The Week Ahead, July 28 – August 1: Congressional Hearings on Iran Nuclear Talks; CD Begins Final Session; House Hearing on North Korea; Unfinished Congressional Business; Compliance Report Due

The following are some of the key arms control dates and developments to watch over the next week. WeekAheadSOLO

For more news and analysis on these and other weapons-related security issues, consider subscribing to ACA’s monthly journal Arms Control Today, which is available in print/digital and digital-only editions.

– written and compiled by Tim Farnsworth

July 29: Senate and House Hearings on P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Talks

At 10am the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the P5+1 Talks with Iran. Witnesses include lead U.S. negotiator, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, and the Treasury Department’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen.

At 2pm, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold its own hearing on the P5+1 Talks with Iran. Undersecretaries Sherman and Cohen will testify. The hearing will be webcast live.

July 28 – Sept. 12: The UN Conference on Disarmament Begins Third Session

The UN Conference on Disarmament will begin its third and final session of the year on July 28 through September 12, in Geneva, Switzerland. Except for a Group of Governmental Experts that is working this year and next on technical concepts and issues regarding a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, the CD has not been able to reach consensus on a work-plan that would allow negotiations to move forward on key issues.

See: “Disarmament Consensus Eludes UN,”by Tom Collina, Arms Control Today, November 2013.

July 30: House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Hearing on North Korea

The six-party talks (China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, and the United States) over North Korea’s on-going nuclear and missile programs have been stalled since 2009, when North Korea launched the three-stage Unha-2 rocket and conducted its second nuclear test explosion.  Recent trips to China by U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama, have aimed at finding ways to restart the talks.

The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific will hold a hearing on “Twenty-Years of U.S. Policy on North Korea: From Agreed Framework to Strategic Patience,” with Glyn Davies, special representative for North Korea policy and Robert King, special envoy for North Korean human rights from the U.S. State Department.

For more information and analysis on North Korea’s nuclear program and the efforts by the United States and other world powers to dismantle its program, see:

August 1 – September 7:  Summer Recess for Congress

Starting August 1, Congress will take a little more than a month off from their work in Washington, D.C. and head back to their districts to meet with their constituents.  They leave with unfinished business on several key arms control issues. One issue that remains is the passing of Senate’s version of the defense authorization bill, S. 2410, which was voted out of committee June 2. The House version, HR. 4435, which was passed in May, includes provisions calling for the acceleration of missile defense deployment in Europe as part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach and raised questions about implementation of the New START Treaty.

State Department Arms Control Compliance Assessment Due Soon

The U.S. State Department said in January that Russia may have committed a technical violation of the INF Treaty by testing a new type of cruise missile. At the time, administration officials said no final determination had been made about the possible violation and the specific allegations were not revealed. The Obama administration is expected address the issue in its annual report to Congress on arms control compliance, which is due to be released very soon.

For background and analysis, see: “No Evidence of INF Treaty Violation in 2013 Compliance Report,” by Greg Thielmann in ArmsControlNow.org

“Russia Should Uphold Its INF Treaty Commitments,” ACA Issue Brief, by Tom Collina, May 23, 2014.

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