As always, the question remains: “Qui bono?”
June 7th, 2010

Escalation on the Korean Peninsula

Part I

The report on the sinking of S. Korea’s Cheonan corvette claiming that the tragedy had been caused by a torpedo fired by a N. Korean submarine caused further escalation on the Korean Peninsula. In a strongly worded address to the nation on May 24, the ROK President Lee Myung-bak made accusations against the DPRK, charging it with organizing a military provocation against its southern neighbor. Seoul declared that in response it would suspend contacts and economic relations with Pyongyang (except for the cooperation in the framework of the Kaesŏng industrial park project which awaits a particular decision), debar N. Korean ships from entering S. Korea’s territorial waters, and resume the propaganda broadcasting via loudspeakers at the border between the Koreas (the speakers were silenced as a gesture of good will under president Roh Moo-hyun). Lee Myung-bak also demanded that N. Korea apologize for what had been done and punish the individuals responsible for the incident, threatening that otherwise Pyongyang would be ostracized by the international community. It is generally a decided matter that the Cheonan incident dossier will be submitted to the UN Security Council. The S. Korean leader pledged that his country would adopt a position of intolerance to N. Korea’s escapades (the part of the statement carried thinly veiled criticism of the policies of the previous S. Korean administrations) and would fully use its right to self-defense in the case of further provocations.  Read more…