Nuclear Policy News - March 26, 2013

Mar 26, 2013

North Korea orders artillery to be combat ready, targeting U.S. bases
Syria opposition demands protection from US missile shield
Nuke ties with Pak does not violate NSG norms, says China
Russia considers restarting missile defense talks with US
Chinese citizen sentenced in military data-theft case

North Korea orders artillery to be combat ready, targeting U.S. bases
North Korea said on Tuesday its strategic rocket and long-range artillery units have been ordered to be combat ready, targeting U.S. military bases on Guam, Hawaii and mainland America after U.S. bombers flew sorties threatening the North.
N Korea defector sites report cyber attack
Specialist anti-North Korean websites and organisations run by defectors in South Korea said they were the victims of a co-ordinated cyber attack.
South Korea and U.S. Make Plans for Defense
The United States military said Monday that it had signed an agreement with South Korea on how to counter provocations from North Korea.
South Korea cyberattack traced to U.S. and Europe, not China
Some of the malicious software that paralyzed computer networks at major South Korean banks and TV broadcasters last week originated in the United States and three European countries, authorities in Seoul said Monday.
Singapore Poised To Announce Purchase Of 12 F-35Bs
Singapore is expected to announce sometime in the next 10 days that it plans to buy its first squadron --12 planes -- of some 75 of Lockheed Martin's F-35Bs, further bolstering what had been the flagging fortunes of the world's most expensive conventional weapon system.
Russia say West seeks to use Syria probe for regime change
Russia said on Monday that Western nations had muscled U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon into broadening an investigation into the alleged use of chemical arms in Syria and accused them of trying to use the probe to push President Bashar al-Assad from power.
Syria opposition demands protection from US missile shield
At a meeting in Doha, Moaz al-Khatib said Washington was failing in its duty to protect civilians, especially in the north where the uprising has resulted in free areas.
Nuke ties with Pak does not violate NSG norms, says China
China on Monday mounted a defence of its on-going and controversial civilian nuclear cooperation with Pakistan, arguing that its exports of nuclear reactors “did not violate the norms” of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a body that governs global nuclear trade.
Public hearing on Kovvada nuclear plant soon
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is all set to conduct a public hearing very soon at Kovvada where it proposes to construct a 10,000 MW power plant in a phased manner.
Ministers announce £20m for nuclear R&D
The UK government is to commit more than £20m towards research and development into nuclear power as part of an industrial strategy that aims to help the country compete in the global market.
Russia considers restarting missile defense talks with US
Moscow is considering a possible return to the negotiating table to hammer out a new missile defense pact with the United States, Russia's newly appointed defense chief told U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday.
U.S. Tries to Assure Poland After Another Shift on Ballistic Missile Defense
Top Obama administration officials in recent days have held talks with Polish government leaders about the United States’ decision to again alter plans to deploy missile defense systems in Europe.
Japan, Australia to sanction North Korean bank as part of U.S.-led crackdown
Japan and Australia plan to sanction North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank as part of U.S.-led efforts targeting Pyongyang's main foreign exchange bank for the role Washington says it has in funding the country's nuclear program.
U.S. urges EU action to overcome Iran sanctions court appeals
The United States is concerned Iranian appeals to European courts could loosen sanctions against Tehran, said a State Department official on Monday who urged the EU to urgently find a way to allow judges to examine secret intelligence evidence.
Chinese citizen sentenced in military data-theft case
Measured in millimeters, the tiny device was designed to allow drones, missiles and rockets to hit targets without satellite guidance. An advanced version was being developed secretly for the U.S. military by a small company and L-3 Communications, a major defense contractor.
U.S. wants EU to put North Korean bank on sanctions list
The United States is urging the European Union to impose sanctions on North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank, which Washington believes helps finance North Korea's ballistic missile program, a U.S. State Department official said on Monday.
SpaceX Dragon capsule leaves International Space Station
A Space Exploration Technologies' Dragon cargo capsule flew away from the International Space Station on Tuesday, loaded with experiment samples and gear for return to Earth.
US cyber accusations show growing fears of Chinese eclipse
A growing number of stories on cyber attacks emanating from China have emerged after the releasing of a 75-page report by Mandiant, a US cyber security firm, which levels accusations that hackers sponsored by the Chinese military have stolen sensitive security secrets and pilfered information from large US corporations.
Nuclear disarmament’s Asian pivot
The Nation, by Richard Weitz
In 2009, US President Barack Obama pledged to seek a world without nuclear weapons. But, while he delivered on his promise to negotiate a New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia a year later, progress has since stalled. To break the deadlock, the current bilateral framework for negotiation, which has remained largely unchanged since the Cold War, must be transformed into a trilateral framework that includes China.
‘Missile to nowhere’ survives
DOD Buzz, by Michael Hoffman
Army generals have said repeatedly the service doesn’t want it. The Senate voted 94–5 to kill funding in its final year. But much like Michael Myers in the Halloween horror series, this missile defense system just won’t die.
Budget cuts drag on Space Command
The Gazette, by Jakob Rodgers
This month, The Gazette sat down with Air Force Space Command leader Gen. William Shelton to learn about his 37-year career and the airmen and programs in his care.
Think Again: North Korea
Foreign Policy, by David Kang and Victor Cha
"North Korea's not that dangerous."
Wrong. There is no threat of war on the Korean peninsula because the United States and South Korea have deterred the regime for over six decades, or so the thinking goes. And the occasional provocation from Pyongyang -- full of sound and fury -- usually ends with it blowing up in its face, signifying nothing. So why worry? Two reasons. First, North Korea has a penchant for testing new South Korean presidents. A new one was just inaugurated in February, and since 1992, the North has welcomed these five new leaders by disturbing the peace. Whether in the form of missile launches, submarine incursions, or naval clashes, these North Korean provocations were met by each newly elected South Korean president with patience rather than pique.
Obama’s North Korean and Iranian Missile Defense Trajectories: Course Corrections; Russian Re-Set Dud
Forbes, by Larry Bell
Thirty years ago on March 23, 1983, President Ronald Reagan announced his commitment to develop and deploy an advanced defense capability, the Strategic Defense Initiative, to protect America from a Soviet missile attack. The Soviet Union recognized that they couldn’t compete, and SDI has been credited with hastening their decline. Yet despite great scientific and technological superiority in past decades, U.S. strategic missile and nuclear deterrence protections under the current administration continue to erode.
Lessons from the cyber-attacks on South Korea
The Japan Times, by Mihoko Matsubara
Cyber-attacks paralyzed three major banks and three largest TV broadcasters in South Korea on March 20, shutting down the computer networks of Shinhan Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Jeju Bank, KBS, MBC and YTN. Seoul suspects North Korea’s involvement because the shutdown came five days after Pyongyang accused South Korea and the United States of cyber-attacks and threatened to retaliate.
Cyber arms control? Forget about it
CNN, by Christopher Bronk and Dan Wallach
With the advent of "cyberwar," a poorly defined term that seems to be used as a catch-all phrase for all manners of computer-related attacks, it's natural to ask about cyber arms control. Richard Clarke, former cybersecurity adviser to President Obama, has advocated along with others for cyber arms control or new legal rules for war in cyberspace.