Nuclear Policy News – May 21, 2018

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U.S. Scrapped Training Exercise With South Korea Involving B-52s
Wall Street Journal

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

U.S. Wants to Restart Nuclear Talks With Iran, but Hasn’t Budged on Demands
New York Times

New ICBM in 2020, hypersonic glider in 2019: Putin outlines nuclear deployment plans


Moon heads to US amid fears for Trump-Kim summit
South Korean President Moon Jae-In heads to Washington on Monday to do what he can to shore up plans for a US-North Korea summit that seem to be on shaky ground.

U.S. Scrapped Training Exercise With South Korea Involving B-52s
Wall Street Journal5/18/18
South Korea expressed concern in advance of U.S.-North Korea summit, officials say

North Korea eyeing $10,000 ‘visa fee’ for foreign reporters to observe nuke site dismantling
Japan Times5/21/18
North Korea could seek to charge a handful of foreign reporters $10,000 each for a visa to cover live the planned dismantlement of its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, reports said Monday.

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.

Trump Grappling With Risks of Proceeding With North Korea Meeting
New York Times5/20/18
President Trump, increasingly concerned that his summit meeting in Singapore next month with North Korea’s leader could turn into a political embarrassment, has begun pressing his aides and allies about whether he should take the risk of proceeding with a historic meeting that he had leapt into accepting, according to administration and foreign officials.

N. Korea calls dismantling of nuclear site ‘significant measure’: report
Yonhap News Agency5/20/18
North Korea on Sunday stressed the importance of its dismantling the Punggye-ri nuclear test site this week and called it a “significant measure” amid reports the North has disregarded South Korea’s roster of journalists planning to cover the dismantlement.

China tests bombers on South China Sea island
China says it has landed long-range bombers for the first time on an island in the South China Sea, the latest in a series of maneuvers putting Beijing at odds with its neighbors and Washington over China’s growing military presence around disputed islands.


Pompeo to call for broad support to pressure Iran
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will outline a “diplomatic road map” and call for broad support from European and other allies to apply pressure on Iran to force it back to the negotiating table, a senior U.S. official said on Friday, as Washington seeks to chart a course after it pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal.

U.S. Wants to Restart Nuclear Talks With Iran, but Hasn’t Budged on Demands
New York Times5/18/18
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will outline a new strategy on Monday for constraining Iran, centered around a demand that the United States’ European allies have already rejected: that Tehran enter negotiations in a new deal that would permanently ban Iran from any substantive manufacturing of nuclear fuel and, in turn, forever cut off a pathway to building a bomb.

U.S. Lays Out Demands for New Iran Deal
Wall Street Journal5/21/18
Mike Pompeo calls on Iran to stop enriching all uranium, halt support for militant groups

US issues steep list of demands for nuclear treaty with Iran
Washington Post5/21/18
The United States on Monday issued a steep list of demands to be included in a nuclear treaty with Iran to replace the deal scuttled by President Donald Trump and threatened “the strongest sanctions in history” if Iran doesn’t change course.

Iran Uses Nuclear Pact as Bargaining Chip With EU Over U.S. Sanctions
Wall Street Journal5/20/18
Tehran’s suggestion could drive wedge between Washington and Brussels


Russia hints at a nuclear armed drone submarine for 2027
When a country decides to name a category of vessel after the god of the ocean, it suggests a gravitas, a significance that no lesser name would convey.

Europe reassures Iran of commitment to nuclear deal without U.S
The European Union’s energy chief sought to reassure Iran on Saturday that the bloc remained committed to salvaging a nuclear deal with Tehran despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the accord and reimpose sanctions.

New ICBM in 2020, hypersonic glider in 2019: Putin outlines nuclear deployment plans
The Russian military is expected to deploy the Sarmat ICBM in 2020 and the Avangard hypersonic glider warhead in 2019, according to Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s first sea-borne nuclear power plant arrives in Arctic
Russia’s first-floating nuclear power plant arrived in the Arctic port of Murmansk over the weekend in preparation for its maiden mission, providing electricity to an isolated Russian town across the Bering Strait from Alaska.


Disappearance of weapons at Air Force base prompts investigation
The disappearance of a machine gun and a box of grenades from an Air Force base in North Dakota has prompted military officials to order a full, command-wide inventory and investigation to establish that weapons used by security personnel at eight military bases are accounted for, according to a US military official familiar with the details of the situation.


Trump’s Only Iran Strategy Is to Punish Iran
The AtlanticJake Sullivan
The administration doesn’t want a grand bargain with the Islamic Republic. They want a different government.

What the North Koreans Told Me About Their Plans
The AtlanticJoel S. Wit
I was one of a handful of former officials to meet with them when they were just developing their current strategy. Those talks offer the best information we have about how to achieve denuclearization.

Why North Korea is destroying its nuclear test site
BBCCatherine Dill
North Korea has said it will start dismantling its nuclear test site this week, in a ceremony to be attended by foreign journalists. But what would it take for the country to truly “denuclearise”?

In Europe, Standing Up to America Is Now Patriotic
The AtlanticKrishnadev Calamur
Trump’s decision to leave the Iran deal is bigger than Iran. It’s exposing more cracks in the trans-Atlantic alliance.

Ending the Dead End in North Korea
New York TimesJames Clapper
I had not fully appreciated the consuming siege mentality that pervades North Korea until I visited and engaged directly with senior officials there in November 2014.

Trump’s ‘Libya Model’ Remark on North Korea Was a Threat and May Sink the June 12 Summit
The DiplomatAnkit Panda
Trump tried to reassure Kim, but instead ended up reminding him why he needs his nuclear weapons.

North Korea is acting up because Trump has it cornered
Washington PostMarc Thiessen
North Korea’s recent temper tantrum over U.S.-South Korean military exercises and its threat to pull out of its upcoming summit with President Trump are signs that Trump’s North Korea strategy is working.

Pyongyang’s Brushback Pitch
38NorthLeon Sigal
Peace is a critical part of Pyongyang’s aim in its diplomatic give-and-take with Washington and Seoul. That’s why US and South Korean military authorities were right to cancel the B-52 flights.

The Pentagon is seeking money for a new nuclear weapon. Congress should be skeptical.
Washington PostWalter Pincus
Top Pentagon officials are telling some pretty tall tales in seeking congressional support for a new, low-yield, nuclear warhead to put on a long-range, submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Kim Jong Un is the real artist of the deal, not Donald Trump
Washington PostJeffrey Lewis
The North Korean leader is outmaneuvering President Trump.

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