– 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.
– MERS virus spreading across Asia, South Korea fails to contain outbreak (RT, June 11, 2015):
Hong Kong issued a red alert and advised against traveling to South Korea, where an epidemic of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is gaining pace. The virus is spreading despite attempts to contain the outbreak.
In Korea, the number of infected people passed 100 this week, reaching 122 on Thursday. Tenth patient died from the disease, health officials said on Thursday. Most of the victims are elderly patients with other health problems unrelated to the virus. Over 3,250 people remain in quarantine.
– Bank Of Korea Unexpectedly Cuts Interest Rate To Record Low 1.75%, 24th Central Bank To Ease In 2015 (ZeroHedge, March 11, 2015):
The currency war salvos just keep on coming. Moments ago the BOK unexpectedly (the move was predicted by just 2 of 17 economists polled by Bloomberg) cut its policy rate from 2.00% to a record low 1.75%, in what is clearly a full-blown retaliation against the collapse currency of its biggest export competitor, Japan, whose currency has cratered to a level that many in South Korea believe has become a direct subsidy for its competing exports. As such the only question is why the BOK didn’t cut earlier. And following the surprise rate cut by Thailand earlier today, the “surprise” South Korean rate cut means there are now 24 easing policy actions by central banks in 2015 alone.…
– South Korean Institute Discovers ‘Mystery Plants’ from Imported GMOs (Sustainable Pulse, Jan 24, 2015):
The reason genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have sparked such fears in South Korea isn’t just about safety issues without clear facts, or irrational labeling practices. While South Korea has been emerging as the world’s second biggest importer of GMO crops, mystery plants have been taking root all over the country. The genetically modified (GM) crops that are growing in South Korean soil are a major issue in a country with a government ban on their cultivation. They stand as a stark signal that fears of imported GMOs disrupting the local ecosystem are already becoming a reality.
Source: english.hani.co.kr By Choi Sung-jin
A National Institute of Ecology (NIE) monitoring report on the effects of GMOs on the natural environment, acquired on Dec. 30 by the Hankyoreh, showed GM corn and cotton discoveries across the country in 2013. Corn was found in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province; Gimje, North Jeolla Province; and Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province. Cotton was found in no fewer than fifteen locations.
– NYTimes: Doctors want ban on thyroid cancer screenings — “A tsunami of thyroid cancer… Stop the diagnosis… We need to actively discourage early detection” — WSJ: Judge rules nuclear reactors causing thyroid cancers — Study: Fukushima-related tumors can spread very fast, must be closely monitored (ENENews, Nov 7, 2014):
New York Times, Nov. 5, 2014 (emphasis added): To the shock of many cancer experts, the most common cancer in South Korea… is now thyroid cancer, whose incidence has increased fifteenfold in the past two decades. “A tsunami of thyroid cancer,” as one researcher puts it… Cancer experts agree that the reason for the situation in South Korea and elsewhere is not a real increase in the disease. Instead, it is down to screening… “It’s a warning to us in the U.S. that we need to be very careful in our advocacy of screening,” said Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society… some doctors, including Dr. Hyeong Sik Ahn of the College of Medicine at Korea University in Seoul, the first author of the new paper, have called for thyroid cancer screening to be banned… Thyroid experts in the United States are calling for restraint in diagnosing and treating tiny tumors… Dr. R. Michael Tuttle… said the best way… was to “stop the diagnosis… decrease screening”
– Our Imperial Rulers Are Deranged: Leon Panetta’s Memoir Proves It (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, Oct 15, 2014):
Want proof of the craziness of US foreign and military policy? Just turn to Leon Panetta’s Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, wherein the former Secretary of Defense and longtime Democratic party hack congressman recounted a 2010 conversation with the top commander of US troops stationed in South Korea, who told him:
“If North Korea moved across the border, our war plans called for the senior American general on the peninsula to take command of all U.S. and South Korea forces and defend South Korea – including by the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary. I left our meeting with the powerful sense that war in that region was neither hypothetical nor remote but ever-present and imminent.”
– S. Korea returned 20 t of Japanese marine products for Cs-134/137 contamination / Not from Fukushima area (Fukushima Diary, Aug 23, 2014):
On 8/21/2014, Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of South Korea announced they retuned 20 t of Japanese marine products from January to July in 2014.
The specific reading was not published, but the ministry comments they detected Cs-134/137 from the returned products.
S. Korea banned imports from Fukushima prefecture and 7 adjacent prefectures last September, so this 20 t of returned marine products are not from the main contaminated regions in Japan. They announce it was 20 t of 9,300 t marine products in total.
