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Latest North/South Korean Exchange
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
The exchange occurred while South Korean forces were conducting "Hoguk" military exercises scheduled to end on November 30, including simulated landings. Pyongyang called them a rehearsal for invasion.
Seoul said there's "no other plausible explanation....The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that (a) torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine," even though none was detected in the area.
At the time, evidence suggested a false flag, manufactured to blame the North. The incident occurred near Baengnyeong Island opposite North Korea. US Navy Seals and four US ships were conducting joint exercises in the area. The torpedo used was German, not North Korean as claimed. Germany sells none to Pyongyang. Yet it was blamed for what it didn't do, what apparently was Pentagon-manufactured mischief.
What now? According to US media reports, North Korea incited the gravest incident since the Korean War armistice. For example, on November 23, New York Times writer Mark McDonald headlined, "‘Crisis Status’ in South Korea After North Shells Island ," saying:
A Pyongyang supreme military command statement read:
A November 24 McDonald article headlined, "Nerves Are Rattled in Seoul by Attack on Island," discussing the incident solely from a South Korean/Washington perspective, much like other Western media reports.
The BBC, for example, quoted a Seoul analyst, calling Pyongyang's action "an act of war." Other accounts were also inflammatory, Britain's Foreign Secretary, William Hague, condemning the "unprovoked act." Other comments were similar, citing various reasons for the incident (like internal North Korean tensions during a transition of leadership period), except for what, in fact, may be true, though at this point not everything is known.
However, the exchange occurred while South Korean forces were conducting "Hoguk" military exercises scheduled to end on November 30, including simulated landings. Pyongyang called them a rehearsal for invasion.
Now the aftermath, a David Sanger, Mark McDonald Times article headlined, "South Koreans and US to Stage a Joint Exercise," saying:
America's USS George Washington, a nuclear armed aircraft carrier, and accompanying ships will participate, clear saber-rattling over diplomacy that all US administrations, to one degree or another, have emphasized in US-North Korean relations for decades. That despite Pyongyang wanting rapprochement with the West, only to have Washington rebuff them, choosing confrontation over stability and risking war, potentially with nuclear weapons.
On Russia Today, investigative journalist Wayne Madsen called South Korean President Myung-bak "very warlike," in contrast to his predecessor, Kim Dae Jung's "Sunshine Policy" to establish greater North-South political contact and better relations. South Korea's current president "is very aggressive, very right-wing, very unpopular at home, and the only thing he has going for him is to get into a military showdown with the North." In other words, incite fear and conflict for political advantage, the same Washington policy Bush, Obama, and past US presidents adopted to justify imperial adventurism.
What next? So far, Pentagon officials said no additional forces are planned for the region, and America's 29,000 in South Korea haven't been placed on high alert. For now, Washington ruled out resumed six-party talks, including both Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and America. China and Russia, however, disagree, saying the incident shows the importance of restarting them now.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei, said it's "imperative....to restart six-party talks as soon as possible. We hope the relevant parties do more to contribute to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula," adding that Beijing needs to clarify events leading up to the clash. "The situation needs to be verified," he said.
Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stressed "a colossal danger which must be avoided. Tensions in the region are growing." A cool response is needed. North Korea has no reason to want conflict. Washington and South Korea may have other ideas.
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Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on November 24, 2010.