Nuclear Policy News - September 30, 2010

Sep 30, 2010

FISSILE MATERIAL

North Korea's New Collective Leadership
Council on Foreign Relations by Sue Mi Terry and Bernard Gwertzman

NKorea vows to strengthen nuclear arms
The Washington Post by Ali Akbar Dareini

Consider Military Option if Iran Sanctions Fail, Lieberman Says
Congress Daily by Sara Sorcher

Iran announces new delays at Bushehr nuclear plant – but denies Stuxnet link
Christian Science Monitor by Dan Murphy

Get rid of tactical nuclear weapons, Nato leaders told
The Guardian by Julian Borger

Conservatives Blocking Reagan's Security Strategy
Huffington Post by Joe Cirincione

EAST ASIA
North Korea's New Collective Leadership
Council on Foreign Relations by Sue Mi Terry and Bernard Gwertzman
With a series of military promotions on September 28, North Korea's ailing leader, Kim Jong-Il, has established his sister, her husband, and Kim Jong-Il's youngest son as his expected successors. The promotions, just before a landmark meeting of the Workers' Party in Pyongyang, confirm experts' long-held expectation that Kim's son Kim Jong-Un was favored to succeed him, says Sue M. Terry, a U.S. intelligence expert and now a CFR national intelligence fellow.

North Korean Leader's Son Appointed to Key Posts
Global Security Newswire
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's youngest son was named today to key positions in the state's ruling party, further cementing international belief that he is being primed as the next leader of the aspiring nuclear power, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Sept. 28).

NKorea vows to strengthen nuclear arms
The Washington Post by Ali Akbar Dareini
North Korea vowed Wednesday to strengthen its nuclear weapons stockpile in order to deter a U.S. and South Korean military buildup in the region.

Inter-Korean Military Talks End With No Progress
AP by Kwang-Tae Kim
North and South Korea ended their first working-level military talks in two years Thursday with no progress as the meeting stumbled over the sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on Pyongyang, Seoul's Defense Ministry said.

Stuxnet 'cyber superweapon' moves to China
AFP
A computer virus dubbed the world's "first cyber superweapon" by experts and which may have been designed to attack Iran's nuclear facilities has found a new target -- China.

MIDDLE EAST
Consider Military Option if Iran Sanctions Fail, Lieberman Says
Congress Daily by Sara Sorcher
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman said today a U.S. military strike against Iran could be a viable option should Tehran continue its pursuit of nuclear weapons (see GSN, Sept. 29).

In a Computer Worm, a Possible Biblical Clue
The New York Times by John Markoff and David Sanger
Deep inside the computer worm that some specialists suspect is aimed at slowing Iran’s race for a nuclear weapon lies what could be a fleeting reference to the Book of Esther, the Old Testament tale in which the Jews pre-empt a Persian plot to destroy them.

Iran announces new delays at Bushehr nuclear plant – but denies Stuxnet link
Christian Science Monitor by Dan Murphy
Iran said its troubled Bushehr nuclear power plant won't go on line for at least another three months, the latest delay for a plant that is the centerpiece of Iran's nuclear power program.

Iran's bourse booms despite sanctions
Reuters by Robin Pomeroy
In the busy foyer of the Tehran Stock Exchange an old woman in a black chador clutches her shopping bag and gazes up hopefully at the electronic display showing the latest share prices.

Obama faces pressure over Iran policy
Financial Times by Daniel Dombey
Barack Obama’s policy to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability is under pressure from members of Congress, who argue that Washington should make clear it will consider military action unless sanctions yield swift results.

New Iran sanctions as war chorus rises
Asia Times by Jim Lobe
Amid new calls for Washington to attack Iran's nuclear facilities if its diplomatic efforts at curbing Tehran's uranium-enrichment program fail, the United States on Wednesday imposed unilateral sanctions against eight senior Iranian officials whom it accused of committing "sustained and severe violations of human rights".

SOUTH ASIA
Pakistan, A Nuclear Proliferator, Will Chair U.N. Nuclear Watchdog Agency
CNS News by Patrick Goodenough
Pakistan has held the post of IAEA board chairman before, but that was more than a decade before its widely-condemned nuclear bomb tests in 1998.

Indian Government to Allow Private-Sector Participation in Nuclear Sector, an Industrial Info News Alert
Market Watch
The Indian government recently announced the decision to allow private-sector participation in the country's growing nuclear power sector. International firms cannot establish nuclear power plants in India, but foreign companies will be allowed to participate in the country's $150 billion nuclear power sector as suppliers of reactors and other critical equipment.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
Get rid of tactical nuclear weapons, Nato leaders told
The Guardian by Julian Borger
A group of European elder statesmen is calling for a rethink of Nato nuclear policy ahead of November's Lisbon summit

Britain and France may share nuclear deterrent
The Independent by John Lichfield and Kim Sengupta
Joint submarine patrols were rejected by Brown before the election, but they are now seen as an answer to defence cuts

Russian Ballistic-Missile Sub Clears Sea Testing
Global Security Newswire
Russia's Sevmash shipyard announced it has wrapped up testing of a new ballistic-missile submarine, paving the way for the vessel to enter naval service following a last government examination, RIA Novosti reported yesterday (see GSN, Oct. 9, 2009).

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
Russia urges Iran to cooperate with UN nuclear agency
Xinhua
Russia on Wednesday urged Iran to cooperate with the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, and to show transparency in its relationship with the body to resolve outstanding issues related to Tehran's nuclear program.

U.S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS STRATEGY AND POLICY
Intel Director to Discuss "New START" With Senators
Global Security Newswire
U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper was set today to speak with senators on matters related to a new nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Sept. 20).

U.S. Checks Nuclear Warhead
Global Security Newswire
The United States yesterday said it had finished dismantling and examining its first W-84 nuclear warhead as part of an effort to ensure the weapons do not pose any hazards linked to age-related deterioration (see GSN, Sept. 7).

OPINIONS
Conservatives Blocking Reagan's Security Strategy
Huffington Post by Joe Cirincione
October 1st marks 18 years since the U.S. Senate approved President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START. It also marks the 300th day since that treaty expired, cutting off U.S. weapons inspectors' access to Russian nuclear sites. Conservatives in the Senate are now blocking the restart of Reagan's inspections.

Mr. Obama's Passage to India
Wall Street Journal by T.P. Sreenivasan
Many American presidents have made passages to India, from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush. In early November, President Obama will follow in their footsteps when he attends a major summit between the two partners in Delhi. Whether it will be a successful trip however, is still very much an open question.