Nuclear Policy News – November 15, 2017

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China sending envoy to North Korea following Trump visit
Associated Press

Retired US general says nuclear launch order can be refused
Associated Press

A Radioactive Cloud Wafts Over Europe, With Russia as Chief Suspect
New York Times


China sending envoy to North Korea following Trump visit
Associated Press11/15/17
Song Tao, the head of China’s ruling Communist Party’s International Department, will travel to Pyongyang on Friday to report on outcomes of the party’s national congress held last month, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Korea to co-host U.N. disarmament conference in Jeju this week
Yonhap News Agency11/14/17
South Korea will co-host a United Nations conference on disarmament and non-proliferation this week on Jeju Island to discuss a pathway for denuclearization of North Korea and other disarmament issues, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

North Korea’s Kim trades missiles for tractors during testing lull
State media photos released on Wednesday showed Kim examining equipment at a tractor factory, test driving one of the vehicles and laughing with workers, the latest in a stream of photos in the past two months depicting a smiling Kim visiting farms and factories that make shoes, cosmetics, trucks.

Japan’s PM says North Korea still developing missiles despite launch
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday said an almost two-month pause in North Korean missile tests was no indication that it had halted its weapons development, insisting it was too early for any talks with the regime.

North Korea: Trump is ‘sentenced to death’ for insulting Kim Jong-Un
The Hill11/15/17
North Korean state media said President Trump was “sentenced to death by the Korean people” a week after Trump ripped Pyongyang in a speech to South Korean’s National Assembly.


Director General’s Remarks on Iran, the JCPOA, and the IAEA
As I have made clear, the role of the Agency is to verify and monitor the nuclear-related commitments made by Iran under the JCPOA. It is not our role to comment or speculate on the current or future positions of parties to the agreement, the UN Security Council or the IAEA Board of Governors.

Amano: IAEA has access to all locations it needs in Iran
Tehran Times11/15/17
Yukiya Amano, chief of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Tuesday that commitments undertaken by Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal are being implemented and the IAEA has so far had access to all locations it has needed to visit in the country.


A Radioactive Cloud Wafts Over Europe, With Russia as Chief Suspect
New York Times11/15/17
Scientists across Europe have been puzzling about a phenomenon that seemed laden with mystery and menace in somewhat uneven proportions — a concentration of radioactive pollution caused by a nuclide called ruthenium 106. Official monitors in France and Germany concluded that, based on weather patterns, the contamination detected since late September had emanated from southern Russia or from Kazakhstan.


Retired US general says nuclear launch order can be refused
Associated Press11/14/17
During testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee, retired Gen. Robert Kehler said the U.S. armed forces are obligated to follow legal orders, not illegal ones. Kehler, who served as the head of Strategic Command from January 2011 to November 2013, said the legal principles of military necessity, distinction and proportionality also apply to decisions about nuclear weapons use. The command would control nuclear forces in a war.

Senate committee questions Trump’s nuclear authority
A U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday held the first congressional hearing in more than four decades on the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike, amid concern that tensions over North Korea’s weapons program could lead to war.


The Iran Deal: What’s at Stake
New York Review of BooksJessica T. Mathews
Though the president’s refusal to certify has no direct international consequence, what he said on October 13 casts the deal’s future into grave doubt, has shifted the political ground in Tehran, and created new strains across the Atlantic.

What Can Trump Learn From Kissinger on North Korea?
The DiplomatJoseph Bosco
Kissinger, now 93, is as intellectually active as ever and physically capable of shuttling between Washington and Beijing to advise both American presidents and Chinese supreme leaders on their respective national security interests. He almost certainly would welcome the opportunity to vindicate that often-criticized dual-hatted representation by facilitating a solution to the North Korea danger that benefits both China and the United States. It would be the crowning achievement of his brilliant and controversial career.

Why nuclear deterrence can work on North Korea
Stanford CISAC11/14/17
The same logic that kept a nuclear war from breaking out between the United States and former Soviet Union is the best strategy to now pursue with North Korea, several scholars said Tuesday at Stanford. The panel, convened at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), included political scientist Scott D. Sagan of CISAC; political scientist Mira Rapp-Hooper of Yale University; and political scientist Vipin Narang of MIT. The moderator was James D. Fearon, a political scientist at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. The event was titled “Can the U.S. Deter a Nuclear North Korea” and held in the William J. Perry Conference Room in Encina Hall.

Start North Korean talks on nuclear test ban
The HillWilliam Lambers
We should open dialogue with North Korea on ending nuclear weapons tests. The United States, North Korea and China should each ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which bans all nuclear test explosions.

Politics of Nuclear Supplier Group: Pakistan’s Options
Eurasia ReviewAsma Khalid
The International community should follow principle approach and treat the nuclear status of India-Pakistan equally. However, India is enjoying the exceptional treatment from various countries of the group while leaving Pakistan on disadvantage. It is imperative to understand that granting membership to India and not Pakistan would disturb the strategic stability and inject the never ending nuclear arms race in the region. So to secure the membership of nuclear cartel and develop the favorable criteria, Pakistan needs to take multiple measures.



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