Nuclear Policy News - February 21, 2012

Feb 21, 2012
N. Korean envoy arrives in China for talks with U.S.


Iran Warns of Pre-Emptive Action in Nuclear Dispute
India, Pak agree to extend nuclear risk reduction pact for 5 years
Putin vows to strengthen Russia's nuclear deterrence potential
U.S. Nuclear Trade Policy Concerns Mounting on Capitol Hill
N. Korean envoy arrives in China for talks with U.S.
North Korea's top negotiator arrived in China on Tuesday for talks with his U.S. counterpart as part of diplomatic efforts to resume long-stalled negotiations on ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programs.
China Buys Least Iran Crude in Five Months Amid Price Talks
China, the biggest buyer of Iranian crude, cut purchases to the lowest level in five months in January even as its total oil imports rose after trading companies in the two nations failed to renew supply contracts.
S Korea holds military drill defying North
South Korea has conducted live-fire military drills near the disputed Yellow Sea border with North Korea, despite Pyongyang's threat to attack.
Iran Warns of Pre-Emptive Action in Nuclear Dispute
As tension grew in its nuclear dispute with the West, Iran was reported on Tuesday to have struck an increasingly bellicose tone, warning that it would take pre-emptive action against perceived foes if it felt its national interests were threatened.
Iran Says UN Nuke Inspectors Will Not Visit Sites
A U.N. team visiting Iran has no plans to inspect the country's nuclear facilities and will only hold talks with officials in Tehran, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.
Iran Vows to Press On With Its Atomic Program as IAEA Visits
Iran pledged to press on with its efforts to develop atomic energy as the United Nations nuclear watchdog started a second day of meetings in Tehran to clarify aspects of the country’s activities.
India, Pak agree to extend nuclear risk reduction pact for 5 years
India and Pakistan on Tuesday announced that they had agreed to extend a pact on reducing the risk from accidents related to nuclear weapons for another five years.
Iran Said to Offer India Additional Crude Oil Shipments on Revised Terms
Iran offered India extra crude supplies on revised terms as international sanctions tighten the Middle East producer’s circle of oil customers, according to three people with knowledge of the talks.

Putin says Russia must replace nuclear weapons
Prime minister Vladimir Putin says Russia must replace its Soviet-built arsenals with modern weapons to counter new evolving threats.
Putin vows to strengthen Russia's nuclear deterrence potential
Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin said Monday that his country should keep its nuclear deterrence potential to meet global challenges and ensure the country's strategic stability.
U.N. Nuclear Inspectors To Press Iran On Weapons
U.N. nuclear inspectors starting a two-day visit to Tehran on Monday sought to meet Iranian nuclear scientists and visit a key military facility as they try to gauge allegations that Iran is pushing toward making an atomic weapon.
Boldest nuclear cutters recently? It's been GOP
The Obama administration's consideration of severe cuts in nuclear weapons generated a flurry of GOP criticism — "reckless lunacy" in the words of Arizona Rep. Trent Franks. But the historical record shows that in the two decades since the Cold War ended, Republicans have been the boldest cutters of the nuclear arsenal.
US Nuclear Weapons Summit Addresses Terrorism Threat
Key members from the U.S. military and from federal law enforcement agencies joined scientists and laboratory administrators on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Arlington, Virginia for the Defense Department’s Nuclear Deterrence Summit.
U.S. Nuclear Trade Policy Concerns Mounting on Capitol Hill
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has added her name to a growing bipartisan list of influential lawmakers protesting a newly unveiled Obama administration policy on nuclear trade and nonproliferation (see GSN, Jan. 23).
Nuclear alarmism over Iran is backing us into a corner
There are several untenable arguments against a nuclear Iran. It may be undesirable, but it's eminently containable.
The Dawn of Nuclear Sanity? - and a few other observations
Kingston Reif
By now most readers have undoubtedly read Robert Burns' Associated Press story that as part of the Obama administration's ongoing review of deterrence requirements, the Pentagon has prepared several possible force structure options, including an option that would leave the U.S. with 300 deployed strategic warheads. Predictably, the usual Republican suspects freaked out, because that's what they do when anyone suggests altering the unsustainable nuclear status quo. 
Naval Treaties
Michael Krepon
Before Ronald Reagan, there was Charles Evans Hughes. Both men were unorthodox thinkers, spotlight stealers and risk takers. Both were dismissive of the status quo, and sought deep cuts in strategic forces.
AP Story on “Steep” Nuclear Cuts
Jeffrey Lewis
It’s time for the annual Nuclear Deterrence Summit featuring speeches by luminaries including Senator Jon Kyl and Representative Michael Turner, which means it is also time for a damaging (and false) leak about the Obama Administration’s nuclear policy