February 05, 2019
Pranay Vaddi and George Perkovich | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty is a serious problem. However, U.S. withdrawal from the treaty without an effective strategy to focus political blame and strategic pressure on Russia, and to unify allies in a shared effort to stabilize alarming military competitions, would be counterproductive.
Pranay Vaddi | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
On October 20, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the landmark 1987 arms control agreement that prohibits cruise and ballistic missiles with range capabilities between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s sixty-day deadline for Russia to return to compliance by February 2 has set the stage for the United States to begin the withdrawal process once this ultimatum passes. U.S. officials say that the major reason for withdrawing is to contest China’s growing military power and assertiveness.
The ground-based version of the sea-launched Kalibr system with the long-range cruise missile has to be developed in 2019-2020 and the same timeframe is required for creating a ground-based long-range hypersonic missile system, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the ministry’s conference call on Tuesday. ‘The General Staff has submitted to the supreme commander-in-chief a list of measures, which he has approved. In 2019-2020, we need to develop the ground-based version of the sea-launched Kalibr system with the long-range cruise missile, which has proven its worth in Syria,” the defense minister said. “Within the same time limits, we need to develop the ground-based system with the long-range hypersonic missile,” the defense minister said.
Stephen Biegun | U.S. Department of State
In my position as Secretary of State Pompeo’s special representative for North Korea, it is my assignment to oversee and lead the broad diplomatic initiative to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea. I am only the latest official to take on this task, following behind a line of long – a long line of distinguished diplomats who have devoted themselves to the same. Yet, two and a half decades after it was first found that North Korea was on the cusp of acquiring the means for weapons of mass destruction, we seemingly find ourselves farther away than ever from that goal. The last 25 years was not wasted, though certainly there were most – there were missed opportunities by both the United States and North Korea, and nothing in today’s circumstances necessarily guarantees that we will be successful. However, today we differ in both situation and approach from the past. In President Trump, the United States has a leader who, more so than any previous president, is deeply and personally committed to once and for all bringing an end to 70 years of war and hostility on the Korean Peninsula. In North Korea, a young leader stands atop a country of 25 million people, possessing one of the world’s largest armies and nuclear weapons capabilities. And yet Chairman Kim Jong Un has stated his intention to denuclearize and to turn his energies fully to meeting the needs of his people and developing the North Korean economy.
Michelle Nichols and David Brunnstrom | Reuters
North Korea is working to ensure its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities cannot be destroyed by military strikes, U.N. monitors said ahead of a meeting between U.S. and North Korean officials to prepare a second denuclearization summit. The U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will meet his North Korean counterpart on Wednesday in Pyongyang to prepare for a summit later this month between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.Biegun has said he hoped the meeting with new North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol would map out “a set of concrete deliverables” for the summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Griff Witte and Erin Cunningham | Washington Post
To be a European company with links to Iran in the age of American sanctions can mean dealing with challenges that, every day, verge on the existential. Suppliers cut off their shipments with little warning. Phone lines get disconnected. Even having the elevators repaired can be an ordeal, with service contracts canceled. It is all related to the Trump administration’s extraordinary campaign to choke off not only American trade with Iran, but European commerce with the Islamic republic as well. Since President Trump announced in May that he was pulling the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, European governments have sought to keep the agreement on track by keeping their companies engaged in Iranian trade. Europe last week unveiled its most dramatic step to date, with the creation of a trading system that could be used to allow firms to skirt U.S. restrictions.