TOP NEWS In defense chiefs’ talks, regional powers vow stronger ties against N. Korea Yonhap News Agency Britain’s Johnson says absolutely no doubt Iran nuclear deal will be preserved Reuters US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert Defense One Ted Cruz: A Pressure Point for North Korea New York TimesSen. Ted Cruz EAST ASIA Japanese defense minister sounds alarm on North Korea Associated Press10/23/17 Japan’s defense minister asserted Monday that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities have grown to an “unprecedented, critical and imminent” level, requiring “different responses” to the threat. After election win, Abe prioritizes North Korea, aging Japan Associated Press10/23/17 Fresh off a decisive election victory, Japan’s leader pledged Monday to tackle what he called Japan’s two national crises: the military threat from North Korea and an aging and shrinking population. Japan waters down text of annual anti-nuclear resolution to imply acceptable use of nukes Japan Times10/21/17 A draft resolution recently proposed by the Abe government to the United Nations General Assembly was dramatically watered down under diplomatic pressure from the United States, government sources have revealed. In defense chiefs’ talks, regional powers vow stronger ties against N. Korea Yonhap News Agency10/23/17 The defense chiefs of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan on Monday emphasized the importance of strengthening their partnerships in maximizing pressure on North Korea. THAAD now fully integrated into air defenses for South Korea Stars and Stripes10/22/17 A controversial U.S. anti-missile battery has been integrated into air-defense systems for South Korea, with its operating unit to be permanently stationed on the divided peninsula. MIDDLE EAST Iranian diplomat accuses U.S. of depriving Iran of benefits from nuclear deal Xinhua10/22/17 A senior Iranian diplomat criticized the United States on Saturday for depriving Iran of the benefits from the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Tehran and the world powers, Press TV reported. RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE Military option must remain on the table with North Korea: Johnson Reuters10/23/17 A military option must remain on the table in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear program, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday, adding that nobody wants tensions in the Korean peninsula to be resolved in such a way. Britain’s Johnson says absolutely no doubt Iran nuclear deal will be preserved Reuters10/23/17 There is absolutely no doubt that a deal between Western powers and Iran to curb its nuclear program will survive despite the United States’ decision not to recertify the deal, Britain’s foreign minister Boris Johnson said on Monday. Russia not to take part in talks to amend Iran nuclear deal Xinhua10/21/17 Russia has said it is confident that Iran is fulfilling all its obligations under a multilateral agreement on its nuclear program and will not take part in any talks on amending the deal. MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL Nobel peace prize winners urge Australia to sign treaty banning nuclear weapons The Guardian10/23/17 The winner of the 2017 Nobel peace prize, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, has written an open letter to Malcolm Turnbull urging the Australian government to sign the nascent global treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons. U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert Defense One10/22/17 Goldfein and other senior defense officials stressed that the alert order had not been given, but that preparations were under way in anticipation that it might come. That decision would be made by Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or Gen. Lori Robinson, the head of U.S. Northern Command. Defense chief Mattis in Asia, will discuss North Korea crisis with allies Reuters10/22/17 U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he would talk with Asian allies about North Korea and the crisis caused by Pyongyang’s “reckless” provocations, as he kicked off a week-long trip to the region on Monday to meet defense chiefs in the Philippines. US commanders stress “ironclad” commitment to defend SKorea Associated Press10/21/17 U.S. naval commanders on Saturday reiterated Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to defend South Korea against North Korean threats as an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier visited a South Korean port following a joint naval drill. Tillerson seeks Arab help in US effort to isolate Iran ABC News10/23/17 U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took the Trump administration’s case for isolating and containing Iran in the Middle East and beyond to two Gulf Arab nations on Sunday, pushing for Saudi Arabia and Iraq to unite to counter growing Iranian assertiveness. He also called for a quick resolution to the ongoing crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbors, which he said was unintentionally bolstering Iran. Nuclear war with North Korea not ‘likely’: Former CIA director Petraeus ABC News10/22/17 Nuclear war with North Korea is not “likely” despite the heightened rhetoric between President Donald Trump and the regime of Kim Jong Un, said former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus. OPINION AND ANALYSIS Jimmy Carter Lusts for a Trump Posting New York TimesMaureen Dowd 10/21/17 The 93-year-old would like to pull another rabbit out of a hat — just not a killer rabbit — and enter into a productive partnership with Donald Trump over North Korea. When you think about it, though, it makes sense. One of the basic premises of the Carter Center is that you should talk to dictators. Ted Cruz: A Pressure Point for North Korea New York TimesSen. Ted Cruz 10/22/17 It is time to acknowledge that North Korea may never be interested in negotiating away its nuclear deterrent. Of course we should continue to leave the door open for serious discussions if the situation changes, but the United States government does our citizens — and the world — a disservice if it continually discounts the centrality of nuclear weapons to the Kim regime. Preventing nuclear terrorism should remain a top U.S. priority The HillSara Kutchesfahani 10/20/17 Regardless of decisions related to the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, preventing nuclear terrorism — an integral part of nuclear security — should still be a top priority. After all, terrorists, by their very nature, cannot be deterred in the same way that states can. The JCPOA Will Not Kill Grandma With Cancer Arms Control WonkJarrett Blanc and Laura Holgate 10/22/17 But unlike imaginary Iranian HEU or imaginary U.S. laws, the risks of an Iranian nuclear program unconstrained by the limits and inspections agreed in the JCPOA are all too real. Let’s keep the focus where it matters: making sure Iran continues to comply fully with its JCPOA commitments. SPECIAL INTEREST A Russian Ghost Submarine, Its U.S. Pursuers and a Deadly New Cold War Wall Street Journal10/20/17 The Krasnodar, a Russian attack submarine, left the coast of Libya in late May, headed east across the Mediterranean, then slipped undersea, quiet as a mouse. Then, it fired a volley of cruise missiles into Syria. PM says PyeongChang Olympics will be a success despite tensions with N. Korea Yonhap News Agency10/23/17 South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Monday that the PyeongChang Winter Olympics will turn out to be a success, just as the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the 2002 soccer World Cup were successfully held despite tensions with North Korea.