Nuclear Policy News – May 10, 2019

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After Trump invite, Iran commander says: No talks with US
AP News

North Korea’s New Weapon Likely to Better Evade Missile Defense
Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Can’t Escape the Middle East
Foreign Policy – Lara Seligman

Middle East

After Trump invite, Iran commander says: No talks with US
AP News5/10/2019
A top commander in Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said Friday that Tehran will not talk with the United States, an Iranian news agency reported — a day after President Donald Trump said he’d like Iranian leaders to “call me.” The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Gen. Yadollah Javani as saying that “there will be no negotiations with America.”

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Donald Trump tells Iran to call him so they can make a ‘fair deal’
Financial Times5/9/2019
US president urges Iran to give up its nuclear programme and says he cannot rule out a military confrontation.

President Donald Trump hopes to ‘sit down’ with Iran over nuclear deal
USA Today5/8/2019
Speaking during a campaign rally in Florida, President Donald Trump raised the prospect of holding talks with Iran over the nuclear deal he withdrew the U.S. from. “I hope to be able at some point, maybe it won’t happen, possibly won’t, to sit down and work out a fair deal, we’re not looking to hurt anybody … we just don’t want (Iran) to have nuclear weapons,” Trump said Wednesday in Panama City Beach.

East Asia

North Korea’s New Weapon Likely to Better Evade Missile Defense
Wall Street Journal5/10/2019
The short-range missiles tested by North Korea can strike much of South Korea and may be able to carry a nuclear warhead, military experts said, providing Pyongyang with extra firepower as diplomatic frictions grow with Washington.

‘Missiles like these will start the war’: North Korea tests showcase growing capability
North Korea’s second missile test on Thursday signals it is serious about developing new, short-range weapons that could be used early and effectively in any war with South Korea and the United States, analysts studying images of the latest launches say.

North Korea fires two short-range missiles, South says
BBC News5/10/2019
North Korea has fired two short-range missiles in its second weapons test in less than a week. The missiles fired from the north-western city of Kusong travelled 420km (260 miles) and 270km towards the east. North Korean state media confirmed that Thursday’s “strike drill” was overseen by leader Kim Jong-un, but did not specify the weapons fired.


The U.S. Can’t Escape the Middle East
Foreign Policy – Lara Seligman5/9/2019
The latest deployment of forces to deter Iran shows the Pentagon’s challenge in shifting resources toward Russia and China. Beyond Iran, Hans Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said the task force deployment is a signal to Russia and China about the offensive capability of America’s bomber force. However, he said, “this is clearly overreach and chest thumping resulting from the administration’s obsession with Iran.”

Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea Is Unraveling
The Atlantic – Uri Friedman5/10/2019
The spectacular summits between the North Korean leader and his American and South Korean counterparts, the lofty joint statements that emerged from them, the Trump-Kim love letters and demolitions of a nuclear-test site and guard posts along the border between the Koreas—all of it was resting on an exceedingly fragile foundation, a foundation that is starting to crumble.

US sanctions on Iran are ‘deliberately provocative,’ expert says
CNBC – Jarrett Blanc5/10/2019
According to Jarrett Blanc from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington’s targeted sanctions and deployment of a carrier strike group to the region are “deliberately provocative.” Still, there is “merit” in pursuing the Iranian nuclear agreement because it allows “some sort of potential influence” over the Iranian government, says Roland Vogt from the University of Hong Kong.

Special Interest

NNSA releases strategic documents
The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) released three strategic documents to guide efforts across the Nuclear Security Enterprise.

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