Nuclear Policy News - January 15, 2013

Jan 15, 2013

TOP NEWS

Iran ready to register nuclear weapon ban as “int’l document”: spokesman
 
Turkey Patriot Missiles Operational by Feb: NATO
 
Russia grants Bangladesh $1 bln loan for weapons
 
Boeing’s 30,000-pound bunker-buster bomb improved, Pentagon says
Bloomberg News, by Tony Capaccio
 
Extended Deterrence
Defense News, by retired General John Michael Loh

 

EAST ASIA

Thai Navy buys advanced missiles
 
The Royal Thai Navy has purchased nine Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile systems from US defence manufacturer Raytheon, the company announced Tuesday.
 
North Korea vows to bolster war deterrence amid concerns about possible nuclear test
 
North Korea vowed Monday to strengthen its defenses amid concerns the country may conduct a nuclear test as a follow-up to last month’s long-range rocket launch.
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
Iran set for 2014 nuclear capability: US think tank
 
Iran is on track to be able to produce material for at least one nuclear bomb by mid-2014 as sanctions hit its economy but fail to stop the atomic program, a US think tank said Monday.
 
U.N. nuclear watchdog eyes Iran deal, Parchin visit
 
The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday it hoped to gain access to the Parchin military site during a visit to Iran this week aimed at unblocking an investigation into suspected atom bomb research in the Islamic state.
 
Iran ready to register nuclear weapon ban as “int’l document”: spokesman
 
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday that a religious decree (fatwa) regarding a ban on nuclear weapons is binding for the Islamic republic, which is ready to register it as an "international document."
 
Former Israeli Security Chief Slams Netanyahu, Barak
 
Israel’s former Shin Bet security chief has joined a growing list of retired officials publicly critical of what they view as the diplomatically shortsighted, militaristic manner in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are managing the Iranian nuclear threat and Palestinian peace process.
 
Turkey Patriot Missiles Operational by Feb: NATO
 
The Patriot missile system being deployed to help protect Turkey from any spillover of the conflict in neighbouring Syria should be operational by early February, perhaps sooner, NATO said Monday.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
Pak aims to develop smaller lighter nuclear warheads: Report
 
Expanding its nuclear arsenal at a rapid pace, Pakistan is now aiming to develop smaller and lighter atomic warheads more suitable for use on missiles, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist has said.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
Aspide missile proves worth
 
The Aspide 2000, a surface-to-air missile, has again proved its capability during live-fire air defense exercises in Kuwait, MBDA Italy said.
 
Second Tor-M2 air defense battery enters service in Belarus
 
Belarus has put the second battery of Russia's Tor-M2 air defense system into service, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
Russia grants Bangladesh $1 bln loan for weapons
 
Russia, the world’s second-largest weapons exporter, has granted a $1 billion loan to Bangladesh for arms purchases, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday after talks with the country’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina.
 
New Obama National Security Team Realistic on Russia: Analysts
 
US President Barack Obama's nomination of veteran Washington lawmakers John Kerry and Chuck Hagel for his next national security team portend a pragmatic approach to US-Russia relations in his second term but few prospects for breakthroughs, analysts said.
 
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
 
Boeing’s 30,000-pound bunker-buster bomb improved, Pentagon says
Bloomberg News, by Tony Capaccio
 
Tests of the 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator made by Boeing demonstrated the redesigned weapon "is capable of effectively prosecuting selected hardened, deeply buried targets," Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon's director of operational testing, said in a report to Congress.
 
SecDef Nominee Hagel to Face Questions on Nukes
 
When former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) appears before the Senate Armed Services Committee as President Barack Obama’s choice to replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, he will likely be grilled on his past statements about Iran, Israel and maybe even his views about sexual orientation. But former colleagues in the Republican Party are also likely to take him to task for his support for downsizing the U.S. nuclear force.
 
OPINIONS
 
Sad truth about N. Korean missiles
Korea Times, by Andrei Lankov
 
North Korea has therefore become a de-facto nuclear power and is gradually becoming an ICBM power as well. These developments can be stopped temporarily through negotiations and deals (as long as Washington and other interested parties are willing to pay a hefty price) but cannot be reversed.
 
Extended Deterrence
Defense News, by retired General John Michael Loh
 
The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, recently signed by President Barack Obama, includes a provision that requires the Air Force to ensure the new bomber in development has a nuclear weapons capability at initial fielding and full nuclear testing and certification within two years after that.