– Ebola Panic Reaches New Highs: Korean Bar Bans “Africans” (ZeroHedge, Aug 18, 2014):
With race-relations in American at a boiling point, it is perhaps worth a glance at Asia for some context. As Media Equalizer’s Brian Maloney reports, one restaurant in South Korea is refusing to serve black people due to fears over Ebola! As he concludes: imagine the uproar were this sign to appear anywhere in the US…
As Maloney adds,
Given that many American soldiers stationed in Korea are African-American, it’s hard to believe this isn’t generating more attention here at home.
– S. Korean ‘comfort women’ for US military sue state for forced prostitution (RT,June 29, 2014):
A group of South Korean former “comfort women”, who worked in state-controlled brothels for the US military after the 1953 Korean War, has filed a suit demanding compensation from the authorities for forced prostitution.
It’s the first time that such legal action has been taken regarding the brothels, or “special areas” that were sanctioned by the South Korean government, The Asahi Shimbun media outlet reported.
The women are seeking 10 million won ($9,850) for being made to serve as “US military comfort women” after the Korean War ended in 1953.
– Korea’s Premier Poultry Research Center Decimated (Science, March 5, 2014):
A new, deadly H5N8 strain of avian influenza penetrated the biosecurity defenses of a National Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) campus, prompting authorities to cull all of the facility’s 11,000 hens and 5000 ducks.
The devastating loss could set back poultry experiments at the NIAS lab for 2 years. “It will likely to take up to 95 weeks to fully rebuild [the flocks] and resume normal research,” says Kim Sung-Il, head of the contingency team at the Rural Development Administration, which oversees NIAS. Kim adds that the institute, which studies breed improvement and animal husbandry techniques, will reconstitute its flocks from birds kept at other facilities.
A wild goose that died of the virus was found 10 kilometers from NIAS’s Suwon campus, near Seoul, on 1 February. The entire NIAS staff went to work disinfecting and shoeing away wild birds at the three centers that keep poultry. Despite those efforts, 30 ducks were found dead on 2 March at the Cheonan campus, 85 kilometers south of Seoul. The next day, authorities confirmed the cause of death as H5N8 avian influenza. NIAS immediately initiated culling, which was completed on 4 March.
– China Slams Abe’s “Malicious Slander”; Warns Japan Is “Doomed To Failure” (ZeroHedge, Dec 15, 2013):
Overnight rhetoric in Asia became increasingly heated when China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “strong dissastisfaction” at the slanderous actions of Abe’s Japanese government over the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and the “theft and embezzlement” of the Diaoyu Islands. “Japan’s attempt is doomed to failure,” China warned ominously and as we highlight below, a reflection on the possible rational reasons for China and Japan to go to war over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands highlights the seriousness of the ongoing brinksmanship in the East China Sea. If a war is fought over these long-contested islands, it will have an eminently rational explanation underlying all the historical mistrust and nationalism on the surface. War in the East China Sea is possible, despite the economic costs.
The ‘triangle’ of doom in the East China Sea…
Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held in Japan recently – especially during the ASEAN summit, accusing China to unilaterally change the status of the East China Sea, East China Sea, said China’s air defense identification zone designation is improper for the high seas against the freedom of overflight, asked China to revoke the measure. What is your comment?
– South Korea Unveils It’s Own Air Defense Zone, Overlapping China’s And Japan’s (ZeroHedge, Dec 8, 2013):
As fear and nationalism rise in Japan (and Abe’s grip on the people founders amid falling approval ratings and underperforming economic indicators such as GDP tonight), so another party has joined the debacle in the East China Sea. As NHK World reports, South Korea has officially announced that it will expand its air defense identification zone, making it partially overlap those of Japan and China. The game of chicken over small islands (and submerged rocks!) in the middle of nowhere continues…
The ‘triangle’ of doom in the East China Sea…
South Korea has officially announced that it will expand its air defense identification zone, making it partially overlap those of Japan and China.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that the expansion will go into effect on December 15th.
The move comes after China established its air defense zone over a wide area of the East China Sea last month.
– Preparing for a North Korean Collapse (The Diplomat, Oct 31, 2013):
A report by Bruce Bennett and the RAND Corporation has brought attention to one of the most important issues for international politics. Ironically, despite being a region of vital interest within American foreign policy, there has been very little public discussion of what to do in the event of government collapse in North Korea. Bennett’s timely report provides a series of vital contributions to the discussion and further outlines the lack of preparation in political, social, economic and military terms. Yet beyond the critical end game for the Korean peninsula are deeper questions concerning how any international force might respond. Specifically, how can the U.S. and Republic of Korea effectively mobilize regional powers with their differing security and development goals?
