This post was published at corbettreport
The Japanese government is warning citizens of a massive ‘impending’ mega earthquake that could be as large as the one which caused Fukushima to meltdown. The major earthquake is forecast to strike off the Pacific coastline of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, most likely triggering a massive tsunami, within the coming three decades.
This post was published at shtfplan on December 21st, 2017.
In keeping with China’s strategy of methodically encroaching on its geopolitical rivals via air force and naval drills in the Pacific, both Japan and South Korea scrambled fighter jets earlier this week as China suddenly expanded the scope of naval drills being held in the waters off the Korean peninsula.
The Associated Press reported that China sent a squad of fighter jets and bombers on a long-range military drill to the Sea of Japan. During their journey, the planes traveled through South Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese air defence zones, a move widely seen as China flexing its military muscles and asserting its dominance in the region.
The drills marked the first time China has sent warplanes through the strait that lies between South Korea and Japan.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 20, 2017.
A top Chinese general has warned that a war with North Korea could break out anytime. Because of the possibility of another world war by March, the general is suggesting the Chinese military mobilized their troops on the border with North Korea.
To prepare for a conflict that could break out anytime between now and March, Lieutenant General Wang Gongguang claims that China should mobilize their military might sooner rather than later. The Global Times, the English-language outlet of the Beijing government’s state-run mouthpiece People’s Daily China, reports the official is warning of the need to be ‘mentally prepared for [war] anytime’.
‘China should be psychologically prepared for a potential Korean War, and the Northeast China regions should be mobilized for that,’ said General Wang. He is also urging the deployment of antimissile systems and troops in the border area with North Korea in anticipation of conflict between North and South Korea, and others such as Japan and the United States.
This post was published at shtfplan on December 18th, 2017.
Former FBI special agent Clint Watts has responded to tweets from President Trump critical of the FBI by branding the president an ‘enemy of the state.’ Watts claims Trump’s tweets will ‘sow doubt’ and ‘hurt’ the abilities of the FBI, ‘so he is an enemy of the state whenever he is pushing against the FBI in that way,’ he concluded.
With the possible exception of the BATFE, it would be hard to imagine an entity within the federal government more out of control and in need of – dare I say it? – abolition. Getting rid of the FBI would be a giant boon for the freedom of the American people. As President Harry S. Truman put it, ‘We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction.’
For its entire existence the FBI has served as the strong arm of the federal government. Beginning in 1909 as the Bureau of Investigation, no one’s life, liberty, or property has been safe since. Ostensibly created to investigate anarchists, bootleggers, kidnappers, bank robbers, crimes on federal property, and later, the KKK, the FBI would soon find its true calling: political repression, personal destruction, and terror.
Communists, real and imagined, were the first to find themselves under the FBI’s ominous glare. World War II provided an opportunity for the FBI to serve a legitimate role, by investigating acts of espionage, but that would take a backseat to mass arrests of innocent Japanese Americans and warrant-less searches of their property.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Decemer 18, 2017.
Avondale, a secretive Alabama-based drugmaker, has gained unwanted national attention after the company increased the price of a bottle of vitamins to almost $300 that can be bought on the internet for $5.
In the latest example of price-gouging in America’s lightly regulated pharmaceutical industry, records show Avondale inflated the price of Niacor, a prescription-only version of niacin, by ‘809 percent last month, taking a bottle of 100 tablets from $32.46 to $295’, according to the Financial Times.
Niacor is the prescription form of niacin, a type of vitamin B3 that is used to treat high cholesterol and the increased risk of a heart attack. With one easy search on Google, a generic version of Niacor can be bought for $5.75 on Jet.com – meanwhile, if the consumer wants the prescription brand, well, they might have to sell their Apple Watch.
Avondale’s development of price-gouging is certainly bad timing on management’s behalf when considering Martin Shkreli, who in the past year has become the most hated man in America after he bought the rights to a drug, then raised prices by 5,500 percent. In the world of Big Pharma, buy-and-raise schemes are not limited to just Shkreli, but it’s rampant across the industry, such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals who has been accused of raising drug prices by more than 5,000 percent.
