August 18, 2022

South Korea’s “Decapitation” Strategy Against North Korea Has More Risks Than Benefits

Ankit Panda | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Speaking last month, South Korea’s new military chief offered a warning to North Korea. Touting the efficacy and precision of his country’s missile capabilities, General Kim Seung-kyum said that South Korea was capable of “sending a fatal blow to the enemy.” Meanwhile, the new South Korean administration under President Yoon Suk-yeol has reinvigorated military planning for preemptive and retaliatory strikes against the North Korean leadership under the so-called Kill Chain and Korean Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) strategies, respectively. Under the latter concept, South Korea would use conventional missiles to target, among other things, North Korea’s leadership—including Kim Jong Un.

Make the IAEA Mission to ZNPP Happen

Mark Hibbs | Arms Control Wonk

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international governmental organization of which both Russia and Ukraine are members, and so it is profoundly challenged by nuclear safety and nuclear security threats unfolding at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). Because the crisis at the plant was triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 in violation of international law, and directly follows from Russia’s military assault and occupation of the installation on March 4, the IAEA can do little to effectively respond in close quarters without, in effect, having to take sides and name names.

Iran Delivers Deadline Response to Draft Nuclear Deal 

Stepanie Liechtenstein and Nahal Toosi | Politico

Iran still has reservations about a draft deal to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement it struck with world powers, Iranian and Western officials said Monday. It was the latest sign that talks to restore the deal could drag well past what some had earlier described as a Monday deadline. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said his country hoped to share its ”final thoughts” with European officials by the end of the day.

 US Air Force Conducts Nuclear Missile Test Delayed Amid China Tension

Stephen Losey | Defense News

The U.S. Air Force early on Tuesday carried out a test of an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile, which was already delayed 12 days to avoid inflaming tension with China. Air Force Global Strike Command said in a release that the Minuteman III missile was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California by the 576th Flight Test Squadron a little before 1 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. The ICBM was equipped with a test reentry vehicle, the release said, which splashed down about 4,200 miles from its original launch point in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the command said

FBI Searched Trump’s Home to Look for Nuclear Documents and Other Items, Sources Say

Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey, Perry Stein and Shane Harris | Washington Post

Classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought in a search of former president Donald Trump’s Florida residence on Monday, according to people familiar with the investigation. Experts in classified information said the unusual search underscores deep concern among government officials about the types of information they thought could be located at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and potentially in danger of falling into the wrong hands.

 Restoring Iran Nuclear Deal May Again See Trade-off Between Past and Present Knowledge 

Mark Fitzpatrick | Al-Monitor

After months of deadlock and near death, the Iran nuclear deal has a new chance for revival. On Aug. 8, the European Union, which for the past 16 months has been acting as a broker between Iran and the United States in talks to restore the accord, presented what it called a final text of a compromise package that it hopes meets all parties’ bottom lines.