Nuclear Policy News – May 15, 2018

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North Korea has Begun Dismantlement of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site
38 North

Allies fume over Trump’s withdrawal from Iran deal but have few options to respond
Washington Post

A step-by-step plan for denuclearizing North Korea


North Korea has Begun Dismantlement of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site
38 North5/14/18
After initial reporting of plans to allow experts and media personnel to observe the closing of North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, now scheduled for next week, commercial satellite imagery from May 7 provided the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway.

The past 72 hours in surprising North Korea news, explained
A possible nuclear agreement, a potential historic concession, and perhaps a change in America’s stance toward North Korea.

Safety, verification questions hang over North Korea’s plan to close nuclear site
Shutting down North Korea’s nuclear test site is trickier than it might seem.

Top U.S. diplomat Pompeo stokes concern over North Korea as Abe seeks to avoid being shut out of diplomatic process
Japan Times5/14/18
Comments by the top U.S. diplomat Sunday that the main objective of talks with North Korea next month is to eliminate the isolated country’s long-range nuclear missile capabilities are likely to raise eyebrows in Tokyo as Japan hustles to avoid being shut out of the diplomatic process.

N. Korean leader ordered expansion of inter-Korean industrial complex: defector
Yonhap News5/14/18
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un spoke favorably of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and ordered the construction of 14 more such industrial parks across the North, a high-profile defector said in his autobiography published on Monday.

N. Korea’s ultimate goal is to become nuclear weapons state: former N.K. diplomat
Yonhap News5/14/18
North Korea’s ultimate goal is to become a nuclear weapons state, a former North Korean diplomat said Monday, expressing skepticism over the possibility of the North eventually abandoning its nuclear weapons.

N. Korea will always be recessed nuclear weapons state: Gallucci
Yonhap News5/15/18
A former American negotiator on Monday cast doubts over the prospect of irreversibly dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.


Allies fume over Trump’s withdrawal from Iran deal but have few options to respond
Washington Post5/14/18
America’s three closest friends in Europe — Britain, France and Germany — are near-bursting with anger and exasperation at the United States.

With few options, Iran, Europe try to save nuclear deal
Europe and Iran sought a united front on Tuesday to save the nuclear deal U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned last week, with Britain warning against regime change and Tehran expressing hope it could keep the economic benefits of the accord.


Europeans Seek to Preserve Iran Nuclear Deal
Atlantic Council5/14/18
The European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal are seeking ways to soften the bite of US sanctions on companies doing business in the Islamic Republic, David O’Sullivan, the European Union’s ambassador to the United States, said at the Atlantic Council on May 14.

Friends without benefits: how Europe was wrongfooted by Trump over Iran
The Guardian5/14/18
World leaders thought they gained traction in a last-minute bid to salvage the Iran deal, but Trump’s radicalism persisted


“We’re paying a heavy price”: Senator Ben Cardin takes on Trump’s “sledgehammer” foreign policy
Vanity Fair5/14/18
With tensions rising around the world, Cardin explains what worries him about Iran and North Korea, why the last Democratic midterms were “disastrous,” and how James Mattis could save us all.


By ending the Iran deal, Trump has put America on the path to war
The GuardianBernie Sanders
We need to try to talk with Iran’s government, seek a better relationship with the Iranian people, and a more constructive role for Iran in the region

As America withdraws from Iran deal, can rest of world save it?
The HillBarbara Slavin
It will be very hard for Iran to keep observing these limits when Washington cheated first and the American president’s advisers now include open proponents of violent regime change in Iran.

Trump, Iran and American Power
Wall Street JournalWalter Russell Mead
The president sees Tehran’s overreach as an opportunity to arrest U.S. decline.

A step-by-step plan for denuclearizing North Korea
BrookingsMichael O’Hanlon
The recent news about the upcoming summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore is exciting and encouraging.

Is Mike Pompeo backing off Trump’s demand that North Korea get rid of its nukes?
Washington Post5/14/18
Asked last month what he meant when he said “denuclearization,” Trump said: “It means they get rid of their nukes — very simple.” But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sounded a somewhat different tune Sunday.

We’re setting ourselves up for failure on North Korea
Washington PostJennifer Rubin
You can thus understand our puzzlement over the Trump administration’s decision to sneer at incremental deal-making and instead bet — with the president’s prestige and credibility at stake — on a once-in-a-lifetime deal in which a totalitarian state decides to change its character.

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