The Financial Times said Avondale acquired the rights to Niacor from Upsher Smith, a division of Japan’s Sawai Pharmaceutical, earlier this year. The buy-and-raise scheme was immediately applied to Niacor, as management faced little or no competition among other drugmakers, along with limited government regulation.
Niacor isn’t the first time the company inflated drug prices, management ‘increased the price of SSKI by 2,469 percent, taking a 30ml bottle from $11.48 to $295,’ according to the Financial Times.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.
The odds that the U. S. will attack North Korea are disconcertingly high, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham revealed.
‘There’s a three in 10 chance we use the military option,’ Graham told the Atlantic on Wednesday, adding that he ‘would say 70 percent’ if North Korea conducts a seventh nuclear test.
‘We’re not to the tipping point yet,’ he said, but ‘if they test another [nuclear] weapon, then all bets are off.’
North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test in September, detonating a suspected hydrogen bomb with an explosive yield at least ten times larger than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.
North Korea has threatened to carry out an atmospheric nuclear test in the Pacific, but there is also significant tunneling work underway for a potential underground nuclear test at the North’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 14, 2017.
“The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force,” said Thomas Jefferson in an 1807 letter to Chandler Price. And what would the nation’s third president and principal author of the Declaration of Independence say of today’s American “global force” deployed across the earth?
America’s “global military presence” is not hyperbole, but a literal fact, as a new Department of Defense study has found that US military personnel are stationed in literally every nation on the earth. The report bluntly confirms that, “The United States has military personnel in nearly every country in the world, ranging from two liaison officers in Fiji to tens of thousands from all of the service branches in Japan and Germany, according to the report.”
But perhaps more important and equally absurd (when one considers the original beginnings of the humble “republic” envisioned by founders like Madison and Jefferson) is the fact that America’s world-wide military presence is such that the Pentagon itself can’t track how many US service members are deployed where. A new bombshell article in Stars and Stripes military newspaper is non-ironically headlined, “Report: 44,000 ‘unknown’ military personnel stationed around the world”.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 9, 2017.
Earlier this week, Hawaii reportedly tested its system of nuclear sirens for the first time since the 1960s as the state’s governor warned that he was taking North Korea’s threats of nuclear annihilation extremely seriously. Today, the Telegraph is reporting that the paranoia has spread to Japan, where millions of Tokyo residents will participate in evacuation drills meant to simulate their response to North Korean nuclear strike.
And Tokyo isn’t the first city to conduct these types of large scale drills: Towns facing the Korean Peninsula have conducted similar drills in recent months.
The national and city governments are to carry out a series of exercises between January and March to prepare for a potential attack on Tokyo, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported, the first time that a major Japanese city will have carried out responses to a simulated attack. Towns facing the Korean Peninsula have in recent months conducted similar drills, with residents instructed to seek shelter in response to sirens warning of an imminent missile strike.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.
Large numbers of North Korean fishing boats are washing up along the Japanese coast, some of which have contained decaying corpses.
Winds and water currents push dozens of boats onto Japan’s northern coasts annually. Rickety North Korean fishing boats are particularly vulnerable because they lack the sturdiness and equipment to return home. In November of this year alone, 28 of the so-called “ghost ships” were discovered by Japanese authorities with 42 people who claim to be fishermen found alive.
18 bodies have also been recovered so far.
As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, the grim discoveries suggest that the situation in North Korea is becoming desperate with sanctions and food shortages likely driving fishermen further out to sea to secure bigger catches.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.
The world’s third largest economy has an aging and shrinking population and will simply disappear. The low fertility is not unique to Japan. The same problem besets Taiwan, China and Korea as well as the United States and Europe. In the West the establishment has opted for population replacement.
Countries like the UK, France and Sweden see a population growth only thanks to mass migration from Africa and Central Asia. The US replenished its dwindling population stock with migrants from Mexico to such an extent that in some counties Spanish is now the language of the majority.
After the Second World War Japan experienced the post-war baby boom. In 1948 a law was passed, most probably serving American interests, enabling easy access to abortion. At that time the fertility rate (average number of children born to a woman over her lifetime) was more or less stable – about 2.1 – which is the level needed to maintain population. However, in 1973 it started to decline rapidly and in 2005 it reached the lowest value of 1.26; in the same year the number of deaths has been higher than the number of births. Nowadays it stands at about 1.46.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.
