North Korean Long-range Missile Test? Trump Says ‘It Won’t Happen’

North Korean Long-range Missile Test? Trump Says ‘It Won’t Happen’

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Will the president-elect’s statement be viewed as a ‘red line’ that comes back to haunt him?

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un brought in the New Year on Sunday by proclaiming that his nation has “reached the final stage in preparations to test launch” a KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missile (icbm).

In the past, the North has tested short- and medium-range missiles but never a long-range icbm, which could potentially reach the West Coast of the United States. Such a test would violate international law and, if successful, could pose a nuclear threat to America.

The following day, President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to address the North Korean statement:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/816057920223846400

It is unclear whether Mr. Trump was saying the test itself “won’t happen,” or if he meant that the North reaching the U.S. with a nuclear weapon won’t happen.

If he meant the first, the next few months could prove him wrong. Pyongyang has repeatedly defied Washington and the international community in its drive to develop nuclear and missile programs. It has conducted test after test in brash defiance of international law and United Nations resolutions. Preventing a future test would be difficult to accomplish without a preemptive military strike or a missile interception early in the test.

Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program told cnn on Tuesday, “North Korea will probably test the KN-08 this year, no matter what Trump tweets.”

If Mr. Trump’s tweet referred to a test, it could also be viewed as a red line that he might later be bound to, in a situation similar to U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2012 red line warning the Syrian government against using chemical weapons. “I think this could be something that comes back to haunt [Trump],” said James Acton, of the Nuclear Policy Program at Washington’s Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank. “This was a foolhardy tweet for Trump to send given the enormous challenges of constraining North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.”

If the North perceives the statement as a red line that is later ignored, analysts say it could intensify Kim Jong-un’s push against the status quo. Frank Jannuzi, head of the Mansfield Foundation Asia dialogue forum, said in an interview with Reuters: “I worry … that it only emboldens the North, because they see it for what it is: empty talk. It lays down a red line. … We don’t seem prepared to back up.”

To understand the depth of the difficulties Mr. Trump’s administration will face, read “Can He Make America Great Again?

Chicago Torture and Barack Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free’ Presidency

Chicago Torture and Barack Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free’ Presidency

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Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on January 6, 2017.

Four black teens in Chicago kidnapped and tortured a young, white, handicapped teenager this week and live-streamed a video of the torture. The kidnappers tied him up and taped his mouth shut, then beat him, sliced his scalp, forced him to curse Donald Trump and then drink from a toilet—all the while they yelled about how much they hated white people. The story was largely underreported in the liberal press. When President Barack Obama was questioned about the incident he said it was “terrible,” but also noted that race relations have improved during his presidency. On today’s show, Stephen Flurry discusses this disturbing event and how it shows the troubling direction America is headed.

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2017: The Year Germany Is Forced to Lead

2017: The Year Germany Is Forced to Lead

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Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on January 5, 2017.

Since the end of World War ii, Germany has generally been content in America’s shadow. The nation has been reluctant to show its power, being satisfied with economic success. But 2017 presents Germany with major international challenges. With a Russian ally in the White House, German Chancellor Angela Merkel could become Russian President Vladimir Putin’s enemy No. 1. The radical shifts in American foreign policy will force Germany to make tough decisions—and force it to try and unite Europe around whatever decision it makes. All this will force Germany to throw its weight around on the world scene in a way not often seen. Trumpet staff writer Richard Palmer examines why 2017 will be the year Germany is forced to lead.

Listen to or download Trumpet Daily Radio Show on:

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The Trumpet’s Top 10 Articles of 2016

The Trumpet’s Top 10 Articles of 2016

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images, DigitalGlobe/Getty Images, Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images, Melissa Barreiro/Trumpet, Brett Hemmings/Getty Images, Gary Dorning/Trumpet, iStock.com/TimAbramowitz, JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images, Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A look back at the most-viewed articles written in that turbulent year

The year 2016 was earthshaking, and not just because Americans elected Donald J. Trump as the next president. Here is a look back on the tumultuous year through the most-viewed articles published on theTrumpet.com in 2016.

#10 Three Men Who Saved Millions

A general interest story about the Chernobyl disaster and how three men volunteered for a suicide mission to prevent another explosion. With the lives of millions of Russians and Europeans on the line, they dove into a radioactive pool.

#9 Today’s Headline out of Britain Was Written Over 40 Years Ago!

Britons voted to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016, in a shocking referendum that triggered the Brexit process. This event was forecast in 1973 by Herbert W. Armstrong. How did he know that Britain would not be part of a united Europe?

