Nuclear Policy News – May 29, 2019

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U.S. Says Russia Likely Conducting Low-Yield Nuke Tests, Defying Test Ban Treaty
The Wall Street Journal

Trump adviser John Bolton accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons
CBC News

Odds Of North Korea Denuclearization Are ‘About Zero’ Says Former CIA Director


U.S. Says Russia Likely Conducting Low-Yield Nuke Tests, Defying Test Ban Treaty
The Wall Street Journal5/29/2019
Russia has likely been secretly carrying out very low-yield nuclear tests to upgrade its nuclear arsenal, according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment, challenging Moscow’s claims that it is faithfully adhering to an international treaty banning nuclear tests.

Russia’s Military Wants Its Supersonic Cruise Missiles To Go Hypersonic
Russia is aiming to develop its cruise missiles so that they reach hypersonic speeds. Russian weapons manufacturer Tactical Missiles Corporation is developing supersonic cruise missiles used by the Russian Armed Forces, the company’s CEO Alexander Leonov, said.

Middle East

Iran hits out at US after Trump nuclear weapons comment
Al Jazeera5/27/2019
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif insists Tehran is not seeking nuclear weapons, accuses US of causing regional tensions.

Trump adviser John Bolton accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons
CBC News5/29/2019
Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Wednesday there was “no reason” for Iran to back out of its nuclear deal with world powers other than to seek atomic weapons, a year after the U.S. president unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the accord.

Iran: ‘We currently see no prospect of negotiations with America’
The Hill5/28/2019
Iranian officials on Tuesday said they see no benefit to negotiating with President Trump or members of his administration as tensions between the two nations have reached the highest point in years. Abbas Mousavi, a foreign ministry spokesman, said at a news conference in Tehran that Iran’s government currently sees “no prospect of negotiations with America,” according to Reuters.

U.S. Nuclear News

U.S. believes Russia conducting low-level nuclear tests -official
Thomson Reuters Foundation News5/29/2019
“The United States believes that Russia probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the ‘zero-yield’ standard,” Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley said at an arms control forum at the Hudson Institute.

Airmen caught boozing at launch alert facility for nuclear Minuteman ICBMs
Task & Purpose5/24/2019
Two airmen were administratively punished for drinking at the missile alert facility for 150 nuclear LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, the Air Force confirmed to Task & Purpose on Friday.

East Asia

Odds Of North Korea Denuclearization Are ‘About Zero’ Says Former CIA Director
Former CIA Director John Brennan has voiced skepticism regarding President Donald Trump’s ability to ink a deal with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un that wouldn’t throw close U.S. allies “under the bus,” arguing that the chances of the East Asian nation denuclearizing are “about zero.”


Muting the Hype Over Hypersonics: The Offense-Defense Balance In Historical Perspective
War on the Rocks5/28/2019
Currently, the United States is struggling to adjust to new technological developments as it enters an era of near-peer competition. But it is critical for U.S. policymakers to take the long view of technological change.

Risk of Nuclear Weapons Use Still Lower Than During Cold War
RUSI Analysis – Sam Dudin5/28/2019
Despite increasing nuclear risks in recent years, there have been no reports of national leaders fleeing their country’s capital city out of fear of a nuclear strike. Fighters with air-to-air nuclear missiles are not being scrambled to protect aircraft from enemy interceptors. And it is unlikely that there are any naval captains in recent years who have shouted ‘We’re gonna blast them now! We will die, but we will sink them all’ while ordering a nuclear torpedo to be readied for firing.

Russia’s Massive Nuclear Weapons Arsenal Is a Threat
The National Interest – Mark B. Schneider5/29/2019
The U.S. mainstream view of Russia has changed quite a bit in the last twenty years, particularly in the last five. We have moved from the fantasy that there was no threat from Russia after the demise of the Soviet Union to a recognition of a serious Russian threat to the U.S. and its allies, including a nuclear threat in the last two years of the Obama administration and the Trump administration.

21 Years Of Nuclearization Of South Asia: Current Doctrinal Trends – OpEd
Eurasia Review – Haris Bilal Malik5/29/2019
Since the nuclearization of South-Asia in 1998, the region’s security dynamics have changed considerably. This has had a profound and irreversible impact on regional and extra-regional politics, the security architecture of South Asia and the international nuclear order.

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