The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Madelyn Creedon to become the No. 2 official at the National Nuclear Security Administration.
As NNSA principal deputy administrator, Creedon will work directly under Energy Undersecretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz, according to an agency press release. She will assist in the management of the U.S. atomic weapons complex and work on Energy policy initiatives in support of the Obama administration’s nuclear nonproliferation goals.
The National Nuclear Security Administration is a semi-autonomous branch of the Energy Department.
“Madelyn Creedon’s confirmation comes at a critical point for the National Nuclear Security Administration,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement. “She is well prepared for her new role at the department … and I thank the Senate for their attention to Madelyn’s nomination and, look forward to working with her.”
Creedon was nominated in November.
She most recently served as assistant secretary of Defense for global strategic affairs. Creedon is also a former Senate Armed Services Committee staffer and a former NNSA deputy administrator for defense programs.
Creedon is rejoining the agency at a particularly busy time. NNSA officials are simultaneously working to modernize decades-old fissile material production facilities, settle on a plan for disposing of surplus Soviet-era plutonium, and overhaul aging nuclear warheads during a period of heightened congressional scrutiny and tightened federal spending.
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"North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the reclusive country, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to make Trump pay dearly for his threats. Kim did not specify what action he would take against the United States or Trump, whom he called a 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard' in the latest bout of insults the two leaders have traded in recent weeks."
President Trump this afternoon announced another round of sanctions on North Korea, calling the regime "a continuing threat." The executive order, which Trump relayed to Congress, bans any ship or plane that has visited North Korea from visiting the United States within 180 days. The order also authorizes sanctions on any financial institution doing business with North Korea, and permits the secretaries of State and the Treasury to sanction any person involved in trading with North Korea, operating a port there, or involved in a variety of industries there.
In response to a reporter's question, President Trump said "he’ll be looking to impose further financial penalties on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic tests. ... The U.N. has passed two resolutions recently aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor and exports to the nation." Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that South Korea's unification ministry is sending an $8m aid package aimed at infants and pregnant women in North Korea. The "humanitarian gesture [is] at odds with calls by Japan and the US for unwavering economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang."
President Trump on Tuesday night met with UN Secretary Guterres and President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. In both cases, as per releases from the White House, Trump pressed them on the need to reform the UN bureaucracy.