Central banks lie. That is what they do. Not too long ago, the Swiss National Bank promised that it would defend the euro/Swiss franc currency peg with the “utmost determination”. But on Thursday, the central bank shocked the financial world by abruptly abandoning it. More than three years ago, the Swiss National Bank announced that it would not allow the Swiss franc to fall below 1.20 to the euro, and it has spent a mountain of money defending that peg. But now that it looks like the EU is going to launch a very robust quantitative easing program, the Swiss National Bank has thrown in the towel. It was simply going to cost way too much to continue to defend the currency floor. So now there is panic all over Europe. On Thursday, the Swiss franc rose a staggering 30 percent against the euro, and the Swiss stock market plunged by 10 percent. And all over the world, investors, hedge funds and central banks either lost or made gigantic piles of money as currency rates shifted at an unprecedented rate. It is going to take months to really measure the damage that has been done. Meanwhile, the euro is in greater danger than ever. The euro has been declining for months, and now the number one buyer of euros (the Swiss National Bank) has been removed from the equation. As things in Europe continue to get even worse, expect the euro to go to all-time record lows. In addition, it is important to remember that the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s began when Thailand abandoned its currency peg. With this move by Switzerland set off a European financial crisis?
Of course this is hardly the first time that we have seen central banks lie. In the United States, the Federal Reserve does it all the time. The funny thing is that most people still seem to trust what central banks have to say. But at some point they are going to start to lose all credibility.
Financial markets like predictability. And gigantic amounts of money had been invested based on the repeated promises of the Swiss National Bank to use “unlimited amounts” of money to defend the currency floor. Needless to say, there are a lot of people in the financial world that feel totally betrayed by the Swiss National Bank today. The following comes from an analysis of the situation by Bruce Krasting…
Thomas Jordan, the head of the SNB has repeated said that the Franc peg would last forever, and that he would be willing to intervene in “Unlimited Amounts” in support of the peg. Jordan has folded on his promise like a cheap suit in the rain. When push came to shove, Jordan failed to deliver.
The Swiss economy will rapidly fall into recession as a result of the SNB move. The Swiss stock market has been blasted, the currency is now nearly 20% higher than it was a day before. Someone will have to fall on the sword, the arrows are pointing at Jordan.
The dust has not settled on this development as of this morning. I will stick my neck out and say that the failure to hold the minimum rate will result in a one time loss for the SNB of close to $100B. That’s a huge amount of money. It comes to 20% of the Swiss GDP!
Most experts are calling this an extremely bad move by the Swiss National Bank.
But in the end, they may have had little choice.
The euro is falling apart, and the Swiss did not want to be married to it any longer. Unfortunately, when any marriage ends the pain can be enormous. The following comes from CNBC…
How do you know you’re looking at a bad marriage?
Well if one or both of the spouses can’t wait to get out as soon as the smallest crack in the door opens, you have a pretty good clue.
Something like that just happened in Europe as we learned the real reason why so many traders were still invested in the euro: They had nowhere else to go.
As the Swiss National Bank unlocked the doors on its cap on trading euros for Swiss francs, the rush to exit the euro was faster than one of those French bullet trains.
But this move has not been bad for everyone. In fact, for many of those that live in Switzerland but work in neighboring countries what happened on Thursday was very fortuitous…
“I heard the news this morning. I’m so happy!” Vanessa, who refused to give her last name, told AFP outside of one of many mobbed exchange offices in Geneva.
She has reason to be extatic: she is one of some 280,000 people working in Switzerland but living and paying bills in eurozone countries France, Germany or Italy.
These so-called “frontaliers”, or border-crossers, are the biggest winners in Thursday’s Swiss franc surge, seeing their incomes jump 30 percent in the blink of an eye.
In normal times, things like this very rarely happen.
This move by the Swiss National Bank is just the beginning. Expect more desperate moves on the global economic chessboard in the days ahead. But in the end, none of those moves is going to prevent what is coming.
