Nuclear Policy News – May 29, 2018

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Top North Korean official on his way to U.S. for talks on Trump-Kim summit
Washington Post

White House Halts New North Korea Sanctions in Mad Dash to Save Summit
Wall Street Journal

China and Russia Push Into Iran, Exploiting Europe’s Caution
Wall Street Journal

Destruction at North Korea’s Nuclear Test Site: A Review in Photos
38 North


Top North Korean official on his way to U.S. for talks on Trump-Kim summit
Washington Post5/29/18
A top North Korean official is on his way to United States for talks about a landmark summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump, as efforts to the make the meeting happen go into overdrive.

White House Halts New North Korea Sanctions in Mad Dash to Save Summit
Wall Street Journal5/29/18
U.S. puts off escalating sanctions on Pyongyang as talks to meet in Singapore in June continue

Trump and Abe make plans to meet ahead of Kim summit, agree it’s ‘imperative’ to dismantle North Korea’s nukes
Japan Times5/29/18
U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Monday that it is “imperative” to completely dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program, the White House said.

North Korea Nuclear Disarmament Could Take 15 Years, Expert Warns
New York Times5/28/18
As the Trump administration races to start talks with North Korea on what it calls “rapid denuclearization,” a top federal government adviser who has repeatedly visited the North’s sprawling atomic complex is warning that the disarmament process could take far longer, up to 15 years.

Summit collapse foils chance to press North Korea on suspicious sites
Washington Post5/25/18
The cancellation of next month’s U.S.-North Korea summit has delayed a confrontation over key elements of Pyongyang’s advanced weapons programs, including what some Western intelligence officials say is a second uranium-enrichment site operating inside the country.

U.S. and North Korean Officials Race to Resurrect Trump-Kim Meeting
New York Times5/27/18
The United States and North Korea on Sunday kicked off an urgent, behind-the-scenes effort to resurrect a summit meeting between their two leaders by June 12, racing to develop a joint agenda and dispel deep skepticism about the chances for reaching a framework for a lasting nuclear agreement in so little time.

Trump says North Korea has ‘potential,’ GOP lawmakers remain skeptical
Trump and the State Department said a U.S. delegation was in talks with North Korean officials.

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un does not need U.S. support, China and Russia will do just fine
North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un may no longer get the unprecedented face-to-face meeting with President Donald Trump he wanted—and that may just work out in his favor.

China steps up pace in new nuclear arms race with U.S. and Russia as experts warn of rising risk of conflict
China is aggressively developing its next generation of nuclear weapons, conducting an average of five tests a month to simulate nuclear blasts, according to a major Chinese weapons research institute

Trump’s On-Again, Off-Again Summit Style Unnerves Asian Allies
New York Times5/25/18
Leaders in Asia have grown accustomed by now to President Trump’s breathtaking unpredictability.


Iran asks Europe what it can offer to keep it in the nuclear deal after U.S. pullout
Washington Post5/25/18
Iran will decide within weeks whether to stay in a faltering deal to restrain its nuclear program and is pressing Europe to compensate for President Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions, a senior Iranian official said Friday.

China and Russia Push Into Iran, Exploiting Europe’s Caution
Wall Street Journal5/28/18
Companies move to supplant departing European firms worried about running afoul of new U.S. sanctions against Tehran


The 60-Year Downfall of Nuclear Power in the U.S. Has Left a Huge Mess
The Atlantic5/28/18
The demand for atomic energy is in decline. But before the country can abandon its plants, there’s six decades of waste to deal with.

S Carolina sues feds over end of nuclear fuel program
Hastings Tribune5/26/18
South Carolina is suing the federal government after the Energy Department announced it was stopping construction of a plant to turn plutonium used in nuclear weapons into fuel for nuclear reactors.


Destruction at North Korea’s Nuclear Test Site: A Review in Photos
38 North5/25/18
A preliminary review of emerging images bring some insights into North Korea’s nuclear weapons testing regime.

North Korea Wants to End up Like Pakistan, Not Libya
The AtlanticDominic Tierney
A poor country made enormous sacrifices to get nuclear weapons—and has them still.

Within 3 months, Trump’s dealings with North Korea and Iran have antagonized: Russia, China, Germany, France, Japan, Britain, Austria, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Portugal, Finland, Ireland, South Korea […]
Washington PostRick Noack
The question now is: Will Trump’s tough talk isolate the United States or will it ultimately end up forcing Iran and North Korea to agree to concessions?

Concrete steps toward North Korean nuclear dismantlement
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsYong-Sup Han
If any such summit, as well as its follow-on negotiations, are to succeed, four conditions will have to be met.

The United States has learned the wrong lessons from previous diplomacy with North Korea
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsChristopher Lawrence
As we scramble to make sense of the on-again/off-again prospect of diplomacy with North Korea, it is important to look at the record and see what previous efforts have yielded and what we can learn from them.

Why Trump failed with North Korea and China
Washington PostJennifer Rubin
Figuring out why President Trump failed in diplomacy with China and North Korea is important if only to extract lessons for subsequent presidents who will be more teachable and less emotionally needy than the current president. The first step is acknowledging that Trump and his negotiators have screwed up — badly.

E.U. countries want to save the Iran nuclear deal. Don’t expect cooperation on U.S. sanctions.
Washington PostBryan Early
On Saturday, the E.U. energy chief reassured Iranian officials that Europe would continue to honor the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement — despite the U.S. announcement this month that it would exit the agreement.

How Far Is Trump Willing to Go to Change Iran’s Behavior?
Foreign PolicyJohn Hannah
The Trump Team has shown its commitment to curbing Tehran — but remains stingy with the details.

Nuclear diplomacy between Brazil and Argentina: an imperfect but important history lesson
War on the RocksSara Kutchesfahani
International observers witnessed a historic moment on April 27 when the leaders of North and South Korea met for a landmark summit, the first time the two countries’ leaders had met in over a decade.

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