Nuclear Policy News - March 13, 2012

Mar 13, 2012
TOP NEWS
 
UN to resume nuclear monitoring soon: NKorea envoy
 
Iran dismisses claims of military site clean-up
 
Russia Says Agreement Over Missile ‘Irritant’ Unlikely at Summit
 
Global Insights: India, Iran and the Limits of Sanctions
Richard Weitz
 
EAST ASIA
 
UN to resume nuclear monitoring soon: NKorea envoy
 
North Korea's chief nuclear envoy says UN atomic inspectors will return soon to his country as part of a food aid deal with the United States, according to a news report Tuesday.
 
NK, US move forward on nuke deal
 
North Korea and the United States inched closer Tuesday to implementing a nuclear deal as Pyongyang hinted it would soon allow U.N. inspectors back into its main Yongbyon plant.
 
S. Korean president meets with advisors aheadof nuclear security summit
 
South Korean President Lee Myung- bak met Tuesday with a group of former policymakers and scholars to discuss ways to successfully host a forum on global nuclear security.
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
Iran dismisses claims of military site clean-up
 
The sprawling Parchin military site, located 20 miles east of Tehran, "is conducting normal military activities," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in a regular briefing.
 
Missile Defenses Offering Israel Calm in Conflict
 
Facing the worst barrage of rockets from Palestinian militants since 2009, Israel is getting a boost from a new interceptor system that destroys missiles in midair before they fall on population centers.
 
Israeli plans for Iran go back years
 
For more than a decade, Israel has systematically built up its military specifically for a possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. It has sent its air force on long-distance training missions, procured American-made "bunker-busting" bombs and bolstered its missile defenses.
 
Six-Party Nuclear Talks to Restart in Near Future - Iran
 
Iran will meet for talks with "six party" representatives over its nuclear activities in the "nearest future" Iran's IRNA agency reported on Tuesday, quoting foreign ministry official Ramin Mekhmanparsat.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
Strategic bosses to be rearranged
 
A reshuffle within military’s top hierarchy is on the cards with outgoing spymaster Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha may head the Strategic Planning Division (SPD), the top tactical body that oversees Pakistan’s nuclear programme, after his retirement on March 18.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
Russia Says Agreement Over Missile ‘Irritant’ Unlikely at Summit
 
Russia’s talks over the planned U.S. and NATO missile shield in Europe aren’t past the “point of no return” even as the issue remains an “irritant” between the countries, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said.
 
No Russia-NATO missile defense deal in sight for summit in May, top Russian official says
 
Russia and the United States have failed to narrow their differences over a planned U.S. missile shield and stand practically no chance of reaching a compromise at the NATO summit in Chicago in May, a top Russian official said Tuesday.
 
Iran’s Bank Melli Loses EU Court Challenge to Unfreeze Funds
 
Iran’s Bank Melli, the state-run lender that is subject to European Union sanctions, lost an EU court bid to unfreeze its funds.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
Seoul summit eyes cuts in stockpiles of enriched uranium
 
World leaders will converge on Seoul later this month for a nuclear security summit with more than 10 nations poised to agree to eliminate tens of tons of weapons-grade enriched uranium, enough for thousands of atomic bombs, a senior Seoul official with information on the summit said Tuesday.
 
IAEA soon to inspect N. Korea's nuclear facilities: Ri
 
North Korea's chief nuclear envoy said Monday that U.N. nuclear monitors will soon be able to return to his reclusive country under a recent deal with the United States.
 
OPINIONS
 
Global Insights: India, Iran and the Limits of Sanctions
Richard Weitz
 
A major Indian trade mission is in Iran seeking to exploit Tehran’s increasing diplomatic and commercial isolation to rectify India’s trade imbalance with Iran. But while Indian companies are understandably eager to take advantage of the resulting commercial opportunities, the Indian government must soothe U.S., Israeli and European concerns that Indian firms will simply undercut international sanctions against Iran by “backfilling” Western companies currently departing the country.
 
The U.S. falls again for North Korea’s tricks
Editorial Board
 
FOR THREE years the Obama administration’s policy toward North Korea could be summed up in the pithy phrase uttered by its first defense secretary, Robert M. Gates: “I don’t want to buy the same horse twice.” The point was the administration would not succumb to Pyongyang’s perpetual tactic of offering concessions on its nuclear and missile programs in exchange for bribes of fuel oil, food and other economic goodies — before cheating on its promises and finally withdrawing the concessions.
 
Is North Korea Ready for a U-Turn?
Chung Min Lee
 
At the first track-two dialogue between U.S. and North Korean officials since Kim Jong Eun's rise to power, Pyongyang hinted that a breakthrough in relations might be possible. Meeting in New York City last week, both sides discussed building trust in order to rethink geopolitics on the Korean Peninsula in the post-Kim Jong Il era.
 
Europeans Take Lead on Iran Nuclear Negotiations
 
The Europeans want to play a key role in the ongoing conflict with Iran over its disputed nuclear program, jumpstarting stalled negotiations in a bid to prevent Israel from taking military action. But can the EU's hapless foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who will lead the talks, make a difference?
 
Iran Watch: The bratwurst effect
Uri Friedman
 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is making headlines for declaring over the weekend that Tehran does not fear Western military action. "You say to Iran all options are on the table," he noted. "Leave them there until they rot." It's the most creative reinterpretation of the "all options are on the table" diplomatic speak since Mitt Romney's line about military options being "not just on the table" but "in our hand." Frankly, the metaphor is starting to spiral out of control