The Evening: NK’s Nukes, New Sanctions, The Joke and More
February 12, 2019
NK May Have Made More Nukes
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 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, as Reuters’ David Brunnstrom reports.
And, the top U.S. military commander for Asia today echoed an intelligence assessment that North Korea is unlikely to give up all its nuclear weapons, as Reuters reports.
Plus, the top U.S. military commander in South Korea, General Robert Abrams testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea has made few, if any, changes to its military posture and has provided no evidence it intends to end its nuclear program since agreeing to do so in the summer, as Stars and Stripes Corey Dickstein reports .
Dive Deeper : Listen to the latest episode of “The Impossible State” podcast featuring CSIS’s Victor Cha.
New Sanctions on Russia
The U.S. and EU are close to agreeing new sanctions against Russia in a coordinated push aimed at punishing Moscow for its aggression towards Ukraine in the Sea of Azov, as the FT’s Henry Foy and David Bond report.
And, NATO commanders are considering options in the “military domain” to counter Russia’s alleged violation of a nuclear weapons treaty NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told NBC News today.
AI Exec Order
President Trump signed an executive order Monday meant to spur the development and regulation of artificial intelligence, technology that many experts believe will define the future of everything from consumer products to health care to warfare, as the NYT’s Cade Metz reports.
Dive Deeper : “The American AI Initiative: Bluster or Gangbuster?” by CSIS’s Will Carter.
“Assessing Trump’s Artificial Intelligence Executive Order,” by Brookings’ Darrell West.
Visit to Baghdad
Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan met Iraq’s prime minister Tuesday, during a surprise stop in Baghdad, in what appeared to be an effort to smooth ties after comments by President Trump provoked a backlash among Iraqis against the U.S. military presence in their country, as the WSJ’s Isabel Coles and Ghassan Adnan report.
Dive Deeper : “The Strategy the U.S. Should Pursue in Iraq,” by CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman.
Plus, read the transcript of CSIS’s Jon Alterman’s conversation last week with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamad Ali Alhakim.
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By The Numbers
Sign up to receive CSIS’s new Sunday morning newsletter By The Numbers. Each week, we’ll share with you some of the most compelling numbers, statistics, and data in our studies. Subscribe here.
In That Number
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera allegedly pocketed nearly $14 billion as the decades-long head of the murderous Sinaloa cartel. Today, he was found guilty by a U.S. jury of 10 criminal counts in connection with his narcotics empire.
“I can’t say I’m happy.”
— President Trump on the border deal with congressional leaders.
Gray zone actions are increasing from countries seeking to challenge the United States. The CSIS International Security Program is undertaking work to examine the challenge the United States faces and to explore options for how to better organize itself and respond to these gray zone challenges.
The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and video.
(Photo credit: Edilzon Gamez/Getty Images). Thousands of protesters gather at Avenida Francisco De Miranda during a demonstration organized by Juan Guaidó President of the Venezuelan National Assembly today in Caracas, Venezuela.
“Saudi Arabia Goes on the Hunt for Global Oil and Gas,” by the FT’s Anjli Raval and David Sheppard.
This Town Tomorrow
At 9:00 a.m., CSIS Global Food Security Project launches their new report Risk and Resilience: Advancing Food and Nutrition Security in Nigeria.
Also, at 9:00 a.m., CSIS host a panel discussion on China’s use of digital surveillance and other forms of digital repression to control ethnic minorities and its citizens.
And, at 3:00 p.m., the Willison Center’s Global Women’s Leadership Initiative holds a book launch and discussion Violence Against Women at the Frontiers of Globalization.
Yesterday, the CSIS hosted a panel discussion on the impact of defense industry concentration on performance outcomes. CSIS experts joined industry leaders to discuss this relationship, and the new CSIS report on the matter. Watch the full video here.
North Korea is the Impossible State. Each week join the people who know the most about North Korea—The Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Victor Cha, Mike Green, and Sue Mi Terry—for an insiders discussion with host H. Andrew Schwartz about the United States’ top national security priority.
Listen on Spotify, SoundCloud, or Apple Podcasts.
The reviews are in and this year’s 61st Grammy Awards were by most accounts dramatically successful. I used to stay up and watch every second of the show but we live in an on demand world and now I just enjoy watching the clips the day after.
This year two performances really stood out to me. Lady Gaga’s glam rock rendition of her “A Star is Born” hit “Shallow,” was fantastic.
Gaga aside, I thought roots rock singer Brandi Carlile’s performance of “The Joke” stole the show. Carlile swept the Americana categories, taking home Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song for “The Joke,” while the album the track comes from, “By the Way, I Forgive You,” was named Best Americana Album.
I don’t know what “Americana” is supposed to be, but I think Carlile and “The Joke” is pure rock and roll. Watch this.