Will Major Ed Dames’ predictions in regards to Korea come true???
The world’s foremost remote viewing teacher, Edward A. Dames, Major, U.S. Army (ret.) is a decorated military intelligence officer and an original member of the U.S. Army prototype remote viewing training program. He served as the training and operations officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency’s psychic intelligence (PSIINT) collection unit, and currently serves as executive director for the Matrix Intelligence Agency, a private consulting group.
– North Korea warns of ‘merciless firing’ against South Korea (AFP, Oct 21, 2013):
Seoul — North Korea on Monday warned of “merciless firing” against the South if it goes ahead with a reported plan to develop shells to carry anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.
The South’s Joong-Ang Ilbo newspaper reported last week that South Korean troops were developing non-explosive hollow shells capable of carrying such leaflets deep into North Korean territory. There has been no official confirmation.
South Korean activists including defectors from the North already regularly launch anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border by balloon, despite the North’s Korean threats to shell the “human scum” involved.
– N. Korea Puts Troops on Alert Over US-Led Military Drill (VOA News, Oct 8, 2013):
North Korea has placed its military on alert and warned of “disastrous consequences” in response to a planned U.S.-led military drill near the Korean peninsula.
A North Korean military spokesman told state media all troops have been ordered to “keep themselves ready to promptly launch operations at any time.”
South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok confirmed North Korea’s military has been placed on high alert.
– South Korea shows off new missiles designed to hit North (Reuters, Oct 1, 2013):
South Korea showed off on Tuesday new missiles designed to target North Korea’s artillery and long-range missiles and vowed to boost deterrence against its unpredictable neighbor.
The ballistic Hyeonmu-2, with a range of 300 km (190 miles), and the Hyeonmu-3, a cruise missile with a range of more than 1,000 km (620 miles) were put on public display for the first time in a rare South Korean military parade.
– South Korea Is Latest To Suspend US Wheat Imports In Aftermath Of Monsanto Rogue Wheat Discovery (ZeroHedge, May 31, 2013):
The global Monsanto genetically modified wheat scandal is getting worse.
As a reminder, recently news broke out that a rogue genetically modified strain of wheat developed by Monsanto, had been found in an Oregon field late last month. But while modified food has long been a diet staple, this particular breed was the first discovery of an unapproved strain, and what made things worse is the lack of any information how the rogue grain had escape from a field trial a decade ago. As Reuters reports, “even after weeks of investigation, experts are baffled as to how the seed survived for years after Monsanto had ceased all field tests of the product. It was found in a field growing a different type of wheat than Monsanto’s strain, far from areas used for field tests, according to an Oregon State University wheat researcher who tested the strain.”
The USDA was quick to deny any suggestion of public danger:
The USDA said the GM wheat found in Oregon posed no threat to human health, and also said there was no evidence that the grain had entered the commercial supply chain.
But the discovery threatens to stoke consumer outcry over the possible risk of cross-contaminating natural products with genetically altered foods, and may embolden critics who say U.S. regulation of GMO products is lax.
This is compounded by the still fresh memory of the glaring and repeated lies by the Japanese government in regards to the Fukushima explosion, making some wonder just how far the government is willing to go to cover up potential threats if the alternative is widespread panic.
– North Korea suspends last project with South, Putin cites Chernobyl (Reuters, April 8, 2013):)
North Korea suspended its sole remaining major project with the South on Monday, after weeks of threats against the United States and South Korea, as Russian President Vladimir Putin said any nuclear conflict could make Chernobyl look like a fairy tale.
Reclusive North Korea’s decision to all but close the Kaesong industrial park coincided with speculation that it will carry out some sort of provocative action – another nuclear weapons test or missile launch – in what has become one of the most serious crises on the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
Tension has been rising since the United Nations imposed new sanctions against the North in response to its third test of a nuclear weapon in February. Pyongyang has been further angered by weeks of joint military exercises by South Korean and U.S. forces and threatened both countries with nuclear attack.
Putin said conflict on the peninsula could cause greater devastation than the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
“I would make no secret about it, we are worried about the escalation on the Korean peninsula, because we are neighbors,” he told a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to a trade fair in Germany.
“And if, God forbid, something happens, Chernobyl which we all know a lot about, may seem like a child’s fairy tale. Is there such a threat or not? I think there is… I would urge everyone to calm down… and start to resolve the problems that have piled up for many years there at the negotiating table.”