Nuclear Policy News - May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012

TOP NEWS

 

Chung calls for nuke redeployment
 
Nuclear-capable Hatf III test-fired
The Nation (Pakistan)
 
Israel: Mideast Instability Muddies Prospects for WMD-Free Zone Meeting
 
House pushes Obama administration to consider tactical nukes in South Korea
 

 

 EAST ASIA

Chung calls for nuke redeployment
 
Conservative presidential hopeful Chung Mong-joon said Thursday the nation should consider reintroducing U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to bolster deterrence against an increasingly provocative North Korea.
 
S. Korea, U.S. struggle to reach deal on missile range: source
 
South Korea and the United States are continuing discussions about Seoul's push to ease restrictions on its ballistic missile development but there has been no progress, a diplomatic source said Wednesday.
 
N. Korea vows to bolster nuclear deterrent at any cost
 
North Korea said Thursday that it will further strengthen its nuclear deterrent and other defense capabilities, the latest snub to international calls to give up nuclear and missile programs.
"Our military and people will thoroughly safeguard our dignity and sovereignty by further boosting defense capabilities, including nuclear deterrent, at any cost," the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a comment carried by the country's official Korean Central News Agency.
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
Photo shows suspicious activity at Iranian military site
 
A recent satellite photo appears to show clean-up activity at an Iranian military site that U.N. nuclear inspectors want to visit and that experts suspect may have been used to test a trigger for an atomic weapon, scientists said this week.
 
Iran May Be Erasing Nuclear Work Evidence, Analysts Say
 
Iran may be erasing evidence of nuclear weapons work at its Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran, according to an analysis of satellite imagery by a Washington-based research institute.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
Nuclear-capable Hatf III test-fired
The Nation (Pakistan)
 
akistan on Thursday test-fired Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) Ghaznavi-I of Hatf III series just over two weeks after it conducted the successful launch of the upgraded Shaheen I-A, a Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) of Hatf IV series.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
Fate of original US-Russian nonproliferation program unclear as Senator Lugar loses Indiana elections
 
That catastrophe was some 15 newer and smaller states each with their own nuclear arsenals whose political futures were far from clear, and whose newly inherited atomic capabilities made them a threat not only to the US, but to the world at large.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
Israel: Mideast Instability Muddies Prospects for WMD-Free Zone Meeting
 
Hopes for a 2012 conference on outlawing nuclear weapons and other unconventional arms in the Middle East could be derailed by the spike in regional political instability in the two years since the event was proposed, Israel's Foreign Ministry told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday (see GSN, May 9).
 
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
 
House pushes Obama administration to consider tactical nukes in South Korea
 
Frustration with North Korea's ongoing nuclear weapons and missile programs has pushed Congress to reopen the debate in Washington over whether the United States should reintroduce tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea.
 
Got plutonium? Bury it
 
Plutonium can be used to make nuclear bombs. But it can also be recycled and used as a fuel in nuclear reactors. According to the authors of a Nature editorial, the UK—which has the largest civilian stockpile of plutonium, around 90 tons—should skip recycling and stockpiling plutonium and simply bury it. They argue that recycling is simply too expensive and risky.
 
WMD, TWIC, port security bills approved by House Homeland Security Committee
 
The House Homeland Security Committee approved a slew of bills on May 9 that would bolster defenses against weapons of mass destruction attack, fund specialized incident response teams, examine gaps in port security and reform transportation worker ID cards.
 
OPINIONS
 
Nato plans to upgrade nuclear weapons 'expensive and unnecessary'
Richard Norton-Taylor
 
Nato's plans to upgrade the US's estimated 180 tactical nuclear weapons in western Europe are unnecessary, expensive and likely to exacerbate already difficult relations with Russia, according to a report.
 
A nuclear clash could starve the world
Jayantha Dhanapala and Ira Helfand
 
Editor's note: Jayantha Dhanapala is a former ambassador to the United States from Sri Lanka, U.N. under-secretary general for disarmament and chairman of the 1995 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference. Ira Helfand is the past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility and current North American vice president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
 
How stable is South Asia 14 years after Pokhran II?
Uday Bhaskar
 
On May 11, 1998, India carried out a nuclear test and became a de facto nuclear weapon power. A few weeks later, Pakistan followed suit and demonstrated its own nuclear weapon capability. The covert nuclear weapon status of the South Asian region had become unambiguous. India had crossed the nuclear Rubicon after it had first signalled its technological ability to do so in May 1974 — with what was described as a Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE).