Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DPRK bids for attention or ?

A bit of a buzz on Twitter as the DPRK has shelled Yeonpyeong island off northwest South Korea. According to a report on MSN Japan (in Japanese), ROK's president believes the shelling may be in response to an exercise the ROK military was holding. The ROK has reportedly returned fire. One South Korean soldier was killed, but I would be surprised if there were not more fatalities after seeing videos on TV (a photo here/a video here). Well, the short 10 or so minute report I saw on NHK before they returned to sumo. I suppose it is understandable that there is more TV coverage of a DPRK test missile that drops into the sea near Japan than an actual artillery attack on the ROK.

No one really knows what the North will do---at least no one in a position to be writing a blog post about it---but we have to remember what the North has done in the post Korean War period. Dozens of attacks around the DMZ, particularly heavy from 1968-69 in which 75 US military were killed/111 wounded while the ROK suffered 299 killed/550 wounded*, the Tree Incident in the DMZ, the seizure of the USS Pueblo, the attack on the Blue House and attempted assassination of President Park Chung-hi, the numerous killings of South Koreans by DPRK agents (gotta be a little careful here, as some of the killings which occurred under Park and his early successors may have only been blamed on the DPRK), the 1983 bombing in Burma in an attempt to assassinate the ROK president, killing 21 and injuring 46, the kidnappings of Japanese citizens from Japan, the recent sinking of a South Korea warship by a DPRK torpedo, the nuclear provocations, now an artillery barrage on what appears to be a civilian area, and....maybe the list can go on forever.

I have heard it said that the DPRK leaders are not crazy and know that they would lose any war with the ROK/US, but the fact that there has been no 2nd war (yet) is due to the restraint of South Korea and the US, not to anything the North has done.

It will be interesting to see China's reaction...

Remain calm. Now, back to sumo. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.....

*Not sure about the time period the figures covers, but I believe they are the 1968-69 period as I understand the linked article.

1815 edited to add: Interestingly---or not---in 1989 or 90, I had a TA from China who argued that the US and ROK had started the Korea War from that vicinity of Korea. As I recall, she believed that we started it from the area on the peninsula just above Yeonpyeong Island.

7pm: edited yet again.

No comments:

Post a Comment