A new study in the New York Times suggests that Saudi Arabia’s state of the art defense system failed to intercept the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels which nearly hit Riyadh’s international airport on November 4th. The report contradicts the official claims of the Saudi and American governments, which both announced immediately after the incident that the US-supplied Patriot missile defense system had successfully intercepted the Houthi fired Scud.
The analysis, which utilized open-source material in the form of available video and social media photos of the aftermath of the attack, was conducted by a team of missile experts, and threatens to shake confidence in the US system, which is currently implemented by American allies around the world from South Korea and Taiwan to Turkey, Israel and Japan, among others.
And notably President Trump himself had announced while aboard Air Force One on the day following the attack, ‘Our system knocked the missile out of the air.’ Trump also emphasized the importance of demonstrable success of the systems and added, ‘That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all over the world.’
But The New York Times report begins with a flat contradiction of that claim:
The official story was clear: Saudi forces shot down a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebel group last month at Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. It was a victory for the Saudis and for the United States, which supplied the Patriot missile defense system.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.
Earlier we joked that today’s rally was losing steam, and it “needs a North Korean ICBM launch to find new strength.”
This rally needs a North Korean ICBM launch to find new strength
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) December 4, 2017
Well, there has been no new launch (yet), however according to several desks the reason why USDJPY has faded and why the risk bid has faded sending ES to session lows, is as a result of a Nikkei report that “Japan boosting missile defense to face North Korean threat” although a closer read leaves one skeptical if this is indeed the reason, considering the Nikkei is talking about long-term plans and nothing imminent, to wit:
Japan will overhaul its missile intercept command system starting in fiscal 2018 to cope with advancements in North Korea’s weapons technology, such as faster-descending missiles launched at a steeper trajectory.
The Japan Aerospace Defense Ground Environment, or JADGE, detects incoming missiles via radar and combines that information with data from American military satellites and other sources to determine the rockets’ trajectory and likely point of impact. If the missiles are expected to strike Japan, land- and ship-based interceptors are ordered to shoot them down.
But many believe the current system could have trouble dealing with high-powered missiles launched at a lofted trajectory, a method that sacrifices range for height and a speedy descent. The intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea launched last Wednesday took such a path. Rapidly calculating a high-flying missile’s speed and direction and determining whether it was launched by friend or foe requires a great deal of computing power, and “it is possible the current system would not be able to keep up” to intercept such a rocket, an official from the Ministry of Defense said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2017.
North Korea launched its Hwasong-15 ICBM into the waters west of Japan at 3:17 am local time on Wednesday. Barely six minutes later, South Korean artillery, air force, and Navy sprang into action and began firing missiles into the waters off eastern Korea – yet another military show of force meant to intimidate the North into ceasing its missile strikes.
The retaliatory display was calibrated to target a spot in the waters off the Korean peninsula that was exactly as far away as Pyongsong, a town about 20 miles north of Pyongyang where the Hwasong 15 was reportedly launched. The distance was meant to signify that the South Korean military could destroy the North’s missile launchers if it chose to do so, the Wall Street Journal.
But while the precision strike probably impressed any bystanders who were watching, in reality, the South’s technology for detecting and responding to North Korean missile launches is still unreliable.
But detecting missile tests is an imperfect science, involving misses as well as hits. In a conflict situation, North Korea is likely to take more steps to conceal its movements, for instance by deploying decoy launchers, said Yang Uk, senior defense researcher at the Korea Defense and Security Forum, a Seoul think tank. In such a scenario, the likelihood falls that South Korean, U. S. or Japanese forces would pinpoint the exact launch site, Mr. Yang said. Still, he viewed the South’s response to the missile test as a success, especially considering the short time the military needed to return fire.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.
Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,
In the morning darkness of Wednesday, Kim Jong Un launched an ICBM that rose almost 2,800 miles into the sky before falling into the Sea of Japan.
North Korea now has the proven ability to hit Washington, D. C.
Unproven still is whether Kim can put a miniaturized nuclear warhead atop that missile, which could be fired with precision, and survive the severe vibrations of re-entry. More tests and more time are needed for that.
Thus, U. S. markets brushed off the news of Kim’s Hwasong-15 missile and roared to record heights on Wednesday and Thursday.
