Nuclear Policy News – November 5, 2018

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Top News

US Reimposes Sanctions on Iran’s Oil, Financial Sectors
Voice of America

N. Korea threatens to resume nuke development over sanctions
Associated Press

Exclusive: Iran open to talks with US if Trump changes ‘approach’ to nuclear deal, top diplomat says
USA Today

India Says Nuclear Submarine Makes First Patrol, Modi Warns Against ‘Misadventure’


East Asia

N. Korea threatens to resume nuke development over sanctions
Associated Press11/3/18
North Korea has warned it could revive a state policy aimed at strengthening its nuclear arsenal if the United States does not lift economic sanctions against the country. The statement released by the Foreign Ministry on Friday evening said North Korea could bring back its “pyongjin” policy of simultaneously advancing its nuclear force and economic development if the United States doesn’t change its stance.

Middle East

US Reimposes Sanctions on Iran’s Oil, Financial Sectors
Voice of America11/5/18
The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and financial sector Monday, following through on President Donald Trump’s pledge to roll back relief Iran received as part of the international agreement to limit its nuclear program. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are due to provide more details about the sanctions at a morning news conference.

Exclusive: Iran open to talks with US if Trump changes ‘approach’ to nuclear deal, top diplomat says
USA Today11/5/18
As Iranians braced for the full restoration of economic sanctions imposed Monday by the Trump administration, their government signaled it would be open to talking to the United States about a new arms nuclear accord if Washington changes its “approach” to discussing the agreement it abandoned earlier this year. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s top diplomat, told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview over the weekend that his government would consider fresh diplomacy if there were “foundations for a fruitful dialogue” on the Iran nuclear reduction deal.


As U.S. Sanctions on Iran Kick In, Europe Looks for a Workaround
New York Times11/5/18
As tough new American sanctions against Iran took effect on Monday, European officials remained determined to go their own way, but their progress on an issue that has sharply divided the United States and its closest allies has been halting, at best. The Europeans consider the 2015 Iran nuclear deal crucial to their national interests, and say they intend to keep honoring it. But to date, they have not managed to put in place a mechanism for sidestepping the sanctions without antagonizing the Trump administration.

South Asia

India Says Nuclear Submarine Makes First Patrol, Modi Warns Against ‘Misadventure’
India said on Monday its first domestically built nuclear-powered submarine had recently completed a “deterrence patrol”, giving it the capability to fire nuclear weapons from land, air and sea in the event of any “misadventure” by enemies. With nuclear-armed China to its north and nuclear-armed Pakistan to its west – both of which India has fought wars with – India’s nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi, said the INS Arihant was a “fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail”.

Multilateral Arms Control

Japan anti-nuke resolution not backed by many non-nuke states
The Asahi Shimbun11/3/18
A draft resolution by Japan presented to the United Nations on Nov. 1 calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons was shunned by many nations that had pushed for last year’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The document presented to the U.N. First Committee, which handles disarmament and international security issues, was approved by 160 nations, an increase from the 144 nations that voted for a similar resolution last year.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Trump Says U.S. Open to New Iran Deal as Sanctions Set to Return
President Donald Trump said the U.S. remains open to reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that blocks its nuclear-weapons program, just days before sanctions on the country’s energy and shipping sectors kick back in. “Our objective is to force the regime into a clear choice,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House on Friday evening, referencing the resumption of sanctions on Monday. “Either abandon its destructive behavior or continue down the path toward economic disaster.”

South Korea and US resume military drills ahead of nuclear talks
The Guardian11/5/18
The United States and South Korea have resumed some military exercises just days ahead of a high-profile meeting focused on denuclearisation between US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials. About 500 South Korean and American marines will take part in the drills on Monday, according to Yonhap news, which were previously indefinitely suspended in June after Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

Pompeo: Meeting with top North Korean officials in New York will ‘advance the ball’ on nuke deal
Washington Examiner11/4/18
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with North Korea’s No. 2 official in New York next week, as part of the Trump administration’s ongoing diplomatic effort to persuade Pyongyang to embrace complete denuclearization on the peninsula. The meeting with Mr. Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, will be a “good opportunity to follow through” on U.S.-led efforts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons development program, the top U.S. diplomat said Sunday.

Opinion and Analysis

John Bolton Keeps Citing This 2002 Pact as an Arms-Control Model. It’s Really Not.
Defense OneSteven Pifer
New START serves U.S. interests by capping Russian strategic arms with verifiable limits and provisions that give the United States a great deal of information about Russia’s strategic forces. It should be extended. Trying to replace it with sort of a treaty like the Moscow model would be foolish.

Reimposing Iran Sanctions, Trump Places 3 Bets (One a Long Shot)
New York TimesDavid Sanger
As the United States reimposes severe economic sanctions on Iran early Monday, President Trump is placing a series of bets that he can not only change Iran’s behavior, but also use American economic power to bludgeon reluctant allies into joining him.

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