And one of these days, another extremely important currency peg is going to end. Right now, the Chinese have tied their currency very tightly to the U.S. dollar. This has helped to artificially inflate the value of the dollar. Unfortunately, as Robert Wenzel has noted, someday the Chinese could suddenly pull the rug out from under our currency, and that would be really bad news for us…
In other words, the SNB is no People’s Bank of China type patsy, where the PBOC has taken on massive amounts of dollar reserves to prop up the dollar.
Will the PBOC learn anything from SNB? If so, this will not be good for the US dollar.
So keep a close eye on what happens in Europe next.
It is going to be a preview of what is eventually coming to America.
An immensely powerful international organization that most people have never even heard of secretly controls the money supply of the entire globe. It is called the Bank for International Settlements, and it is the central bank of central banks. It is located in Basel, Switzerland, but it also has branches in Hong Kong and Mexico City. It is essentially an unelected, unaccountable central bank of the world that has complete immunity from taxation and from national laws. Even Wikipedia admits that “it is not accountable to any single national government.” The Bank for International Settlements was used to launder money for the Nazis during World War II, but these days the main purpose of the BIS is to guide and direct the centrally-planned global financial system. Today, 58 global central banks belong to the BIS, and it has far more power over how the U.S. economy (or any other economy for that matter) will perform over the course of the next year than any politician does. Every two months, the central bankers of the world gather in Basel for another “Global Economy Meeting”. During those meetings, decisions are made which affect every man, woman and child on the planet, and yet none of us have any say in what goes on. The Bank for International Settlements is an organization that was founded by the global elite and it operates for the benefit of the global elite, and it is intended to be one of the key cornerstones of the emerging one world economic system. It is imperative that we get people educated about what this organization is and where it plans to take the global economy.
Sadly, only a very small percentage of people actually know what the Bank for International Settlements is, and even fewer people are aware of the Global Economy Meetings that take place in Basel on a bi-monthly basis.
Every two months, more than a dozen bankers meet here on Sunday evenings to talk and dine on the 18th floor of a cylindrical building looking out on the Rhine.
The dinner discussions on money and economics are more than academic. At the table are the chiefs of the world’s biggest central banks, representing countries that annually produce more than $51 trillion of gross domestic product, three-quarters of the world’s economic output.
The article goes on to describe the room that these Global Economy Meetings are held in. It sounds like something out of a novel…
The Bank of England’s Mr. King leads the dinner discussions in a room decorated by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, which designed the “Bird’s Nest” stadium for the Beijing Olympics. The men have designated seats at a round table in a dining area scented by white orchids and framed by white walls, a black ceiling and panoramic views.
The central bankers that gather for these meetings are not there just to socialize. No staff members are allowed into these meetings, and they are conducted in an atmosphere of absolute secrecy…
Serious matters follow appetizers, wine and small talk, according to people familiar with the dinners. Mr. King typically asks his colleagues to talk about the outlook in their respective countries. Others ask follow-up questions. The gatherings yield no transcripts or minutes. No staff is allowed.
So the fate of the world economy is determined by unelected central bankers in secret meetings that nobody ever hears about?
That certainly does not sound very “democratic”.
But this is the direction that “global governance” is taking us. The elite believe that the “big decisions” are far too important to be left “to the people”, and so most of the “international institutions” that have been established by the elite operate independently of the democratic process.
Sadly, the truth is that all of this has been planned for a very long time.
[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.
Back then, the Bank for International Settlements was only just starting to play a major role in global affairs. But over the years the BIS began to become increasingly important. The following is an excerpt from an article by Ellen Brown…
For many years the BIS kept a very low profile, operating behind the scenes in an abandoned hotel. It was here that decisions were reached to devalue or defend currencies, fix the price of gold, regulate offshore banking, and raise or lower short-term interest rates. In 1977, however, the BIS gave up its anonymity in exchange for more efficient headquarters. The new building has been described as “an eighteen story-high circular skyscraper that rises above the medieval city like some misplaced nuclear reactor.” It quickly became known as the “Tower of Basel.” Today the BIS has governmental immunity, pays no taxes, and has its own private police force. It is, as Mayer Rothschild envisioned, above the law.
