TOP NEWS Russia’s Putin says Iran’s missile program should be treated separately to nuclear program: Arabiya Reuters McMaster: Kim will not give up on nuclear weapons Dong-A Ilbo Russia to conduct sweeping drills of its nuclear forces Associated Press Middle East Russia’s Putin says Iran’s missile program should be treated separately to nuclear program: Arabiya Reuters10/13/19 Russian President Vladimir Putin said Iran’s missile program should be dealt with as a separate matter to its nuclear program. Pakistan’s Imran Khan in Tehran to facilitate Iran-Saudi talks Al Jazeera10/13/19 Leaders of Pakistan and Iran hold talks in Tehran as part of initiative by Islamabad to defuse rising Gulf tensions. Russia ready to work with U.S. to build Saudi nuclear power plant – Rosatom Reuters10/14/19 Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom would be ready to cooperate with partners from the United States, Europe and Asia to build a nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia, Rosatom’s CEO Alexey Likhachev said on Monday. East Asia U.S. ambassador: North Korea asked for ‘everything’ while offering nothing Voice of America10/14/19 North Korea is demanding that the U.S. “do everything” before Pyongyang makes any concessions, Harry Harris, the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, said in an interview published Monday. McMaster: Kim will not give up on nuclear weapons Dong-A Ilbo10/12/19 Former U.S. National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster commented on Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will continue to pursue nuclear weapons, stressing the importance of strong sanctions on the nation. Russia/Europe Russia to conduct sweeping drills of its nuclear forces Associated Press10/14/19 The Defense Ministry said the three-day exercise will begin Tuesday and involve 12,000 troops, 213 missile launchers, 105 aircraft, 15 surface warships and five submarines. U.S. concludes White Sea radiation explosion came during Russian nuclear-missile recovery Radio Free Europe10/12/19 A State Department official says the United States has concluded that a mysterious explosion that occurred at a Russian naval test range in the White Sea in August occurred amid an operation to recover a nuclear-powered missile that had apparently crashed during a test. Putin takes swipe at Trump for withdrawing from nuclear treaty: ‘it was not worth ruining’ Newsweek10/14/19 Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that a new nuclear weapons deal needed to be struck urgently as he criticized the decision by Donald Trump to pull the U.S. out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty which had been in place since the Cold War. Analysis/Commentary It’s time to talk to Iran New York TimesWilliam J. Burns and Jake Sullivan 10/14/19 With tensions rising in the Middle East and Iran suffering under sanctions, this may be the last best opportunity to walk back from the brink. Why Iran and the U.S. are at an impasse and how to reduce Mideast tensions in spite of that Los Angeles TimesSeyed Hossein Mousavian 10/11/19 Given the impasse between Iran and the United States, the most immediate and realistic step toward reducing tensions in the Middle East would be to set aside the idea of negotiations between the two countries for now and instead focus on facilitating direct negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia to discuss, among other things, putting an end to the devastating war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia should be careful about buying Russian weapons National InterestRichard Weitz 10/12/19 Should Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or any other country receive the S-400, the United States would deny them the best U.S. defense technologies and redeploy any U.S. military aircraft based there. President Trump’s ongoing failure with North Korea talks TIMEChristopher Hill 10/11/19 There is little indication that any progress whatsoever has been achieved in persuading the North Koreans that they can have a better future without nuclear weapons.