World View: South Korea Announces Missile Capable of Targeting Anywhere in North

This morning's key headlines from
  • Russia's mass arrest of St. Petersburg Muslims raises specter of blowback
  • Economists shocked at severe shrinkage of eurozone economy
  • S. Korea unveils cruise missile that can strike anywhere in N. Korea

Russia's mass arrest of St. Petersburg Muslims raises specter of blowback

Russian police apparently panicked last week and blindly conducted a large-scale operation target radical Muslim groups in various parts of St. Petersburg. Reports indicate that as many as 700 Muslims were detained and questioned. As part of such operations, the police deliberately break into prayer rooms with their dogs to desecrate Muslim prayer rugs, infuriating and humiliating the Muslims. Russia's police were caught by surprise by this enclave of allegedly radical Muslim groups because they were not from the North Caucasus provinces, but instead were from the east, including Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The huge operation produced almost no results, though seven Muslims were deported for having insufficient documentation. This operation has electrified the Muslim community, and Russia can expect blowback, possibly in the form of terrorist operations. The attack on the St. Petersburg mosque was justified because the mosque was "unauthorized," and Russia is now considering a bill that would make illegal any unsanctioned prayer services held outside of religious sites or cemetaries, without permission from authorities. Jamestown and Russia Today

Economists shocked at severe shrinkage of eurozone economy

The euro zone slipped deeper into recession in the fourth quarter of 2012, much more severely than economists had predicted. Germany's economy contracted 0.6%, while France's fell 0.3%. Furthermore, France's figures for the first and second quarters of last year were revised to negative, indicating negative growth for three of the four quarters of 2012. This is not a minor thing. All the speeches by European politicians, all the policies by financial ministers, all the plans and budgets by analysts -- all of them are based on the assumption that all the 1980s and 1990s macroeconomic models still work. As I've said repeatedly, the only models that work today are the ones from the 1930s, because that was the last generational crisis era. Alan Greenspan has also pointed out that every macroeconomic model has been a failure for the last five years. Reuters

S. Korea unveils cruise missile that can strike anywhere in N. Korea

North Korea's nuclear weapon test has changed some of the dynamics in Asia. The American administration has reaffirmed that it will defend both South Korea and Japan, honoring previous treaty commitments. But with North Korea becoming a nuclear weapons state, and with neither China nor the United Nations able to take any meaningful counter-steps, some experts believe that the focus will have to change to find ways to prevent it from transferring technology or weapons to other rogue states or to terrorist groups. (It's hard for me to see how this new focus will be any more successful than the old focus.) South Korea has announced measures to strengthen its own military, to deter the North Koreans. 

On Thursday, South Korea announced a cruise missile that it said can strike anywhere in North Korea: "The cruise missile being unveiled today is a precision-guided weapon that can identify and strike the window of the office of North Korea's leadership."

Asia One (Singapore) and Reuters

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