Nuclear Policy News – September 19, 2019

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Zarif threatens ‘all-out war’ in case of military strike on Iran

2 U.S. Senators warn Trump against nuclear deal with Saudis
Voice of America

North Korea is still expanding its nuclear weapon arsenal and could have 40 warheads by 2020, arms watchdog says

Middle East

Zarif threatens ‘all-out war’ in case of military strike on Iran
Iran’s foreign minister has raised the specter of “all-out war” in the event of US or Saudi military strikes and that Saudi Arabia would have to fight “to the last American soldier.”

2 U.S. senators warn Trump against nuclear deal with Saudis
Voice of America9/18/19
Two U.S. senators are warning the Trump administration against a nuclear cooperation deal with Saudi Arabia, fearing it could set off a nuclear arms race in the volatile Middle East.

Trump sanctions Iran again, inching toward economic blockade
Foreign Policy9/18/19
But some experts say the move is a weak response to alleged Iranian attacks on Saudi oil.

East Asia

South Korea’s top nuke envoy Lee to visit U.S. for talks with Biegun this week
Yonhap News Agency9/18/19
South Korea’s chief nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon will visit the United States this week for talks with his U.S. counterpart ahead of the upcoming nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Fukushima nuclear disaster trial ends with acquittals of 3 executives
New York Times9/19/19
A Japanese court on Thursday acquitted three former Tokyo Electric Power Company executives who had been accused of criminal negligence for their roles in the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

North Korea is still expanding its nuclear weapon arsenal and could have 40 warheads by 2020, arms watchdog says
North Korea is continuing to expand its nuclear arsenal despite ongoing—though currently stalled—discussions with the U.S. on disarmament, according to a global arms watchdog.


Will artificial intelligence imperil nuclear deterrence?
War on the RocksRafael Loss and Joseph Johnson
While strategists have generally offered more sober explorations of the future relationship between AI and nuclear weapons, some of the most widely received musings on the issue, including a recent call for an AI-enabled “dead hand” to update America’s aging nuclear command, control, and communications infrastructure, tend to obscure more than they illuminate due to an insufficient understanding of the technologies involved.

Russia’s Kaliningrad territory is armed to the teeth. NATO wants to crush it in a war.
National InterestDavid Axe
The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, which lies between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea and is geographically separate from the rest of Russia, practically bristles with S-300 and S-400 air-defense missiles, Oniks anti-ship missiles and Iskander surface-to-surface missiles.

5 terrible ways that a nuclear war might actually happen
National InterestTom Nichols
There have been too many nuclear war close calls for comfort and humanity must learn from them.

Trump has an Iran strategy
New York TimesDavid Leonhardt
The Trump administration has a more coherent policy on Iran than it does on many other issues.

Trump’s incoherence on Iran has created a crisis
SlateFred Kaplan
If it’s true, as now seems likely, that Iran was responsible for the missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil sites last weekend, the larger question remains what President Donald Trump will do about it.

A more realistic approach to the economic side of nuclear negotiations with North Korea
38 NorthBradley O. Babson
While considerable attention has been given to what this means for the technical side of denuclearization, less attention seems to have been given to the economic side, apart from finding mutual ground on the scale and timing of sanctions relief.

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