Yes, it most definitely does bear a striking resemblance to the Tower of Babel as you can see from the photo in this article. Once again the global elite are trying to unite humanity under a single system, and that is most definitely not a good thing.
But many of these elitists are entirely convinced that “global governance” is what humanity desperately needs. They even publicly tell us what they plan to do, but most people are not listening.
For example, the following is an excerpt from a speech that former president of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet delivered to the Council On Foreign Relations in New York…
In the area of central bank cooperation, the main forum is the Global Economy Meeting (GEM), which gathers at the BIS headquarters in Basel. Over the past few years, this forum has included 31 governors as permanent members plus a number of other governors attending on a rotating basis. The GEM, in which all systemic emerging economies’ Central Bank governors are fully participating, has become the prime group for global governance among central banks.
The speech was entitled “Global Governance Today”, and you can find the full transcript right here. But most people have never even heard that such a thing as a “Global Economy Meeting” even exists because the mainstream media rarely discusses these sorts of things. They are too busy focusing on the latest celebrity scandal or the latest cat fights between the Republicans and the Democrats.
The mission of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in those areas and to act as a bank for central banks.
In broad outline, the BIS pursues its mission by:
promoting discussion and facilitating collaboration among central banks;
supporting dialogue with other authorities that are responsible for promoting financial stability;
conducting research on policy issues confronting central banks and financial supervisory authorities;
acting as a prime counterparty for central banks in their financial transactions; and
serving as an agent or trustee in connection with international financial operations.
The head office is in Basel, Switzerland and there are two representative offices: in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and in Mexico City.
But when you start looking into the details, things get much more interesting.
So exactly how does the BIS achieve “monetary and financial stability”? An article posted on investorsinsight.com described how this is accomplished…
It accomplishes this through control of currencies. It currently holds 7% of the world’s available foreign exchange funds, whose unit of account was switched in March of 2003 from the Swiss gold franc to Special Drawing Rights (SDR), an artificial fiat “money” with a value based on a basket of currencies (44% U.S. dollar, 34% euro, 11% Japanese yen, 11% pound sterling).
The bank also controls a huge amount of gold, which it both stores and lends out, giving it great leverage over the metal’s price and the marketplace power that brings, since gold is still the only universal currency. BIS gold reserves were listed on its 2005 annual report (the most recent) as 712 tons. How that breaks down into member banks’ deposits and the BIS personal stash is unknown.
By controlling foreign exchange currency, plus gold, the BIS can go a long way toward determining the economic conditions in any given country. Remember that the next time Ben Bernanke or European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet announces an interest rate hike. You can bet it didn’t happen without the concurrence of the BIS Board.
In recent years, it has become increasingly obvious who really has power over our economy.
When Barack Obama speaks, the markets usually move very little.
When Ben Bernanke speaks, the markets often respond with wild gyrations.
In all, 13 other central banks in the world have followed the Fed’s lead and set interest rates at or near zero in an effort to keep the liquidity spigots open and prop up their ailing economies. Those 14 economies represent a staggering $65 trillion in combined equity and bond market capitalizations, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Later on in that same article, the author discussed the enormous amounts of money that global central banks were creating out of thin air…
“When you add up all the central banks in the world, it’s going to be over $9 trillion,” said Marc Doss, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. “That’s like creating the second-largest economy in the world out of thin air.”
Indeed, central banking has become an economy unto itself, a multi-trillion-dollar empire that massages and manipulates markets, which respond to the slightest news out of the respective entities’ policy making committees.
So who controls the money?
The central banks of the world do.
And who controls those central banks?
The Bank for International Settlements does.
If we don’t like what the Bank for International Settlements is doing, can we do anything about it?
