Nuclear Policy News – October 24, 2017

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South Korea, U.S., Japan kick off two-day missile tracking drill: South Korea military

No Nuke Bombers on Call 24/7, But Alert Centers Being Upgraded
Breaking Defense

Panetta: Countries won’t trust US if Iran deal is broken
The Hill


South Korea, U.S., Japan kick off two-day missile tracking drill: South Korea military
South Korea, the United States and Japan started a two-day missile tracking drill on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said, in preparation for any missile or nuclear threats from North Korea.

U.S. needs to work with other on North Korea crisis: Singapore PM
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday he outlined for President Donald Trump his country’s efforts to pressure North Korea over its nuclear program but also advised the U.S. leader to use talks to help resolve the conflict.

Leaders of S. Korea, Japan renew call on N. Korea to abandon nuclear ambition
Yonhap News Agency10/24/17
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged North Korea to give up its nuclear ambition Tuesday, saying the move will ensure a bright future for it.

N.K. diplomat urged U.S. to make ‘right choice’ for ‘way out’: Seoul official
Yonhap News Agency10/24/17
A North Korean diplomat who recently joined a conference in Moscow called for the United States to drop its hostile policy and make the “right choice” of recognizing it as a nuclear-armed state, saying that it would lead to a “way out” from the current stalemate, a foreign ministry source here said Tuesday.


UK certain Iran nuclear deal to be preserved, U.S. says remains committed
There is absolutely no doubt that a deal between Western powers and Iran to curb its nuclear program will survive despite the U.S. decision not to recertify the deal, Britain’s foreign minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.

Russia condemns North Korea’s nuclear, missile tests, provocative steps by other countries
Moscow strongly condemns North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and also stands against excessive military activities by some regional countries, which provoke Pyongyang, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday.


No Nuke Bombers on Call 24/7, But Alert Centers Being Upgraded
Breaking Defense10/23/17
Gen. John Hyten, head of Strategic Command, is not considering putting bombers back on alert, his spokesman says in an email. “There are no discussions or plans for U.S. Strategic Command to place bombers on alert. Any decisions related to the posture of nuclear forces would come from, or through, U.S. Strategic Command. We constantly train, prepare and equip our personnel to ensure we have a combat-ready force that underwrites strategic deterrence in the 21st century,” Navy Capt. Brook DeWalt writes.

Panetta: Countries won’t trust US if Iran deal is broken
The Hill10/23/17
“In foreign policy, in many ways, your word counts for a lot and when you tell someone you’re going to do something, if you fail to stick to your word, it sends a clear message to others … that you can not trust America as a partner,” Panetta said during a Hudson Institute forum in Washington.

Panetta: Trump should ‘lower the volume of rhetoric’ on North Korea
The Hill10/23/17
President Trump should “lower the volume of rhetoric” on North Korea and instead focus on diplomatic and long-term efforts to bring the country to negotiations, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday.


Trump’s Iran Gambit: “The Equivalent of Pulling the Pin Out of the Grenade”
Vanity FairAbigail Tracy
Donald Trump’s declaration earlier this month that he intends to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord—the “worst deal ever,” as he loves to say—unless lawmakers on Capitol Hill made it broader and tougher, was “the equivalent of pulling the pin out of the grenade and handing it to Congress,” one Democratic congressional aide told me. Now Congress has 90 days—when the president has to recertify the deal—to put the pin back in. But, as in an action movie, it’s a task that currently looks impossible.

Think positive: How to get North Korea to roll back its nuclear weapons activity
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsPaige P. Cone
Though most scholars of counterproliferation focus on the efficacy of economic sanctions, the current cycle of interaction between North Korea and the United States raises the question: Under what conditions do major powers influence leaders to stop pursuing nuclear weapons programs? If history is any indication, the carrot is more effective than the stick.

Kazakhstan is opting for nuclear engagement, not deterrence
The HillAriel Cohen
In order to follow a more peaceful path away from deadly arsenals and potential nuclear conflict, the example of Kazakhstan’s non-proliferation policy should inform decision-makers on both sides of the Atlantic.


The persistence of the radioactive bogeyman
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsAndrew Newman
Since 1950, in fact, a remarkable number of American and European horror movies have used radiation as a central plot device. It is a rich, if not distinguished, history. In fact, it is a mostly miserable history, full of bad production values, bad plots, and bad acting. But that doesn’t mean these radioactive B-movies are unimportant. They reflect the fears and misconceptions of their era as they relate to scientific advances—and scientific arrogance.

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