Nuclear Policy News – May 4, 2018

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Trump Orders Pentagon to Consider Reducing U.S. Forces in South Korea
New York Times

His Predecessors Failed. Can Moon Jae-in Make Peace With North Korea?
New York Times

What could Iran do if Trump pulls out of nuclear deal?


His Predecessors Failed. Can Moon Jae-in Make Peace With North Korea?
New York Times5/3/18
Mr. Moon is keen not to repeat past failures as he stakes his own political career on brokering a deal between the unpredictable leaders of the United States, his nation’s protector, and North Korea, long its mortal foe.

North Korea’s leader was funny, charming, and confident but brought his own toilet
New Yorker5/3/18
Since the historic Korean summit last week, Seoul has been consumed with hot gossip—not whether North Korea will abandon the bomb or end a sixty-eight-year-old war but over the quirks of Kim Jong Un, the world’s most mysterious leader.

Trump Orders Pentagon to Consider Reducing U.S. Forces in South Korea
New York Times5/3/18
President Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for drawing down American troops in South Korea, just weeks before he holds a landmark meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, according to several people briefed on the deliberations.


Iran vows not to renegotiate as Trump’s key decision on nuclear deal’s future looms
Fox News5/4/18
Just days before President Trump is expected to make a key decision on the future of the Iran nuclear deal he has repeatedly threatened to scrap, Iran’s foreign minister has publicly vowed that the country will not take any part in renegotiating the terms of the 2015 agreement.

What could Iran do if Trump pulls out of nuclear deal?
President Donald Trump is expected to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear agreement on May 12. Tehran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain, and the United States in 2015.


Russia says will honor Iran nuclear deal as long as others do: Ifax
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Moscow would honor its commitments on the Iran nuclear deal for as long as other countries did, the Interfax news agency reported.


Should Kim get the credit for the Korean detente?
Washington Post5/3/18
President Trump deserves credit for seizing the moment for negotiations with North Korea. But some little-noticed documents reveal that Kim Jong Un has been planning his denuclearization offer and opening to the United States for the past five years.

Old deals to limit nuclear weapons are fraying. They may not be repaired
Politics and technology make arms control harder than ever

South Korea’s Strategy to Bring Peace to the Peninsula: Credit Trump
The Diplomat5/3/18
Trump enjoys flattery, so the South Koreans are flattering him into engaging North Korea diplomatically.

On North Korea, Trump must avoid his usual bluster
Washington PostNicholas Rasmussen
Looking back over the past 15 months, it is difficult to imagine any serious observer could have predicted we would have transitioned so swiftly from potential “ fire and fury ” on the Korean Peninsula and talk of “ bloody nose ” strikes to discussions about whether President Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the North Korea nuclear problem.

American and Iranian hard-liners await the end of the nuclear deal
Washington Post5/4/18
The imminent collapse of the pact upon which Rouhani staked his credibility, even in the face of heated domestic opposition, may lead the world down a far darker path.


Daniel Ellsberg warns of ‘no survivors’ if U.S. goes to war with ‘criminally insane’ nuclear weapons
Daniel Ellsberg is best known as the defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers and exposed Defense Department lies about American involvement in the Vietnam War. But in 1971, when he took those top secret documents out of his office safe at the Rand Corp., he also took a cache of materials related to his job as one architect of America’s mutually assured destruction nuclear strategy, or MAD.

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