How China Is Muscling In on Lithium-Ion Batteries

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • In spite of potential global pushback against Beijing’s investments, Chinese companies will acquire control of a majority of the lithium-ion battery market, giving the country a significant advantage in a sector of growing geopolitical importance.
  • The United States will exploit economies of scale and focus on finding domestic sources of materials as it attempts to carve out a market share amid China’s growing dominance.
  • Japan and Korea will have the most success penetrating markets in which there is significant pushback against Chinese investment, such as in North America, Australia and parts of Europe.
  • Europe will likely fall behind because its battery manufacturing capacity does not have the ability to meet its demand.
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U.S. President Donald Trump Cancels the North Korea Summit With Kim Jong Un

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

In a shock announcement, U.S. President Donald Trump has canceled the planned June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In a letter directly addressed to Kim, released early May 24, the U.S. president thanked his North Korean counterpart for his time and patience in the discussions but said that the “tremendous anger and open hostility” displayed in North Korea’s most recent statement made a meeting inappropriate. The letter is referring to a May 23 statement made by North Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui in the state-run media outlet KCNA, in which she threatened to pull out of the North Korean summit and condemned U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for recent remarks threatening North Korea if it doesn’t make a deal with the United States. Choe’s statement is the second such threat from North Korean officials in the past week. Trump’s letter ends with an invitation for North Korea to reach out if the country changes its mind about its position on the United States.

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Can North Korea Really Give Up Its Nukes?

Rodger Baker By Rodger Baker – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • North Korea’s diplomatic outreach again raises the possibility that it is willing to use its nuclear program as a bargaining chip.
  • With an eye toward regime survival and eventual Korean unification, Pyongyang could trade away the public face of its nuclear weapons program.
  • Having offered such a concession, North Korea will demand a lot more than an easing of sanctions by South Korea and the United States in return.

In this photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science at an undisclosed location.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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China Re-Enters the Korean Field of Play

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

It can be difficult to separate the important from unimportant on any given day. Reflections mean to do exactly that — by thinking about what happened today, we can consider what might happen tomorrow.

Highlights

  • Through a top-level meeting with North Korea, China is signaling it will not be a bystander in the evolving dynamics on the Korean Peninsula.
  • China may have an opening to restore its long-frosty relations with South Korea by extending outreach on trade measures.
  • Both North Korea and South Korea have an interest in including China to some extent in their evolving diplomatic dynamic.

Following days of heightened speculation about who was aboard a mystery train that traveled from Pyongyang to Beijing, China confirmed on March 28 that it hosted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week.

(-/AFP/Getty Images)

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North Korea Ready To Denuclearize “If Regime Safety Is Guaranteed”

By Zero Hedge – Re-Blogged From Info Wars

The headlines come from South Korean National Security Office special envoy Chung Eui-yong

Score another diplomatic victory for Trump, whose hard line negotiating tactic appears to have generated a dramatic – and favorable for market – outcome. Moments ago futures spiked, 10Y yields jumped and the USDJPY bounced about 106 on what the FT dubbed a “diplomatic breakthrough” that North and South Korea have agreed to hold direct talks between their leaders with North Korea signalling it is willing to abandon its nuclear program “if regime security can be guaranteed.”

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Consumers In Surprising Places Are Borrowing Like Crazy

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

The Money Bubble is inflating at different speeds in different places. But apparently no culture is immune:

Household Debt Sees Quiet Boom Across the Globe

(Wall Street Journal) – A decade after the global financial crisis, household debts are considered by many to be a problem of the past after having come down in the U.S., U.K. and many parts of the euro area.

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