Nuclear Policy News – November 3, 2017

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U.S. Bombers Buzz North Korea as Trump’s Asia Tour Looms
Wall Street Journal

World ‘running out of time’ on North Korea, Trump to tell Asia: White House

Korean FM meets with USFK commander to discuss N. Korea
Yonhap News Agency


Asia braces for Trump and his unpredictable foreign policy
Associated Press11/2/17
Looming over his entire trip is one of the strangest relationships in the world — an often surreal exchange of threats of annihilation between North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Trump, who has also occasionally offered praise and dialogue.

Moon skeptical over trilateral military alliance with U.S., Japan
Yonhap News Agency11/3/17
President Moon Jae-in said Friday military cooperation with the United States and Japan is needed to rein in the rising threat from North Korea but was skeptical over elevating it to a trilateral defense alliance.

Japan’s adjusted anti-nuke resolution mirrors reality of security situation, U.S. envoy says
Japan Times11/3/17
Japan’s recently adopted U.N. resolution calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons better reflects today’s security concerns than previous versions, U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood said Thursday.

Korean FM meets with USFK commander to discuss N. Korea
Yonhap News Agency11/3/17
The South Korean foreign minister met with the chief of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) on Friday to exchange views on North Korea and security issues ahead of the upcoming summit of the two nations’ leaders.

NATO chief urges N.K. to abandon nuclear program, come out for talks
Yonhap News Agency11/2/17
The chief of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) urged North Korea on Thursday to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, saying they have emerged as a threat not only to the region but also to cities around the world.


Iranian negotiator says US bad intentions not limited to Trump
Araghchi said that the biggest challenge since the implementation of the deal has been “America’s ill intentions.” He added that while the nuclear deal states that all parties must implement the deal with good intentions, the United States “has always tried to decrease Iran’s benefits” from the deal.


Putin, Macron say revising Iran nuclear deal unacceptable
Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, speaking about his visit to Iran, the Kremlin press service said in a statement. The two leaders highlighted the need to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran’s nuclear program and stressed that its unilateral revision would be unacceptable.


Trump unleashes new threat on North Korea in Fox News interview
Fox News11/2/17
“We have one problem. That’s called North Korea,” Trump told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. “I must tell you North Korea’s a thing that I think we will solve and if we don’t solve it, it’s not going to be very pleasant for them. It’s not going to be very pleasant for anybody,” Trump warned. He did not elaborate.

U.S. Bombers Buzz North Korea as Trump’s Asia Tour Looms
Wall Street Journal11/2/17
Two U.S. B-1B bombers flew near North Korea on Thursday, alongside Japanese and South Korean jet fighters, provoking anger from Pyongyang ahead of President Donald Trump’s closely watched trip to Asia.

World ‘running out of time’ on North Korea, Trump to tell Asia: White House
U.S. President Donald Trump will tell leaders on a five-nation Asia tour the world is “running out of time” on North Korea’s nuclear crisis and that he will give his strategy to isolate Pyongyang a few months before making adjustments, a top aide said on Thursday.

DOD flies experimental hypersonic payload; claims success, technological advances
Inside Defense11/2/17
The Pentagon successfully demonstrated a hypersonic glide vehicle Oct. 30, lofting an experimental payload on a rocket from Hawaii that — during its ultra-fast, unpowered flight to the Marshall Islands across the upper reaches of the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean — verified technological advances relevant to a potential future U.S. military hypersonic strike system.


The future of the Iran nuclear deal
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsBill Foster
None of these potential areas for future improvement weaken the argument to maintain the deal intact as the United States and its international partners negotiated it. Retaining the JCPOA intact gives the United States and the international community the best chance of negotiating permanent regional understandings to avoid the existential threat of an uncontrolled nuclear arms race in the Middle East. If we succeed at that, history will judge what we already know—the Iran Nuclear Deal fulfilled its mission successfully.

Beatrice Fihn Thinks We Can Abolish Nuclear Arms
New York Times MagazineInterview by Caitlin Roper
We have to keep talking about the humanitarian impacts of what would happen if you use them. We get a glimpse of it when we talk about North Korea, but we don’t think about how American nuclear weapons are aimed right now. They can be launched within 20 minutes. If the U.S. nuclear arsenal all went off, it could kill civilization, and Donald Trump has the ultimate authority to do that, as commander in chief.

The Cost of the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal: Not Scary
Real Clear DefenseMatt Costlow
Despite the scary-sounding “t-word,” $1.2 trillion spread out over 30 years is quite affordable and looks especially so when one considers that the U.S. will spend $16 trillion or more in that same period. In the words of Mattis, “America can afford survival.”

How the U.S. Can Deal With Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program
Foreign AffairsRichard Nephew
Instead of confronting Iran directly, the United States should pursue a different strategy—one predicated on sticking to the JCPOA and engaging with Iran and other regional players on the broader set of security challenges in the Middle East. Only when Tehran is convinced that its security could be guaranteed regardless of its ballistic missiles will it consider fundamental changes to its missile program.

How to Cut the $1.2 Trillion Price Tag to Beef Up The Nuclear Arsenal
Investor’s Business DailyGillian Rich
The massive cost estimate for the nuclear force comes as the Defense Department faces other big-ticket priorities such as Lockheed’s F-35 and pushing the Navy’s fleet back above 300 ships. But the bill doesn’t have to be that high for taxpayers and the CBO offered suggestions on how to lower costs. Here are some.


Fifty-three year old nuclear missile accident revealed
Butte County Post11/1/17
The courageous actions Hicks took that night and over the next several days were not publicized. The accident was not disclosed to the public until years later, when a government report on accidents with nuclear weapons included seven sentences about it. The report listed the accident as the nation’s first involving a Minuteman missile.

A Crimson Fracture in the Sky
At the time of Tightrope, the United States had detonated close to 300 nuclear weapons at various sites around the South Pacific Ocean and American Southwest. Most of them yielded reams of information to scientists and administrators working for what was then called the Atomic Energy Commission, now known as the Department of Energy, not to mention spectacular imagery: giant atomic tsunamis engulfing abandoned naval warships off Bikini Atoll, during Operation Crossroads, and smaller, dirt-and-debris-filled mushroom clouds rising off the desert flats of the Nevada Proving Grounds, some 65 miles from Las Vegas.

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