Maybe we’d feel better about the BIS if it were more transparent, but most everything about it, including its bi-monthly member and board meetings, is shrouded in secrecy. And perhaps more worrisome is that the BIS is free from oversight. By rights granted under its agreement with the Swiss Federal Council, all of the bank’s archives, documents and “any data media” are “inviolable at all times and in all places.” Furthermore, officers and employees of BIS “enjoy immunity from criminal and administrative jurisdiction, save to the extent that such immunity is formally waived . . . even after such persons have ceased to be Officials of the Bank.” Finally, no claims against BIS or its deposits may be enforced “without the prior agreement of the Bank.”
In other words they can do whatever they want, without consequences. How’s that for a leak-proof legal umbrella?
If the BIS wants to “intervene” in the financial markets, they simply just do it.
If the BIS wants to bail out big banks or even entire nations, they simply just do it.
The BIS reminds me of this old joke…
Q: Where does an 800 pound gorilla sit?
A: Anywhere it wants to.
So what is next for the Bank for International Settlements?
Well, many have speculated that eventually the goal is to have just a single global currency which will be administered by a single global central bank. The BIS is already using Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which are considered to be a precursor to the coming global currency. The BIS played a big role in the adoption of the euro, and more currency integration is almost certainly on the way in future years…
But in the end, how you feel about the BIS may come down to how you feel about a one-world currency. The bank was a major player promoting the adoption of the euro as Europe’s common currency. There are rumors that its next project is persuading the U.S., Canada and Mexico to switch to a similar regional money, perhaps to be called the “amero,” and it’s logical to assume the bank’s ultimate goal is a single world currency. That would simplify transactions and really solidify the bank’s control of the planetary economy.
But if the United States ever did give up the U.S. dollar, it would be a massive blow to our national sovereignty.
When someone else controls your money, it doesn’t really matter that much who makes the laws.
Unfortunately, the global elite seem absolutely obsessed with the idea of a global currency, a one world economic system and a global government.
None of those things will happen this year, but that is where we are moving. With each new crisis that arises, the solutions that we will be given will always involve more centralization and more globalization.
So what do you think about all of this?
Please feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below…
In recent days, the fact that Mitt Romney has millions of dollars parked down in the Cayman Islands has made headlines all over the world. But when it comes to offshore banking, what Mitt Romney is doing is small potatoes. The truth is that the global elite are hiding an almost unbelievable amount of money in offshore banks. According to shocking research done by the IMF, the global elite are holding a total of 18 trillion dollars in offshore banks. And that figure does not even count any money being held in Switzerland. That is a staggering amount of money. Keep in mind that U.S. GDP in 2010 was only 14.58 trillion dollars. So why do the global elite go to such trouble to hide their money in offshore banks? Well, there are two main reasons. One is privacy and the other is low taxation. Privacy is a big issue for those that are involved in illegal enterprises such as drug running, but the biggest reason why people move money into offshore banks is in order to avoid taxes. Some set up bank accounts in foreign nations because they want to legally minimize their taxes and others set up bank accounts in foreign nations because they want to illegally avoid taxes. You would be absolutely amazed at what some large corporations and wealthy individuals do to get out of paying taxes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the rest of us don’t have the resources or the knowledge to play these games, so we get taxed into oblivion.
So why do they call it “offshore banking”?
Well, the term originally developed because the banks on the Channel Islands were “offshore” from the United Kingdom. Most “offshore banks” are still located on islands today. The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Isle of Man are examples of this. Other “offshore banking centers” such as Monaco are actually not “offshore” at all, but the term applies to them anyway.
Traditionally, these offshore banking centers have been very attractive to both criminals and to the global elite because they would not tell anyone (including governments) about the money that anyone had parked there.
These days some governments (particularly the U.S. government) are trying to change this, but we certainly will not see the end of offshore banking any time soon.
The amount of money that goes through these offshore banks is absolutely astounding.
