Nuclear Policy News - December 10, 2012

Dec 10, 2012

 

TOP NEWS
 
N. Korea preparing fuel for rocket
 
Experts skeptical Syria is preparing to use its chemical arsenal
 
Some in Israel see acquiescence in Iron Dome missile defense system
 
BAE Systems wins 1.2 billion pounds British submarine contract
 
U.N. nuclear inspectors to press Iran on military site access
 
EAST ASIA
 
N. Korea preparing fuel for rocket
 
North Korea is filling up a fuel tank at a missile launch site as it prepares to inject fuel into a long-range rocket that Pyongyang says would blast off as early as Monday, a senior military source in Seoul said Friday.
 
North Korea extending rocket launch period to Dec. 29
 
North Korea on Monday extended the launch period for a controversial long-range rocket by another week until Dec. 29, citing technical problems.
 
S.Korea Deploys Warships to Track N.Korea Rocket Launch
 
South Korea has deployed two King Sejong the Great class Aegis destroyers in the Yellow Sea with one more to be sent there shortly in anticipation of an imminent North Korean rocket launch, the Yonhap news agency reported on Saturday.
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
Experts skeptical Syria is preparing to use its chemical arsenal
 
With concern over the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons stockpile reaching a fever pitch this week, international experts are cautioning against alarmism, saying there’s no confirmation that the Syrians are mixing weapons components or loading them into delivery systems, as some U.S. news organizations have reported.
 
True danger from Syrian chemical weapons is if militants acquire them – Russian FM
 
The Syrian government does not intend, and has never planned, to use chemical weapons against rebel forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, addressing rumors the that the Assad regime is preparing to use its chemical weapons arsenal.
 
For Iran, Unrest in Syria Is Noise, Not Brutal War
 
When Syria’s agricultural minister, Subhi Ahmad al-Abdullah, arrived in the Iranian capital for a visit last week, everybody involved stuck to a well-worn script.
 
Some in Israel see acquiescence in Iron Dome missile defense system
 
In the calm of the cease-fire, Iron Dome has emerged in Israel’s reckoning as a symbol of all that is right with the Jewish state. But it has also become an emblem of the unmet challenges that sit at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
 
Iran Condemns US Nuclear Test
 
Tehran has condemned the United States over a recent subcritical nuclear test as a threat to peace and stability, the Irna news agency reported on Saturday.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
India, Dassault MMRCA Contract Likely In 2013 Following Delays In Negotiations
 
India and Dassault will most likely sign the contract for the MMRCA deal, scheduled to be concluded by the end of this year to 2013. Neither side has made known a new timeline for the commercial negotiations to be concluded.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
Russia stands by Syria President Bashar Assad
 
Moscow says it will not seek the ouster of Assad, as international negotiators again fail to reach a breakthrough on the crisis in Syria.
 
Russian Rocket Fails to Put Satellite in Right Orbit
 
For the second time in five months, a malfunctioning Russian Proton rocket has failed to place a large communications satellite into the proper orbit.
 
BAE Systems wins 1.2 billion pounds British submarine contract
 
The Ministry of Defence said on Monday it has awarded a 1.2 billion pound submarine contract to British defence contractor BAE Systems.
 
Russia Not Training Enough Military Pilots - Defense Minister
 
The Russian Air Force is not training sufficient numbers of pilots and other specialists, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
Countries to Examine Options for Strengthening Bioweapons Convention
 
Nations are set at a yearly gathering next week to consider means of bolstering compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention and building on its ability to impede the creation or employment of arms-usable disease agents and toxins, the United Nations said.
 
U.N. nuclear inspectors to press Iran on military site access
 
U.N. nuclear inspectors will press Iran this week for a long-sought green light to visit a key military site, although suspected clean-up work may make it difficult to find evidence of any illicit atomic bomb research there.
 
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
 
Administration Finalizing HEU Reduction Plan For Hospitals Despite Concerns
 
The Obama administration is moving forward with plans to modify the Medicare payment system for radiological isotopes used in diagnostic procedures despite concerns that the change would not do enough to end health care providers’ reliance on bomb-grade uranium.
 
OPINIONS
 
Watching Syria’s descent
Jackson Diehl
 
The scariest thing about Syria, from the West’s point of view, may be the gap between the hair-raising scenarios senior officials are discussing about what may happen next and their limp strategies for preventing it.
 
A call to arms for Syria's rebels
Doyle McManus
 
A new word defines the debate over Syria in Washington: endgame. Policymakers expect the regime in Damascus to fall soon, and their focus has shifted to what happens then.