Nuclear Policy News – February 5, 2013

Feb 5, 2013
 
TOP NEWS
 
Could North Korea be planning multiple nuclear tests?
Christian Science Monitor, by Whitney Eulich
 
Israeli expert: Iran could have bomb in 4-6 months
 
Russia, US may sign a new arms disposal agreement
Kommersant, by Yelena Chernenko
 
Iran Nuclear Talks to Resume This Month
New York Times, by Alan Cowell
 
Roll forward the doomsday train
BBC, by Sharon Weinberger
 
EAST ASIA
 
Japan on alert for N.Korean nuclear test
 
The Japanese government is cooperating with other nations as it prepares for a possible third nuclear test by North Korea.
 
Could North Korea be planning multiple nuclear tests?
Christian Science Monitor, by Whitney Eulich
 
South Korea’s outgoing leader said today that it was worried North Korea could detonate not one, but multiple, nuclear devices when it moves forward with its most recent threat to carry out a “higher level” nuclear test.
 
SKorea envoy says NKorea nuke test seems imminent
AP, by Edith M. Lederer
 
South Korea's U.N. ambassador said Monday a North Korean nuclear test "seems to be imminent."
Ambassador Kim Sook said there are "very busy activities" taking place at North Korea's nuclear test site "and everybody's watching."
 
U.N. to take resolute action against N. Korea for any nuke test
 
The U.N. Security Council, led this month by South Korea, will take "very firm and resolute" action against North Korea should it press ahead with a nuclear test, a top Seoul envoy said Monday.
 
U.S. May Have Trouble Gauging North Korean Nuclear Test
New York Times, by Choe Sang-Hun
 
Even if North Korea follows through with its threat to conduct a third nuclear test, Washington and its allies will have difficulty determining whether the device detonated is made of plutonium or uranium, a prominent American nuclear scientist and South Korean officials said on Tuesday.
 
N. Korea internally promoting latest long-range rocket as ballistic missile
 
North Korea exhibited the fuselage of what is presumed to be the long-range rocket it launched in December, and explicitly called it a ballistic missile, despite its claims to the outside world that the Unha-3 was part of its peaceful space development program, a report said Monday.
 
Taiwan deploys advanced early warning radar system
 
Taiwan has put into service a US-made billion-dollar early warning radar system capable of giving more than six minutes' warning of a Chinese missile attack, a senior officer said Sunday.
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
Israeli expert: Iran could have bomb in 4-6 months
 
A former chief of Israeli military intelligence says Iran could develop a nuclear weapon within the next four to six months.
 
Israeli Strike Into Syria Said to Damage Research Site
New York Times, by David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt, and Jodi Rudoren
 
The Israeli attack last week on a Syrian convoy of antiaircraft weapons appears to have damaged the country’s main research center for work on biological and chemical weapons, according to American officials who are sorting through intelligence reports.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
India to develop nuclear-warhead ballistic missile
 
India has started developing a ballistic missile with multiple nuclear warheads.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
Barack Obama unlikely to visit Russia before G-20 Summit
Kommersant, by Kirill Belyaninov, Sergei Strokan, and Yelena Chernenko
 
Moscow would like President Obama’s visit to take place in June or July, ahead of the G-20 September summit in St. Petersburg. The United States, however, has put forward an important condition. According to Samuel Charap, senior fellow with the Washington branch of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Obama might visit Russia before the G-20 only if there is a breakthrough on arms control and non-proliferation. As the expert said, “the nuclear basket” is Obama’s “personal priority in the relations with Moscow.”
 
Russia, US may sign a new arms disposal agreement
Kommersant, by Yelena Chernenko
 
The United States wants to bring its relations with Russia back on track, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Washington proposes starting the normalization of relations with practical cooperation in spheres that do not give rise to controversy. One such sphere is the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
Iran Nuclear Talks to Resume This Month
New York Times, by Alan Cowell
 
Breaking a deadlock over the location and timing of new talks on its disputed nuclear program, Iran reached agreement on Tuesday with world powers to resume the stuttering dialogue later this month in Kazakhstan, according to the official IRNA news agency.
 
New hurdle for nuclear talks: Iran's presidential politics
Christian Science Monitor, by Scott Peterson
 
After an eight-month hiatus of high-level nuclear diplomacy, Iran and world powers are poised to resume talks later this month in Kazakhstan.
 
Advances Seen in Nuclear Security Over Last Year: Report
Global Security Newswire, by Diane Barnes
 
A number of governments have moved since early last year to help prevent nonstate actors from obtaining substances that could be used to fuel a nuclear weapon, a Washington-based nonproliferation organization announced last week.
 
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
 
Revealed: Air Force plan for 'doomsday trains' that would roam the country carrying nuclear ballistic missiles
 
The U.S. Air Force is considering a plan that would build nuclear-armed 'doomsday' subway trains to carry ballistic missiles across the nation.
 
OPINIONS
 
Responding to Iran’s Latest Nuclear Ploy
Bloomberg View, Editorial
 
Iran’s tentative agreement to resume talks over its nuclear program is a hopeful sign. More distressing -- and more demanding of a U.S. response -- is Iran’s plan to speed up that program.
 
Roll forward the doomsday train
BBC, by Sharon Weinberger
 
The US is mulling over radical ideas for how to operate and deploy its aging cache of nuclear missiles – including a vast subway network.
 
What comes after North Korea's nuclear test?
CNN, by George Lopez
 
North Korea will soon test its third nuclear device. Earlier tests in 2006 and 2009 drew worldwide condemnation, Security Council sanctions and led Pyongyang to withdraw from the six-party talks.
 
Uncle Spam Wants You! Can the U.S. military find a few thousand good hackers?
Foreign Policy, by John Arquilla
 
The reported call last week to quintuple the size of the U.S. Cyber Command -- to about 5,000 hackers and other alpha-geek types -- poses a daunting challenge if the ranks are to be filled. The services do not have anywhere near these numbers of IT experts with the requisite skills on active duty. Redeploying those they do have to Cybercom would still leave enormous shortfalls, and gaps in the units whence they came. The many education and training programs, including Cyber Corps sites -- my school is one of them -- have throughput levels that, even at full throttle, would take decades to bring the number of cyberwarriors up to the desired level. In short, it seems that there are few ways to meet the pressing demands for more digital soldiers.
 
What China’s Missile Intercept Test Means
 
China recently carried out its second missile intercept test, which U.S. observers may be tempted to interpret as a sign that Beijing is planning to build its own national missile defense system. But before jumping to conclusions, the nature, purpose, and consequences of that test need to be carefully analyzed. 
 
What to Expect from a North Korean Nuclear Test
Foreign Policy, by Siegfried S. Hecker
 
Pyongyang lashed out harshly at the United States following the most recent U.N. Security Council resolution condemning its December missile test. The Kim Jong Un regime threatened to increase its nuclear deterrent both quantitatively and qualitatively and vowed to conduct a third nuclear test at a "higher level." So what might we expect from another test? Why, what, how will we know, when, and what difference will it make?
 
Senator Rand Paul’s Missile Defense Illusion
Nukes of Hazard, by Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, Jr.
 
We know that missile defense of the U.S. has become an almost religious commitment in the minds of a significant number of our misguided legislators, even though the Ground-Based Mid-Course system we have installed has yet to prove capable of defending the country from warheads launched by inter-continental ballistic missiles. However, recent comments from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) following a visit to Israel added a new dimension to missile-defense “theology,” by implying that we should hedge against the possibility of inter-city conflict within the United States.