It has been estimated that 80 percent of all international banking transactions take place through these offshore banks. $1.4 trillion is being held in offshore banks in the Cayman Islands alone.
One article in the Guardian estimated that a third of all the wealth on the entire globe is being held in offshore banks, and others believe that as much as half of all the capital in the world flows through offshore banks at some point.
Obviously, all of this tax avoidance means that governments around the world are missing out on a whole lot of money.
It has been estimated that the U.S. government is missing out on $100 billion a year because of these offshore banks. Others would put that figure significantly higher.
Avoiding taxes is a game that the global elite have mastered. They are playing a whole different ballgame than you and I are. They don’t just sit there like idiots and get blasted with taxes. Instead, they hire the best experts and they employ every trick in the book to hold on to as much money as they possibly can.
These days, taking advantage of offshore tax havens is not that complicated to do. The following is from a recent Politico article….
A plausible scenario plays out like this: I hire an accountant. Doing her job, my accountant tells me that if I sign a few legal documents and route my money through a small Caribbean island, I could keep more of my paycheck and pay a lower tax rate. I may have earned my money in the United States, but legally I can claim that it was, in fact, earned in a tax haven.
If it is legal, perhaps more of us should look into this.
After all, if playing these kinds of games is good enough for Mitt Romney, then why isn’t it good enough for all the rest of us?
During a campaign stop recently, Romney said the following….
“I can tell you we follow the tax laws”
I certainly believe him when he says that. But it is what he said next that is troubling….
“And if there’s an opportunity to save taxes, we like anybody else in this country will follow that opportunity.”
I certainly believe him when he says that too.
ABC News recently revealed that Bain Capital has established an astounding 138 different offshore funds in the Cayman Islands.
Something has got to work pretty well to want to do it 138 times.
But Bain Capital was also very busy over in other offshore banking centers as well.
One of the largest shell companies that Bain set up down in the Caribbean was called Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. It did not have an office in Bermuda and it had no staff in Bermuda. But it helped clients of Bain Capital avoid a whole lot of taxes.
In Bermuda, Romney served as president and sole shareholder for four years of Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. It funneled money into Bain Capital’s Sankaty family of hedge funds, which invest in bonds and other debt issued by corporations, as well as bank loans.
Like thousands of similar financial entities, Sankaty maintains no office or staff in Bermuda. Its only presence consists of a nameplate at a lawyer’s office in downtown Hamilton, capital of the British island territory.
“It’s just a mail drop, essentially,” said Marc B. Wolpow, who worked with Romney for nine years at Bain Capital and who set up Sankaty Ltd. in October 1997 without ever visiting Bermuda. “There’s no one doing any work down there other than lawyers.”
The amount of money being funneled through Sankaty today is absolutely stunning….
Today, Bain Capital manages $60 billion in assets, according to a spokesman. The total includes $23 billion in Sankaty debt and credit funds. Half a dozen Sankaty affiliates now are active in Bermuda, corporate registry records show.
The Sankaty debt hedge funds are organized as partnerships in Delaware that produce taxable business income by investing in fixed-income bonds and other debt instruments. Under tax law, even tax-exempt U.S. institutions may face a 35% tax if they invest directly in such hedge funds. By investing instead through a Bermuda corporation, the taxes are legally blocked, experts say.
Of course all of this is perfectly legal.
So nobody gets into trouble for any of this.
By keeping money offshore, even those managing these kinds of funds can avoid being taxed.
“The idea behind some of the Cayman Island strategies was that the income that the fund managers receive for managing the money would be kept offshore in the Cayman Island — and the chief benefit is that you can defer when you recognize that income until a later date and you can reinvest the money from the Cayman islands and none of those reinvested funds get taxed until you bring them back either”
So was Romney doing this?
We may never know unless he shows us his tax returns.
What we do know is that Romney has millions of dollars of his own personal wealth invested in offshore tax havens.
