US to Discuss NKorea With Japan, SKorea
Associated Press – November 1, 2013
The U.S., South Korea and Japan will hold talks this week aimed at the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Talks come just one week after US Envoy for North Korea Policy, Glyn Davies, met with Chinese officials to discuss the same issue. The parties will meet in Washington on Wednesday.
U.S. Offers Dialogue But No Legal Pledge to Russia on Missile Defense
Global Security Newswire Staff, National Journal – November 1, 2013
Following news that Russia was beginning to step away from discussions regarding proposed US missile defense systems in Europe, the US has called for discussions to resume. Russia has asked for legal guarantees regarding the usage of the interceptor technology; however, the US has responded that no guarantees will ever be given. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has stated last week that Russia wants to know what to expect from US missile defense plans.
Russia says better to remove most chemical weapons from Syria
Steve Gutterman, Reuters– November 1, 2013
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said that he believes a large portion of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile should be destroyed outside of the country. He made these comments after meeting with the head of the joint United Nations-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons. Ryabkov did not elaborate on the reasons why he thinks portions of the stockpile should be destroyed elsewhere.
Syria Destroys Chemical Sites, Inspectors Say
Anne Barnard, New York Times – October 31, 2013
The Syrian government has reported that it disabled chemical weapons productions capabilities at its last two sites. These sites were the final two that OPCW inspectors were not able to reach due to them being located in rebel-held territory. The claim was initially questioned because it had been handled by the Syrian government; however, the OPCW confirmed that day that the sites had indeed been rendered inoperable.
How Obama Can Bypass Congress and Ease Sanctions on Iran
Sara Sorcher, National Journal – November 4, 2013
In order for the administration to be able to offer any sanctions relief, in the event that a deal is struck with Iran, the President will most likely have to act unilaterally rather than deal with Congress. Fortunately, most sanctions passed by Congress allow the President to suspend the sanctions for a period of time. Furthermore, sanctions implemented by executive order can simply be rescinded. President Obama can also work with EU member states to reduce their own sanctions, and he could even order the halting of enforcement of sanctions that he can’t outright suspend.
Iran’s Top Leader and U.S. Counter Criticism of Talks
Thomas Erdbrink and Jodi Rudoren, New York Times – November 3, 2013
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke on Sunday about the negotiations process between Iran and the US. He stated that he is not optimistic that negotiations will succeed; however, he did express his support for the negotiation team and also struck back at hard-line critics who have suggested that the negotiation team is too willing to compromise. Meanwhile, Wendy Sherman appeared in an Israeli interview to argue that no deal is better than a bad deal.
Senators Seeking More Iran Sanctions Resist Bid for Delay
David Lerman, Bloomberg – November 1, 2013
Senators Robert Menendez and Mark Kirk met with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Thursday to discuss the delaying of new economic sanctions. Menendez emerged from the meeting saying that he would not delay an effort to pass new economic sanctions on Iran. Kirk also echoed the sentiment and reiterated his belief that sanctions should remain in place until “the Iranians run out of money.”
From Congress to contract: Heather Wilson says 10k per month Sandia Labs deal met ethics rules
James Monteleone, Albuquerque Journal– November 3, 2013
The pace of the revolving door between politics and consulting has quickened. In 2009, then-House Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) finished her final day on Capitol Hill on January 3, and began work as a consultant at Sandia National Laboratories through her freshly-founded private company the very next day – reportedly receiving $10,000 per month. However, the timeline has called into question possible ethics violations.