With the USS Carl Vinson carrier group steaming toward the Korean peninsula for what some speculate may be to launch a “decapitation” strike on the Kim Jong-Un regime, on Tuesday North Korean state media threatened the US with a nuclear attack at any sign of a U.S. pre-emptive strike, and warned it is ready for “war” as Washington tightened the screws on the nuclear-armed state.
USS Carl Vinson carrier group
North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the country was prepared to respond to any aggression by the United States. “Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theatre but also in the U.S. mainland,” it said.
The North’s foreign ministry, in a statement carried by its KCNA news agency, said the U.S. navy strike group’s approach showed America’s “reckless moves for invading had reached a serious phase”.
The threat of chemical weapons proliferation and use is posed not only by Syria, but also by North Korea, Japan’s Defense Minster Tomomi Inada said Tuesday.
“The threat of proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction [WMD], such as nuclear weapons and chemical weapons, is not only problem of Syria. It might happen in East Asia, in North Korea,” Inada was quoted as saying by the Kyodo news agency.
The defense minster added that the US deterrence was necessary for peace and stability in the region.
The statement comes following the decision taken on Saturday to send US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and its strike group to Korean peninsula from Singapore.
On Sunday, US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Herbert McMaster stressed that a preventive strike against North Korea would be legitimate, since the fact that Pyongyang possessed nuclear arms was unacceptable, adding that Trump asked military to be prepared for ‘full range of options’ to eliminate the threat from North Korea.
Anyone in mainland China with a lot of money to move — companies foreign or domestic, or individuals — now seems likely to run into the capital controls that the authorities have thrown up in hopes of stopping a sell-off in the currency.
Real estate tycoon Pan Shiyi has given up on selling the Hongkou Soho, a striking Shanghai office tower whose tenants include Japanese electronics group Panasonic. Located just north of the Bund, the city’s iconic waterfront, the building was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Pan had been looking to invest proceeds from the sale overseas but sees little hope of gaining approval for that.
Similar cases of apparent official obstruction have surrounded other foreign deals. Online game developer Giant Interactive’s agreed-on purchase of an Israeli peer for 30.5 billion yuan ($4.42 billion) remains under review. Technology group LeEco and conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group have yet to complete their respective U.S. acquisitions of television maker Vizio and TV studio Dick Clark Productions.
Meanwhile, total social financing, China’s broad measure of credit and liquidity, continues rising by double digits. With limited outlets to overseas, Chinese money has nowhere to go but domestic assets.
Washington will not take any military action against North Korea without holding consultations with Seoul, South Korean Defense Ministry Spokesman Moon Sang-kyun said Tuesday.
“[In case such operation occurs], then it will take place in the framework of the reliable South Korean-US joint defense based on close cooperation,” Moon said, stressing that the agreements reached by the Seoul-Washington alliance envisaged preliminary consultations on such an issue.
On April 8, US officials announced that aircraft carrier strike group was sent to the Korean peninsula amid rising tensions with North Korea. The decision followed April 5 reports on Pyongyang launching of a ballistic missile from Sinpho, South Hamgyong province, in the direction of the Sea of Japan.
Since the beginning of 2016, North Korea has carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests, prompting worldwide criticism. As a result, the UN Security Council tightened the sanctions regime for North Korea in an attempt to force Pyongyang to stop ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests, including imposing a measure intended to affect the country’s trade, export of natural resources, arms trade and the banking sector.
Globalisation of the renminbi – a key long-term goal for Beijing – is at its lowest point in three years as offshore dealing in the Chinese currency continues to shrink.
Standard Chartered’s analysts track offshore activity involving the currency, and their measure fell in February to its weakest point since March 2014. The 6.4 per cent fall in the bank’s Renminbi Globalisation Index was also the largest monthly drop since it began compiling the index.
The fall comes as China has worked to stabilise its currency since unexpected volatility in January 2016 triggered global market turmoil. This year, both the offshore and and onshore rates have traded in relatively tight ranges, which dealers believe has been engineered by the People’s Bank of China.
Crucially for China’s stability efforts, the offshore rate has also mostly traded at a stronger level against the dollar than its onshore cousin – a signalling trick designed to discourage the outflow pressure that built when a weaker offshore rate implied the currency would depreciate further.
Kelvin Lau, strategist at Standard Chartered, said the latest drop “adds conviction to our longstanding view that renminbi stability comes at the expense of renminbi internationalisation. China achieved its first capital inflows in 34 months in February, but mainly because of less outward direct investment and stricter capital controls on outflows.”
A fall in renminbi activity in Hong Kong was the biggest single contributor to the overall drop in activity, Standard Chartered said. Hong Kong is by far the currency’s largest offshore centre and renminbi deposits in the city have fallen by two-fifths in the past two years.