Tuesday, November 23, 2010

N. Korea Shells South Korean Island


North Korea fired an artillery barrage at the South Korean border island of Yeonpyeongon today, killing two South Korean marines, setting homes ablaze and triggering counter fire by South Korea.

The two dead marines were identified as Sgt. Seo Jeong-woo, 24, and Pvt. Moon Kwang-wook, 20.

This comes on the heels of a number of developments, not least of which was the sinking of a South Korean warship , the Cheonan by North Korea back in May.

North Korea also recently disclosed a previously unknown operational uranium enrichment site that US intelligence was previously unaware of. And Kim Jong-Un, the little-known youngest son of ailing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, has been officially recognized as his father's successor.

The latest North Korean aggression is likely aimed at solidifying the regime behind the new leader and at sending a message from North Korea's patron China regarding the recent China bashing the Obama Administration has been doing.

From South Korea's viewpoint, the last thing they want is a war with the North, and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak held an emergency meeting of ministers and top advisers in an underground war room in which he reportedly urged the officials "to prevent further escalation" but warned that any further attacks would be dealt with through "stern retaliation.".

The reason for South Korea being so anxious to avoid hostilities is simple. North Korea greatly outnumbers the South when it comes to conventional military and the US only has a contingent of around 28,500 troops in South Korea.

The two Koreas are still technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and cease fire, not a peace treaty.

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Rosey said...

I'm sure perceived weakness in the Whitehouse has nothing to do with the escalation. /sarcasm off/

Freedom Fighter said...

Aside from having ICBM's and nukes, the Norks have massive artillery trained on the South Korean population center in Seoul, which is within range of the border.

Japan is also within range of NK's ICBM/s.

In an actual shooting war, civilian casualties would be massive.

Short of a pre-emptive US strike (in which China would necessarily figure in the calculations) the Norks are pretty much untouchable.

That's the legacy of the Clinton years.

B.Poster said...

There's no guarantee that the US would be successful in a preemptive strike any way. In fact, its unlikely the US would be successful. The US military is worn down and its technology is out of date. In other words, it is really no match for the Chinese or the Russians at this point. Both of these problems would be involved.

Also, the Norks would easily prevail against SK any way. I think all military planners know this. Frankly this is a lousy job of planning on the part of the SK leadership. Even before the attacks of 9/11 on the US and the ongoing US military operations as a result of this, the will of the American people to be involved in this sort of thing on the other side of the world was wanning. The current military operations have accelarated the desire of the American people to extricate ourselves from this. In addition, due to the nature of the US military at this point the US does not have either the troops, the military hardware, or the financial capability to assist SK or Japan here.

The South Koreans and the Japanese have known for 10 years and probably longer that America would be a.)unable, b.) unwilling, or c.)both unable and unwilling to assist them in a fight with the North Korea. In this case the answer is c.

Given these facts, if I knew them I'm sure the leaders of South Korea and Japan knew them. Why did they not develop a robust nuclear deterent to North Korea in all this time?

Stupid!! Stupid!! On the part of the leaders of these countries.

As for the US, we should pull all of our men and equipment out of the region post haste and redeploy them to our borders where they might actually have a fighting chance to defend our country.

Americans want and need to be invlolved in this about as badly as we want and need to be involved in the Israeli/Palestinian war. These are wars that involve peoples on the other side of the world and involving ourselves in them does absolutely NOTHING to solve the massive problems we currently have.

B.Poster said...

You write: "Short of a pre-emptive US strike (in which China would necessarily figure in the calculations) the Norks are pretty much untouchable."

Even in the event of a pre-emptive US strike the Norks are stil untouchable. In order to carry out such a mission, the US would need to deploy more forces and equipment to the region, as the forces and equipment in the region now are not capable of carrying out a successful pretive attack against the Norks. The necessary forces and equipment are busy elsewhere and they are to worn down to be effective against forces of the caliber as the Norks, as such, the necessary forces and equipment for this type of action by the US are not available to the US.

A pre-emptive strike against North Korea by the US is impossible. The Norks know this. South Korea knows this, as does everyone else. Even if the US had the numbers and quality of troops and equipment necessary to effectively fight the Norks, it would have to deal with China. China is the second most powerful nation on earth behind only Russia. A pre-emptive stike by the US has no realistic hope of success.
Military planners and diplomats cannot afford to base their policies on fantasies, as such a strike by the US will not be considered.

Even if the US could somehow overcome these obstacles, the American people are not going to support a military involvement by the US on the Korean pennisula. Given that South Korea has virtually no chance against North Korea and the US can't help, South Korea can only hope to make concessions and hopefully live another day or they can be destroyed.

It didn't have to be this way for them. They've known for at least ten years and probably longer that America's ability and willingness to help defend them was wanning. Had the South Koreans taken this time to develop a robust nuclear deterrent they might not find themselves in the position they are in today. I think the old saying, "if you want peace, prepare for war" applies here. To bad the South Koreans did not prepare war. Now they are paying the price. I pity them. They are in my prayers.

I think there is a lesson in this for us. Will we be good students and learn.

louielouie said...

when people would ask me how far north i was in korea, i just casually said, twenty minutes by car, five seconds by mig.
in reality that's seoul.
i don't know where this island is.

Mark said...

They really are good girls, you can call it publicity all you want, but no matter what you say, it helps the country. It's a scary situation right now, I really hope they and all of Korea stays safe. I know it's probably going to happen, but somehow, I want to avoid war. I know it seems like a dream, but.. it's still my hope that everyone will be okay.