Nuclear Policy News - March 23, 2012

Mar 23, 2012

TOP NEWS

Nuclear envoys of S. Korea, Japan discuss N. Korea's planned rocket launch
 
Russia does not want Iran to develop nuclear arms: deputy minister
 
North Korea and Iran Will Dominate Nuclear Summit in Seoul
 
Special Report: Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent
 

EAST ASIA

China Urges Calm Ahead Of Possible North Korea Rocket Launch
 
China has called for calm ahead of a possible rocket launch by nuclear-armed North Korea next month.
 
Nuclear envoys of S. Korea, Japan discuss N. Korea's planned rocket launch
 
The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and Japan held talks in Seoul and discussed possible steps to take following North Korea's announcement of a planned rocket launch, a Seoul official said Friday.
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
U.S. Says Iran Crude Buyers Must Pledge Cuts to Avoid Sanctions
 
The Obama administration wants China, India and 10 other nations to present specific plans of how they will curtail Iranian (OPCRIRAN) oil imports, saying past cuts aren’t enough to win them an exclusion from new U.S. sanctions.
 
Security experts debate outlook for nuclear Iran
 
Security experts gathered in Doha this week in an attempt to make sense of the confusion surrounding the Iranian nuclear programme. Among their thoughts was that the GCC countries are best-placed to suggest solutions.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
Iran sanctions: India for resumption of talks
 
While supporting full implementation of "relevant" UNSC resolutions on the Iranian nuclear programme, India has said all efforts should be made to ensure that legitimate trade and economic activities with the nation do not suffer.
 
Pakistan PM, U.S. president to meet at Seoul nuclear summit
 
Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama on March 27 on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in Seoul, the prime minister's office said on Friday.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
Russia’s Medvedev wants Western alternatives to missile defense plans
 
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says that the United States and NATO should come up with an alternative missile defense plans that will not jeopardize nuclear parity with Moscow.
 
Russia does not want Iran to develop nuclear arms: deputy minister
 
Russia does not consider Iran an enemy, but opposes the Islamic country's development of nuclear arms, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Thursday.
 
Russia, NATO should overcome instinct of mutual mistrust – Medvedev
 
President Dmitry Medvedev says it is time for both Moscow and NATO to get rid of “phantoms of the past” that hamper fully-fledged partnership between the sides.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
North Korea and Iran Will Dominate Nuclear Summit in Seoul
 
President Obama will join the leaders of more than 50 countries here next week for a nuclear security summit, where fears about two rogue states, North Korea and Iran, will loom over a meeting ostensibly about the perils of nuclear terrorism.
 
China Calls for Regional Co-op on Nuclear Security
 
China's nuclear industry is willing to provide assistance to neighboring countries to ensure the safe development of nuclear power in the Asian-Pacific region, said a senior Chinese nuclear official on Friday.
 
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
 
Obama heads to South Korea for nuclear nonproliferation summit, visit DMZ, US troops
 
President Barack Obama heads to Seoul, South Korea, late Friday for an international summit on keeping nuclear weapons material out of the hands of terrorists.
 
OPINIONS
 
Special Report: Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent
 
The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran's nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.
 
At Nuclear Summit, Obama Faces Prospect of a North Korean Deal Gone Bad
Austin Ramzy
 
Last month, North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong Un showed he has his father’s ability to cut a deal. Does he also have Kim Jong Il’s habit of breaking them? That is one of the many questions President Obama will face as he visits Seoul starting Sunday for a nuclear security summit. The meeting follows a 2010 conclave in Washington the White House organized to push for greater controls on nuclear materials that could be used by terrorists. North Korea isn’t one of more than 50 nations expected to send leaders to the Seoul meeting, nor is its nuclear program on the official agenda. But it will be on the minds of the participants. Obama intends to visit the highly fortified Demilitarized Zone separating the North and South before the summit starts, a move officially intended to recognize the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, but one that will also symbolize the ongoing risk of conflict. As a further reminder, Monday will mark the second anniversary of North Korea’s sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean warship, which killed 46 sailors.
 
North Korea's planned rocket test: Why It Matters
Foster Klug
 
North Korea may have the bomb, but it hasn't perfected ways to put one onto a missile that could strike faraway enemies like the United States.
 
Seoul seeks answers in summit amid NK threat, nuke mishap
 
Heads of state or their deputies from 53 countries and four international organizations will meet at the COEX in southern Seoul on March 26 and 27 in an attempt to redesign better nuclear security architecture.
 
Russia exasperated with US over missile defense
Fred Weir
 
A top Russian defense official warned Thursday that NATO's plans to install an anti-missile shield in Europe are a "litmus test" for future relations between Moscow and the West.
 
Attacking Iran - Not Cost Free for the United States
Matthew Fargo
 
The United States military conducted a classified war game simulation earlier this month to evaluate the likely consequences of a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. The game, called Internal Look, demonstrated the potentially high cost to the United States of an Israeli attack even without direct initial American participation.