North Korea H-bomb – world mulls panic

The Hang Seng Index is approximately 150 points or 0.5% down this morning, suggesting that no-one seriously believes North Korea is going to plunge the world into even moderate mayhem. (In theory, any and all conceivable carnage – or good news, for that matter – should be ever-so efficiently priced in before you can blink. In practice, I’ve noticed that the market sometimes seems to have a dinosaur-type nervous system, where signals take a while to get to the brain. It could be that they will decide to freak out this afternoon.)

On the other hand, the Xi Jinping Nervousness Paranoia Index – which is buoyant even at the calmest of times – must be leaping up and testing new highs. As everyone knows (because they keep telling each other) Xi needs to be/appear confidently in control of a positive and harmonious situation as next month’s Communist Party Congress approaches. Note how Beijing rushed a neat face-saving conclusion to the recent Doklam standoff against India rather than turning up the Righteous Revanchist Panda-Petulance.

It’s one thing for Xi to neutralize or crush all his rivals and detractors, and proclaim himself Chairman for Life. It’s another for him/China to worm out of the contradictions of the duplicitous/opportunistic relationships with North Korea and the US. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. (He seems to have nine lives, so he’ll no doubt emerge intact.)

Neighbourhood update: A rare mid-evening Sunday stroll reveals a very different side to the usual weekday daylight local backstreets. Cheap garish (red) electric signs outside little ground-level businesses (curtains in the doorways?!) dominate the gloom. I’m sure this peculiar foot-massage thing is 100% above-board and wholesome. But if you want Sleazy Bangkok Ambiance for a photo-shoot, just down from genteel Robinson Road is the place to come (or something)…

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6 Responses to North Korea H-bomb – world mulls panic

  1. reductio says:

    It’s probably some food-gimmick restaurant, like you eat with your feet or something.

  2. Enid Fenby says:

    Sad to hear you are lowering the neighbourhood tone already.

    But ecstatic to see that you actually read the world news sometimes.

    The real war is the war on China. Korea is just a sideshow, a Gulf of Tonkien incident.

    Wake up and smell the Kissinger.

    Pip, pip!

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    Fetishism, for sure.

  4. Hank Morgan says:

    such harmony
    much ruler

    Isn’t there some dashed line map that says the land of the DPRK is really China?

    With everything pointed at the South, who would complain if Xi thought it was a good time to annex the place starting with a sea-level canal ultimate mega-B&R project … like

    They would blast all the way down to sea level with “250 devices in 27 separate detonations of from one to eleven megatons,” according to one scenario. At the low end of that range, each detonation would be more than 60 times the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. And they’d do it, they figured, for (in today’s dollars) less than it took to build the new San Francisco Bay Bridge. some quote from KQED

  5. Joe Blow says:

    I notice that the 3 martini lunch is back in vogue.

  6. Stanley Lieber says:

    The differently coloured toe is not an accident.

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