Nuclear Policy News – October 4, 2018

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Top News

North Korean diplomat handling nuclear issues leaves for China, Russia
Kydo News

U.S. Withdraws From 1955 Treaty Normalizing Relations With Iran
New York Times

U.S., Russia: The Rivals Threaten to Abandon a Key Nuclear Treaty

East Asia

Flexibility key to advancing N. Korea denuclearization: minister
Yonhap News Agency10/4/2018
South Korea’s top diplomat on Thursday stressed the need for flexibility in denuclearization talks with North Korea and called for a bold approach that differs from that of past negotiations.

Vienna, home to UN nuclear watchdog agency, may hold key to US-North Korea deal
South China Morning Post10/4/2018
Amid movement between Washington and Pyongyang on what US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently termed the “rapid denuclearisation” of North Korea, former senior US diplomats involved in nuclear policy said a possible road to success could run through Vienna.

North Korean diplomat handling nuclear issues leaves for China, Russia
Kydo News10/4/2018
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, who handles nuclear weapons issues and negotiations with the United States, left Pyongyang by air on Thursday to visit China and Russia.

Pompeo optimistic Pyongyang trip will yield U.S.-North Korea progress
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday he was optimistic his planned visit to Pyongyang this weekend would bring progress toward a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and in building a path to North Korea’s denuclearization.

Middle East

U.S. Withdraws From 1955 Treaty Normalizing Relations With Iran
New York Times10/3/2018
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday that the United States was pulling out of a six-decade-old treaty with Iran that had provided a basis for normalizing relations between the two countries, including diplomatic and economic exchanges.


Pentagon chief says Russian violation of key arms control treaty ‘untenable’
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Thursday that Russia’s violation of an arms control treaty was “untenable” and unless it changed course the United States would need to match Moscow’s capabilities.

U.S., Russia: The Rivals Threaten to Abandon a Key Nuclear Treaty
In a speech on Oct. 2 in Brussels, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison demanded that Russia return to complying with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty or else the United States would be forced to develop its own non-INF-compliant weapons to match Russian capabilities. In response, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “It seems that people who make such statements do not realize the level of their responsibility and the danger of aggressive rhetoric.”

South Asia

US, Chinese unease as Putin seeks India arms deals
Economic Times10/4/2018
Russian President Vladimir Putin headed for India on Thursday looking to tie up billions of dollars in arms deals with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, likely irking the US, China and Pakistan in one fell swoop

Musharraf Warns of Proxy War in Afghanistan If U.S. Departs
Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf warned a proxy war between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan would erupt in Afghanistan if U.S. forces exit the country.

Opinion and Analysis

Learning to Love Kim’s Bomb
Foreign AffairsJoshua Shifrinson
Upon returning from the Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June, U.S. President Donald Trump declared the North Korea problem “solved.” Many experts did not share his optimism. Pyongyang, they argued, had done nothing to indicate that it was committed to “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.” And nothing since then—up to and including the recent meeting between U.S. and North Korean officials on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York—has indicated otherwise. Trump, in other words, was fleeced.

Potential for huge profits may prompt North Korea nuclear deal
The HillHarry J. Kazianis
In the “hermit kingdom” of North Korea that few people have seen in recent decades, big changes are beginning to take place. Despite the isolation cultivated by the Kim regime, the basic human self-interest to seek out profits, wherever they may be, has led to historic happenings in this impoverished nation of roughly 25 million people. Having stepped into the limelight of the world stage, third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un now wants to make development and rapid economic growth the centerpiece of his domestic agenda.

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