Ward
And a debate over whether President Trump should win a Nobel Peace Prize.

What Kim Jong Un Wants From Trump
PoliticoVan Jackson
The United States is playing North Korea’s game. Here’s why that’s dangerous.

Kim Jong Un Is Manipulating the World
The AtlanticKrishnadev Calamur
The North Korean leader has deftly exploited fissures between the U.S. and South Korea.

New Evidence that North Korea Could Still Conduct Nuclear Tests at Punggye-ri
38 North4/30/18
Newly acquired synthetic aperture radar data of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site provides additional evidence that the two mountainous areas accessible by the South and West Portals remain viable, and could support future underground nuclear testing if there were to be a political decision to do so.

Trump poised to kill Iran deal after Macron’s last-minute mission to America fails
NBCJoe Cirincione
In the end, the smiles, the handshakes, the grooming and even the hat could not hide a grim reality: the charismatic president of France had failed.

A Crisis on Each End of Asia
Wall Street Journal4/30/18
Modest success on North Korea is giving the U.S. breathing room to focus on Iran.

Optimism About Korea Will Kill Us All
Foreign PolicyJeffrey Lewis
The first step towards peace is lowering your expectations.

Trump-Kim Summit: Distrust and Verify
Atlantic CouncilAshish Kumar Sen
If the upcoming summit between US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un fails to move the conversation closer to a peaceful resolution, it could result in a return to the belligerence of a few months ago, according to John McHugh, an Atlantic Council board director and former secretary of the US Army.

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