20 May 2010

How Quickly Does North Korea Come Off the Rails

The international investigation has concluded that the Norks sank the Cheonan. Now the Norks are saying they'll go to war if anyone retaliates. Right-thinking people will rightly note that the Norks went to war when they sank the Cheonan.

Tensions deepened Thursday on the Korean peninsula as South Korea accused North Korea of firing a torpedo that sank a naval warship, killing 46 sailors in the country's worst military disaster since the Korean War.

President Lee Myung-bak vowed "stern action" for the provocation following the release of long-awaited results from a multinational investigation into the March 26 sinking near the Koreas' tense maritime border. North Korea, reacting swiftly, called the results a fabrication, and warned that any retaliation would trigger war. It continued to deny involvement in the sinking of the warship Cheonan.

"If the (South Korean) enemies try to deal any retaliation or punishment, or if they try sanctions or a strike on us .... we will answer to this with all-out war," Col. Pak In Ho of North Korea's navy told broadcaster APTN in an exclusive interview in Pyongyang.

An international civilian-military investigation team said evidence overwhelmingly proves a North Korean submarine fired a homing torpedo that caused a massive underwater blast that tore the Cheonan apart. Fifty-eight sailors were rescued from the frigid Yellow Sea waters, but 46 perished.

Meanwhile, Secretary Clinton is off to Asia and now dealing with this hassle.

The White House said late Wednesday that the ship sinking was an 'act of aggression' that is 'one more instance of North Korea's unacceptable behavior and defiance of international law.' It called it 'a challenge to international peace and security and ... a violation of the Armistice Agreement' that ended the Korean War.

The State Department said the evidence ruled out any alternative explanation and the United States was "already working very closely with our ally (South Korea) and consulting with our partners regarding appropriate steps."

By: Brant

1 comment:

Guardian said...

As frustrating as it is, the rational course of action for the ROKs and their allies (including the US) is to absorb the loss of the Cheonan.

If the ROKs retaliate, as they rightly should, they stand to suffer massive civilian casualties in Seoul before the DPRK's artillery batteries in range of Seoul are suppressed or destroyed. This is the case even without considering the possibility of WMDs being employed by the DPRK.

As sad as it is to say, tens of thousands of potential civilian casualties and billions of dollars of economic damage outweighs 46 sailors and a naval corvette. The DPRK realizes this and our weak or non-existent response will further embolden them. Eventually they will escalate to a point where the ROKs and their allies have no choice but to retaliate decisively, but we have not yet reached that point. One can hope that the DPRK regime will collapse under its own weight before that happens.

-- Guardian