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Posts Tagged ‘South Korea’

North And South Korea Test Ballistic Missiles Just Hours Apart | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on September 15, 2021

One can only wonder about the timing of such an act, which usually happens with the explicit blessing of China, whose president – we learned yesterday – snubbed Joe Biden’s invitation for a face-to-face summit.As we noted over the weekend, “Kim would not fire anything without Beijing’s blessing

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/north-korea-fires-two-ballistic-missiles-south-korea-fires-one

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

North Korea fired a pair of short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. Hours later, South Korea tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile, ratcheting up regional tensions on the peninsula. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the two ballistic missiles were fired from the central part of North Korea, the first at 1234 and the second at 1239 local time. Both flew about 500 miles and at an altitude of 37 miles. 

“North Korea fired two unidentified ballistic missiles from its central inland region toward the east coast, and intelligence authorities of South Korea and the United States are conducting detailed analysis for further information,” JCS said in a statement. South Korea’s military “maintains a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States,” the JCS added. 

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called the missile launch “simply outrageous,” adding that both missiles had landed just outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. He said defense agencies will monitor the area “more closely than ever.”The U.S. military’s Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) said North Korea’s missile launches posed no risk to U.S. assets or allies in the region but noted the destabilizing impact of the rogue country’s illicit weapons program. 

“We are aware of the missile launch and are consulting closely with our allies and partners. While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launch highlights the destabilizing impact of the DPRK’s illicit weapons program,” the USINDOPACOM statement read. 

Hours after the missile launch, South Korean President Moon Jae-in observed a successful test-firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, making South Korea the eighth country to possess such a weapon.Wednesday’s ballistic missile activity on the peninsula is North Korea’s first launch in six months. It also fired a new long-range cruise missile on Saturday and Sunday. One can only wonder about the timing of such an act, which usually happens with the explicit blessing of China, whose president – we learned yesterday – snubbed Joe Biden’s invitation for a face-to-face summit.As we noted over the weekend, “Kim would not fire anything without Beijing’s blessing, so is this Xi piling on more pressure on Biden as Washington faces turmoil in almost every foreign policy endeavor.” Last week, North Korea staged its first military-style parade since Biden became U.S. president. Kim presided over an event where displays of his state’s weaponry were scaled down from previous exhibitions. There were no ballistic missiles and possibly the reason for that is they were being prepared for launch. 

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Can America Do It All? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 21, 2020

Can we continue to defend South Korea and Japan from Kim Jong Un and his nuclear arsenal, confront and choke the Ayatollah’s regime in Iran and, at the same time, reconstruct George H. W. Bush’s “new world order”?

While doing all this, can we overcome the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu of 100 years ago, and deal with a national divide and racial crisis as bad as any since the 1960s, if not the Civil War?

We’re going to find out.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/10/patrick-j-buchanan/can-america-do-it-all/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In fiscal year 2020, which ended on Sept. 30, the U.S. government set some impressive new records.

The deficit came in at $3.1 trillion, twice the previous record of $1.4 trillion in 2009, which was set during the Great Recession, and three times the 2019 deficit of about $1 trillion.

Federal spending hit $6.5 trillion, one-third of U.S. gross domestic product, a share unrivaled except for the later years of World War II when federal spending exceeded 40% of GDP.

The U.S. national debt, $14 trillion when Donald Trump took office, now stands at $21 trillion, roughly the same size as U.S. GDP.

In fiscal year 2021, the deficit could be of the same magnitude as 2020.

Why so? First, the economy is not fully recovered from the 2020 depression. Unemployment is still near 8%. Nancy Pelosi has already proposed $2.2 trillion in new spending to battle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the first month of this fiscal year. And COVID-19 cases are spiking again.

With the national debt already equal to the GDP, and growing faster now, a question arises: Where does this end?

How many more multitrillion-dollar deficits can we sustain before the quality of U.S. debt is called into question by Japan, China and the other nations that traditionally buy and hold U.S. debt?

How long before the value of the U.S. dollar is questioned?

How long before our creditors start demanding higher interest rates to compensate for the rising risks they are taking in buying the bonds of so profligate a nation?

According to Stein’s Law, named after Herb Stein, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers who enunciated it, if something cannot go on forever, it will stop.

Or was Herb Stein wrong, and we can borrow and spend forever?

Consider the built-in engines of spending that were causing trillion-dollar deficits even before the coronavirus hit?

With the huge baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, only half retired and still reaching 65 and 66 in the millions every year, the claims on Social Security and Medicare, the two largest programs in the U.S. budget, are certain to grow. So, too, are the claims on Medicaid, health care for the poor, the next largest item in the budget.

