Goolsbee Says Failure to Raise U.S. Debt Ceiling Would Be `Catastrophic'
bloomberg.com Jan 3, 2011
“I don’t see why anybody’s playing chicken with the debt ceiling,” Goolsbee said today on ABC’s “This Week” program. “If we get to the point where we damage the full faith and credit of the United States, that would be the first default in history caused purely by insanity.”
The Palestine question has lasted too long
The Viet Nam News Dec 31, 2010
On the first day of January 2011, we will celebrate the 46th anniversary of the launching of the Palestinian armed revolt, which started in 1965. The Palestinians are celebrating this event with hope and determination to continue their struggle to achieve their own independent state.
I believe the question of Palestine has lasted for too long and the time has come to settle this issue on the basis of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people including the rights of Palestinian refugees who have been shut out of their country since 1948 and the right of an independent Palestinian state to live side by side with Israel.
Israel Says is Preparing for Mother of All Flotillas
Aljazeera Sep 7, 2010
The coalition behind the new blockade-busting effort includes the Turkish IHH and the Free Gaza Movement, both of which were involved in the May flotilla. It is demanding âan immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including a lifting of the travel ban as well as the ban on exports from Gaza.â
---The last flotilla to Gaza was stopped by the navy at the end of May martyring nine Turkish passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara passenger ship.
---Turkey renewed threat of severing its relations with Israel, should Tel Aviv fail to redeem itself over its bloody attack the Mavi Marmara ship.
---Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday that "Israelis have three options: They will either apologize or acknowledge an international-impartial inquiry and its conclusion. Otherwise, our diplomatic ties will be cut off," Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.
WikiLeaks Reveals: Israel US Contrived for Unrest In Iran
Financial Time, London Dec 28, 2010
Financial Times writes on Dec 20 : "Israel sees Tehran as main threat, leaks say"
"As part of a “five-pillar” strategy outlined by Meir Dagan, the Mossad chief, in August 2007, he told Nicholas Burns, the Bush administration’s undersecretary of state, that more should be done to foment change in Iran. That would include support for student democracy movements and ethnic groups such as Azeris, Kurds and Baluchis.
The Iranian government of President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad has routinely accused the US and Israel of being behind internal unrest, both during contested 2009 elections and among ethnic minorities."
Iran Nuclear, the headlines do not match the story
Financial Times, London Sep 7, 2010
Editor CE: It is a surprise to see the Financial Times, a deservedly reputable business news international, knuckle under to the band playing war tunes against Iran with a propaganda laced piece by one James Blitz in London. Shame on Financial Times. The headline implies Iran is building up for bomb making, but the facts supporting the story say nothing of the kind. Iran has, it seems, enough low grade uranium (no bomb grade at all is mentioned) to run its one nuclear power plant. Furthermore, its enrichment program is going slowly with lots of problems. ---Iran says it has banned two IAEA inspectors because they were caught "leaking fabricated information." This should surprise no one but clearly other inspectors are allowed and this report suggests there is no harm and no foul. ---Finally the Financial Times story prints an equally irrational statement from the White House suggesting Iran is building up for weapons. --- If peace seeking Americans are to avoid another Iraq they need to become very vocal demanding peace, the drums for war are loud and clear played by the likes of the London based FT. It is clear to this editor that the Obama plan for an economic recovery has accepted the Neo-Con-Zionists plan of a new war to cure every recession.
---The FT story headline: "Iran increases nuclear stockpile"
"In its latest report on the state of Iran’s nuclear programme, the IAEA said the country had produced 2,803kg of uranium enriched to the purity needed to run a nuclear power station."----"But experts said a stockpile of this size meant that if Iran chose further to enrich this material to the level needed for nuclear weapons, it would be able to build nearly three bombs. "Tehran barred two inspectors in June after claiming they had leaked and fabricated information about the nuclear programme."----
"White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said: “The IAEA’s latest report on Iran again demonstrates that Iran is refusing to comply with its international nuclear obligations, and continues its effort to expand its nuclear program and move closer to a nuclear weapons capability.”
