TOP NEWS North Korean threat, alliance jitters loom over Trump’s Asia visit Stars and Stripes Spy agency raises possibility of additional N. Korean nuke, missile tests Yonhap News Agency U.S. lawmakers reach agreement on new North Korea sanctions Reuters EAST ASIA North Korean threat, alliance jitters loom over Trump’s Asia visit Stars and Stripes11/2/17 President Donald Trump will face fears that rising tensions with North Korea could erupt into conflict and alliance jitters when he makes his first official visit to Asia. The high-stakes trip begins Friday with a briefing from Pacific Command in Hawaii followed by stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Spy agency raises possibility of additional N. Korean nuke, missile tests Yonhap News Agency11/2/17 South Korea’s spy agency on Thursday raised the possibility of additional North Korean nuclear and missile tests, saying Pyongyang would continuously push to develop “miniaturized, diversified” warheads. North Korea dismisses report that sixth nuclear test killed many people Reuters11/2/17 North Korea’s state media on Thursday dismissed as “misinformation” a recent media report that the North’s sixth nuclear test killed many people. Defector: US strike would trigger automatic NK retaliation Associated Press11/1/17 Thae, the highest-level North Korean defector in two decades, appeared to confirm what has long been suspected but rarely articulated by U.S. officials — that even a selective American strike could rain a potentially devastating North Korean military response on the South Korean capital and its environs, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of the heavily militarized frontier. MIDDLE EAST Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan call for commitment to nuclear deal Reuters11/1/17 All parties to the Iran nuclear deal should adhere to their commitments, Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan said in a joint statement signed on Wednesday. RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE Putin, in Iran for talks, offers support for nuclear deal Associated Press11/1/17 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday strongly backed Iran and its nuclear deal with world powers, saying Moscow opposed “any unilateral change” to the accord after U.S. President Donald Trump refused to re-certify it. U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY U.S. lawmakers reach agreement on new North Korea sanctions Reuters11/1/17 Republican and Democratic U.S. senators on Wednesday said they agreed on a new package of sanctions on North Korea, and that the Senate Banking Committee would act on the legislation next week, while President Donald Trump is on his first trip to Asia since taking office. OPINION AND ANALYSIS Through a fractured looking-glass: Trump’s nuclear decisions so far Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsSharon Squassoni 11/2/17 The Trump administration’s ability to think through the longer-range implications of broad policy choices it makes now about the US nuclear arsenal, arms control, and efforts to deter nuclear proliferation will affect world strategic stability far into the future. In all these issue areas, the Trump administration is hampered by a deficit of expertise, of patience in the White House, and of deference for the normal workings of government. Trump’s North Korea strategy requires an intervention from Congress The HillPaul Kawika Martin 11/1/17 Co-sponsoring and supporting legislation like the No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea Act is a crucial way to underline that the president cannot launch a war without congressional approval. Strong congressional support would also send a clear message that Congress is unlikely to authorize a preemptive war against North Korea, at least until the diplomatic option has been pursued in earnest. As the risk of war grows with each passing threat and provocation, Congress may be running out of time to ensure the administration understands and respects the legislature’s role in decisions of war and peace. The time to act is now. Promoting nuclear security in the Middle East Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsDaniel Karr 11/1/17 Vulnerabilities persist in countries in the Middle East—especially in Iran and Turkey, which regularly grapple with extremist groups. Despite continuing regional rivalries between Middle Eastern governments, a cooperative effort led by experts from the nuclear industry can help mitigate the threat that terrorism poses to the security of nuclear power plants. SPECIAL INTEREST Defending the U.S. from North Korea’s Nuclear Threat 60 Minutes 10/29/17 Tracking that threat, and helping to come up with defenses against it, is the job of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, NASIC for short, located near Dayton, Ohio. If you’ve never heard of NASIC, that’s because television news cameras have never been inside its operations center — until now.