Nuclear Policy News - May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012


U.S. military denies parachuting into N. Korea
Israel's Netanyahu Seeks Tougher Nuclear Demands On Iran
India declined to sell nuclear technology to Iran, Iraq and Libya: Report
PAYNE: Zero nuclear sense
Keith B. Payne



N. Korea declares itself nuclear power
North Korea has made an amendment to its constitution to declare itself a nuclear power. The news has been reported by the Tokyo-based pro-Pyongyang news agency Tyosen Tsuchin.
U.S. military denies parachuting into N. Korea
The Pentagon on Tuesday dismissed a news report that U.S. commandos have infiltrated North Korea on intelligence-gathering missions.
South Korea: Iranian Crude Imports To Decrease From May
South Korea's imports of Iranian crude oil will likely resume a downward trend from May after sharply rising in April, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said Wednesday.
S Korea boosts Iran oil imports
South Korea boosted imports of Iranian crude oil in April, defying intense international pressure to reduce supplies from Tehran, which accounts for about 10 per cent of the country’s oil imports.
Israel's Netanyahu Seeks Tougher Nuclear Demands On Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran must be forced to halt its nuclear program through tougher sanctions and stiffer demands than those presented in two rounds of talks conducted with world powers.
Iran Confirms Attack by Virus That Collects Information
The computers of high-ranking Iranian officials appear to have been penetrated by a data-mining virus called Flame, in what may be the most destructive cyberattack on Iran since the notorious Stuxnet virus, an Iranian cyberdefense organization confirmed on Tuesday.
Official claims Iran has defeated 'Flame' virus
A senior Iranian official claims Tehran has defeated a powerful computer virus that has unprecedented data-snatching capabilities and can eavesdrop on computer users.
Israeli premier: World powers too soft on Iran
World powers are being too soft over Iran’s nuclear program by only asking an end to low grade enrichment, Israel’s prime minister said Tuesday, charging that Tehran is proceeding to develop atomic weapons.
India declined to sell nuclear technology to Iran, Iraq and Libya: Report
India declined to sell nuclear technology to Iran, Iraq and Libya in the 1980s in spite of being offered "huge" sums of money, said a leading defence journal.
Pak's nuclear arsenal deterred India from carrying out attacks: Nawaz
Pakistan's nuclear arsenal deterred India from carrying out any attacks and made the country's defence impregnable, former premier Nawaz Sharif has claimed.
Russian firm: Iran victim of another cyberattack
A Russian-based internet security firm says a powerful computer virus with unprecedented data-snatching capabilities has attacked machines in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Russia ready to help Iran build nuke plant
Russia is ready to help Iran construct a second nuclear power plant.
Egypt Hosts Conference on Banning WMD From Middle East
Issue specialists were in Egypt on Monday for a meeting on prohibiting weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East, the Emirates News Agency reported (see GSN, May 11).
UN Agency to Issue Major Warning on Flame Virus
A United Nations agency that aids member states in securing their national infrastructures is set to issue its most serious warning to date about the risk posed by the “Flame” computer virus, recently discovered in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.
LANL Lab Could Get Funded
Funding for a multi-billion dollar new plutonium laboratory at Los Alamos, axed by the U.S. House of Representatives last month, may be restored, at least if members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services have their way.
PAYNE: Zero nuclear sense
Keith B. Payne
A report recommending deep U.S. nuclear reductions - to levels as low as 10 percent of the current arsenal - was released recently by an apparently self-appointed Global Zero Nuclear Policy Commission. This report was led by James Cartwright, a retired Marine general and former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Other contributors include folks closely associated with the “nuclear zero” campaign that President Obama embraced early in his administration. The White House has since elevated the campaign for nuclear zero to the pinnacle of the U.S. nuclear-policy agenda, and a supportive report led by a former top-ranking military officer is sure to gain considerable visibility.
Jeffrey Lewis
Last week, BG Neil H. Tolley, Commander of Special Operations Command, Korea, participated on a panel at the 2012 SOFIC (Special Operations Forces Industry Conference) with other theater special operations commanders.  He was talking about the challenges in dealing with underground facilities in North Korea when he said something like this:
To Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program, Cut a Deal on Oil
Only the imposition of harsh economic sanctions brought Iranian negotiators back to the table for talks on its nuclear program last week in Baghdad. Only the prospect of lifting those sanctions can keep them there.
Pyongyang starts to feel the heat 
Kosuke Takahashi
North Korea, in a rare admission of vulnerability, late last week announced to the outside world that it is suffering the most severe drought in half a century and that its vast agricultural lands have been damaged.