Al-Quds: Rally in Washington DC
New Trend Magazine, kaukab siddique Sep 6, 2010
New Trends writes: September 3, 2010: Palestinian flags, photos of Israeli atrocities, placards denouncing Zionism brought the message of Islam to Washington, D.C.’s Dupont Circle. It was an impressive gathering with powerful speakers.
---Charles Carlson provided a devastating analysis of Christian Zionism and the attempts to use the Bible to justify support for Israel. His eyewitness account of his visit to Gaza should help the followers of Jesus, pbuh, to understand how they have been supporting a power which is the enemy of Jesus, pbuh. Mr. Carlson’s DVD on Christian Zionism was distributed after Juma’. It should be viewed by all readers of New Trend and gifted to neighborhood churches.
Non-US banks gain from Fed crisis fund
Financial Times, Dec 20 Dec 27, 2010
"More than half of lending under the Fed’s term auction facility – the largest of its crisis programmes – went to foreign banks
. Details of the varied uses to which they put it may add to political criticism of the Fed.
One Korean bank official said: “It was the best option we had for raising foreign capital during the financial crisis.”
Ed Clark, TD (toronto Dominion) chief executive, said that using Taf was logical even though his bank never had a liquidity problem. “That wasn’t how we made a lot of money. But you make a dollar here, you make a dollar there. What’s the spread you make on a billion dollars?” he said."
More than 80 per cent of its collateral had a triple B credit rating at a time when such bonds yielded about 7 per cent. TD could therefore have made a notional gross spread of about $4m a month during 2008.
Aljazeera Dec 26, 2010
As Christians flock to the birthplace of Jesus, the plight of the city\'s Palestinian inhabitants goes unnoticed.
A recent study by Human Rights Watch cited the village of Jub Il Dib, in the district of Bethlehem, as an example of the devastating effect of racial discrimination as resources are channelled to the Jewish settlements that surround the Arab communities.
Tourists may not visit Jub Il Dib and may be excused for not knowing about what is happening there, but as they pass through the gate in Israel\'s separation wall, they may get a glimpse of what life is like for the besieged residents of Bethlehem who must have a permit to cross that same wall into Jerusalem or neighbouring Palestinian towns.
Iraqi Christians hold Xmas amid fears
Aljazeera Dec 26, 2010
In Iraq, special security precautions have been adopted to ensure safe Christmas ceremonies, following recent terrorist attacks against churches across the country.
Iraqi security forces have increased their presence on the streets by manning more checkpoints and conducting foot patrols, specifically in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Gaza-bound Asia 1 arrives in Lebanon
Press TV Dec 23, 2010
The first Asian humanitarian convoy to break Israel\'s siege of the Gaza Strip by taking relief supplies to the coastal sliver has reached Lebanon.
Mexico hedges against corn inflation
Financial Time, London Dec 23, 2010
Financial Times reports:
"Mexico has taken the unusual step of insuring itself against the effect of rising corn prices on tortilla
, a food staple for millions in the country, in the latest sign of growing concern about food inflation
in emerging countries."
Further, "Rising food inflation has become a big headache in countries from Mexico to China and India as bad weather has ruined crops, forcing prices up. "
"Bruno Ferrari told local media on Wednesday the government had bought futures contracts to fix the cost of corn. “The prices are guaranteed,” he said. “The supply is also guaranteed ... until the third quarter of the next year.” A government official confirmed his comments.
Mexican tortilla makers threatened last week to raise prices by 50 per cent to offset the impact of higher corn and natural gas costs. That has prompted fears of a repeat of the tortilla riots of 2007, when protesters demonstrated against rising food prices."
Bank of America stops handling WikiLeaks payments
AP Business Writer Dec 18, 2010
Bank of America Corp. has joined several other financial institutions in refusing to handle payments for WikiLeaks
Editor CE: Bailouts have produced effective banking monopolies. Now the Bank of America uses the economic strength they have stolen from the consumer to punish those they do not like. Why not show your support for Wikileaks by stopping all payments on your BA credit card? Just don\'t pay it! Let them try to collect...what do you have to loose...your credit rating? The WikiLeaks people are risking their lives. Further, if you have an account at BA, or with Merrill Lynch broker, just move your account somewhere else. Maybe to a small local bank if you can find one
"In an interview with CNBC on Friday, Assange said his organization plans to soon release information about banks, and he told Forbes magazine last month that the data would show "unethical practices."