With unemployment at 8%, other social programs that date to the Great Society days of over half a century ago — welfare, housing, education, nutrition — and consume a large share of our budget, are unlikely to shrink.

Interest on the debt, as the U.S. national debt rises and becomes riskier, is also likely to be headed one way — straight up.

Which brings us to that other major budget item: national defense.

The Trump era has already produced a significant increase in defense spending, while defense commitments have seen no reduction.

We are obligated to defend some 30 NATO allies from the Atlantic to the Baltic and Black seas. In the Middle and Near East, we have troops stationed in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Afghanistan and Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

With the new strategic “pivot to Asia,” U.S. troops and ships have moved into the Indo-Pacific region to contain China in what is being called Cold War II. Then there are the U.S. treaty commitments to defend Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand dating to the ’50s

Allies are our strength, we are told. They are also our dependents.

This morning came press reports that ISIS, whose caliphate in Syria and Iraq we annihilated, is turning up in Africa. A new front may be opening up in the global war on terror.

The question here is a simple one: Can we continue to do it all?

Our resources are not inexhaustible.

Already, U.S. GDP is receding as a share of global GDP, and the defense budget is receding as a share of U.S. GDP.

We are being obligated to do more and more, at home and abroad, while our share of the world’s wealth is less and less.

Can we continue to maintain strategic parity and contain the ambitions of the other great powers, Russia and China?

Can we continue to defend South Korea and Japan from Kim Jong Un and his nuclear arsenal, confront and choke the Ayatollah’s regime in Iran and, at the same time, reconstruct George H. W. Bush’s “new world order”?

While doing all this, can we overcome the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu of 100 years ago, and deal with a national divide and racial crisis as bad as any since the 1960s, if not the Civil War?

We’re going to find out.

The Best of Patrick J. Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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Washington Complains: China is Doing What We Always Do! | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on June 20, 2020

The U.S. has long used foreign aid as walking around money for the secretary of state. Countries with American bases have always gotten more cash, as have nations that have made peace with American allies, such as Egypt and Jordan.

America will be sorely disappointed if it believes it can convince—or compel with money and threats—its allies into following whatever policies it promulgates. Joining an American campaign against China looks suicidal to Seoul.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/washington-complains-china-is-doing-what-we-always-do/

Beijing is using threats and aid to pressure other governments to toe the line. Wherever did they get that from?

In a new official strategy of confrontation against the People’s Republic of China, the Trump administration has announced its intention “to compel Beijing to cease or reduce actions harmful to the United States’ vital, national interests and those of our allies and partners.”

Explains the strategy paper:

Given Beijing’s increasing use of economic leverage to extract political concessions from or exact retribution against other countries, the United States judges that Beijing will attempt to convert [One Belt One Road] projects into undue political influence and military access. Beijing uses a combination of threat and inducement to pressure governments, elites, corporations, think tanks, and others—often in an opaque manner—to toe the CCP line and censor free expression. Beijing has restricted trade and tourism with Australia, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Norway, the Philippines, and others, and has detained Canadian citizens, in an effort to interfere in these countries’ internal political and judicial processes.

All true. But which government pioneered the use of economic resources to reward and punish other nations? Hint: it was not China.

The U.S. has long used foreign aid as walking around money for the secretary of state. Countries with American bases have always gotten more cash, as have nations that have made peace with American allies, such as Egypt and Jordan.

In contrast, governments that have crossed Washington have lost money. In 1956, the Eisenhower administration punished Egypt’s Nasser government by revoking its offer to finance the Aswan High Dam. In 1990, Secretary of State James Baker told Yemen’s UN ambassador, “that was the most expensive no vote you ever cast,” after he voted against the UN Security Council resolution authorizing war against Iraq.

Washington has also used trade barriers to reward and punish other states. The U.S. embargoed Cuba six decades ago, and has since applied secondary sanctions that have hit other nations as well. The use of financial sanctions has become Washington’s modus operandi.

Indeed, the Trump administration has dramatically escalated economic warfare, applying “maximum pressure” to Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela, hitting Cuba, Russia, and Syria with multiple new penalties, threatening to sanction Europeans if they try to avoid Iranian restrictions, and targeting Germany’s Nordstream 2 natural gas pipeline to Russia. The White House treats sanctions as the default response to governments that resist Washington’s dictates.

All of these measures were imposed “in an effort to interfere in [other] countries’ internal political and judicial processes.” In fact, despite Washington’s fervent objections to Russian election meddling in 2016, the U.S. has intervened in more than 80 democratic elections in other nations, including the 1986 presidential contest in Russia.

