Top News North Korea says peace declaration not a bargaining chip Associated Press Iran says conditions not ripe for U.S. talks Xinhua Is Nothing Better than Something? Trashing These Treaties Makes No Sense Defense On East Asia North Korea Requires Planning and Patience National Interest10/2/2018 At the Pyongyang summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, held from September 18–20, 2018, a declaration was signed by the ranking military officials of the two Koreas. This agreement is intended to prevent military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, specifically it establishes buffer zones, based on the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) on land, and on the Northern Limit Line (NLL) at sea. Optimists see the agreement as a useful step toward better relations; but pessimists see it as a step too far, given the continuing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula. A balanced appraisal suggests that it is too soon to decide. North Korea says peace declaration not a bargaining chip Associated Press10/2/2018 North Korea warned Washington through its state media Tuesday that a declaration ending the Korean War shouldn’t be seen as a bargaining chip in denuclearization talks — but suggested lifting sanctions might be. Middle East International Court Orders U.S. to Ease Some Iran Sanctions New York Times10/3/2018 In a rebuke to the Trump administration, the International Court of Justice ordered the United States on Wednesday to ease some sanctions against Iran, including those related to the supply of humanitarian goods and the safety of civil aviation. Iran praises Europe for taking ‘big step’ to keep business with Tehran Reuters10/3/2018 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani praised Europe on Wednesday for taking a “big step” toward maintaining business with Iran after the unilateral U.S. withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposition of new sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Iran says conditions not ripe for U.S. talks Xinhua10/2/2018 Iran will not sit for talks with the United States over the existing issues as the conditions is not ripe, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by Press TV on Tuesday. Russia/FSU/Europe The US just warned Russia that it would take counter-measures against banned Russian nuclear weapons Business Insider10/3/2018 The US envoy to NATO said Tuesday that it might take counter-measures against Russian nuclear-capable missiles with military force if they don’t stop building the new weapons accused of violating a 1987 treaty. Opinion and Analysis China Can Prod North Korea into Nuclear Disarmament National InterestLyle J. Goldstein 10/2/2018 A second paper in the same volume is by Zheng Jiyong [郑继永], director of the Korean Studies Center at Fudan University in Shanghai. Zheng emphasizes how far the peninsula has come in such a short period of time—a fact that seems to be completely lost on the many hawks populating the Washington “blob.” He notes that in 2017, most observers were gravely pessimistic and that recent steps have “significantly lowered the risk and possibility of war.” In this process, he gives substantial credit to China for serving as “stabilizer [稳定器].” Is Nothing Better than Something? Trashing These Treaties Makes No Sense Defense OneMichael Krepon 10/2/2018 There are times when nothing is better than something. For example, we would all like to live without pain, illness, and loss. In most cases, however, something is better than nothing — certainly when it comes to putting food on the table. Or budgeting for other necessities like clothing, shelter and education. Nothing isn’t better than something when it comes to protecting our environment or providing for community policing or national defense. And nothing certainly isn’t better than something when it comes to diplomacy to reduce nuclear dangers and reaffirm ties with friends and allies.