Assange told Computerworld magazine in 2009 that his organization had a trove of files on Bank of America. "At the moment, for example, we are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive\'s hard drives. Now how do we present that? It\'s a difficult problem," he was quoted as telling the magazine."
Billboard campaign claims Jesus will return in May
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Dec 18, 2010
Seventy-nine percent of U.S. Christians say they believe Christ will return one day, according to a 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center\'s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Additionally, 20 percent of Christians in the United States believe it will happen in their lifetime.
Wall Street Sees Record Revenue in Recovery From Bailout
Bloomberg.com Dec 13, 2010
The record earnings of the control banks come after paying obscene bonuses fines and settlements for cheating customers who are suing the banks for various abuses that indirectly rob the public.
Bloomberg study tells us:
"Wall Street’s biggest banks, rebounding after a government bailout, are set to complete their best two years in investment banking and trading, buoyed by 2010 results likely to be the second-highest ever.
The five largest U.S. firms by investment-banking and trading revenue -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley -- will likely have a better fourth quarter than the previous two periods, driven by equity underwriting and higher volume in stock and bond trading, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Even if this quarter only matches the third, the banks’ revenue will top that of any year except 2009.
The surge has come after the five banks took a combined $135 billion from the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program and borrowed billions more from the Federal Reserve’s emergency-lending facilities in late 2008 and early 2009 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Since then, the firms have benefited from low interest rates and the Fed’s purchases of fixed-income securities."
WikiLeaks, Bernanke, and Hyperinflation
National Inflation Association Dec 10, 2010
"Bernanke promises that he won\'t let price inflation in the U.S. rise above 2%, but all Americans who live in the real world realize that price inflation is already well above 2%. Whether it be food, gas, heat, clothes, healthcare, college tuition, entertainment, or just about anything else, prices have risen over the past twelve months for just about all goods and services in America by a lot more than 2%. It is a real shame that absolutely nobody in the mainstream media has acknowledged this fact and called Bernanke out on it. Bernanke deserves to be impeached for his previous acts of perjury and for blatantly ignoring the price inflation that exists all around us.
Bernanke is trying to convince the world that he can create an economic recovery through "quantitative easing" (printing money), without creating price inflation, because he claims to have the tools to unwind the Federal Reserve\'s massive asset purchases. He is trying to trick the world into believing that he has the ability to pinpoint an exact time in which the U.S. economy is recovering without massive price inflation, where he can exit his inflationary strategy before prices start to dramatically rise. Bernanke has no exit strategy that he can implement without sending the U.S. economy into the next Great Depression.
More Than Half of Americans Want Fed Reined In or Abolished
Bloomberg News Dec 9, 2010
A majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation’s independent central bank, saying the U.S. Federal Reserve should either be brought under tighter political control or abolished outright, a poll shows.
The Fed was founded in 1913. While Congress sets its mandate, politicians let it determine how to achieve those goals through monetary policy and allow it to resolve differences of opinion among its seven board members and 12 Reserve Bank presidents.
Republicans in Congress have taken aim at the Fed’s dual mandate to achieve both maximum employment and stable prices. Last month, two Republicans, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker and Indiana Representative Mike Pence, proposed removing the employment mandate to focus the Fed on stable prices. Corker plans to introduce legislation next year.
FBI plant banned by mosque – because he was too extreme
The Independent, UK Dec 8, 2010
"The community feels betrayed," Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, an umbrella group of more than 75 mosques, told The Washington Post. "They got a guy, a bona fide criminal, and obviously trained him and sent him to infiltrate mosques... It\'s like a soap opera, for God\'s sake."
Monteilh, who had previously served time in prison for forgery, says he was recruited on his release in 2006 by FBI agents, who he met in doughnut shops and Starbucks outlets. After being given the code name "Oracle", he was told to root out radicals among the region\'s 500,000 practising Muslims.