Yet although America remains number one, China’s economic clout is significant, including with important countries such as South Korea. Indeed, without any sense of irony, Matthew Ha of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies recently expressed concern that China was thwarting U.S. pressure on Seoul to follow Washington’s policies. For instance, Beijing “launched an economic warfare campaign that cost South Korean companies operating in China at least $15.6 billion in losses” because the Republic of Korea deployed the THAAD missile defense system.

Complained Ha: “To placate China, Seoul eventually agreed not to deploy further THAAD systems, not to join a U.S.-led regional missile defense architecture, and not to form a trilateral U.S.-Japan-ROK alliance.” Moreover, claimed Ha, “due in part to concerns over Chinese retaliation, Seoul has not completely divested its telecommunications infrastructure from the Chinese company Huawei.” Further, “China’s hand is also evident in Seoul’s aversion to the U.S.-and Japan-led ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ (FOIP) initiative,” instead favoring its own policy directed at Southeast Asia.

If all this is due to a $15.6 billion hit, then Washington should take lessons. The Trump administration has caused economic damage to many countries, yet its wrecking-ball sanctions have so far failed in every case: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela all have refused to give into U.S. demands.

The president has been reduced to begging Tehran to negotiate, promising a better deal if it surrenders before November 3 to help his reelection prospects. Iran and Venezuela ridiculed Washington’s threats to interdict Tehran’s tankers. The communists still rule Cuba. Despite two summits, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is strengthening his country’s nuclear deterrent. No one believes that Russia will give up Crimea.

No doubt, South Korea worries about China’s clout, since the Chinese trade more with them than America and Japan combined. But Beijing is also a good excuse to resist U.S. demands seen as unreasonable, especially given that the current president is Moon Jae-in, a man of the left who has no natural affinity for President Trump.

China sees THAAD as part of a U.S.-directed containment system. And South Korea is not the only ally less than enthused by the administration’s demand to displace Huawei. These issues are about more than money. China will always be South Korea’s neighbor and has a long memory. The U.S.’s national government effectively bankrupt and beset with manifold other challenges, is not likely to stick around Korea forever.

The point is, contra Washington’s delusions, South Korean officials do not believe that taking part in an anti-China campaign serves South Korea’s interests. Ha writes: “Beijing’s sway over this key U.S. ally is especially risky amid growing Chinese aggression and competition with the United States. Most recently, Beijing pushed Seoul to bless China’s new national security law designed to crack down on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Seeking to avoid conflict, Seoul took a neutral position, thereby undermining the protesters and revealing an alarming inability to support the liberal democratic values that underpin the ROK-U.S. alliance.”

What evidence does Ha have that Seoul wanted to join the complaint? Most of America’s European allies and Asian friends took similarly cautious positions. Even Tokyo ostentatiously refused to join America’s statement on Hong Kong, though the former now says it wants to take the lead on the issue at the next G-7 meeting, to uncertain effect.

Moreover, the U.S. routinely sacrifices other people’s democratic aspirations and human rights for policy ends. Without shame, the administration is assisting the brutally totalitarian and aggressive Saudi dictatorship as it slaughters Yemeni civilians and denies its own people political and religious liberty. Washington stands by as the Egyptian and Bahraini dictatorships brutally crush democracy activists and protesters.

Yet Ha demands action to push—or is that force?—South Korea onto the battlefield against China. He writes: “If its China strategy is to succeed, the Trump administration must counter Beijing’s attempts to undermine U.S. alliances.” Which requires that Washington “assuage ROK concerns about Chinese coercion by committing to proportionately punish China for any attempted coercion and to provide South Korea with immediate economic support to cope with Beijing’s retaliation.”

So Washington, the world’s chief proponent of economic warfare, is going to sanction another country because it organizes a boycott, cuts investment, or restricts trade to another country? And Washington, with a skyrocketing national debt, is going to create a new dole for wealthy countries like South Korea? Imagine the long line of claimants that will develop demanding compensation for following America! But what if Washington’s friends still balk at following U.S. dictates? Will America then sanction them, making them pay for their perfidy?

This bizarre strategy is doomed to fail. Despite Washington’s presumption that it speaks for the world, its allies often disagree. Seoul currently disputes American policy toward North Korea. Unsurprisingly, South Korean policymakers want to preserve peaceful, stable relations with both the U.S. and China.

“If we antagonize China,” observed Moon Chung-in, an adviser to South Korea’s president, “China can pose a military threat to us. Plus, China can support North Korea. Then, we will really have a new Cold War on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.” Of course, some Americans don’t care about the possibility of war “over there,” as Senator Lindsey Graham famously put it. South Koreans understandably see it very differently.

When I ask South Korean diplomats whether they are prepared to allow the U.S. military to use their bases against China in a war over Taiwan, they blanch. There ain’t no way their country is going to be turned into a battleground and made an enemy of the Chinese at Washington’s command.

