UN on reports that North Korea have developed nuclear warheads for ballistic missiles

Reuters siting a confidential UN sanctions monitor report they have sighted

  • North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons program
  • Report says several countries assess North Korea has ‘probably developed miniaturized nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missiles’

News on escalations re NK are yen positive although the market has become a little complacent on such reports. Yen is not moving much on this report.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un says nuclear deterrence guarantees national safety

South Korean media, Yonhap, with the headline:

  • N.K. leader says self-defense nuclear deterrence will guarantee national safety permanently
Yonhap citing NK state media KCNA for the comments from Kim – part of a speech
South Korean media, Yonhap, with the headline:

China says can expel hundreds of US “diplomats” who actually worked for CIA in Chinese mainland

Via the Global Times: China can consider targeted strike to retaliate the US on the forced closure of the consulate in Houston

  • expelling hundreds or even more US “diplomats” who actually worked for CIA in Chinese mainland and Hong Kong
GT citing a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing
Via the Global Times: China can consider targeted strike to retaliate the US on the forced closure of the consulate in Houston

US Sec State Pompeo says China threat to economy, liberty

Title is “Communist China and the Free World’s Future”

Pompeo is unleashing on China
  • China military growing stronger, more menacing
  • China filed to halt spread of coronavirus
  • Free world must triumph over this new tyranny
  • Must distrust China

    • Xi is a true believer in bankrupt totalitarian ideology
    • China using “slave labour”
    • Huawei a true national security threat
    • Chinese consulate in Houston was a hub of spying and IP theft
    • Chinese people distinct from the Chinese Communist Party – must engage with the people
    • Communists always lie
    • CCP fears the Chinese peoples’ opinions
    • its time for free nations to act to protect their own economic prosperity, its ideals from the tentacles of the CCP
    • “The old paradigm of blind engagement with China has failed. We must not continue it. We must not return to it.”
china speech pompeo

China says US is breaking down the friendship bridge between the two countries

Comments by the Chinese foreign ministry

US China
  • US allegations are malicious slandering
  • Repeats vow to make necessary response to US actions
  • Says unaware of state television reportedly pulling EPL broadcasts off the air

As much as the headline sounds “bad”, actions speak louder than words. The comments don’t really signify much of an escalation to be honest. If shutting down consulates is the new tariffs, markets aren’t likely to react much more than they already have.

Trump has a 91% chance of winning the November 2020 election says Primary Model

The Primary Model is the work of Stony Brook professor Helmut Norpoth

  • has correctly predicted five out of six elections since 1996
  • Norpoth says his model would have correctly predicted the outcome for 25 of the 27 elections since 1912
His model calculates the winning candidate based on early presidential nominating contests
The Primary Model is the work of Stony Brook professor Helmut Norpoth

North Korea says it has no intention to sit down with the US

Bloomberg with the headline citing NK state media KCNA

KCNA attributing the comment to the director of NK foregin ministry
Relations between Kim and Trump have cooled notably.
Bloomberg with the headline citing NK state media KCNA
You never know what those dastardly American will do, right?

Thousands of US troops will shift to Asia-Pacific to guard against China

Facing what a Trump administration official recently called “the most significant geopolitical challenge since the end of the Cold War” in the Indo-Pacific theater, the U.S. military will embark on a realignment of its global posture.

Several thousand of the troops currently posted in Germany are expected to redeploy to American bases in Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, Japan and Australia.

Priorities have changed. During the Cold War, American defense strategists thought it important to maintain a massive land force in Europe to keep the Soviet Union at bay. In the 2000s, the focus was primarily on the Middle East as the U.S. waged its “war on terrorism” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now the game planning centers on China.

To counter the “two great-power competitors” of China and Russia, “U.S. forces must be deployed abroad in a more forward and expeditionary manner than they have been in recent years,” wrote Robert O’Brien, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece late last month.

Toward this end, the administration will reduce its force permanently stationed in Germany from 34,500 troops to 25,000.

The 9,500 who are leaving will be reassigned elsewhere in Europe, redeployed to the Indo-Pacific region, or sent back to bases in the U.S.

On the Indo-Pacific, O’Brien wrote: “In that theater, Americans and allies face the most significant geopolitical challenge since the end of the Cold War.”

Beijing continues to pour money into its forces, for instance. The Japanese government’s defense white paper estimates that China’s true defense spending exceeds its announced annual budget, which amounts to roughly triple Russia’s.

The crux of the Chinese defense strategy is anti-access/area denial, or A2/AD — an effort to keep American ships and fighter jets from approaching the shores of China. Toward this end, the Chinese have been strengthening their precision missile systems and sophisticated radar capabilities.

Analysts see three trends in the U.S. military’s global operations. One is the geographical shift from Europe and the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific. Second is the shift from land-based combat to an “Air-Sea Battle” concept. The third, and perhaps most characteristic to Trump, is a desire to hold down defense spending. Continue reading »

China says that US have “gone too far” on sanctions

China continues to voice their dissatisfaction over the US sanctioning Chinese officials on the Hong Kong issue

US China
  • Says Beijing, Hong Kong will reciprocate if US takes further measures
China already said that they will hit back yesterday here but amid talk of barring financial institutions to provide accounts or do business with sanctioned Chinese officials, it is continuing to stir the pot between the two.
As much as the facade of the Phase One trade deal is still in place, tensions between the US and China will not be going away any time soon.

Trump’s national security adviser speech today, equated China’s Xi to Josef Stalin

Politico with the report, looks like US-Chia relations are going to chill further if this is a widely held view in the administration:

 Robert O’Brien, President Trump’s national security advise
  • “The Chinese Communist Party is Marxist-Leninist,” he said. “The party General Secretary Xi Jinping sees himself as Josef Stalin’s successor.”
O’Brien faulted both political parties
Link here for the report
Sheesh, politics. These geopol tensions are a negative for risk trades.