Dangerous Threats From North Korea

December 18, 2010

Despite North Korea's threat to retaliate, South Korea and the United States are going ahead with their planned military drills on Yeonpyeong Island near North Korea.

On November 23, 2010 North Korea launched an attack the killed four people on the island.

North Korea issued a statement that said it "will deal the second and third unpredictable self-defensive blow to protect its territorial waters and that it will be deadlier than what was made on November 23 in terms of the powerfulness and sphere of the strike."

The North Korean foreign ministry harshly warned:
"If the South Koreans dare to carry out the live-fire drill and cross the line, the situation in the Korean peninsula will explode and a disastrous outcome cannot be avoided."

"We have already declared that we will punish mercilessly without hesitation provokers who invade our sovereignty and territory. Our military does not speak empty words."

"This shows America will not hesitate to bring one country's peace and stability into chaos."

"We will deal and calculate with America accurately on all extreme incidents and consequences on the Korean peninsula."
Bill Richardson, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and current governor of New Mexico is in North Korea on a mission to ease the conflict on the tense peninsula.  He qualified the situation as a "tinderbox." 

While Russia and China are calling for cancellation of the military exercises, the U.S., Japan and South Korea are committed to proceeding.

This seems like an extremely dangerous game that could explode into outright war. Better to seek peace and agreement through negotiations.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Try reading the past fifty years of North Korean press releases. They are always talking like this. I'm not sure whether the military exercises are a good idea, but a North Korean press release is not the place to seek reliable information. (By the way, North Korea would love to be invaded, defeated, and then of course bailed out at massive US and SK expense. That's what they really want.) Maybe this blog should stick to CNMI contract worker issues and not venture into discussing US foreign policy.

Anonymous said...

No they are not always talking like this. And where do you get off telling someone what to write about? Get your own blog!

Anonymous said...

Strategic nukes now! Remove Pyongyang from the face of the planet immediately. Innocents will die yes, but along with the baddies, and more innocents will be saved in the long run.

Anonymous said...

8:43 Stupid!

Anonymous said...

2:51 You said, "...but a North Korean press release is not the place to seek reliable information."

If you bothered to check the links you would see that the sources that quote North Korea's threats include an Australian newspaper, Voice of America, and ABC News.

Anonymous said...

BTN! (bomb them now)

pacifist said...

11:02 and 8:43 Are you serious or just an a**hole?

Anonymous said...

As serious as a heart attack. The US already has carefully calculated strategic plans to do just that. What's the alternative? Let their conventional forces overrun Seoul? Let them fire their own nuke at Tokyo? BTN!

It's not your money! said...

A couple observations:

1. The US can't allow any foreign power to veto its strategic alliances, exercises, or interests, simply by issuing bellicose threats. For that matter, neither can Japan or South Korea.

2. The trouble with making Pyongyang a parking lot for South Korea's Hyundais and Kias (apart from the loss of innocent lives that will otherwise be slowly starved by the insane Kim) is China. China didn't allow the North to be overrun in 1950, and it won't allow it today.

3. Notwithstanding China's interest in preserving the geopolitical balance of the Korean Peninsula, if Kim launches any long range missiles towards Japan, South Korea, or Hawaii (Guam or Saipan), the US should use tactical nukes, and China has likely been so advised by our diplomats.

4. Reunification of the two Koreas will slow down the South Korean economic juggernaut just as reunification of Germany did for West Germany. Tons of resources will have to be diverted to rebuild the infrastructure of the North. In the long run, this will make Korea even more successful, but in the short term it will be painful.

5. If the status quo in Korea is preserved through Chinese intransigence, Japan will remilitarize and more closely coordinate its defense with the US and South Korea, as it did during the Cold War. There may even be talk of amending their Constitution to allow for some nuclear technology.

pacifist said...

"Better to seek peace and agreement through negotiations."

Jimmy Carter thinks so too and said this in an editorial in Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/23/AR2010112305808.html

Anonymous said...

Re: "And where do you get off telling someone what to write about? Get your own blog!"

So if I had written "Great post! More on this topic!" you would have also responded in this manner?

My impression is that Wendy has a comments section precisely so that her audience can tell her what they like and don't like. She doesn't have to listen to us. But if she didn't want comments, she wouldn't have a comments section.

Re: "If you bothered to check the links you would see that the sources that quote North Korea's threats include an Australian newspaper, Voice of America, and ABC News."

Correct, but not with the "OMG they're gonna nuke us" ingenuousness of Wendy's post. There's quoting, and then there's quoting.

Re: "the insane Kim"

He is absolutely not insane. He is very smart and very rational. It's just that his goals (power, money, luxury for himself and his friends) do not agree with our idea of a national leader's goals. But for a nobody, from a desperately poor country, he has done remarkably well for himself, in light of his goals. Do you see the leaders of say, Equitoreal Guinea or Bangladesh get the kind of attention, audience, and foreign aid that North Korea gets? Realizing that North Korean junta is not insane goes a long way toward figuring out how to deal with it.

Re: "Reunification of the two Koreas will slow down the South Korean economic juggernaut just as reunification of Germany did for West Germany"

Understatement of the century. This is why NK wants to provoke an invasion, and SK wants to avoid it. (This is not your father's SK, by the way, which would have loved the opportunity to take over NK. Different times.)

Wendy said...

Anonymous 8:43

You are right that I have a comment section so people can exchange thoughts. I welcome diverse comments and often learn from them!

The post was not intended to be an "OMG they're going to nuke us" post. My point is that negotiations and talks are a better path to promoting peace than taking military action or chest pounding. Many disagree with me on the point. I have held that belief since I was a child so I am used to criticism and I expect disagreement. I do not support war or violence. I believe that there is no justification for killing. I oppose capital punishment. I abhor the expenditure of my tax dollars to fund war and weapons of war when there are hungry and homeless people in my classroom, my neighborhood, my state, my nation, and my world.

When people say "nuke them" it is mind boggling to me. Who is "them"? "Them" is us! We are together in this world.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your pacifism. However, I agree with you for the reasons in your 9:27 post, and not because North Korea says they will make a trillion nuclear warheads rain down upon us imperialist pigs. We must be pacifists again for the reasons you list in your later post, and not because we get spooked by the boogeyman. Adopting an anti-militaristic viewpoint in response to a dictator's chest-thumping is just as silly as adopting a militaristic viewpoint for the same reason. (And indeed, it is funny how many American neoconservative hawk types ridicule North Korea or, earlier, Iraq, but then repeat those dictators' press releases about their military might as fact.)

Wendy said...

Anonymous 8:43
You said, "He is absolutely not insane. He is very smart and very rational. It's just that his goals (power, money, luxury for himself and his friends) do not agree with our idea of a national leader's goals. But for a nobody, from a desperately poor country, he has done remarkably well for himself, in light of his goals. Do you see the leaders of say, Equitoreal Guinea or Bangladesh get the kind of attention, audience, and foreign aid that North Korea gets? Realizing that North Korean junta is not insane goes a long way toward figuring out how to deal with it."

Kim is not rational, as you claim. What is rational about isolating your country so millions starve in a famine? Or prohibiting the basic freedoms of expression, religion or conscience? What is rational about forced labor camps or brutality? What is rational about torture?

Wendy said...

Anonymous 9:52

I did not quote the articles that quote the foreign ministry to scare people into pacifism, but to point out the dangerous situation and hope that negotiations will take place.

Anonymous said...

There is no "negotiating" with them. China will not insert itself this time in any sort of actual conflict. They will strongly condemn the attack, and that is it. They have too much riding on the world marketplace, which doesn't include North Korea.