Washington has enough problems dealing with China without creating a new battleground with little practical benefit to America. The U.S. already is running a trade war, seeking to force compensation for the COVID-19 outbreak, and threatening Chinese concerns with sanctions tied to Iran and North Korea.

America will be sorely disappointed if it believes it can convince—or compel with money and threats—its allies into following whatever policies it promulgates. Joining an American campaign against China looks suicidal to Seoul. Demanding that South Korea choose between Washington and Beijing could wreck the alliance. Right now, hubris poses a bigger threat than China to U.S. foreign policy.

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Asia’s Most Radical Left-Wing Economic System Faces Harsh Reality

Posted by M. C. on February 21, 2019

Minimum wage. Getting a maximum result.

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/asias-most-radical-left-wing-economic-system-faces-harsh-reality_02202019

Mac Slavo

South Korea has untaken one of the most radical left-wing economic systems out there: a steep increase in minimum wage nationwide.  But now, the country must face the dire consequences of that decision and the harsh reality that the regulations are destroying their economy.

South Korea is home to one of the world’s boldest left-wing economic programs. President Moon Jae-in’s flagship economic policy, “income-led growth,” has led to dramatic increases in minimum wages since he took office in 2017. Those increases are now driving a terrifying rise in unemployment, just as a slump in global trade is already buffeting Korea.  The nation is now staring an economic crisis in the face.

According to the Wall Stree Journal, it isn’t just South Korea, but they seem to be the worst stranglers of their own economy.

Several countries have raised low pay levels in recent years, but guided by “Moon-nomics”, Korea has taken a rise in minimum to an extreme. Its minimum wage will rise by 10.9% this year, after a 16.4% increase last year. At 8,350 Korean won per hour ($7.44), the rate is now higher than the United States’ federal minimum wage, even though the country’s gross domestic product per capita is around half the U.S.’s. Even before these increases, the Korean minimum wage was equivalent to 53% of the country’s median wage in 2017—on par with the United Kingdom’s and higher than Japan’s. –Wall Stree Journal

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/this-is-why-the-minimum-wage-is-such-a-horrible-idea-its-simple-economics-really_02232016/embed#?secret=Zje3BX0gLx

South Korean ruling class claimed that their idea would “spread the wealth” more equally across the country, however, it’s done nothing but impoverish people and make finding a job all but impossible. Companies are only able to afford to pay the mandated higher wages by hiring fewer people or eliminating jobs altogether.  Korea’s unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in January from 3.8% the month before, its biggest rise in nine years—just as the latest increase in minimum wage came into effect.

The won, South Korea’s currency, is dropping as a result, and their stock market is teetering on the edge…

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free lunch

Free lunch.

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South Korean Intel Services Say North Korea Strongly Committed to Denuclearization – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on March 28, 2018

Not if John Bolton has his way.

One might think SK would know what it is talking about but then we in the US are not used to that.

https://news.antiwar.com/2018/03/27/south-korean-intel-services-say-north-korea-strongly-committed-to-denuclearization/

Jason Ditz

South Korean MP Young Chin and North Korean official Ri Jong Hyuk meet in Geneva

The bigger news was in South Korea, however, where the National Intelligence Service (NIS) offered a report to the National Assembly on the peace process, saying they believe “North Korea is strongly committed to dialogue and also committed to denuclearization.”

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What To Do About Korea – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 1, 2017

https://lewrockwell.com/2017/07/patrick-j-buchanan/what-to-do-about-korea/

The commonest error in politics,” Lord Salisbury reminded us, “is sticking to the carcass of dead policies.”

The U.S. would give Seoul notice that we will, by a date certain, be dissolving our mutual security treaty and restoring our full freedom to decide whether or not to fight in a new Korean War. Given the present risk of war, possibly involving nuclear weapons, it is absurd that we should be obligated to fight what Mattis says would be a “catastrophic” war, because of a treaty negotiated six decades ago by Eisenhower and Dulles.

Amen

Buchanan foreign policy. I hope someone is listening.

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U.S. Navy SEALs to take part in joint drills in S. Korea-Donald, What Are You Doing? China, where are you.

Posted by M. C. on March 13, 2017

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/03/13/0200000000AEN20170313009400315.html?_sm_byp=iVVzSLWV0HzbN7bH

We shouldn’t be in South Korea let alone agitating for war in another of the world’s rat holes.

We shouldn’t be doing China’s, Japan’s and S. Korea’s job.                                                               Did I mention we shouldn’t be doing China’s, Japan’s and S. Korea’s job?

We shouldn’t wasting more American lives. Read the rest of this entry »

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