October 17, 2017

Trump Risks Making U.S. Rogue Actor as He Condemns Iran Nuclear Deal 

Julian Borger | Guardian

“Iran is not going to comply with provisions imposed unilaterally by the US. If the US then imposes sanctions or scraps the deal, then the US will be left highly isolated,” said James Acton, co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  “The US will be blamed across the world for the collapse of the Iran deal, other countries will not cooperate with the US in reimposing sanctions on Iran, and the end effect will be that Iran’s nuclear programme will be unconstrained and the US will have no leverage to try to constrain it.”

Between Disarmament and Deterrence

Toby Dalton

For the second time in the last decade, the Nobel Committee awarded its annual peace prize to the laudable goal of nuclear disarmament. This year’s recipient, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of nuclear dangers. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons they helped birth at the United Nations reflects the ambition of many states to rid the world of nuclear weapons. This should be an exciting time for disarmament supporters.

Deadly Overconfidence: Trump Thinks Missile Defenses Work Against North Korea and That Should Scare You 

Ankit Panda and Vipin Narang | Diplomat

Could a president’s  overconfidence in U.S. defensive systems lead to deadly miscalculation and nuclear armageddon? Yes. Yes, it could. Last Wednesday, referring to potential American responses to North Korea’s missile and nuclear program, President Donald Trump told Sean Hannity “We have missiles that can knock out a missile in the air 97 percent of the time, and if you send two of them it’s gonna get knocked out.” If Trump believes — or is being told — that American missile defenses are that accurate, not only is he factually wrong, he is also very dangerously wrong. This misperception could be enough to lead the United States into a costly war with devastating consequences.

N.K. Missiles Mounted on TEL Being Transported in 3 to 4 Regions

Dong-A Ilbo

South Korean and American intelligence agencies are gearing up for North Korea's another provocation as the transport and deployment of transporter-erecter-launcher (TEL) has been spotted in three to four regions in North Korea.  According to a government source Friday, a U.S. satellite recently captured images of North Korean ballistic missiles mounted on TEL being transported out of a hangar to somewhere in areas near Pyongyang and North Pyongan Province. Korean and U.S. military officials are keeping an eye on the situation as they view this as a sign of preparation for the launch of a missile comparable to Hwasong-14 inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) or Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM). Another probability is the North might be preparing for the launch of a new Hwasong-13 ICBM (solid engine) that has a longer maximum range than Hwasong-14. 

N.Korea Hacked Seoul-Washington War Plans Last Year

Pak Soo-chan | Chosun Ilbo

North Korea last year hacked top-secret military documents including detailed plans of decapitation operations against top North Korean leaders, it emerged Monday. Suspected North Korean hackers managed to break into the Defense Ministry's intranet in August and September last year, but South Korean authorities have previously claimed that nothing significant leaked out.

A Bigger Nuclear Submarine is Coming

Dinakar Peri and Josy Joseph | Hindu

India’s second strategic nuclear submarine Aridhaman is just a few weeks from sea launch. But raising ambitions for the Navy’s capability, there are plans to build a bigger and more potent version of the indigenous nuclear submarine in the immediate future, say sources. That leap for India’s ballistic nuclear submarine capabilities would come with the fourth submarine planned in the same class, named S4-Star. It would have a stronger weapons configuration integrated into an extra compartment that would be added to Arihant’s original design.