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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Armistice - what armistice?

And what has triggered this off? North Korea not been in the news for more than 48 hours? Getting in some artillery practice... against civilians. Is it because he's so lonely?China's official response has been somewhat muted and reluctant to blame anyone, anyone North Korean especially:

BEIJING, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said China has noticed reports about the allegedly exchange of fire between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) on Tuesday, urging related sides to do things conducive to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.

"We have noticed related reports and are concerned about the issue. The real situation needs to be confirmed," said spokesman Hong Lei at a regular briefing.

"We hope related parties to do things conductive to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula," Hong Lei said.

One ROK soldier was killed and 13 others were injured when the DPRK fired Tuesday scores of artillery onto a ROK island and also into waters off the west coast of the Korean peninsula near a tense maritime border, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

Reportedly fired at 2:34 p.m. local time, some shells landed on ROK's Yeonpyeong Island and local residents are currently moving to shelters.

ROK fired back in response, and the military is now put on a heightened alert, officials said. It also deployed fighter jets to the west sea, according to Seoul's Yonhap News Agency.


The Japanese have responded by calling it a crisis:

Later in the day, the Japanese government set up an information coordination office in the crisis management center at the prime minister's office, Japanese government officials said

The report mentions the cause/provocation:

The North's firing comes as the South Korean forces conducted a routine drill in waters near the island, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

How "routine" was this drill? If it was even just a few metres (on the sea) across what the North deems to be their version of the Northern Limit Line then it's all on.

The line was unilaterally set by the U.S.-led United Nations military forces on August 30, 1953 after the United Nations Command and North Korea failed to reach an agreement. It is not officially recognized by North Korea. In particular, it is not included into the Armistice Agreement of 1953 between the two states.
They need very little provocation to cause an outrage - the submarine attack a few months back was just another reminder of how hostile the regime is to the South. After almost 60 years it seems the friction is as hot as ever - and now the North can threaten them with nukes it is unlikely they will find reasons to dial it back. It all comes down to how measured the South's response is - so as to not cause another round of retaliation from the North.

6 Comments:

At 24/11/10 7:12 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

another cia plot to start conflict

 
At 24/11/10 9:08 am, Anonymous Brewerstroupe said...

There is much about the "submarine" incident that calls the official narrative into question, including the testimony of one of the South Korean inspectors who wrote the following letter to Secretary of State Clinton before being arrested and gagged:
http://www.seoprise.com/board/view.php?table=seoprise_12&uid=154146
See also:
http://gowans.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/the-sinking-of-the-cheonan-another-gulf-of-tonkin-incident/

As to this current incident, one has to ask why the South chooses to fire shells into a disputed area when the response is a foregone conclusion.

"The skirmish began when Pyongyang warned the South to halt military drills in the area, according to South Korean officials. When Seoul refused and began firing artillery into disputed waters, albeit away from the North Korean shore, the North retaliated by bombarding the small island of Yeonpyeong, which houses South Korean military installations and a small civilian population."
http://preview.tinyurl.com/35txf5a

Lee Myung Bak's Government was facing defeat in the local elections when the Cheonan incident occurred. Once the evidence for a submarine attack was exposed as highly dubious, the story was buried. I suspect the presidential elections must be coming up soon.
Some links:

Scholars doubt Cheonan finding
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100710b2.html

Scientists question Cheonan investigation findings
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/427801.html

 
At 24/11/10 10:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh the elections are coming up! that explains it!

 
At 24/11/10 11:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a perfectly commensurate response then Brewer...god you're such a clown.

Might have known the apologist for everything unholy would leap on here to set the record straight.

So once again we are faced with the most simple explanation probably being the best one...what's the alternative with the Cheonan "incident" then..did the South Koreans drive straight into a mine, or torpedo one of their own...all because the Government was facing defeat in the local elections.

Christ mate, you are a piece of work.

 
At 24/11/10 2:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those idiots sunk their own ship and are trying to blame it on Pyon Yang!

 
At 24/11/10 4:56 pm, Anonymous Brewerstroupe said...

"the most simple explanation probably being the best one...what's the alternative with the Cheonan "incident" then..did the South Koreans drive straight into a mine, or torpedo one of their own."

I agree. The official explanation however, is by far the most complex and, in the opinion of a friend of mine who spent his career in USN submarines, impossible. His view is similar to this:
"Former Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Song Young-moo, said, "Some people are pointing the finger at North Korea, but anyone with knowledge about the waters where the shipwreck occurred would not draw that conclusion so easily." Experts say those waters are only 25 m deep and characterized by rapid currents, making it very difficult for North Korean submarines or semi-submersible vessels to operate. "

According to the S. Korean inspector the ship grounded, backed off then grounded again. This is consistent with the prop damage in this picture:

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-2.html

This picture is not consistent with a torpedo that has been immersed for a short time:

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-55107-6.html

Perhaps the most conclusive of all is the fact that a proximity explosion (which they insist caused the damage) works by creating a bubble under the ship that causes it to break in half near amidships. In this case only a small portion at the very stern broke off. This and many anomalies are explained in Mr Shin's letter to Clinton. Perhaps instead of bagging me you might care to address the logic of his argument.

No I do not believe that the S. Koreans sunk their ship for political gain. That they may have used an accident for such purposes is not beyond reason however and the fact that the Naval Brass first rejected all speculation that it was a N. Korean attack until the politicians got involved tends to support this view:

No subs near Cheonan: Ministry
http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2918683

 

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