February 12, 2019

In Germany, a Cold War Deal to Host U.S. Nuclear Weapons Is Now in Question 

Bojan Pancevski | Wall Street Journal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling partners are reconsidering their support for a decades old arrangement that puts Germany under the U.S. nuclear shield, a development that could further undermine the country’s already-tense relationship with the Trump administration. The center-left Social Democrats, or SPD, have appointed a commission to re-evaluate their positions on strategic, foreign and security policy, including the merits of “nuclear sharing,” a Cold War-era agreement under which German warplanes would be used to launch U.S. nuclear weapons in case of a Russian attack on Europe, a senior party official said. The deliberations came partly as a result of President Trump’s withdrawal from a treaty with Russia that regulates the presence of nuclear missiles in Europe, according to SPD officials. The U.S. plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty after accusing Russia of violating it for years.

U.S., North Korea Yet to Narrow Differences on Denuclearization: Envoy

Korea Times

The U.S. envoy for North Korea was quoted as saying Monday (local time) that the two sides are yet to narrow their differences on denuclearization before this month's second bilateral summit. U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun made the remark during a meeting with a visiting South Korean parliamentary delegation to Washington, D.C., according to the group. Biegun and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Hyok-chol, held talks in Pyongyang last week to hammer out the agenda and logistics for the Feb. 27-28 summit to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. According to the delegation members, the U.S. envoy said the two sides laid out what each side seeks from the summit but will start narrowing their differences in the next round of talks. South Korea's presidential office said earlier that the United States and North Korean officials plan to meet again in an Asian country next week.

With No INF Treat, NATO is Planning for more Russian Missiles in Europe

Hans Nichols and Carlo Angerer | NBC News

NATO commanders are considering options in the “military domain” to counter Russia’s alleged violation of a nuclear weapons treaty, the head of the alliance said Tuesday. During a wide-ranging interview, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also told NBC News that NATO has discussed the possibility of a troop drawdown in Afghanistan as part of a peace deal with the Taliban. On Russia, Stoltenberg said that NATO's "first priority" is to save the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, which Washington is walking away from because it says Moscow has deployed a banned missile. “At the same time,” Stoltenberg added, “we are planning for a world without the INF Treaty, with more Russian missiles in Europe.”

Is the U.S. Entering a New Arms Race with Russia?

PBS

The U.S. has withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, saying Russia was violating the arms control deal that dates back to the Cold War. Now, Russia plans begin to building mid-range nuclear missiles. Nick Schifrin speaks with Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson about whether the U.S. can avoid a new arms race.

U.S. in Talks with India over Missile Defence Collaboration: Pentagon

Economic Times

The U.S. has discussed a potential missile defence collaboration with India, a top Pentagon official has said, underlining that America wants to build a “much deeper and broader relationship” with the country. Under Secretary of Defence for Policy John Rood, however, said that it is early to determine how far India, which already has substantial domestic missile defence capabilities, will go regarding the defence collaboration. "We have talked to the Indians about missile defence as potentially an area as well to collaborate on. It's early days to determine how far that will go,” Rood said speaking at a think-tank here on Thursday.  “The Indians have substantial capabilities domestically of their own and they've done some development of missile defences. So the degree to which they're interested in acquiring or working collaboratively with us in the U.S. remains to be seen,” Rood said when asked about reports that India is interested in purchasing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system popular as THAAD from the U.S.

North Korea May Have Made More Nuclear Bombs, but Threat Reduced: Study

David Brunnstrom | Reuters

North Korea has continued to produce bomb fuel while in denuclearization talks with the United States and may have produced enough in the past year to add as many as seven nuclear weapons to its arsenal, according to a study released just weeks before a planned second summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump. However, the country’s freeze in nuclear and missile testing since 2017 mean that North Korea’s weapons program probably poses less of a threat than it did at the end of that year, the report by Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation found.