Nuclear Policy News – November 8, 2017

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Moon, Trump affirm commitment to coordinate global pressure on N. Korea: joint statement
Yonhap News Agency

Top EU diplomat: US should stick to Iran nuclear deal
Associated Press

Trump, in China, Seeks Helps Over a Nuclear North Korea
New York Times

Rising nuclear threats require a modern deterrent
Defense NewsSen. Deb Fischer and Sen. Joe Donnelly


Moon, Trump affirm commitment to coordinate global pressure on N. Korea: joint statement
Yonhap News Agency11/8/17
President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed at their summit to seek global pressure on North Korea to force the communist regime to come back to denuclearization talks, both sides announced Wednesday.

N.K. may protest strongly against Trump’s speech: experts
Yonhap News Agency11/8/17
North Korea is likely to strongly protest against the United States, as President Donald Trump’s condemnation of the North as a “cruel dictatorship” might be viewed as a direct attack on its leader Kim Jong-un, experts said Wednesday.

China says will investigate if U.N. resolutions on North Korea contravened
China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said that China fully and strictly implements U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea and will investigate if there are activities that contravene resolutions.


Top EU diplomat: US should stick to Iran nuclear deal
Associated Press11/8/17
The European Union’s top diplomat said Tuesday the bloc is working with Congress and the Trump administration to ensure America’s new policy toward Iran doesn’t lead it to violate a landmark nuclear deal. Federica Mogherini said that in meetings in Washington this week she had stressed the importance the EU places on upholding the agreement.

Germany urges North Korea to accept U.S. talks offer
Germany urged North Korea on Wednesday to halt its program of missile tests and accept the United States’ offer of talks on its nuclear plans, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump warned that the Pyongyang “rogue regime” was in “grave danger”.

U.K.’s Johnson to Visit Washington for Iran Nuclear Deal Talks
U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will fly to Washington in an attempt to persuade the U.S. not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, as he battles to save his own job in London. Johnson will meet senior Republicans and Democrats to discuss the importance of the nuclear security agreement, amid political controversy over his handling of policy toward Iran at home in Britain.

Exchange of threats between US, North Korea will bring no good, Lavrov says
The exchange of threats and insults between the United States and North Korea will bring no good and there is the need to resume talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said commenting on Donald Trump’s statements in South Korea.


Trump, in China, Seeks Helps Over a Nuclear North Korea
New York Times11/8/17
Mr. Trump, a senior administration official said, plans to call on the Chinese leader to cut off oil exports to North Korea, at least temporarily; to close down North Korean bank accounts in China; and to send home tens of thousands of North Koreans who work in China.

Group of lawmakers challenge potential pre-emptive strike against North Korea
Stars and Stripes11/7/17
Several members of the group, including Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn, and military veterans Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif. and Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., said Tuesday that Trump, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have signaled increasing interest in a war with North Korea. The group of lawmakers said they want Trump to understand that he must go to Congress before a preemptive strike against North Korea.

Trump Warns North Korea Not to Underestimate U.S.
Wall Street Journal11/8/17
President Donald Trump took direct aim at Kim Jong Un in a speech that both extended a hand to the North Korean leader and delivered a warning of the potential consequences of its nuclear-weapons program.

U.S. Senate committee passes N.K. sanctions bill
Yonhap News Agency11/7/17
A United States Senate committee passed a bill Tuesday calling for tighter sanctions against foreign banks that do business with North Korea. The legislation, which was approved unanimously by the Senate Banking Committee, aims to cut off the flow of funds to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.


Rising nuclear threats require a modern deterrent
Defense NewsSen. Deb Fischer and Sen. Joe Donnelly
Our defense against this growing threat relies first and foremost on the capability of our own nuclear deterrent. As the bipartisan leadership of the Senate subcommittee that oversees our nuclear arsenal, our top priority is to ensure our nuclear forces have the resources they need to continue protecting our country. Doing so helps persuade rogue leaders like Kim Jong Un that the costs of doing us harm would far, far outweigh any imaginable gain.

How Trump Should Talk to North Korea
New York Times, Suzanne DiMaggio and Joel Wit
This potential opening for dialogue needs to be explored. We believe the best way to proceed would be to first hold bilateral “talks about talks” without preconditions. The objective of these talks would be to clarify the policies of each country, discuss where there might be potential compromises and what each side considers nonnegotiable, and prepare the groundwork to move on to negotiations.

Hard Constraints on China’s Nuclear Forces
War on the Rocks, David Logan
While China is indeed in the midst of a significant modernization effort, the changes to its nuclear forces do not yet represent a fundamental strategic shift. Rather, China’s nuclear evolution appears to be driven by a desire to maintain a secure second-strike capability in the face of advancing U.S. capabilities, which Beijing believes might threaten its nuclear deterrent. As I demonstrate in a new article in the Nonproliferation Review, China’s nuclear arsenal and strategy are constrained by its limited views of the utility of nuclear weapons. Moreover, Beijing would face several “harder” technical constraints in pursuing the kind of nuclear breakout about which some commentators warn.


Engaging North Korea: Evidence from the Bush I Administration
National Security Archive9/8/17
The documents provide valuable historical context for U.S. policymakers as President Donald J. Trump travels to Asia to engage with allies over the North Korean nuclear threat.  Many of the issues being confronted today echo those U.S. strategists faced two decades ago.

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