Thursday, January 28, 2010

The North strikes again..

After the South issued a statement last week stating that they were willing to make a preemptive strike against the North, if there were clear signs of a nuclear attack. There's little surprise here that the North jumped at the opportunity to say that the South was threatening war and has now decided to push the South into making a strike against the North and prove how serious that threat is.

Yesterday the North set up a "no-sail zone" along the western borderline. This "no-sail zone" stretches even into South Korean territory.

Yesterday at 9:05 am the North started firing a barrage of coastal artillery shells towards the Northern Limit Line.

Soon after the North fired at 9:05 a.m., South Korean marines on the island fired bullets as warning shots in the air toward the North instead of counterattacking. The North’s artillery shells landed in the North’s own waters, said Won Tae-jae, spokesman for the South’s Defense Ministry. Won also said that the North fired some 30 shells in two rounds from 9:05 until 10:16 a.m. The first round lasted for 20 minutes and was directed toward the upper no-sail zone and the second round began around 9:45 a.m. and aimed toward the other zone. Another round of shells was fired at 3:25 p.m. [1]

Since the shells didn't land in South Korean territory, the South had no reason to counterattack, following the rules of engagement. They fired warning shots into the air and warned them not to provoke an attack.

The North blames the South for this, claiming that they provoked them and declared war with their statements last week.

"Our revolutionary armed forces will regard the scenario for 'preemptive strike' which the south Korean puppet authorities adopted as a 'state policy' as an open declaration of war," its state KCNA news agency quoted a spokesman for the armed forces general staff as saying. [2]

Others see this as a way to rally the people with their government and hope they forget about their hyperinflation that is sweeping their nation. And of course warn the South that they are more than willing to attack at any time.

"North Korea is exercising a two-track policy of aggressively seeking economic cooperation and humanitarian aid on one hand while heightening military tension on the other," said Kim Yong-hyun, professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University. [3]

As usual, the North flutters between showing signs of wanting to improve relations and ready to start a war. I'm almost getting sick of reporting it because it's the same old story, over and over again. North tries to provoke an attack. The South doesn't take the bait. Really, why would the South even want to attack the North unless it felt genuinely threatened? The South has nothing to gain from war with the North, except gaining a country full of impoverished, starving masses who are ill-equipped to adjust to the modern day South Korean world of capitalism and high competition.

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