Nuclear Policy News – October 5, 2017

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Nuke deal hangs in balance as Trump plans Iran policy speech
Associated Press

More than 180 Dems sign letter pushing Trump to re-certify Iran nuclear deal
The Hill

Trump and Japan’s Abe agree to keep pressure on North Korea

Exclusive: European envoys take fight for Iran nuclear deal to U.S. Congress


Trump and Japan’s Abe agree to keep pressure on North Korea
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in a telephone conversation on Wednesday that pressure should be maintained on North Korea, a senior Japanese government official told reporters.

N. Korean nuclear attack on Seoul, Tokyo could claim more than 2 million lives: report
Yonhap News Agency10/5/17
A hypothetical North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul and Tokyo could claim more than 2 million lives, a U.S. website monitoring Pyongyang said Thursday.


Aide to Iran’s Nuclear Team Is Imprisoned on Spying Conviction
New York Times10/4/17
A Canadian-Iranian accountant who helped advise Iran’s negotiation team in talks that led to the 2015 nuclear agreement with the United States and other big powers has been sentenced to five years in prison for spying.


Exclusive: European envoys take fight for Iran nuclear deal to U.S. Congress
As Congress faces a possible fight over the future of the Iran nuclear agreement, European ambassadors and officials from President Barack Obama’s administration are making their case for preserving the pact directly to U.S. lawmakers.

Putin says military strike against North Korea not sure to succeed
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that a military strike against North Korea designed to destroy its nuclear and missile program might not succeed because Pyongyang could have hidden military facilities that nobody knows about.

Revealed: Russia’s New Experimental ICBM Warheads
The Diplomat10/4/17
According to a U.S. government source with knowledge of a recent U.S. intelligence assessment of Russian ballistic missile testing who spoke to the Diplomat, Russia’s strategic missile force recently tested an independent post-boost vehicle (IPBV) configuration for a three-warhead version of its solid-fuel, road-mobile RS-24 Yars ICBM.


Indian Air Force capable of striking nuke, other targets in Pakistan: IAF Chief
The Economic Times10/5/17
“We have a draft nuclear doctrine. It is answered in that — what happens when the enemy decides to use nuclear weapons on us. As far as IAF is concerned, it has the ability to locate, fix and strike and that is not only for tactical nuclear weapons but for other targets across the border (as well),” he said.


Nuke deal hangs in balance as Trump plans Iran policy speech
Associated Press10/5/17
President Donald Trump could announce his secret decision on the future of the Iran nuclear deal next week. U.S. officials familiar with the president’s planning said Wednesday he is preparing to deliver an Iran policy speech in which he is expected to declare the landmark 2015 agreement contrary to America’s national security interests.

More than 180 Dems sign letter pushing Trump to re-certify Iran nuclear deal
The Hill10/4/17
A group of over 180 Democrats led by Reps. Ted Deutch (Fla.) and David Price (N.C.) sent a letter to President Trump on Wednesday urging him to re-certify the Iran nuclear accord to Congress ahead of the Oct. 15 deadline.

CIA says North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un is not crazy, but ‘very rational’
The Washington Times10/4/17
A top CIA official called North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un a “very rational actor” who doesn’t want a war with the United States, despite a string of provocations that has sent tensions soaring across East Asia.

Trump to Chart Hawkish Course on Iran
Foreign Policy10/4/17
The move would put both Iran and European allies on notice that the Trump administration will insist on a new agreement with Tehran to address what it sees as shortcomings in the original 2015 deal, especially the fact that key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will end in 10 years, sources familiar with the administration’s deliberations told Foreign Policy.


Countdown to zero: The case for the Iran deal
The HillRep. Gerry Connolly
Additionally, I have introduced the bipartisan Commission to Verify Iranian Nuclear Compliance Act (H.R. 3810) with Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.). This legislation would establish a Congressional-Executive Commission with bipartisan-appointed staff to oversee the implementation of the JCPOA and verify Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the deal. Congress should act immediately to advance one of the rare proposals on Capitol Hill that has garnered support from both sides of the heated JCPOA debate.

Implement the JCPOA
Arms Control WonkMark Hibbs
The JCPOA is an additional instrument that should permit the IAEA to provide greater assurance that Iran is in compliance with its safeguards agreement and to confirm the completeness of Iran’s nuclear declaration. Besides the AP, the JCPOA includes a raft of other complementary verification provisions. The sum total affords the IAEA a level of information about Iran’s nuclear program that exceeds all other nuclear programs subject to safeguards.

The Uses and Misuses of Historical Analogy for North Korea
The AtlanticRichard Fontaine and Vance Serchuk
That danger is especially pronounced in the case of North Korea today, because it does not have any strong historical antecedents but its own. Despite all the attempts to draw assorted comparisons to explain the crisis, the best guide for it is to be found not through the close study of Khrushchev or the Kaiser, but of the Kim family.

Inside North Korea, and Feeling the Drums of War
New York TimesNicholas Kristof
Far more than when I previously visited, North Korea is galvanizing its people to expect a nuclear war with the United States. High school students march in the streets in military uniform every day to denounce America. Posters and billboards along the public roads show missiles destroying the U.S. Capitol and shredding the American flag. In fact, images of missiles are everywhere — in a kindergarten playground, at a dolphin show, on state television. This military mobilization is accompanied by the ubiquitous assumption that North Korea could not only survive a nuclear conflict, but also win it.

Why Tactical Nuclear Weapons Are Still A Thing
Defense OneAlbert J. Mauroni
Here are some thoughts as to why tactical nuclear weapons are being advanced as a valid, contemporary — and necessary — defense capability.


NKorean workers prep seafood going to US stores, restaurants
Associated Press10/5/17
At a time when North Korea faces sanctions on many exports, the government is sending tens of thousands of workers worldwide, bringing in revenue estimated at anywhere from $200 million to $500 million a year. That could account for a sizable portion of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, which South Korea says have cost more than $1 billion.

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