Nuclear Policy News – November 7, 2018

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Top News

Pompeo’s Nuclear Talks With North Korean Officials Are Canceled
Wall Street Journal

Democrats’ big night brings big questions for defense policy
Defense News

Pompeo allows sanctions exception for Iran port development


East Asia

Pompeo’s Nuclear Talks With North Korean Officials Are Canceled
Wall Street Journal11/7/18
High-stakes nuclear talks between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a senior North Korean official were called off, dealing a setback to a rocky diplomatic process and lowering hopes for progress on denuclearization. In a brief statement Wednesday, the State Department said Mr. Pompeo’s planned meeting with North Korea’s Kim Yong Chol scheduled for Thursday in New York had been postponed indefinitely.

Abe and Mike Pence may meet next week to discuss North Korea: Japanese government sources
The Japan Times11/6/18
Japan and the United States are planning a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Vice President Mike Pence in Tokyo on Nov. 13 to discuss cooperation toward North Korea’s denuclearization, Japanese government sources said Tuesday. During the planned luncheon meeting, Abe is expected to seek Washington’s cooperation in resolving the issue of North Korea’s past abductions of Japanese nationals and brief Pence on his recent visit to China, amid signs of improving relations between the two Asian countries despite the growing U.S.-China trade dispute, one of the sources said.

Middle East

Pompeo allows sanctions exception for Iran port development
The top U.S. diplomat has granted an exception to certain U.S. sanctions that will allow the India-led development of a port in Iran as part of a new transportation corridor designed to boost Afghanistan’s economy, a State Department spokesman said on Tuesday. The exception granted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to U.S. sanctions reimposed on Iran on Monday also will permit the construction of a railway line from Chabahar port to Afghanistan, and for shipments to the war-torn country of non-sanctionable goods, like food and medicines, the spokesman said.

What’s So Tough About The ‘Toughest Ever’ U.S. Sanctions On Iran?
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty11/6/18
President Donald Trump labeled new U.S. sanctions on Iran as the “toughest ever,” saying the punitive measures would force Tehran to end its “malign” behavior. Analysts say the new measures that came into effect on November 5 are indeed the strongest sanctions regime imposed by Washington against Iran. But they also note that the sanctions lack the broad international backing that gave previous measures strength.


Germany to press China on arms control, foreign minister tells newspaper
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he will press China to embrace arms controls during upcoming meetings in Beijing, citing the need to regulate robotic and space-based weapons that could soon shift from “science fiction” to reality. Maas told German newspaper Die Welt that Germany would continue to press both Washington and Moscow to adhere to the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and said it made sense to include China in future agreements.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

After Iran Sanctions, U.S. Faces a Huge Task: Compliance
Wall Street Journal11/6/18
Most Western companies and banks pulled out of Iran ahead of new Trump administration sanctions, fearing a loss of access to the U.S. economy. But the rest of the world may be more difficult for American officials to convince.

Democrats’ big night brings big questions for defense policy
Defense News11/7/18
Democrats won the U.S. House in convincing fashion in Tuesday’s midterm elections, promising to shake up defense policy in the coming year and raising the possibility of tumultuous impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

Opinion and Analysis

Trump’s North Korea diplomacy quietly stalls
Washington PostAdam Taylor
Rapprochement with North Korea has been perhaps the biggest foreign-policy achievement of President Trump’s tenure. But a number of quiet developments over the past few days suggest that there are major problems in the diplomatic process. Indeed, the United States and North Korea may have grown further apart since Trump’s historic summit with Kim Jong Un on June 12.

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