Nuclear Strike Imminent?

Nuclear Strike Imminent? by Jason Simpkins – Outsider Club

apan thinks so.

It’s moving missile batteries into a flight path with North Korea — a move that suggests Japanese forces are planning to shoot down Kim Jong-un’s next missile.

China’s army is already massing on its border with North Korea, too, anticipating a potential altercation.

It’s understandable. North Korea continues to test bigger and more advanced nuclear bombs with no sign of stopping. And it’s already fired two missiles over Japan in the past month.

Meanwhile, at his first appearance at the UN, Donald Trump called Kim a “rocket man on a suicide mission” and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea.

Kim Trump QuoteIt seems like no one wants to believe this situation will come to blows but I’m convinced it will. I’ve been saying for months now that we’re headed towards a nuclear strike.

Such an escalation could easily engulf the planet in an arms race, or worse, large-scale war. China, North Korea’s ally, has joined in sanctions but it won’t tolerate a Western invasion of its neighbor or the arrival of nuclear weapons in South Korea and Japan (something that’s being discussed). Neither will Russia, which has been quietly helping North Korea circumvent sanctions.

Even putting aside the North Korea situation (not to mention the Iran situation), tensions among global powers are the highest they’ve been in decades. And nuclear weapons have gotten more advanced, more precise, more versatile, and more deadly.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the threat of a nuclear attack is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War. He also made a larger point noting that the world is rapidly changing, and not for the better.

“Societies are fragmented,” he said. “Political discourse is polarized. Trust within and among countries is being driven down by those who demonize and divide. We are a world in pieces.”

People are “hurting and angry” because they “see insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing.”

Again, this goes beyond the more traditional back-and-forth between North Korea and the West. We’re talking about a world that is increasingly chaotic and without order, where long-held rules and norms are being questioned, tested, and violated.

Part and parcel of that is a nuclear buildup that’s been reignited, both in the United States and abroad.

Trump Power

If I haven’t made it clear enough already, Donald Trump is going nuclear.

Trump Nuke Tweet

“We’re never going to fall behind any country, even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power,” Trump has said. “It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.”

It’s not just weapons, either.

Back in December, Donald Trump sent a secret memo to the Energy Department asking how it could keep nuclear reactors “operating as part of the nation’s infrastructure” and what it could do to prevent nuclear plants from shutting down.

It asked the agency if the administration could resume the licensing proceedings for Yucca Mountain — a proposed nuclear waste site that was shelved by the Obama White House.

The memo asked about funding for both nuclear fusion projects and the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. And it offered to support the permitting of small modular reactors, which are seen as the next generation of nuclear technology.

Nuclear power isn’t something Trump talks much about publicly, but he does talk about it.

Back in 2011, in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster, he had this to say to Fox News: “Nuclear is a way that we get what we have to get, which is energy. I’m in favor of nuclear energy, very strongly in favor of nuclear energy.”

So going forward you can expect a lot more action from the Trump administration expanding the U.S. nuclear weapons and energy programs.

You can also expect our chief global rivals to do the same.

Nuclear Power(s)

Speaking of nuclear power (and nuclear powers) there’s also China and Russia.

As I mentioned, China’s army is already massing on its border with North Korea in anticipation of a potential intervention. But it also recently concluded several high-level military drills in the Hubei province and joint naval exercises with Russia off the coast of North Korea.

What’s scary though, is that China has said the drills weren’t in response to North Korea’s belligerence, but rather in preparation for a potential war with the United States.

Furthermore, on Thursday, the country added a new nuclear-powered submarine to its rapidly-expanding fleet. China has greatly expanded its nuclear arsenal over the past decade, seeking parity with U.S. capabilities.

Also like the United States, China has a robust and fast-growing nuclear energy program. China plans to more than double its atomic power capacity in the next decade, contributing to a 6.6% increase in global nuclear capacity in that time.

China Nuclear Energy GrowthRussia, the other main U.S. rival, is on the exact same page.

Russia has the world’s largest weaponized uranium stockpile, operating more highly enriched uranium facilities than the rest of the world combined. And it’s got the world’s biggest nuclear weapons arsenal, with some 7,300 extremely advanced nuclear weapons. The U.S. ranks second, with about 7,000.

Experts also believe Russia has developed a hypersonic nuclear warhead capable of breaching U.S. missile defense.

Known as “Object 4202,” Russia’s hypersonic warhead goes 15 times faster than the speed of sound and is capable of evading any anti-missile system the U.S. has. It carries multiple warheads that can split into 15 individual bombs. Each would destroy an area the size of Texas and the bomb could arrive from a silo in Russia within 12 minutes.

And again, to touch on nuclear energy, Russia currently gets about 20% of its power from nuclear plants. However, with new plants under construction and coming online, that figure is set to balloon. Nuclear energy will account for 45-50% of Russia’s electrical output by 2050, and 70-80% by the end of the century.

Russia is also taking a global approach to nuclear power, inking recent nuclear energy deals with Paraguay, India, Cambodia, and Finland.

If you’re seeing a theme here, it’s that uranium is a hot commodity.

Its role in domestic energy programs, as well as coveted nuclear weapons, makes it one of the most important resources on the planet.

It’s on par with both gold and oil.

That’s why Nick Hodge recently released a report on its full investment potential. He’s even found a stock that’s trading for less than a dollar with huge breakout potential.

If you haven’t heard about it, check that report out here. Because nuclear is taking off in a big way.

Get paid,

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Jason Simpkins

Source – Outsider Club

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Jimmy is a managing editor for Outsider Club and the Investment Director of the personal finance advisory The Crow's Nest. You may also know him as the architect behind the wildly popular finance and investing website Wealth Wire, where he's brought readers the stories behind the mainstream financial news each and every day. For more on Jimmy, check out his editor's page.