October 03, 2017

The Iran Deal Is Working. Here’s How We Know

John Kerry 

If the United States breaks with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the six other signatories and the conclusions of our own State Department by decertifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, the deal’s fate will rest with Congress under the terms of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. It would be facing a decision about America’s security, not a referendum on President Trump or former president Barack Obama. Having cast dozens of arms-control votes as a senator — judging not whether they were perfect, but whether we were better off with them — I want to take those who may soon cast a similar vote “into the negotiating room” to explain the product we negotiated to close Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, and why it is so important to keep the agreement in place.

North Korea Continues Work on Second Barge Used for SLBM Testing

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. | 38 North

Recent commercial satellite imagery from September 1 and 21, indicates that North Korea continues to work on its second submersible ballistic missile test stand barge at the Nampo Navy Shipyard on the country’s west coast. The intentions in acquiring this second barge and the purpose of the ongoing work are unclear, but there are several possibilities, none of which are mutually exclusive.

Use of Small Tactical Nuclear Weapons Proposed in U.S. Policy Review

Motoko Rich | Kyodo News

The development and deployment of small tactical nuclear weapons have been proposed during an ongoing review of U.S. nuclear policy by the administration of President Donald Trump, a congressional source said Sunday. Adoption of the proposal would mark a major departure from the previous administration of President Barack Obama that sought "a world without nuclear weapons."

One Very Big Reason Not to Scrap the Iranian Nuclear Deal

Jeremy Bernstein | New York Times

On Oct. 23, 1966, China conducted a nuclear test with a device that was flown on a Dongfeng missile. It produced a yield of 12 kilotons of equivalent TNT — a little less than what destroyed Hiroshima. Like the Hiroshima bomb, its fissile material was highly enriched uranium. However, its design was different. It used implosion to assemble the critical mass by compressing the sphere that was made of the fissile material.

Perry Seeking to Prop Up Nuclear, Coal Plants

Timothy Cama | Hill

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is making waves through Washington and the energy world with his unprecedented proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants that are at risk of closing. Experts say Perry’s proposal marks the most significant change to the country’s power markets in decades — a polar contrast to the market-based approach the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had been taking.

Japan Rules Out Intercepting North Korean Missile Tests 

Financial Times

Japan will not seek to shoot down North Korean missile tests unless they threaten its territory, the country’s defence minister has signalled in an interview with the Financial Times.Some US analysts have suggested intercepting ballistic missile tests as a way of stepping up pressure on Pyongyang, but Itsunori Onodera said Japan had not shot at two recent missiles passing through its airspace because they were projected to land safely in the Pacific.