Daily Archives: April 9, 2013
Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index dropped 1.3 points in march to 89.5, 1.2 points below the recovery average.
February wholesale inventories fell -0.3%, while sales rose 1.7%, pulling the stock-to-sales ratio down to 1.19.
In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a 2.5% year-on-year sales increase, as sales slowed following the Easter week. ICSC-Goldman store sales rose 0.7% in the week, with sales up a soft 2.1% year-over-year.
Apparently Marshall Poppin Fresh is still mouthing off about war. Now his state run media has issued a warning to “foreigners” in South Korea:
North Korea issued its latest dispatch of ominous rhetoric on Tuesday, telling foreigners in South Korea they should take steps to secure shelter or evacuation to protect themselves.
The unnerving message, announced by state-run media, follows a warning from the North last week to diplomats in
its capital city, Pyongyang, that if war were to break out, it would not be able to guarantee their safety.
North Korea has unleashed a torrent of dramatic threats against the United States and South Korea in recent weeks, but many analysts have cautioned that much of what it is saying is bluster.
It appears what we’re likely to see is some missile tests in lieu of “war”. Why? Well the WSJ says:
While a missile launch would be seen as a major provocation, South Korean and U.S. officials have repeatedly said there are no signs that North Korea is preparing for any kind of attack. Instead, a missile test and possibly a new nuclear test by the North are seen as efforts to keep tensions high, hone the isolated state’s weapons technology and send an internal message of military strength.
Trust me, we have the means to know and we certainly know what “war prep” would look like. Massive mobilization
and extensive troop movements would be easily spotted. Apparently none of that is happening.
In fact, we may find war to be less of a threat the more belicose they are, if you want to believe the experts and the NORK record:
Experts and officials say that while the current period of harsh language and provocative behavior still carries a risk of accidentally spilling into military confrontation, North Korea’s record shows it poses more of a threat when it is not making warlike statements.
“I worry more about North Korea when they are not rattling the saber,” said Scott Snyder, an expert on North and South Korea at the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank.
Acts of aggression from North Korea, experts note, are almost always surprise attacks designed to cower South Korean administrations that have taken a tough line with the North or that aren’t providing sufficient aid.
Note the last phrase. In fact, all of this may be North Korea simply establishing a bargaining position.