#8 Zika Virus and the Pale Horse of the Apocalypse

The Zika virus struck Brazil and about 30 other countries, mostly in the Americas in early 2016. How does this disease relate to Bible prophecy?

#7 China Is Steering the World Toward War

China aggressively expanded its military presence in the South China Sea, building and fortifying islands located in internationally disputed waters. Editor in chief Gerald Flurry connects this to prophecies of war recorded in Deuteronomy 28, Isaiah 23, Ezekiel 4, Daniel 12, Matthew 24 and elsewhere.

#6 What the Trump Victory Means

Trumpet managing editor Joel Hilliker highlighted what Donald Trump’s electoral victory means for America now and in the future.

#5 January 2016—A Month of ‘Natural Disasters’ in Australia

Fires and floods raged in Australia in early 2016. Why did Australia suffer these severe environmental disasters?

#4 The Suddenly Poor Life: Millions Will Lose Their Pensions

Tens of millions of Americans are not going to receive the financial benefits they are planning on. This underreported trend will profoundly damage America’s economy.

#3 Germany Is Taking Over the Dutch Army

Large portions of the Dutch military are being merged with the German Army, the first small steps toward an eventual pan-European army controlled by Berlin.

#2 America’s Real Enemy

Politicians give a lot of excuses and reasons for the trouble in America, but Mr. Flurry looks at the real source of America’s problems.

#1 Bible Prophecy Foretold a Brexit!

The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on June 23. The Trumpet’s top article for 2016 looked at how this exact event was prophesied in the Bible.

A Building Storm of Debt

What will happen to America’s debt-burdened economy under Donald Trump?
From the February 2017 Trumpet Print Edition

There is a storm building. Not of winds or waves, but of money and debt. The United States is the cumulonimbus of pitch-black, rumbling debt: $20 trillion in federal debt, and accumulating $3 billion more every day.

The U.S. will now be led by a man who has a lot of experience with debt—although you might be surprised to hear that he personally doesn’t owe a cent. But don’t be fooled: Companies that he owns do. According to a New York Times investigation, Trump-owned companies probably owe upwards of $650 million. But Donald Trump is also part owner in many businesses, such as an office building on Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, which carries a $950 million loan from the Bank of China. Some of that debt is technically Trump’s too.

Donald Trump has borrowed billions and billions over his career. Much of it he has turned a profit on and paid back. Some of it he has not.

Will President Trump, the self-described “king of debt,” suddenly reverse course and change the debt storm’s trajectory?

Federal debt is now more than $61,000 per citizen: $61,000 for each mother, father, baby, grandmother, unemployed uncle, credit-card-happy neighbor and welfare cousin in America. Most Americans simply cannot contribute much of anything to pay down this debt. Bankrate.com says 56 percent of working-age Americans can’t even come up with a thousand dollars cash in an emergency.

Debt Is the Same as What?

Don’t blow this out of proportion, you gloom and doomsayer. Debt is not a threat, it’s a tool. Forbes explained on Jan. 14, 2016: “The correct conclusion to draw is that these people are indeed middle class in a country with a well-functioning financial system. Because of this they don’t need savings because they have access to credit” (emphasis added throughout).

You can be part of the middle class without even a thousand dollars to your name, as long as you can accumulate debt!

“[I]f we’re honest about it, credit and savings are economically the same thing,” wrote Forbes. “That most Americans don’t have $500 or so of ‘savings’ as conventionally defined simply doesn’t matter.”

Credit is really the same as savings. That is being “honest about it.” “[A]s ever in the study of things economic, it is consumption which is the important point of it all” (ibid).

There you have it! Why sacrifice, wait and save to build an emergency fund, or to buy your car, or to pay for your college when, functionally speaking, the result is supposedly the same as using an American Express card? It doesn’t really matter how you pay for itall that really counts is the ability to consume.

Sounds a lot like Vice President Dick Cheney’s 2004 remark that budget “deficits don’t matter.” Four years later, the 2008 economic storm hit.

The Bush administration accumulated $4.9 trillion in debt. The Obama administration accrued $9.3 trillion. Federal government debt has reached almost $20 trillion and now approximates the total value of every single company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the biggest stock exchange in the world.

Will the Trump administration reverse that trend? Will the growing debt storm calm or at least level off during his presidency?

In the real world beyond Washington, credit is not the same as saving, and debts cannot be perpetually paid for by swapping credit cards. Analyst Wolf Richter wrote, “So now we’re burdened with such an enormous amount of debt that I think it is very hard to even breathe for the economy. A lot of people out there are worried about this” (PeakProsperity.com, Oct. 16, 2016).

