Nuclear Policy News – October 17, 2018

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Top News

Confronting Iran
Foreign AffairsMike Pompeo

China to Unveil New Stealth Bomber During Military Parade in 2019
The Diplomat

U.S. Sanctions Iran Finance Network in Bid to Sever Tehran’s Global Ties
Wall Street Journal


East Asia

Mattis cites progress with N. Korea
Yonhap News Agency10/17/18
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there is progress on dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, although it remains a difficult issue. Mattis told reporters traveling with him to Vietnam Monday that the efforts to denuclearize North Korea continue to be diplomatically-led.

Tourists May Soon Get to Walk Across the Zone Between South and North Korea
Visitors to the Joint Security Area — where soldiers from [North and South Korea] have stood face to face for decades — will be able to freely cross the demarcation line “in the near future,” South Korea’s defense ministry said Wednesday, without specifying a date. That includes South Korean nationals, who have been barred from taking part in such trips since 1953 — except for a special reunion in which select elderly South Koreans were allowed to cross the border to visit relatives.

China to Unveil New Stealth Bomber During Military Parade in 2019
The Diplomat10/17/18
China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) may unveil its recently designated Hong-20 (H-20) long-range strategic stealth bomber during a parade as part of the service’s 70th anniversary celebrations in 2019. Speculations over a possible participation of a H-20 prototype was further fueled by the display of a new logo featuring the silhouette of a flying wing-style aircraft, thought to be the new H-20 aircraft, at a recent official gala of the strategic bomber division under the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command.

Middle East

U.S. Sanctions Iran Finance Network in Bid to Sever Tehran’s Global Ties
Wall Street Journal10/16/18
The U.S. sanctioned a multibillion-dollar network of Iranian companies, banks and funds accused of financing the country’s elite paramilitary unit, ratcheting up global pressure on Tehran and sending a warning to governments and companies considering continued engagement with Iran.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Khashoggi Disappearance May Disrupt Trump Administration’s Plans to Squeeze Iran
New York Times10/16/18
White House officials are worried that the apparent killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Saudi Arabia’s changing account of his fate, could derail a showdown with Iran and jeopardize plans to enlist Saudi help to avoid disrupting the oil market. Officials said the dilemma comes at a fraught moment for the Trump administration, which is expected to reimpose harsh sanctions against Iran on Nov. 5, with the intent of cutting off all Iranian oil exports.

US Army is updating its missile defense strategy with Russia and China in mind
Defense News10/17/18
The U.S. Army is in the throes of updating its air-and-missile defense strategy to align with the Pentagon’s conviction that the military must modernize and overmatch its near-peer adversaries Russia and China. Missile defense plays an important role in the new National Defense Strategy released earlier this year.

Opinion and Analysis

Confronting Iran
Foreign AffairsMike Pompeo
For all of the Washington establishment’s fretting over [President Trump’s] style of international engagement, his diplomacy is anchored in a deliberate approach that gives the United States an advantage in confronting outlaw regimes. In place of the Iran nuclear deal, President Trump has initiated a multi-pronged pressure campaign. At the rate that the Iranian economy is declining and protests are intensifying, it should be clear to the Iranian leadership that negotiations are the best way forward.

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