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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 18-Dec-2010
18-Dec-10 News -- North Korea threatens new artillery strikes on Yeonpyeong Island

Web Log - December, 2010

18-Dec-10 News -- North Korea threatens new artillery strikes on Yeonpyeong Island

Moody's cuts Ireland's credit ratings by 5 notches

North Korea threatens new artillery strikes on Yeonpyeong Island

North Korea warned late Friday of new artillery strikes on Yeonpyeong Island, according to Korea Times. This island was the target of North Korea's artillery shells last month, killing two South Korean civilians and two marines. This attack has shocked South Koreans out of complacency.

The new threat comes as South Korea is planning naval live fire exercises in South Korean waters near Yeonpyeong Island. North Korea blamed similar exercises last month for its artillery attack on civilians.

In Friday's statement, the North's military said, "We will mercilessly respond to the exercise with rounds of self-defensive attacks. The intensity and range of the firepower will create a more serious situation than one on November 23," referring to the date of the previous incident.

Earlier in the day, North Korea threatened a major nuclear war with the South, according to Yonhap. In that statement, the North Koreans said, "If war breaks out, it will lead to nuclear warfare and not be limited to the Korean Peninsula."

China and Russia both asked South Korea to cancel the live fire drills, rather than risk provoking another confrontation. However, South Korea's people are becoming increasingly nationalistic, following the North's previous attacks, and further conciliatory moves by the South will be widely viewed as weakness.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said that the exercise posed no threat to North Korea, according to AFP. "A country has every right to train and exercise its military in its own self-defense. North Korea should not use any future legitimate training exercises as a justification to undertake further provocative action."

As I've said several times in the past, it seems increasingly likely that the North Korean leaders are looking for an opportunity to start a war, and they may even believe that they can quickly win, because nobody will want to fight back for long. This assumption was made by the Japanese when the bombed Pearl Harbor and by the American South when they fired on Fort Sumter. This may be a safe assumption for many decades, but once a country enters a generational Crisis era, the assumption no longer holds.

Japan's new defense guideline focuses on China's military rise

Japan's new National Defense Program Guideline, announced on Friday, outlines defense policy for the next ten years, according to the Japan Times.

The new guidelines points to a Japan that's considerably more militaristic than the country has been since the end of World War II. However, it indicates less focus than in the past on Japan's former Cold War foe, Russia.

The guideline's strongest language for threats from China and North Korea, and lays out "dynamic defense capabilities" that will allow greater flexibility in responding to threats from these two countries. This is a major policy shift from the traditional basic defense force concept, which allows Japan to posess only the minimum necessary forces, according to the Japan Times.

The guideline says that North Korea's recent military activities, including its nuclear weapons program, are "an urgent and grave destabilizing factor" in regional security.

The guideline describes China's military rise and other actions as a "matter of concern for the region and the international community."

China Foreign Ministry immediately blasted Japan's new defense policy as "irresponsible," according to the Xinhua, saying that China had no intention of threatening anybody. "A certain country has no right to act as a representative of the international community and make irresponsible remarks on China's development," she said.

As I've said a number of times in the past, it's becoming clearer how countries will line up in the approaching Clash of Civilizations world war: China, North Korea, Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim countries will be allied against the U.S., South Korea, Japan, India, Russia, Israel and Iran.

Additional links

Moody's cut Ireland's credit ratings by an enormous five notches on Friday, reflecting widespread market belief that, at some point, Ireland will default on its debt. The yield (interest rate) demanded by investors on Ireland's 10-year bonds rose to an astronomical 8.7%. However, there is little danger of default until the middle of next year, because of an EU bailout plan. The EU is unhappy with Moody's decision, and is exploring new ways to control ratings agencies. Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has succeeded in beating off attempts to force German taxpayers to bail out PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) countries, or other countries, that are threatening to default on their debt. At an EU financial summit, the leaders promised to do everything necessary to save the euro, but in the final result nothing has changed because every country still has veto power over future bailouts. Euro Intelligence

As the new flu season begins, there have been a surge of H1N1 swine flu cases in Britain. 15 patients have died, and over 100 patients are in intensive care. There has been no swine flu pandemic in the last couple of years, but a pandemic is still a possibility. Independent

The 'Red Corridor' of regions  fully or partially controlled by the Maoists (Naxalites) <font size=-2>(Source: Asia Times)</font>
The 'Red Corridor' of regions fully or partially controlled by the Maoists (Naxalites) (Source: Asia Times)

India's greatest internal threat is thought to be from the Maoist (Naxalite) terrorists that occupy rural areas in the "Red Corridor," stretching along the entire southeast of the country. (See "19-May-10 News -- Maoist terrorism puts India on high alert.") Now the Maoists are expanding their terror networks by expanding into big cities, including Calcutta (Kolkata) and Delhi. Institute of Peace & Conflict Studies (IPCS)

With the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks completely stalled, several Latin American countries have proposed unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian state along pre-1967 borders. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives in Washington approved a measure condemning unilateral measures to declare or recognise a Palestinian state. The Palestinian Authority on Friday said it regretted the House of Representatives decision. In a statement, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said, "We have devoted ourselves to negotiations for nearly two decades and today we are trapped in a framework that thus far has not yet lifted the occupation. AFP.

Pakistan is rejecting criticism by the US that Pakistan hasn't done enough to help with the Afghanistan war. Earlier this week, President Obama said that progress has not come fast enough, and said, "So we will continue to insist to Pakistani leaders that terrorist safe havens within their borders must be dealt with." Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik dismissed criticism, saying, "If you see the statistics in terms of the casualties and injuries, it is Pakistan which has suffered the most in the world. We have done a lot. We are suffering in terms of our economy and obviously it is affecting our common man in the country." VOA

According to an unconfirmed Wikileaks allegation: With a "neo-Ottoman" nationalistic resurgence taking place in Turkey, Turkey was prepared to go to war with Russia over the Muslim Adjara region of Georgia if necessary, during the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. Eurasia Review

After the massive neo-Nazi riots targeting Caucasian Muslims in Moscow the last few days, Moscow's Muslims are fearful of further violence. AFP

Although it's common wisdom that alcohol is a major cause of unnecessary death among Russian men, new research is producing surprising results on the extent of reckless drinking in Russia and its impact on heart disease. Eurasia Review

Six reasons why you should google your address. Wallet Pop

The Swiss investment bank UBS has issued a 43 page dress code specifying in minute detail what men and women can and cannot wear. Women are to wear flesh-­coloured underwear, and avoid flashy jewelry and colored artificial nails. Men are to choose ties with patterns that "match the bone structure of the face." Daily Mail

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 18-Dec-10 News -- North Korea threatens new artillery strikes on Yeonpyeong Island thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (18-Dec-2010) Permanent Link
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