Over the 15 months that he posed as al-Aziz, Monteilh was paid almost $200,000 to pass secret tape-recordings of his conversations with local worshippers to his handlers. He became a regular at a local gym patronised by young Muslim men.
"We started hearing that he was saying weird things," said Omar Kurdi, a Loyola Law School student who trained there. "He would walk up to one of my friends and say, \'It\'s good that you guys are getting ready for the jihad\'."
In May 2007, Monteilh recorded a conversation in which he suggested to Niazi and another young man that they blow up buildings. Niazi appeared to agree with the idea, and the tape was subsequently used as evidence in the terror case against him.
However, it now seems that Niazi had simply been attempting to humour someone he regarded as a dangerous extremist. Indeed, he was so concerned by "al-Aziz\'s" attempts to plot an attack that he reported it to community leaders, who passed details to police and took out a restraining order to prevent him from entering the Islamic centre.
Bank of America’s settlement is “likely the tip of the iceberg
Bloomberg news Dec 8, 2010
The government has identified more than a dozen firms, including JPMorgan Chase & Co.
, UBS AG
, and Societe Generale
as unindicted co-conspirators in a criminal case brought by the Justice Department against a Los Angeles investment broker.rosecutors have said that favored bankers got inside information from brokers who handled bidding for the contracts so they could carve up the market. In some cases, bankers admitted paying kickbacks to brokers.
“I had conversations prior to the bid with the broker about who the bidders were going to be and who was going to win or lose,” Campbell, the former Bank of America executive, told a federal judge when he pleaded guilty on Sept. 9, according to a court transcript.
Bernanke Says Fed May Take More Action to Curb Joblessness
Bloomberg News Dec 5, 2010
The Fed’s policy of purchasing Treasury securities shouldn’t be considered simply printing money, Bernanke said.
“Because the Fed is acting, I would say the risk is pretty low” of deflation, Bernanke said. “But if the Fed did not act, then given how much inflation has come down since the beginning of the recession, I think it would be a more serious concern.”
Bernanke said he is “100 percent” confident that, when necessary, the central bank can control inflation and reverse its accommodative monetary policy.
“We’ve been very, very clear that we will not allow inflation to rise above 2 percent,” he said.
“We could raise interest rates in 15 minutes if we have to,” he said. “So, there really is no problem with raising rates, tightening monetary policy, slowing the economy, reducing inflation, at the appropriate time.”
“The amount of currency in circulation is not changing,” he said. “The money supply is not changing in any significant way. What we’re doing is lowering interest rates by buying Treasury securities.”
The Fed has increased its balance sheet by expanding excess reserves at banks. The Fed reports two measures of the money supply. M1 includes all currency held by consumers and companies for spending, money held in checking accounts and travelers checks. M1 has risen 6.9 percent in the past year, compared to a 4.3 percent average increase since 2000, the Fed said last week.
“By lowering interest rates, we hope to stimulate the economy to grow faster,” Bernanke said. “The trick is to find the appropriate moment when to begin to unwind this policy.”
Longer-term interest rates, which had been falling since April as the economy slowed and speculation increased that the Fed would have to do more, have risen since the Fed’s Nov. 3 announcement of the bond purchases.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note increased 44 basis points to 3.01 percent on Dec. 3 from a month before, while the 30-year Treasury yield climbed 27 basis points to 4.31 percent. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.
College Scraps Helen Thomas Award; Student Give Her Standing Ovation
AOL News Dec 8, 2010
Thomas, 90, told a workshop on anti-Arab bias in Dearborn, Mich., that Jewish influence made it impossible to criticize Israel in the United States. "Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists," Thomas said on Thursday. "They put their money where their mouth is."
Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit, applauded Wayne State\'s decision to withdraw the award. "I think it was just very ironic that she made these comments at an event, the purpose of which was to address stereotyping," Cohen told the AP. "And it was very disappointing to know that she received a standing ovation from that audience."
Divine Punishment, Israel Burns, says Hamas Leader
Haaretz Dec 8, 2010
Ismail Haniyeh says Allah is punishing Israelis for \'what they did,\' during emergency prayers in Gaza City to ask for rain.