In addition to paying the lower tax rate on his investment income, Romney has as much as $8 million invested in at least 12 funds listed on a Cayman Islands registry. Another investment, which Romney reports as being worth between $5 million and $25 million, shows up on securities records as having been domiciled in the Caymans.
But Romney does not just have money invested down in the Cayman Islands. Apparently his money is invested in a whole host of offshore tax havens.
Bain funds in which Romney is invested are scattered from Delaware to the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, Ireland and Hong Kong, according to a Reuters analysis of securities filings.
So is there anything wrong with this?
Well, it depends on how you define “wrong”.
What Romney is doing is perfectly legal.
But it also stinks. Washington lawyer Jack Blum recently told ABC News the following about Romney’s finances….
“His personal finances are a poster child of what’s wrong with the American tax system”
So now we may have a few hints as to why Romney may not want to release his old tax returns.
But as noted above, what Romney is doing is just small potatoes compared to what the ultra-wealthy do.
The U.S. Congress has been trying to clamp down on offshore banking, but the ultra-wealthy are always two or three steps ahead of them.
The ultra-wealthy will go to just about any extreme in order to avoid paying taxes.
In fact, the Washington Post has reported that an increasing number of wealthy individuals are actually deciding to renounce their citizenship rather than face the wrath of the IRS.
The ultra-wealthy aren’t really concerned that much with national citizenship anyway. If they want to influence an election, they can have far more influence by donating a few million bucks to a “Super PAC” than they can by casting the few votes that they have.
In a previous article, I described how the ultra-wealthy use offshore banks as a “shadow banking system” that plays by rules that most people don’t even know exist….
It is a shadow banking system that most Americans don’t know anything about. Most Americans don’t have the resources to be able to set up shell companies in half a dozen different countries so that they can “filter” their profits. Most Americans don’t know a thing about complicated tax avoidance plans that tax lawyers use such as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich”. Most Americans would have no idea how to eventually have most of the money that they make end up in Bermuda so that it can avoid taxes.
Most among the global elite simply do not care that U.S. debt is climbing into the stratosphere. All they care about is keeping as much of their own money in their pockets as they possibly can.
Of course there are always exceptions to this rule. Warren Buffett recently wrote a check to the U.S. Treasury for a little more than $49,000 to help pay off the national debt.
But considering the fact that the U.S. national debt is increasing by more than 100 million dollars an hour, that didn’t exactly do much to help.
Our system is deeply broken and the global elite are getting away with bloody murder. Over the decades, they have carefully crafted the rules so that as much wealth as possible is funneled into their pockets, and they have carefully crafted the rules so that as much wealth as possible stays in their pockets.
Of course if we got rid of the personal income tax and the corporate income tax entirely and replaced them with a completely new system we could get rid of all of this game playing once and for all.
But what do you think the odds are of that happening?
A new era has arrived for North Korea and nobody in the western world really knows exactly what is going to happen next. Kim Jong-Il is dead, and now control over the most bizarre country on earth has been handed over to 29-year-old Kim Jong-Un. Many believe that he is even younger than that. North Korea was already quite unstable while Kim Jong-Il was leading it, and now we have a young man that is going to be eager to “prove himself” to the North Korean hierarchy. Unfortunately, a lot of young men under the age of 30 don’t handle fame and fortune too well, and a lot of them tend to be hot-headed. Hopefully Kim Jong-Un will turn out to be a reformer that will open up the doors of North Korea, but he could also end up being worse than his father. We just do not know at this point. We know that Kim Jong-Un was educated in Switzerland as a boy, we know that he speaks French, English and German, and we know that he is reportedly a fan of the NBA. Other than that, we just don’t know a whole lot about him. What we do know is that Kim Jong-Un is a product of a totalitarian society that is absolutely obsessed with destroying the United States, and that is a very frightening thing.
Today, North Korea has the fourth largest army in the entire world, and we know that Kim Jong-Un was named a four-star general in 2010. The United States has about 28,000 soldiers stationed in South Korea, but that number is absolutely dwarfed by the 1,000,000 soldiers in the North Korean army.
