TOP NEWS: UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons reaches 50 ratifications needed for entry into force ICAN Hopes dim for nuclear agreement with Russia before election day Politico Trump, Biden trade barbs over North Korea’s nukes Defense News United States NNSA to start environmental review of dilute and dispose this year; scope unclear Exchange Monitor10/23/20 Later this year, the National Nuclear Security Administration will begin a formal review of its program to dispose of the 34 metric tons of plutonium once slated to be recycled into commercial reactor fuel, an agency official said. Hopes dim for nuclear agreement with Russia before election day Politico10/23/20 National security adviser Robert O’Brien is cautioning that an agreement to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty for another year is not “a done deal.” OPINION: The difficult task of nuclear modernization AEIMackenzie Eaglen 10/23/20 After waiting until the last feasible moment to begin fully modernizing the nuclear triad, the projected cost is significant and the timeline unyielding. East Asia ANALYSIS: Elections, nukes, and the future of the South Korea–U.S. alliance Carnegie EndowmentToby Dalton, Ain Han 10/26/20 The stage is set for a potentially disruptive period in South Korea–U.S. security relations. If tensions are allowed to build, the alliance could rupture. Biden says he’d meet Kim Jong Un only if nuclear arsenal reduced Bloomberg10/22/20 U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he could meet Kim Jong Un if the North Korean leader made moves to reduce his nuclear arsenal. Trump, Biden trade barbs over North Korea’s nukes Defense News10/23/20 In the final presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle, former Vice President Joe Biden attacked President Donald Trump over his chummy relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who recently unveiled a new, larger intercontinental ballistic missile. Middle East Trump Administration hopes to make Iran pressure campaign harder to reverse Wall Street Journal10/23/20 Officials plan counterterrorism sanctions, seen as politically more difficult to ease. Russia and Europe Russians who pose election threat have hacked nuclear plants and power grid New York Times10/23/20 Cybersecurity officials watched with growing alarm in September as Russian state hackers started prowling around dozens of American state and local government computer systems just two months before the election. Trump’s hopes of nuclear deal with Putin come down to the wire Axios10/23/20 A surprise offer from Vladimir Putin has the U.S. and Russia once again circling a potential pre-election nuclear deal. South Asia Is India overturning decades of nuclear doctrine? Foreign Policy10/23/20 The country has good reason to want first-strike capabilities. But the actual state of its arsenal suggests that it won’t get them. Multilateral Arms Control UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons reaches 50 ratifications needed for entry into force ICAN10/24/20 This is a historic milestone for this landmark treaty. Prior to the TPNW’s adoption, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not banned under international law, despite their catastrophic humanitarian consequences.