Swoop: Washington’s World: March 26th – April 1st, 2012: The Nuclear Security Summit

Swoop: Washington’s World: March 26th – April 1st, 2012: The Nuclear Security Summit
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Swoop: “As President Obama heads to Seoul for the March 26-27 Nuclear Security Summit, attention is swinging toward the Korean Peninsular to which Obama will be travelling. With North Korea about to conduct a new long-range missile test, Administration officials are doing what they can to damp down tensions on the Korean peninsular. They are under pressure from conservative critics to take a tougher line toward Pyongyang, but are aware that, short of a complete cessation of all aid to the North, their options are limited. Instead they will be pushing China to bring Pyongyang into line – something that the Chinese will assert is beyond their capability.

Obama will be seeking to discourage South Korea and Japan from responding in like measure to the North’s missile tests by testing long-range missiles of their own. As a Pentagon official explained to us: “As the focus of our strategic attention shifts to East Asia, we do not want to be drawn into a regional arms war.”

The conference will, however, give Obama an opportunity to warn against the dangers of nuclear proliferation and to build international support for his strategy of isolating Iran. Here US officials believe that their argument that time should be allowed for sanctions to bite is gaining traction.

Despite an unproductive meeting on March 20th between Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Dempsey and Israeli Chief of Staff Gantz at which the latter repeated Israel’s right to take its own decisions on its national interests, Intelligence Community analysts believe that their and Israeli assessments of Iranian capabilities are essentially the same. “We are looking at the same facts,” one analyst commented to us. “The difference between is that the Israelis believe that time is working against us.”  US continuing high concern about Israeli intentions is reflected in increased US electronic and satellite surveillance of Israeli installations.

Finally, we have been warning recently over the deterioration of US-Russia relations. This now appears to have led to a Russian decision not to participate in the May 20th-21st NATO summit in Chicago.”

Source: http://theswoop.net / BBC Video Added by Cap Falcon

Photo Credits: President Barack Obama and President Lee Myung-bak participate in a press conference at the Blue House in Seoul, Republic of Korea, March 25, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)