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With the U.S. periodically sending the occasional sortie of B1 bombers, accompanied by South Korean fighters, over the Korean peninsula to simulate what a (very fast) war with Pyongyang would look like, the airspace over the biggest geopolitical hotspot in the world today just got a little hotter after Russia deployed nuclear-capable strategic bombers over the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, prompting Japan and South Korea to scramble jets to escort them, Reuters reported.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement the Tupolev-95MS “Bear” bombers, flew over neutral waters and were accompanied by Russian Sukhoi-35S fighter jets and A-50 early warning and control aircraft. The Russians gave no details about the overall number of aircraft that had taken part in what it called “scheduled flights over neutral waters” and did not say when or why the mission took place.
On August 21st, approximately 25,000 U.S. troops will join “tens of thousands” from the South Korean military to conduct a “major military exercise” that is already triggering threats from North Korea. Considering the fact that any sort of provocation could cause a nuclear war to erupt on the Korean peninsula, is this really a wise thing to do? The more research that I do on this upcoming solar eclipse, the stranger things become. When I first started hearing about this eclipse many months ago, I didn’t pay too much attention, but now after looking into it extensively I do believe that it is going to be quite significant.
And I didn’t even know about this major military exercise that will happen during the eclipse until today. The following comes from MSN…
A day after US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford promised him that the US would exhaust all diplomatic options, including another round of UN sanctions, before resorting to a “military solution” in its simmering conflict with North Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in reminded Washington during a forceful Tuesday speech that the US would need to seek, and receive, South Korea’s consent before risking another armed conflict on the Korean peninsula, signaling his country will no longer stay quiet as tensions escalate with its northern neighbor.
As Bloomberg summarizes, “Moon asserted the right to veto any military action against Kim Jong Un’s regime, saying that decision should be made by “ourselves and not by anyone else.” He vowed to prevent war at any cost – a statement that drew a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump, who has warned of “fire and fury” if North Korea continues to threaten the U.S.”
Some highlights from his speech:
Beijing has made no secret of its displeasure with South Korea’s deployment of the American-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system – and now that the deployment has resumed, China may seek to retaliate against Seoul.
When liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in May, Chinese leadership likely breathed a sigh of relief, as he announced a forestalling of the THAAD deployment for up to 15 months while the South Korean government undertook an environmental impact analysis of the system. Two of the six platforms had already been rolled out and Moon lacked the authority to suspend or dismantle them — but he could stall for time on the rest.
And what could possibly go wrong?
According to a report in South Korea’s Munhwa Ilbo newspaper, which cites an unidentified government official, South Korea’s military is preparing a “surgical strike” scenario that could wipe out North Korean command and missile and nuclear facilities following an order by S.Korea’s President Moon Jae-in. Munhwa adds that the military is to report the scenario to presidential office after completing it as early as August 1.
As the report details, South Korea’s Special Forces are preparing a special strike op which would be launched in response to President Moon Jae-In’s order to remove the North Korean leadership in case of emergency. This operation is taking place in addition to separate preparations currently conducted by the country’s military forces.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Worldwide shipping is in dire straits.
We have seen the BDI (the index of future shipping capacity bookings) trundling along at the lowest level for over three years now.
and Nautilus (http://www.marinelink.com/news/bankruptcy-container371718)
have filed for bankruptcy as global trade grinds to a halt.
A.P. Moller, the biggest Container Ship Company in the world with all those blue MAERSK LINE ships we see everywhere, have been investing in 18000TEU giant ships of late.
One would really think they more than anyone would see the slump coming.
But quite obviously they are lacking in responsible management. But no.
So it shouldn’t come as a shock to read this….
“Worse than the one following the Global Financial Crisis.”
New orders received by Chinese shipyards – now infamous for undercutting competitors and sinking into bankruptcy – have plunged 58.5% so far this year through October, compared to last year, according to shipping industry data provider BIMCO, cited by the Nikkei. At South Korean shipyards, which include the three largest in the world, orders have plunged 84.2%; at Japanese shipyards, 90%.
They all focused on large dry-bulk vessels, tankers, and containerships. But this year, orders for tankers globally plunged 80% and for container ships 84%.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Now in view of the BDI, Caterpillar, Truck orders and so on, this was inevitable, and about two years overdue.
I still don’t understand why these geniuses didn’t see the writing on the wall when it was obvious five years ago that economic growth was unsustainable.
Global overcapacity, plunging demand, and a price war
In the first quarter, South Korean shipbuilders saw their orders collapse by 94.1% to 170,000 compensated gross tons (CGT), compared to the prior year. In terms of dollars, orders collapsed 94% from $6.5 billion in Q1 2015 in to just $390 million.
Global orders for new vessels in Q1 have collapsed too, but slightly less, according to the Export-Import Bank of Korea, cited by IHS Fairplay: down 71% year-over-year to 2.32 CGT.
North Korea has been searching for one of its submarines that has been missing for days off its east coast as tensions mount in the region, where U.S. and South Korean troops staged a big amphibious landing exercise today,
The submarine may be adrift under the sea or have sunk, perhaps after a technical problem during an exercise, CNN quoted U.S. officials with intelligence of secret U.S. monitoring of the North’s activities as saying.
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Punjab authorities have closed down schools from Jan 26 to 31 because of biting cold, a private TV channel reported.
Life is almost paralysed by the biting cold in nine upazilas of the district. The poor are burning hay and fallen leaves to keep them warm.
Nine deaths believed to stem from hypothermia reported in Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Tak, Rayong and Udon Thani provinces.
Along with severe cold
In addition, the accompanying low temperatures have caused disasters for farmers across the nation.
Buffaloes have recently died due to the extremely cold weather.
Guangzhou residents were excited Sunday to observe snow falling in their subtropical city for the first time in 88 years.
Schools light bonfires, army readies help
People and livestock in upland areas of northeastern Laos are struggling with the freezing cold.
Okinawa’s main island in southwestern Japan gets its first measurable snowfall in history.
In the south, sleet fell on Amami Oshima Island for the first time since 1901. Residents there usually enjoy temperatures of around 17 degrees Celsius this time of year.
On Tuesday, North Korea announced it had “successfully” tested a hydrogen bomb.
According to Kim Jong-Un, the test was necessary because America is “a gang of cruel robbers” hell bent on waging nuclear war. “This is a self-defensive step for reliably defending the peace on the Korean Peninsula and regional security from the danger of nuclear war caused by the U.S.-led imperialists,” Kim said.
– Global Trade In Freefall: South Korea Exports Crash Most Since 2009 (ZeroHedge, Sept 1, 2015):
While the market’s attention overnight was focused on China’s crumbling manufacturing and service PMI, data which was already hinted in the flash PMI reports earlier in August, the real stunner came not from China but from South Korea, which last night reported an unprecedented 14.7% collapse in exports, far worse than the -5.9% consensus estimate, and more than 4 times worse than July’s 3.4%. The number is critical because not only do exports account for about half of South Korea’s GDP but because it also happens to be the first major exporting country to report monthly trade data. That makes it the perfect barometer of global trade flows, or as the case may be, the canary in the global trade coalmine. It also confirms what we reported just one week ago when we said that “Global Trade Is In Freefall.”
– North Korea Declares State Of War After Argument Over Loudspeaker Spirals Out Of Control (ZeroHedge, Aug 20, 2015):
Kim Jong-un has declared a state of war following an escalation of hostilities across the DMZ. Here’s Xinhua:
The top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un has ordered the country’s frontline combined forces to enter state of war from 5pm (0830 GMT) Friday. the official KCNA news agency reported Friday, the official KCNA news agency reported early Friday.