The de-facto Palestinian prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday that the massive forest fires in northern Israel served as a "strike from Allah [God]."
“JPMorgan was willfully blind to the fraud
Bloomberg News Dec 8, 2010
Madoff Trustee Sues JPMorgan, Claims Bank Was `Blind\' to Fraud
Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Irving H. Picard, the trustee liquidating Bernard Madoff’s former investment firm, sued JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $6.4 billion over claims the bank aided and abetted the imprisoned con man’s fraud. Picard, the lawyer appointed as trustee by a New York bankruptcy court, is seeking $1 billion in fees and $5.4 billion in damages. Bloomberg\'s Dawn Kopecki reports. (Source: Bloomberg)
The trustee liquidating Bernard Madoff’s former investment firm sued JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $6.4 billion over claims the bank aided and abetted the imprisoned con man’s fraud.
Irving H. Picard, the lawyer appointed as trustee by a New York bankruptcy court, said in a statement that he sued JPMorgan yesterday seeking $1 billion in fees and $5.4 billion in damages.
Crisis-hit banks flooded Fed with junk
Financial Times Dec 2, 2010
Financial Times wrote:
"Banks flooded the Federal Reserve with billions of dollars in “junk bonds” and other low-grade collateral in exchange for much-needed liquidity during the crisis, as the financial sector struggled under a crippling credit crunch, new data show.
More than 36 per cent of the cumulative collateral pledged to the US central bank in return for overnight funding under the Primary Dealer Credit Facility was equities or bonds ranked below investment grade. A further 17 per cent was unrated credit or loans, according to a Financial Times analysis of Fed data released this week."
Fed Withholds Collateral Data, Denying Taxpayers Gauge of Risk
Bloomberg News Dec 2, 2010
The Federal Reserve withheld details on individual securities pledged as collateral by recipients of $885 billion in central bank loans, denying taxpayers a measure of the risks they faced from its emergency aid.
The central bank yesterday released dataon 21,000 transactions from $3.3 trillion in emergency lending to stem the financial crisis. July’s Dodd-Frank law required the Fed to disclose the names of borrowers, the size and interest rates of loans, and “information identifying the types and amounts of collateral pledged or assets transferred.”
European Bank Chief Will Not Hesitate To Dilute The Euro
Financial Times Nov 30, 2010
Trichet hints at more bond purchases
"Jean-Claude Trichet, European Central Bank president, has left open the possibility of the bank significantly expanding its government bond purchases and warned markets not to underestimate Europe’s determination to resolve the escalating eurozone crisis.
\'Mr Trichet has insisted repeatedly that the ECB is not engaged in “quantitative easing
” as it has withdrawn liquidity from the financial system equal to the amounts it has spent on bonds, neutralizing any inflationary risks. That policy would almost certainly continue under an expanded scheme.\' Please use the link to reference this article. Do not copy & paste articles which is a breach of FT.com\'s Ts&Cs (www.ft.com/servicestools/help/terms) and is copyright infringement.
The ECB’s bond purchase programme
has been controversial within its governing council since its launch in May, with Axel Weber, president of Germany’s Bundesbank, voicing his opposition publicly."
GM Said to Aim for Up to $16 Billion in Stock Sale
Bloomberg.com Aug 12, 2010
Editor CE: So let's get this straight. First came "TARP", the Bush era scheme bail-out of the big banks. Then the US bought stock in GM that no one else would buy because it lost so much money in the loan business (banking). Now the US Treasury is selling its stock and no doubt we will be told what a wise investor the US Treasury is. In the meantime, the same bankers who were bailed out by TARP are lending money to GM, and will get giant fees for brokering all this stock back upon the public. Obviously the big banks win. But can anybody tell us, who is the loser in all these transactions? ---
Bloomberg tells us: GM has secured a $5 billion revolving line of credit from a group of at least 15 banks as of last night New York time, said the person. More than half are named in the draft of the document as underwriters, including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Credit Suisse Group AG.
Selim Bingol, a GM spokesman, declined to comment on details of the IPO.
“We will do an IPO when conditions are right for the company and in the markets,” he said in an e-mail.
