May 01, 2018
David M. Halbfinger, David E. Sanger and Ronen Bergman | New York Times
Revealing a huge archive of stolen Iranian nuclear plans, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accused Iran on Monday of lying for years about its efforts to build a nuclear weapon.Days before President Trump was to decide whether to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Mr. Netanyahu presented records from a secret warehouse in Tehran, making the case that Iranian leaders had deceived the international nuclear agency when they insisted their nuclear program was for peaceful purposes. Israeli spies seized the documents in an overnight raid in January, a senior Israeli official said.
Joshua Pollack | Defense One
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is nothing if not a showman. No world leader makes more effective use of props and visual aids, from the literal red line he drew on a cartoon bomb diagram at the United Nations in 2012 to the fragment of an Iranian drone he brandished at the Munich Security Conference this February. Few are so comfortable delivering public remarks in English, never mind someone who is not even a native speaker. Love him or hate him, the man has talent.
Amir Tibon | Haaretz
The White House published a statement about the Iranian nuclear program on Monday night that contradicts the official position of the U.S. Intelligence community, and later changed the phrasing of the statement on its website. The statement, attributed to U.S. President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, included a sentence saying that currently “Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people.”
Choe Sang-Hun | New York Times
Keeping diplomatic developments coming at a head-snapping pace, the South Korean government said on Sunday that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had told President Moon Jae-in that he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States agreed to formally end the Korean War and promise not to invade his country. In a confidence-building gesture ahead of a proposed summit meeting with President Trump, a suddenly loquacious and conciliatory Mr. Kim also said he would invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States to watch the shutdown next month of his country’s only known underground nuclear test site.
Jeffrey Lewis | Foreign Policy
Last week’s inter-Korean summit, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s declaration that he would “close” his nuclear test site by May, were greeted widely with celebration. But contrary to the hoopla, we have now arrived at an especially dangerous moment in Washington’s relationship with Pyongyang. We are on the verge of letting our hopes get in the way of our survival.Consider the now widespread view that North Korea’s test site is unusable or that the mountain that contains it has collapsed. This was always garbage reporting. You ca n download the two academic papers that are said to have originally made these claims — they say nothing of the kind. What the papers do is prove that, after North Korea’s big nuclear test in September 2017, the cavity created by the explosion collapsed in on itself. We already knew that probably happened (although it is cool to see it demonstrated through seismology).
China’s advanced DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile has been incorporated into its rocket force, boosting its ability to counter opponents on land and at sea, a defense ministry spokesman said Thursday. The missile is capable of lofting both conventional and nuclear warheads, the latter to carry out a rapid retaliatory strike, ministry spokesman Wu Qian told reporters at a monthly news briefing.