Most Americans do not realize this, but the Korean war never actually ended. A ceasefire brought the military conflict to a conclusion in 1953, but there was never a peace treaty. For nearly 60 years, the two sides have been staring each other down along the 38th parallel.
All during that time, North Korea has been arming itself to the teeth. North Korea is a nation that is absolutely obsessed with the military and that is absolutely obsessed with destroying the United States.
Most Americans don’t spend much time thinking about North Korea, but most North Koreans are focused on the United States every single day. We are constantly held up as the great enemy, and North Koreans are taught that one day they will defeat us.
Today, North Korea has thousands of missile batteries and the largest artillery force in the world. If war with North Korea erupts, Seoul would be flattened within minutes.
Right now, there are approximately 24.5 million people living either in or around Seoul, and that makes it the second largest metropolitan area in the entire world. Even if North Korea did not nuke Seoul, the devastation caused by thousands of rockets and the largest artillery force on the planet would be unimaginable.
North Korea also has a navy with more than 700 vessels, the largest submarine fleet on the entire globe and a fleet of about 1,650 aircraft.
But most importantly, North Korea has nukes.
Everyone agrees that North Korea has conducted nuclear tests and that they have an arsenal of nuclear weapons, but nobody really knows how big that arsenal is.
It is believed that the latest long-range missiles that North Korea has developed have the ability to reach the west coast of the United States, which is a very frightening thought.
But North Korea is never satisfied with where they are at. They are always developing new weapons.
For example, there have been reports that North Korea has tested a “super EMP weapon” which would be capable of taking out most of the U.S. power grid in a single shot.
North Korea is no joke. North Korea has the ability to take out Seoul or Tokyo at any time. A military conflict with North Korea could plunge the world into a devastating economic collapse in just a matter of days.
Meanwhile, the United States continues to disarm. Thanks to recent treaties that the Obama administration has signed with Russia, the size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has been reduced by over 90 percent.
That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but then again not much that the Obama administration does makes sense.
North Korea is a very powerful enemy and they should not be underestimated. Unfortunately, most of our politicians seem to be clueless when it comes to foreign policy these days.
Was it just a test-firing that was regularly scheduled?
With North Korea you just never know.
At this point, the South Korean military has been put on a state of high alert. South Korea is hoping that the transition of power in North Korea will go smoothly, and they are certainly watching things very closely.
The North Korean media is most definitely backing Kim Jong-Un, but that doesn’t mean that Kim Jong-Un is out of the woods yet.
Mike Chinoy, a senior fellow at the U.S. China Institute, says that there may be significant challenges to the authority of Kim Jong-Un in the months ahead….
“How does somebody who’s not yet 30 win the loyalty and respect and command authority over the entrenched party apparatus, the entrenched military bureaucracy, and the senior party officials who may have been in their positions for a long time?”
That is a very good question. Could someone in the North Korean military rise up to challenge Kim Jong-Un? It seems unlikely, but you never know.
Meanwhile, most of the focus in North Korea is still on the death of the “dear leader”. The passing of Kim Jong-Il has once again demonstrated why North Korea is widely considered to be the most bizarre country on earth.
State television, which delivered the shock news in a tearful announcement, aired footage from Pyongyang of hysterical North Koreans, young and old, pounding the ground in a display of abject grief.
People on the streets of the North Korean capital wailed, some kneeling on the ground or bowing repeatedly as they learned the news that their ‘Dear Leader’ had died of heart failure while carrying out official duties on a train trip.
“How could the heavens be so cruel? Please come back, general. We cannot believe you’re gone,” Hong Son Ok cried in an interview with the country’s official broadcaster, her body shaking.
Video footage of North Koreans mourning the “dear leader” is posted below….
Of course it must be remembered that if you do not mourn the “dear leader” properly, you and your entire family could get shipped off to a prison camp.
