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Friday, 4 March 2016

World on Edge as North Korea Prepares Nukes

2016 Cuban Missile Crisis?

 This situation has not garnered the attention it deserves in the press nor by the markets. Should tensions escalate to the point of causing a nuclear event then such an engagement could lead to wider actions  bringing  the involvement of respective allies and the bigger powers. 

Even the limited use of nuclear weapons places the world in greater peril than most appreciate or know at first glance. Why? Russia operates a mechanized nuclear defence program that is often termed and referred to as  " the dead-hand system" because the missile-launch- order can  be triggered when its sensors determine that the radioactivity in the atmosphere is beyond preset acceptable levels. Breaching of these tests causes the system to conclude and assume that a nuclear attack is being carried out against their nation and it will then automatically order the launch of Russian missiles aimed at predetermined targets. 

There is no human involvement. 

 Originally the system was designed to provide for an immediate  retaliatory strike in the event that  the leadership in the Kremlin was destroyed 
by a first strike by an aggressor. 

and thus decapitating the decision-making powers ability to respond.  The premise of the system embraces the cold war  assumption  that the threat of mutual annihilation would deter  the superpowers, at the time, from ever entering into any confrontations using nuclear weapons.

However, today  this old and perhaps antiquated system could inadvertently  launch  missiles because the sensors detect the radiation from a much smaller nuclear conflict. Right now, as long as tensions remain high in North Korea there is a great danger that aggressions could expand rapidly into the global theatre. Such a possibility, to our knowledge has not been experienced since the Cuban Missile Crisis, in 1962, when the world was was gripped by fear and  just seconds away from a global nuclear war that could have wiped out all of humanity in mere days.

 In light of the concerns mentioned, and their potential consequences and devastation  - this situation is to be given the highest priority and attention in the days and weeks ahead. It is also noted that certain  US Presidential candidates indicated, in February, that they would approve a preemptive strike against North Korea - that does not sound like such a  good idea should it also lead to those same sensors detecting and acting upon excessive radioactivity in the atmosphere. Moreover, leadership in North Korea is far from stable or sensible - you have a child holding a loaded gun.      

In the last analysis, the world again is walking on eggshells; one misstep having frightening ramifications 

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Will South Korea Have to Bomb the North, Eventually?

As North Korea expands its nuclear arsenal, will Seoul have to consider targeting missile sites at some point?

As North Korea continues to develop both nuclear weapons and the missile technology to carry them,pressure on South Korea to take preemptive military action will gradually rise. At some point, North Korea may have so many missiles and warheads that South Korea considers that capability to be an existential threat to its security. This is the greatest long-term risk to security and stability in Korea, arguably more destabilizing than a North Korean collapse. If North Korea does not arrest its nuclear and missile programs at a reasonably small, defensively-minded deterrent, then Southern elites will increasingly see those weapons as threats to Southern survival, not just tools of defense or gangsterish blackmail.


North Korean Leader Wants Nukes Ready to Fly

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered nuclear weapons to be readied for use, the state-controlled Korean Central News Agency reported Thursday.


In reality, what this new policy, which is the same as the old policy, does is induce businesses to invest more on durable goods like cars and houses, which is why there are new bubbles in these markets, at least in some regions. The price-per-square-foot of Las Vegas real estate, for example, is now higher than it was just before the crash of 2008. There’s also a student debt bubble and a stock market bubble, in my opinion, thanks to the Fed’s single-minded and very simple policy of print, print, and print some more. Rather than reducing some of the wild and reckless speculation on Wall Street, the government bailouts of the speculators created a “moral hazard problem” that will encourage even more reckless speculation. If the speculative investments pay off, they keep the profits; when they go bust, they can count on another round of “too-big-to-fail” bailouts.

Countries producing 73 percent of the world's oil have agreed to freeze oil production, Russia's energy minister said Tuesday.

For an automaker, the idea is to build just enough EV models to meet the California mandates. Sure, your electric vehicles will lose money, but you’re getting credit for the EVs’ 100-mpg fuel ratings. In the bargain, you can still sell lots of gas-guzzling Escalades, Navigators and F-150s (all highly profitable vehicles to make and sell) — and still come out with a fleet-wide average of 54.5 mpg when 2025 rolls around.

Alberta Budget Deficit Could Top $10 billion

Alberta’s deficit for next year could top $10 billion after projected quick recoveries in the price of oil were proven wrong, according to Finance Minister Joe Ceci.
“Falling oil prices continue to negatively impact our fiscal situation in Alberta,” he said. “And of course, it’s going to affect our bottom line.”
In its first budget as government, released Oct. 27, 2015, the province posted a $6.1 billion deficit in 2015/16 in order to stabilize frontline public services such as health care and education. Ceci said that deficit had grown by approximately $200 million.
Next year’s deficit was previously anticipated to hit $5.4 billion. According to Ceci, the prolonged slide in oil prices will see that number increase significantly when the spring budget is tabled in April, and is now forecasted at approximately $10.4 billion.


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