North Korea Launch Could Come As Soon As April
North Korea Moving Forward With Preps For Rocket Launch
According to news reports, satellite imagery indicates that North Korea has moved two mobile missile launchers capable of firing short-range Scud missiles to the South Hamgyeong province.
South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok expressed a belief that a launch could come as soon as April 25 – founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Army – or April 30 – the final day of ongoing South-US military exercises.
Iran’s Nuclear Program: The Threat From Nature
Jillian Keenan draws attention to concerns many have about Iran’s nuclear program in the wake of an April 16 earthquake. She notes that the 7.8 magnitude earthquake (the biggest tremor to occur in 40 years) came just one week after another earthquake killed at least 37 people and injuring more than 850 others in the town of Kaki.
“Most ominously, the epicenter of the April 9 earthquake’s first tremor, which measured a 6.3 on the Richter scale, was centered only 62 miles away from Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. These incidents have raised global concerns that a subsequent earthquake could strike even closer to the plant, causing a nuclear disaster similar to the 2011 incident at Fukushima,” she writes.
In recent weeks, a flurry of earthquakes have occurred throughout Asia, including in China and Japan.
The Financial Cost Of Terrorism
A 2011 report issued by the Congressional Research Service estimated that Congress had approved a total of $1.283 trillion for terror-related activities, such as military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs. Of that amount, $806 billion was allocated to expenses for Iraq and $444 billion for Afghanistan and related expenses.
According to the 2011 Global Terrorism Index, the cost of 9/11 to the American economy was an estimated $80 billion (0.8% of GDP in 2011 dollars). The report also has some interesting statistics which place the threat of terrorism in the US in some perspective.
For instance, the report found that from 2002 to 2011, North America was the region least likely to suffer from terrorism; that more attacks have occurred since 2007 but the number of fatalities has declined by 25 percent; and in 2011 Iraq was the country that was most impacted by terrorism, followed by Pakistan and Afghanistan.