President Donald Trump took it less well.
‘Little Rocket Man’ is one ‘sick puppy,’ he told an audience in Missouri.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.
Contrary to the South Korean government’s initial analysis, the missile launched by North Korea into the waters west of Japan yesterday could represent an important advancement in the country’s missile technology that would allow it to carry multiple warheads.
According to a report in Japanese business newspaper Nikkei, photos of the Hwasong-15 published by local North Korean media showcase a newly developed launch system and casing.
Rodong Sinmun, a mouthpiece for the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, published photos of the Hwasong-15, the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile, at liftoff and mounted on what appears to be a newly developed mobile launch system. The missile seems to involve a completely new rocket, judging by its size and shape, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said Thursday. The ministry’s initial analysis Wednesday claimed the Hwasong-15 was merely a retooled version of the Hwasong-14 ICBMs launched in July.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 30, 2017.
North Korea alarmed the international community on Tuesday when, after a two-month lull, it fired a Hwasong-15 ICBM into the waters west of Japan. State media touted the launch as its most powerful missile yet. Judging by the missile’s peak height reached during its flight, experts say the North now has the capacity to strike nearly any location in the Continental US. Now, the North’s state media released dozens of photos and a video after Wednesday’s launch of the new Hwasong-15 missile, which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared had ‘finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force’. The photos show Kim Jong-un personally overseeing the launch of the missile, an obvious source of national pride.
Pyongyang claimed the Hwasong-15 reached an altitude of around 4,475 kilometers and flew 950 kilometers during its flight, which lasted 53 minutes.
Kim Jong-un was shown in delight as the newly developed intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15’s test was successfully launched, in these photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang November 30, 2017.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 30, 2017.
In yet another apparent attempt at igniting a full-scale war, North Korea has conducted a test of what many believe to be the countries most powerful ICBM ever launched, with the missile landing off the coast of the United States close ally Japan.
In response, South Korea conducted their own test-launch while leaders from the United States and Japan also condemned the renewed nuclear aggression.
‘North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile early this morning from Pyongsong, South Pyongan, to the east direction. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff is analyzing more details of the missile with the US side,’ said an official at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the South Korean military carried out a ‘precision missile strike drill’ just minutes after North Korea’s missile launch.
The precision missile strike matched the flight distance of the North Korean missile and landed in waters off the east coast of South Korea.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff added that its counter drill tested a scenario of simultaneously hitting a target through the land, air and sea, but did not elaborate further.
‘South Korea apparently used this launch to prove it has the ability to hit the North’s mobile missile launchers or leadership targets,’ according to Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists who previously worked as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
‘It is a measured and pointed response but also a reminder that the peninsula remains on hair trigger alert, he told CNN. ‘In this situation, provocations or even mistakes could quickly escalate out of control.’
This post was published at shtfplan on November 28th, 2017.
Update 2: The Pentagon says initial assessment of North Korean launch “was an ICBM, traveled about 1,000 km before splashing into Sea of Japan,” Reuters reports. Separately, Yonhap notes that the North Korea missile reached an altitude of 4,500 km and flew 960km.
* * *
Update: In response to the launch, the South Korean military has staged a “precision strike” missile exercise in response, Yonhap reports citing the JCS. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has confirmed that the North Korean launch took place at 1:30pm EST, and was still assessing.
Separately, the office of the Japanese PM said the North Korean missile landed off the coast of Japan, likely inside the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Well, US experts did warn that North Korea could conduct another missile test “within days”, and for once, US experts were right, because moments ago Yonhap reported citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, that after a two and a half month hiatus, North Korea has fired a ballistic missile, the first such launch since September 15. The launch marks the first time North Korean has provoked the US and regional nations since US President Donald Trump labelled Pyongyang a state sponsor of terrorism.
“North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile eastward from the vicinity of Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province, at dawn today,” the S. Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
According to the report, the missile flew eastward and the South Korean military is analyzing details with the U. S. Japan’s coast guard confirmed that North Korea fired a missile, which fell in the sea near Japan. The Japanese cabinet office said that the N. Korea missile landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and thus could be seen as an act of aggression.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 28, 2017.