Yet America’s leaders are still trying to solve the too-much-debt problem with more debt. Richter wrote, “I mean, the Fed is still saying, We will make money for free and you just need to borrow more money, and that’s its solution to having too much debt. It’s insane when you look at it.”

America’s federal debt works out to more than $166,000 per income-tax-paying citizen.

There is another $3 trillion in state and local debt that must eventually be paid too. That’s an additional $25,000 owed per taxpayer. But Americans have no savings. They do, however, have a lot of something else: debt! Vortex in personal and corporate debt, and the U.S. debt rotation is $67 trillion. And none of this includes the promised benefits to future generations of Medicare and Medicaid recipients.

Depending on how you calculate it, America has liabilities of greater than $100 trillion. Boston University’s Laurence Kotlikoff says it is closer to $200 trillion.

That’s a potential debt storm so big it is virtually impossible to fathom. Forget those promises made because they won’t be paid. Not in full. That in itself is going to hurt a lot of people who are relying on the government for shelter during retirement.

But even the part of the debt that analysts think the government could pay is quickly blowing past America’s ability to sustain it. The total size of the U.S. economy is under $18 trillion, which equates to a government debt-to-gdp ratio of over 110 percent. That is up from 100 percent of gross domestic product in 2011.

Just eight years ago, the federal debt was about $10 trillion. It has almost doubled during the tenure of America’s current president. And it doubled during the previous administration too. Is that rate of growth sustainable?

No.

Does that mean politicians will come to their senses? That the debt storm will abate?

No.

In fact, the debt storm will probably intensify before making landfall. Total U.S. household debt hit a whopping $12.25 trillion last March, but that is still 3.3 percent below the peak that preceded the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. It has room to run. Student loan, auto and recent credit card debt are growing. Call them the 3-trillion-dollar triple-threat.

What President Trump Will Do

America’s leaders think debt is good. On December 14, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates a quarter of a point from 0.5 to 0.75, only the second minuscule increase in over 10 years. The Fed’s unstated purpose is to support consumer spending. That’s why it is keeping interest rates ridiculously low: to encourage continued borrowing?

President Trump has been seen as a disruptive figure. Will he disrupt this spinning vortex of indebtedness?

No.

Donald Trump loves debt—he admits it! He said on cnbc May 5, 2016: “Yeah, I think—look. I have borrowed, knowing that you can pay back with discounts. And I have done very well with debt. Now, of course, I was swashbuckling, and it did well for me and it was good for me and all that. And you know, debt was sort of always interesting to me. Now we’re in a different situation with the country. But I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. And if the economy was good, it was good. So, therefore, you can’t lose. It’s like, you know, you make a deal before you go into a poker game, and your odds are so much better.”

On August 11, he said on cnbc, “[T]his is a time to borrow, and to borrow long term, so that we can have money to rebuild our infrastructure.” According to Mr. Trump, nobody knows how to use debt like him. “I’m the king of debt. I love debt,” he said (cnn, May 4, 2016).

He told cbs This Morning in an interview on June 22, 2016: “I’m the king of debt. I’m great with debt; nobody knows debt better than me. I’ve made a fortune by using debt, and if things don’t work out, I renegotiate the debt. I mean, that’s a smart thing, not a stupid thing.”

And what if America borrows more than it can handle? Mr. Trump has that inevitability covered too: “You go back and you say, ‘Hey, guess what? The economy just crashed. I’m gonna give you back half’” (ibid).

According to the Brookings Institution, the national debt may grow by almost as much under President Trump as under President Obama. Brookings estimates $9.5 trillion in additional debt over the next 10 years.

Those estimates will rise. If there is one thing America has proven in recent history, it is that it knows how to underestimate spending.

And while America embarks on its greatest debt binge ever, a storm of epic proportions will be developing offshore. On land, all may appear sunny and tranquil. Debt will buoy the stock market; consumption will give the appearance of prosperity; temporary jobs will be created.

And then one day the storm will roll in. Suddenly the skies will darken. The wind will blow. The rain will fall. And a tidal surge of epic proportions will wipe America’s debt-based economic system right off the map.

Until then, you have a choice. Join the majority of Americans who build their financial houses on sand. Or build upon a sure Rock foundation. Begin by reading Solve Your Money Troubles!

INFOGRAPHIC Meet the Founders of Modern Education

From the February 2017 Trumpet Print Edition