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January 12, 2018

Russia?s nuclear underwater drone is real and in the Nuclear Posture Review

A draft of the Pentagon?s Nuclear Posture Review confirms the existence of an underwater nuclear drone made and operated by Russia, a capability the U.S. Defense Department had not previously publicly acknowledged. ?In addition to modernizing ?legacy? Soviet nuclear systems, Russia is developing and deploying new nuclear warheads and launchers,? stated an unclassified draft of the nuclear posture review first published by the Huffington Post.

January 12, 2018

U.S. Decision to Respect Iran Deal Obligations Averts Self-Made Crisis But Uncertainty Persists

One day after the European Union reiterated its commitment to support "the full and effective implementation of the agreement" with Iran, the Trump Administration announced on January 12 that it will continue to waive sanctions on the Islamic Republic in accordance with U.S. commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

January 11, 2018

The Reality of North Korea as a Nuclear Power

Inter Press Service
With a track record of six underground nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017, North Korea is desperately yearning to be recognized as the world?s ninth nuclear power ? trailing behind the US, UK, France, China, Russia, India, Pakistan and Israel. But that recognition seems elusive? despite the increasing nuclear threats by Pyongyang and the continued war of words between two of the world?s most unpredictable leaders: US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

January 11, 2018

Moon, Xi reaffirm joint efforts on North Korea nuclear issue

The Korea Times
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to increase cooperation to help the ongoing inter-Korean talks lead to a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue, according to Cheong Wa Dae, Thursday. In a phone conversation, the two leaders reviewed the inter-Korean talks that took place two days ago over the North's participation in PyeongChang Winter Olympics to be held next month.

January 11, 2018

Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Significant Tunneling Underway at the West Portal

Recent commercial satellite imagery of North Korea?s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site indicates that the North Portal, where the last five nuclear tests were conducted, remains dormant and that tunnel excavation has been stepped up at the West Portal. Throughout December 2017, mining carts and personnel were consistently present around the West Portal and there was significant expansion of the spoil pile.

January 11, 2018

US reaffirms support to India?s NSG bid

The Indian Express
US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster on Thursday said that Washington was working closely with partners to secure New Delhi?s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). ?We also expect India to join the Australia Group on chemical and biological weapons in the very near future. And, we are working closely with India and our international partners to secure India?s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group,? PTI quoted Juster as saying in his inaugural policy speech on US-India relations.

January 11, 2018

Cyber-attack risk on nuclear weapons systems 'relatively high' ? thinktank

The Guardian
US, British and other nuclear weapons systems are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to a new study by the international relations thinktank Chatham House. The threat has received scant attention so far from those involved in nuclear military planning and the procurement of weapons, the report said.

January 10, 2018

US Hails Talks Between North and South Korea
Jason Ditz
The US State Department has issued a statement praising the talks between South and North Korea earlier this week as a ?positive development,? praising them as a ?good first step? toward more substantive talks. The talks began on Tuesday in the demilitarized zone, the first direct talks in over two years, and concluded amicably, with North Korea agreeing to attend the Winter Olympics, and both sides agreeing to meet again in the future.

January 10, 2018

US Finalizes Deal To Sell Japan Defensive Missiles

The Epoch Times
Matthew Little
The United States is preparing to sell Japan anti-ballistic missiles that can be used on land or on AEGIS-class destroyers, according to a spokesperson in the State Department. The administration notified Congress of the proposed sale on Jan. 9, looking for final approval on a deal that will see Japan buy four SM-3 Block IIA missiles four MK 29 missile canisters, and other ?technical, engineering and logistics support services.?

January 10, 2018

Trump Takes a Step Closer to Nuclear War
Kate Hudson
"This dangerous new policy expands the role of nuclear weapons in US foreign policy and makes nuclear war more likely. If it includes, as reports indicate, a plan to develop two new types of nuclear weapons - a low-yield version of the Trident D5 warhead and a sea-launched cruise missile - the weapons will be deemed more 'usable' and nuclear war will be more likely.

January 9. 2018

Party mouthpiece urges Beijing to build more nukes

Asia Times
Fresh calls to scale up China?s nuclear arsenal have caused a few raised eyebrows, as the Global Times, sister publication of the paramount Communist Party mouthpiece People?s Daily, has argued that China risks being eased out of the global superpower club if it fails to strengthen its strategic deterrence.

January 8, 2018

Pope, in 'state of world' speech, urges dialogue in Korea, nuclear ban

Philip Pullella
Pope Francis, in his annual ?state of the world? address called on Monday for all nations to support dialogue to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and to work for a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons. In the speech, Francis also repeated his call for a two-state-solution between Israelis and Palestinians and respect for the ?status quo? of Jerusalem following U.S. President Donald Trump?s decision to recognize the city as Israel?s capital.

January 8, 2018

U.S. hails Korea talks, despite North's rejection of denuclearization

Christine Kim, David Brunnstrom
North and South Korea held their first talks in over two years on Tuesday, which Washington welcomed as a first step to solving the North Korean nuclear weapons crisis, even though Pyongyang said those were aimed only at the United States and not up for discussion. The U.S. State Department said Washington would be interested in joining future talks, but stuck to its insistence that they must be aimed at denuclearization, showing that a diplomatic breakthrough remains far off.

January 8, 2018

In shift from Obama policy, Trump plans flexible use of nuclear weapons, including low-yield arms

The Japan Times
U.S. President Donald Trump?s administration will adopt a policy allowing the flexible use of nuclear weapons through the new Nuclear Posture Review to be unveiled as early as February, according to congressional and diplomatic sources. Such a shift would mark a major departure from the nuclear policy advocated by Trump?s predecessor, Barack Obama, who pledged in 2009 to pursue a ?world without nuclear weapons.?

January 8, 2018

Trump, Macron talk over phone on Korean Peninsula, Iran: White House

The White House said Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron over phone Saturday about the issues of the Korean Peninsula and Iran. Trump updated Macron on the developments of the situation on the Peninsula, underscoring the "international resolve to achieve the complete denuclearization" of the Peninsula, according to the White House. The two presidents also talked about the demonstrations in Iran.

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