Most of the shares offered would come from the U.S. Treasury, the person said. The aim is to sell a fifth of the government’s 304 million shares, two people familiar with the plan said in June. That would reduce the Treasury’s holdings to less than 50 percent.
This is test UNHERALDED news added by IMtiaz
Article Author - Imtiaz Unheralded Nov 30, 2010
Description for Story Page. Description for Story Page
The ECB’s bond purchase programme has been controversial within its governing council since its launch in May, with Axel Weber, president of Germany’s Bundesbank, voicing his opposition publicly.
All-Women Ship Heads for Gaza and Waits for Clash with IDF
Arutz Sheve Aug 8, 2010
A “women-only” ship, complete with a nun and a heavily pregnant mother, has cleared political and technical obstacles and is set to sail for Gaza, presenting Israel with a new challenge. The ship is supposed to leave Tripoli by Sunday night, its co-coordinator, Hizbullah-backer Samar al-Hajj, told the London Guardian.---The sight of women—supposedly unarmed—facing Israeli naval commandos trying to stop it from breaking the sea embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza faces Israel with a new public relations challenge. ---"We will not even bring cooking knives” in order to prevent accusations that they are armed.
===The sailing of the Mariam has been carefully geared for public consumption. Besides the nun and a pregnant woman, the crew includes Christians and Muslims, and the ship has been named after the Virgin Mary.
Open Thread: Tea Party Group Aims to Punish Pro-Obama Corporations
US News/News Buster Nov 25, 2010
EditorCE Comments: Dick Armey\'s Tea Party affiliate seems to be zeroing in on big business...but are they?
I see little mention from the Tea party of big banks, big warmaker companies, and big pharicuitical giants who hog the TV adds with prime time Viagra ads. I just paid $83 dollars to Cosco discount drug for a tiny bottle (5ml) of medicated eye drops, the same drops a Canadian drug company sells for $23.00 if you can wait a few days for delivery. The law that made this graft possible has nothing to do with Obama, it was supported by both Ashcroft and Dick Army five years ago, and it explains why we must watch disgusting money wasting drug adds during the Sunday football games!- end cec.
US News reports
In an exclusive review for Whispers of their plan, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe says: "Tea Party activists are willing to tackle progressive CEOs just as they tackled progressive politicians. Judging by the results of the midterm elections, progressive CEOs should buckle up, because Tea Party activists are going to give them a very bumpy ride."
FreedomWorks and the National Center for Public Policy Research\'s Free Enterprise Project will first start by releasing the poll on Tuesday. It will then urge bloggers and other activists to spread the news about how companies lobbied for Obama\'s agenda. And soon after look for the groups to list the ties of major firms to the Democrats and progressives. "To break up this unholy alliance between government and business, we have to shine a light on it," says Kibbe. "This is a next step in a series of battles," adds Borelli.
Show of Force in Korea
Asia Pacific Times Nov 24, 2010
EditorCE: War as an agenda item; Another act of economic sanction on an already impoverished people contributes to the poverty of a population, and allows Korea\'s militant dictators to generate public support for more of their militaristic acts. Whenever we hear the word "sanctions" spoken from Washington we should translate to "war in slow motion." Why not send in a few Xi and the CIA assassins to murder the beligerent leaders, as we are doing all over Afghanistan? Because ours is a war based economy, more so than Korea, both our government and theirs needs war to stay in power. We are doing move us closer to another Korean war.
"By far the biggest recent disruption of relations came in March, when a sudden explosion sank a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors. South Korean and international investigators said the blast was caused by a North Korean torpedo. The North has vehemently denied it. If the North was responsible for the sinking, it would be the most lethal military attack since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
President Lee of South Korea decided not to respond militarily to the sinking and was praised by Washington for his restraint. To make North Korea pay a price, he imposed new food restrictions on the North and ended trade worth several hundred million dollars that had been intended to induce the desperately poor North Koreans to choose income over military strikes. But some analysts believe that the cutoff in food aid was an excuse, if not a motivation, for Tuesday’s attack.
Choi Jin-wook, a North Korea expert at the Korea Institute for National Unification, a research institute in Seoul, said, “It’s a sign of North Korea’s increasing frustration.”