Diplomats: Iran installs 600 high-tech centrifuges, boosting nuke technology
Associated Press, The Washington Post – April 17, 2013
Technicians upgrading Iran’s main uranium enrichment facility have tripled their installations of high-tech machines that could be used in a nuclear weapons program to more than 600 in the last three months, diplomats said Wednesday. They say the machines are not yet producing enriched uranium and some may be only partially installed.
Japan ready to sign South Korea military agreement in light of North Korea’s aggressions
John Hofilena, Japan Daily Press – April 17, 2013
Koro Bessho, the Japanese ambassador to Seoul, revealed on Wednesday that Japan is ready to sign a bilateral military intelligence agreement with South Korea “at any time”. The ambassador is urging the South Korean government to sign the pact to improve both countries’ security measures in light of the increasingly warlike threats coming from North Korea.
North Korea bars delegation
Associated Free Press, News24 – April 17, 2013
North Korea on Wednesday barred a delegation of South Korean businessmen from delivering food and supplies to 200 of their staff inside the closed Kaesong joint industrial zone.
President Obama said in an interview broadcast Tuesday that he did not believe that North Korea yet had the ability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon to fit atop a missile, and he said nothing would shake him from a strategy of refusing to “reward” the kind of provocative behavior exhibited by Kim Jong-un, the North’s leader.
U.S. vows funds for Iron Dome, as 2 rockets are fired into Israel
Cheryl K. Chumley, The Washington Times – April 17, 2013
Budget cuts won’t impact U.S. funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, as the Pentagon has vowed $220 million for fiscal year 2014. Israel’s Missile Defense Agency reports that the funding comes in addition to $204 million from the Pentagon for the program in 2011 and $70 million in 2012. Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse reported, the United States is also calling for another $176 million for Iron Dome in 2015.
Opinion: A reality check for missile defense
Laura Grego, Politico – April 16, 2013
It’s time to take a clear-eyed look at what U.S. missile defense systems can and cannot do.