Nuclear Policy News – May 6, 2019

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In Weapons Tests, North Korea Revives an Old Playbook, With a Strategic Twist
New York Times

China won’t join talks on trilateral nuclear disarmament deal: FM

Europe vows to uphold Iran nuclear deal as Trump raises pressure

East Asia

In Weapons Tests, North Korea Revives an Old Playbook, With a Strategic Twist
New York Times5/4/2019
After gaining few tangible economic benefits from two summit meetings, the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is now turning to a well-worn playbook written by his father and grandfather. On Saturday, the North fired a volley of projectiles off its eastern coast in a move that analysts said was intended to escalate the pressure on Mr. Trump to return to the negotiating table.

North Korea: Kim Jong-un oversees ‘strike drill’ missile component test
BBC News5/5/2019
“A number of short-range projectiles” were fired from the Hodo peninsula into the Sea of Japan on Saturday. North Korea’s leader gave the order of firing to “increase the combat ability” of the country, the announcement said. US President Donald Trump tweeted he believed Mr Kim would not jeopardise the path towards better relations. He added that the North Korean leader “knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!

Pompeo insists North Korea nuclear deal still possible despite weapons test
The Guardian5/5/2019
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Sunday that a nuclear disarmament deal between the US and North Korea was still possible, despite the country’s launch of several short-range projectiles into the sea one day earlier.

China won’t join talks on trilateral nuclear disarmament deal: FM
Spokesperson Geng Shuang dismissed such a possibility at a press briefing. “China unswervingly follows a path of peaceful development and upholds a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. Our defense spending is reasonable and moderate. Our nuclear forces have been at the lowest level of national security needs and are not on the same scale with the United States and Russia.”


Europe vows to uphold Iran nuclear deal as Trump raises pressure
European powers vowed Saturday to uphold the Iran nuclear accord in response to Washington cancelling waivers that had allowed a small group of countries to continue buying Iranian oil despite the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

Treaty on prohibition of nuclear weapons ‘a mistake’ – Russian foreign ministry
TASS Russian News Agency5/3/2019
The development of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) undermines the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Russian Foreign Ministry stated in a message published on Friday. The statement was made during the session of the preparatory committee for the 2020 review conference of the parties to the NPT on the issues of nuclear disarmament, held in New York.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Navy strike group deployed to send ‘message’ to Iran
The U.S. military is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Central Command region in the Middle East to send a “clear and unmistakable message” to Iran, national security adviser John Bolton said in a statement Sunday.


A US detente with China and Russia would boost the world economy
CNBC – Dr. Michael Ivanovitch5/6/2019
Trust is an economic variable in short supply among the nuclear behemoths jostling for global dominance. But without an architecture of verifiable trust, codified in enforceable international rules and regulations, world trade and investments would dry up.

The US’s wrong-headed decision to pull out of the nuclear arms treaty
Financial Times- Liu Xiaoming5/5/2019
The INF treaty is, in nature, bilateral rather than multilateral. IT was a deal between the world’s two largest military powers to avoid an endless arms race. It has resulted in the destruction of 2,692 missiles, played an important role in easing tensions and between major countries, safeguarding regional and world peace, maintaining strategic balance and stability.

How to Dismantle the Absurd Profitability of Nuclear Weapons
The Intercept5/4/2019
A new report from PAX, a Dutch peace organization, both illuminates how profitable it can be for multinational corporations to manufacture Armageddon and provides a roadmap for taking the money out of mass death. The PAX report identifies a total of $116 billion in current contracts between governments and the private sector to design, build, and maintain the world’s nuclear arsenals.

It’s too early to include China in Trump’s nuclear weapons proposal
CGTN – Andrew Korybko5/6/2019
U.S. President Trump revealed that his recent one-and-a-half-hour-long phone conversation with Russian President Putin touched upon the American leader’s ambitious nuclear weapons proposal, which he told the press that he’d like to broaden to eventually include China.

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