Nuclear Policy News – May 18, 2018

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Trump just contradicted Bolton on North Korea. What’s the ‘Libya model’ they disagree on?
Washington Post

U.S. and South Korea to Discuss North’s ‘Bright Future’
New York Times

Clashing With Trump, E.U. Tries to Blunt U.S. Sanctions on Iran
New York Times

An Indian Interest in North Korea’s 2018 Diplomatic Charm Offensive?
The Diplomat


Trump just contradicted Bolton on North Korea. What’s the ‘Libya model’ they disagree on?
Washington Post5/17/18
President Trump contradicted his national security adviser Thursday on North Korea policy after an angry rebuke from Pyongyang over John Bolton’s comments.

Pentagon Says North Korea’s Regime Has Staked Its Survival on Nuclear Weapons
North Korea is making strides in its cyber warfare abilities and has staked its survival on the rapid development of nuclear weapons, according to a Pentagon report, signaling the difficulties the U.S. confronts in seeking the complete “denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula.

In Pyongyang, anti-U.S. propaganda posters mostly disappear
NK News5/17/18
Internal-track propaganda takes a less aggressive tone in recent months, photos show

North Korea ‘declines’ South Korea media for nuclear site event; China urges ‘stability’
North Korea has declined to accept a list of South Korean journalists hoping to observe the closure of its nuclear test site, South Korea said on Friday, raising new questions about the North’s commitment to reducing tension.

President Trump Says Kim Jong Un Will Remain in Power if He Gives Up Nuclear Weapons
President Donald Trump sought to preserve an upcoming summit with North Korea Thursday, assuring leader Kim Jong Un that he would retain power if he relinquished North Korea’s nuclear weapons and would not face attempts at regime change.

Trump: Nuclear Deal Would Be Good For North Korea
President Trump offered assurances that North Korea would benefit from any deal it reaches with the U.S. regarding its nuclear program, amid uncertainty about whether negotiations between the two countries will actually take place.

North Korea says U.S. ‘has not given up’ plans to rule world with military budget targeting Russia and China
North Korea has condemned a recently drafted U.S. defense spending proposal, accusing Washington and the Pentagon of attempting to maintain military dominance by pouring money into the armed forces.

U.S. and South Korea to Discuss North’s ‘Bright Future’
New York Times5/18/18
When the South Korean president meets with President Trump in Washington next week, the two will discuss security assurances and economic incentives for a denuclearizing North Korea, following up on Mr. Trump’s reassuring words for the North’s young leader, a presidential aide in Seoul said on Friday.


Russia’s Poseidon Underwater Drone to Carry Nuke Warhead
Defence Talk5/18/18
Russia’s Poseidon underwater drone currently under development will be able to carry a nuclear warhead with a capacity of up to 2 megatonnes to destroy enemy naval bases, a source in the Russian defense sector told TASS on Thursday.

Russia to send supersonic bombers to protect Arctic borders
Russia will strengthen the security of its eastern maritime border with the help of Tu-160 supersonic strategic bombers, a military official said Friday.

For European firms, resisting American sanctions may be futile
The Economist5/19/18
But the Trump administration is playing fast and loose with a dangerous weapon

Britain’s May agrees with France, Germany on upholding Iran nuclear deal
British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed with the leaders of Germany and France on Thursday to uphold the Iran nuclear deal after meeting on the sidelines of an EU summit in Bulgaria, May’s spokeswoman said.

EU firms will make their own call on Iran business: Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday Europe would try to protect its companies doing business with Iran from U.S. sanctions, reimposed over Tehran’s nuclear program, but said giants like Total would make their own choices.

Clashing With Trump, E.U. Tries to Blunt U.S. Sanctions on Iran
New York Times5/17/18
Venting anger at President Trump, European leaders said Thursday they would take steps aimed at blunting the effects of the American sanctions he restored on Iran, which could penalize European companies doing business there.

Europe has few good options for dealing with Donald Trump
The Economist5/17/18
If America’s president does not value allies, they cannot make him


An Indian Interest in North Korea’s 2018 Diplomatic Charm Offensive?
The Diplomat5/18/18
India will take an interest in how North Korea chooses to approach the CTBT.

India gets new nuclear submarine missiles, joining only Russia, China, U.S. and France
India has equipped its latest nuclear-powered submarine with a new nuclear-capable missile that can hit targets up to 435 miles away, a capability enjoyed by only four other countries on Earth.


Maximum pressure on North Korea is gone, and it isn’t coming back
Washington PostJosh Rogin
The Trump administration says that if the upcoming summit between the United States and North Korea fails or doesn’t happen at all, the United States and its allies can go right back to the “maximum pressure” campaign that brought Kim Jong Un to the table in the first place. In reality, doing that would be difficult if not impossible.

North Korea’s Second Thoughts on the Summit with Donald Trump
The New YorkerEvan Osnos
In singling out Bolton, Pyongyang is exploiting the Administration’s competing, and occasionally triumphalist, messages on North Korea.

Nuclear deal Trump seeks with North Korea could mirror Iran deal he hates
Washington Post5/18/18
President Trump says he wants to strike a nuclear deal with North Korea that would benefit “the whole world” by neutralizing a looming threat, and he is willing to trade economic concessions to help make it happen.

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