Nuclear Policy News – November 8, 2018

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Top News

Pompeo Meeting With North Korean Diplomat Postponed
New York Times

North Korea ‘really angry’ at US as tensions rise

South Korean minister: US says N. Korea canceled meeting
Associated Press


East Asia

Pompeo Meeting With North Korean Diplomat Postponed
New York Times11/7/18
A meeting in New York this week between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korea’s leading nuclear weapons negotiator has been called off, the State Department said Wednesday. The meeting, which had been scheduled for Thursday, “will now take place at a later date,” Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a written statement. “We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit.”

North Korea ‘really angry’ at US as tensions rise
North Korea is getting increasingly angry at the US, as talks are deadlocked and tensions between the two countries are on the rise, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN. US and foreign sources close to the talks paint a picture that’s starkly different from the image President Donald Trump sought to convey Wednesday, when he told reporters the administration is “very happy with how it’s going with North Korea. We think it’s going fine.”

South Korean minister: US says N. Korea canceled meeting
Associated Press11/8/18
South Korea’s foreign minister said Thursday that U.S. officials told Seoul that it was North Korea that canceled nuclear talks this week between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a senior North Korean official. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha provided no reason, aside from “busy schedules,” for why North Korea canceled the meeting set for Thursday in New York that was meant to discuss ridding the North of its nuclear weapons and setting up a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Middle East

New Sanctions, New Hurdles for Western Firms Still Doing Business in Iran
Wall Street Journal11/7/18
As new U.S. sanctions on Iran start to bite this month, Western companies still doing business in the country face fresh hurdles in a market that has been both enticing and tough to crack.


Russia asks U.N. Security Council to discuss North Korea sanctions Thursday
Russia has asked the United Nations Security Council to discuss North Korea sanctions on Thursday, diplomats said, a move that comes after a planned meeting between top U.S. and North Korean officials in New York this week was postponed. It was not immediately clear why Russia wanted the council to discuss the issue, though China’s foreign ministry said last month that Beijing, Moscow and Pyongyang believed it necessary to consider adjusting the U.N. sanctions at an appropriate time.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

In Bipartisan Pleas, Experts Urge Trump to Save Nuclear Treaty With Russia
New York Times11/8/18
Alarmed at what they see as disintegrating curbs on nuclear weapons, a bipartisan array of American nonproliferation experts has urged President Trump to salvage a Cold War-era treaty with Russia that he has vowed to scrap. In letters sent to the White House this week that were seen by The New York Times, the experts said the pact, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, had reduced the risk of nuclear war.

Pentagon Nuclear Recap Programs May Slow with Democrats in House
Would a “blue wave” in the House stifle progress of nuclear modernization efforts? The Democrats’ takeover of the lower chamber may create aggressive oversight of nuclear programs in development, at least for the next two years, according to a strategic arms expert.

President Trump says easing sanctions on North Korea is a ‘two-way street’
USA Today11/8/18
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would like to remove economic sanctions against North Korea as part of slow-moving nuclear negotiations but that Pyongyang needs to offer concessions, as well. North Korea has continued a yearlong halt in weapon tests but wants U.S. sanctions eased.

Opinion and Analysis

How to Structure Sanctions Relief in Any Future DPRK Deal
38 NorthRichard Nephew
Sanctions relief is almost certain to be part of any serious negotiation with North Korea, but it has to be well-structured in order to contribute meaningfully to both a negotiated outcome and the strength of the agreement. There are many different ways to organize sanctions relief, but to be effective it must be concrete, clearly administered, subject to reversal, and delivered as part of an integrated strategy.

Special Interest

Lora Saalman on How Artificial Intelligence Will Impact China’s Nuclear Strategy
The Diplomat11/7/18
The Diplomat’s Franz-Stefan Gady talks with Dr. Lora Saalman, vice president of the East-Asia Pacific Program at the EastWest Institute, about the likely impact of emerging technologies on China’s nuclear strategy and posture.

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