Nuclear Policy News – October 31, 2018

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Top News

N.K. preparing for foreign inspectors’ visit to nuclear test site: Seoul spy agency
Yonhap News

Mattis: No diplomatic solution on Russia arms treaty yet
The Hill

Nuke capable Agni-I night trial a success
The Indian Express

NATO’s Stoltenberg calls on Russia to comply with INF nuclear treaty


East Asia

N.K. preparing for foreign inspectors’ visit to nuclear test site: Seoul spy agency
Yonhap News10/31/18
North Korea is apparently preparing for a possible visit by outside inspectors to verify the shutdown of its nuclear test site in the northeast, Seoul’s spy agency said Wednesday during a parliamentary audit. After his fourth visit to North Korea in October, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had promised to let foreign inspectors visit the Punggye-ri site as soon as logistics-related details are worked out.

Korea Alliance Strained as Trump Keeps Suspending ‘War Games’
The U.S. and South Korea have spent almost seven decades honing their preparedness for war. Now fears are growing among the alliance’s proponents that extended peace talks are eroding that advantage.

Trump’s plans to scrap a nuclear pact with Russia could heighten tensions in Asia
Washington’s plans to withdraw from a Cold War-era agreement with Moscow could have reverberating consequences around Asia, potentially escalating rivalry among nuclear-armed powers such as China and India.

Middle East

A foiled assassination plot in Denmark may just have cost Iran a partner against Trump
Washington Post10/31/18
Denmark is leading a push for new E.U. sanctions against Iran, after its intelligence agencies blamed Tehran for a foiled plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident on Danish soil. The plot was already uncovered in September and triggered a massive police operation, in which Denmark shut down streets and bridges across the country.


NATO’s Stoltenberg calls on Russia to comply with INF nuclear treaty
Russia’s deployment of new nuclear-capable missiles in Europe is jeopardizing a key arms control treaty that helped end the Cold War, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference in Norway on Tuesday. President Donald Trump said on Oct. 20 that Washington planned to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, signed in 1987, amid what he sees as Russian violations of the agreement.

South Asia

Nuke capable Agni-I night trial a success
The Indian Express10/31/18
The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian army successfully flight tested surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-I from a defence base off Odisha coast on Tuesday night. The indigenously developed missile with better re-entry technology and maneuverability was fired by the armed forces from a mobile launcher at Abdul Kalam Island at about 8 pm.

Multilateral Arms Control

A-bomb survivor, supporters call on nations to join nuke ban pact
The Japan Times10/31/18
Michiko Tsukamoto, who was just 10 years old when an atomic bomb was dropped over her hometown of Hiroshima in 1945, on Tuesday urged countries that have not signed a landmark nuclear weapons ban treaty to do so quickly. “Last year the nuclear ban treaty was made. I felt years and years of (the) hibakusha’s work bore fruit and we are one step closer to achieving our dream of a nuclear-free world,” she said at a U.N. headquarters event.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Mattis: No diplomatic solution on Russia arms treaty yet
The Hill10/30/18
Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday that “diplomats are still trying” to find options on the way forward on a landmark arms control treaty that President Trump has said he will withdraw the United States from. “We have done everything we can diplomatically. The diplomats are still trying, by the way, as we speak,” Mattis said at the United States Institute of Peace.

Top former intel official says Singapore summit was “serious misstep”
CBS News10/31/18
The Trump administration committed a “serious misstep” in arranging the Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to top former Treasury official and former CIA deputy director David Cohen. Kim’s face-to-face meeting with President Trump – and the president’s subsequent declarations about North Korea’s nuclear threat – may have diminished the world’s resolve to enforce sanctions against Kim’s regime, Cohen said.

Opinion and Analysis

At The Latest Inter-Korean Summit, Kim Jong-Un Created A Diplomatic Minefield For The United States
War on the RocksDavid Maxwell and Mathew Ha
Washington needs to remind Kim that he also needs to deliver with concrete and credible actions. Until Pyongyang delivers, Trump should continue to contain and pressure North Korea by enforcing sanctions to prevent all North Korean illicit activities and sustaining a strong U.S.-South Korea alliance — all while working with South Korea to test Kim’s sincerity as appropriate.

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