TOP NEWS

Opposition chief calls for ‘nuclear alliance’ with U.S. to deter N. Korea
Yonhap News Agency

Iran top leader urges Europe to do more to back nuclear deal
Associated Press

India to Launch 2nd Strategic Nuclear Sub by End of 2017
The Diplomat

EAST ASIA

Seoul considers unilateral sanctions against North Korea
Reuters10/18/17
South Korea is considering levying its own sanctions on North Korea as the isolated state ramps up tension with its missile and nuclear provocations, the South’s vice foreign minister said on Wednesday, but no decision had been made yet.

Opposition chief calls for ‘nuclear alliance’ with U.S. to deter N. Korea
Yonhap News Agency10/18/17
The chief of the conservative main opposition party on Wednesday renewed his call for the redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear arms to South Korea, arguing a “nuclear alliance” would help deter a belligerent North Korea.

Diplomats from US, S. Korea, Japan discuss N. Korean threat
Associated Press10/18/17
Senior officials from the United States, South Korea and Japan reaffirmed their countries’ commitment Wednesday to finding a diplomatic solution to the threat posed by North Korea’s rapidly expanding nuclear program. However, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan stressed that the allies must be prepared for any contingency.

North Korea, feared to hold nuclear test at start of Chinese congress, sends congratulations
Japan Times10/18/17
North Korea sent a congratulatory message to China’s Communist Party congress on Wednesday amid increasingly frayed relationships between the traditional allies as China tightens sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.

The Sinpo-C-Class: A New North Korean Ballistic Missile Submarine Is Under Construction
The Diplomat10/18/17
U.S. military intelligence has detected a new diesel-electric submarine under construction at North Korea’s Sinpo shipyard, on the country’s east coast, according to a U.S. government source with knowledge of North Korea’s weapons programs who spoke to The Diplomat.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran top leader urges Europe to do more to back nuclear deal
Associated Press10/18/17
Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday urged Europe to do more to back the 2015 nuclear deal after President Donald Trump refused to re-certify the pact. European companies have rushed into the Iranian markets since the landmark accord.

Iran to honor nuclear deal as long as U.S. respects it: top leader
Xinhua10/18/17
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that Iran will cut 2015 international nuclear deal into shreds if the United Stats chooses to tear it up, Press TV reported.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Pyongyang’s threat to use nuclear weapons dangerous: Russian lawmaker
Xinhua10/18/17
Pyongyang’s public threat to use nuclear weapons against the United States is extremely dangerous, said a senior lawmaker from the lower house of Russia’s parliament Tuesday.

SOUTH ASIA

India to Launch 2nd Strategic Nuclear Sub by End of 2017
The Diplomat10/18/17
The second Arihant-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), INS Aridhaman, is slated to be launched in November or December of this year, according to Indian media reports.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Hillary Clinton says U.S. threats of war with North Korea ‘dangerous, short-sighted’
Reuters10/17/17
Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that “cavalier” threats to start war on the Korean peninsula were “dangerous and short-sighted”, urging the United States to get all parties to the negotiating table.

U.S. Pacific Command chief Harris says Kim’s nuclear ambitions are a ‘recipe for disaster’
Japan Times10/18/17
The top U.S. military commander in the Pacific warned the situation in North Korea is a “recipe for disaster,” as the region prepares for U.S. President Donald Trump’s first visit to the region.

OPINION AND ANALYSIS

Three ways Trump’s nuclear strategy misunderstands the mood in Iran
The ConversationNancy Gallagher
10/17/17
Trump seems to think that he gains a strategic advantage by keeping everybody else guessing. That might be true if he had a sound strategy that could achieve his objective so long as his opponents could not anticipate his next move and counteract it. With Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran deal, though, the evidence suggests that whatever strategy he has will likely be self-defeating.

Through a Periscope Darkly: The Nuclear Undersea Competition in Southern Asia is Just Beginning
War on the RocksDiana Wueger
10/18/17
Strategic competition among China, India, and Pakistan has traditionally been land-oriented, with a focus on territorial disputes. On the conventional military front, the Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani navies have received the least attention and resources from their respective governments. Similarly, the development of air- and land-based nuclear weapons has historically taken precedence both in defense budgets and as a means of projecting power. However, as China continues its economic and military expansion across the Indian Ocean, the maritime domain is receiving increased attention, with all three states making a concurrent drive toward acquiring sea-based nuclear weapons.

Armageddon by Accident
Foreign PolicyDan De Luce, Jenna McLaughlin, Elias Groll
10/18/17
Rising tensions between North Korea and the United States have sparked fresh concerns inside and outside the Pentagon that a potential miscalculation — driven by heated rhetoric or technical mistakes — could lead to an accidental conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

Decertifying Without Cause
Nukes of Hazard Podcast10/17/17
Citing no substantive evidence, President Trump announced that he would not certify the Iran nuclear agreement, setting up a 60-day window for Congress to potentially re-impose nuclear-related sanctions against Iran. This episode dives into why Congress should do what it does best — nothing — with Tess Bridgeman, a former Deputy Legal Adviser to the National Security Council (NSC).

North Korea playing a longer nuclear game than the U.S.
Chicago TribuneTyler Cowen
10/17/17
If we think through the North Korea nuclear weapons dilemma using game theory, one aspect of the problem deserves more attention, namely the age of the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un: 33.

The Case Against Nukes in South Korea
The DiplomatBruce Klingner
10/17/17
The Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., is a somber reminder of the tremendous sacrifices made during 1950-53. The inscription honors those “who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.” South Korea and its people are now well known to Americans. We will be there for you – the presence of a few nuclear weapons would do nothing to make that pledge any clearer.

Trump Should Focus on Deterring North Korea
Foreign PolicyMichael Singh
10/17/17
Yet in reality there is no one thing that will work to solve the problem of North Korea’s nuclear threat. A sensible policy toward Pyongyang must begin by ending the search for silver bullets solutions and embracing a policy that employs all of the levers of U.S. power in concert.