In North Korea, if authorities even suspect that you are not thinking the right thing, you and your entire extended family could be sent to a gulag for the rest of your life.
It is that kind of fear and repression that enabled Kim Jong-Il to maintain such tight-fisted control.
Without a doubt, Kim Jong-Il was truly bizarre. Kim John-Il enjoyed endless luxuries while his people deeply suffered. It has been reported that he had a collection of more than 20,000 movies, and it is said that he composed six operas. It is also claimed that he shot 38 under par (including 11 holes-in-one) the first time he ever played golf.
“While Interviewee 17 was in the North Korean Army, his unit was dispatched to widen the highway between Pyongyang and the nearby port city of Nampo. They were demolishing a vacated house in Yongkang county, Yongkang district town, when in a basement between two bricks they found a Bible and a small notebook that contained 25 names, one identified as pastor, two as chon-do-sa (assistant pastors), two as elders, and 20 other names, apparently parishioners, identified by their occupations. The soldiers turned the Bible and notebook over to the local branch of Department 15 of the Korean Workers Party (KWP), but the Party officials said it was up to the military police unit, Bowisaryungbu gigwanwon, to investigate. Tracked down at their place of work through the listing of occupation in the notebook, the 25 persons were picked up without formal arrest by the military bowibu. The interviewee was not aware of any judicial procedures for those seized. In November 1996, the 25 were brought to the road construction site. Four concentric rectangular rows of spectators were assembled to watch the execution. Interviewee 17 was in the first row. The five leaders to be executed – the pastor, two assistant pastors, and two elders – were bound hand and foot and made to lie down in front of a steamroller. This steamroller was a large construction vehicle imported from Japan with a heavy, huge, and wide steel roller mounted on the front to crush and level the roadway prior to pouring concrete. The other twenty persons were held just to the side. The condemned were accused of being Kiddokyo (Protestant Christian) spies and conspiring to engage in subversive activities. Nevertheless, they were told, “If you abandon religion and serve only Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, you will not be killed.” None of the five said a word. Some of the fellow parishioners assembled to watch the execution cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed beneath the steamroller. Interviewee 17 thought, at the time, that these church people were crazy. He thought then that religion was an “opiate,” and it was stupid for them to give up their lives for religion. He heard from the soldiers who took away the other twenty prisoners that they were being sent to a prison camp.”
Could you imagine watching your loved ones die like that?
Famine has also been a huge ongoing problem in North Korea.
There have actually been reports of cannibalism in North Korea during times of extreme famine. A number of years ago, the Washington Post shared what one 29-year-old female defector told them about the cannibalism that she witnessed….
“When one is very hungry, one can go crazy. One woman in my town killed her 7-month-old baby, and ate the baby with another woman.”
The amazing thing is that the 29-year-old female defector did not even consider the cannibalism to be wrong….
“I can’t condemn cannibalism. Not that I wanted to eat human meat, but we were so hungry. It was common that people went to a fresh grave and dug up a body to eat meat. I witnessed a woman being questioned for cannibalism. She said it tasted good.”
So is there anyone out there that still wants to move to North Korea?
National Geographic once did an amazing documentary on what life is like inside North Korea, and if you have not seen it yet, you can view it on YouTube right here. It is absolutely incredible that there are people on earth that are living like that.
Hopefully the rest of us can learn a lesson from them. A totalitarian police state may make you feel a little bit “safer”, but no rational person should ever want to live in one.
The funny thing is that the North Korean people supposedly have rights. If you can believe it, the North Korean constitution actually guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
The American people need to understand that just because the U.S. Constitution says that we have rights does not mean that we will always have them. In fact, today our First Amendment rights are being brutally assaulted.
As I wrote about recently, the United States is becoming a little more like North Korea every single day. If we do not stand up for our rights, eventually they will all be gone.
It has been said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Throughout history, most societies have not enjoyed the same freedoms that we enjoy today. There always seems to be a tendency for governments to become repressive and to go down the road that North Korea has gone.