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Originally posted by Regensturm
reply to post by jonny2410
Agreed. That area is part of the Northern Limit Line, which South Korea recognises, but North Korea doesn't.
The fact remains South Korea were carrying out military exercises in a highly disputed and thus sensitive area and I think their portion of responsibility that caused for this incident to happen has not fully been investigated by the MSM.
But if China says "The North Koreans are to blame and they stop."
1) North Korea will be seen to have lost support of China
Various sources saying all remaining civilians on Yeonpyeong are preparing to evacuate the damaged island tomorrow.
With an array of artillery trained on Seoul, North Korea could easily blast the glass towers of the South's booming capital for days and kill huge numbers of civilians before US and South Korean forces prevailed, experts said.
"Official Pentagon models assume it would take months to win the war at a cost approaching one million casualties or more, all told, including dead and wounded," Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told AFP.
"And that's without nuclear weapons being used," said O'Hanlon, who wrote a book looking at the effects of a potential war.
US and allied military planners have long believed that the North would be overwhelmed in a conventional war, but they worry how the North would use its arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, as well as its small cache of atomic bombs, said Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the Rand Corporation.
"The key question is whether or not they can use their WMD (weapons of mass destruction) effectively," Bennett said. "That's the part which we don't really know."
Bennett and some other analysts say North Korea likely will have the ability to fit a nuclear warhead onto one of its missiles within months, and may already have succeeded.
Under one war game played out in 2005 by The Atlantic magazine, former military officers and officials concluded that US fighter aircraft would have to carry out up to 4,000 sorties a day to prevent a WMD catastrophe for Seoul and the region.
A retired US colonel, John Collins, in 2003 examined a whole series of military options and scenarios with North Korea -- ranging from naval blockades to nuclear strikes -- and reached a grim conclusion.
"Any of the US options described above could trigger uncontrollable escalation that would create appalling casualties on both sides of the DMZ and promise a Pyrrhic victory at best," he said.
(Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and his son and successor Jong-un visited the artillery base from where shells were fired at a South Korean island just hours before the attack, South Korean media reported on Thursday.
Civilian deaths prompt calls for South Korea to retaliate
North Korea claims its bombardment was targeted only at army base after provocation from neighbour's military drills
By David McNeill in Tokyo and Donald Kirk in Seoul
Thursday, 25 November 2010
South Korea's leadership was under growing political pressure last night for a military response against its belligerent neighbour, after the bodies of two civilians killed in Tuesday's shelling by North Korean forces were found on the island of Yeonpyeong.
Local media said the charred corpses of two construction workers were uncovered amongst rubble on the island in the Yellow Sea, north-west of the South's capital, Seoul. The bombardment also killed two marines, injured at least 18 people and sent many of Yeonpyeong's population fleeing for cover.
Civilians streaming to the mainland from the island yesterday described how shells rained down, hitting homes and shops and setting local mountains on fire.
"It was like the end of the world," one woman told South Korean television. The North has yet to reveal casualties on its side of the border.
Pyongyang said it was targeted first during "provocative" South Korean military drills and that it was aiming at an army base. Yesterday the North's state-run KCNA news agency said that Seoul had driven both sides to "the brink of war" and compared its demands for "punishment" to a thief crying "stop the thief".
The tense stand-off and war of words is likely to intensify in the coming days, ahead of a three-day joint South Korea-US military drill slated to start on Sunday in seas near the disputed North-South border. Washington sent the nuclear-powered USS George Washington aircraft carrier steaming for the South from Japan yesterday. The carrier will join a fleet of US ships in the area, including two destroyers.
The White House said that the drill had been planned in advance, but President Barack Obama reportedly moved the date forward after discussions with South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak. Washington said yesterday that the drill would "underscore the strength of our Alliance and commitment to peace and security in the region".
President Lee is receiving heavy flak from opposition politicians for his initially hesitant response to what is widely viewed as North Korean aggression. "There should have been an intense counter-attack by fighters on the North's coastal batteries," Kim Jang-su, a former minister of National Defence, said in parliament yesterday. Some hawks are clamouring for a military strike.
Many South Koreans, who have grown used to occasional skirmishes across the heavily militarised zone that divides the Korean Peninsula, are furious that the North apparently deliberately shelled a populated area. "Time for retaliation," said the daily JoongAng Ilbo newspaper. Another newspaper denounced the attack as a "war crime" launched at the instigation of the North's ailing leader Kim Jong-il. "The Seoul government can hardly afford to negotiate with Pyongyang after it bombarded residential areas," said the Dong-A Ilbo. "This incident has demonstrated yet again how dangerous and meaningless dialogue and negotiations are in trying to change Pyongyang."
But President Lee's options are limited, short of military action that could quickly escalate into full-scale war against its nuclear-armed neighbour. Seoul had already cut off most cross-border ties and imposed punishing sanctions on Pyongyang after the sinking of the South Korean Cheonan warship earlier this year, widely blamed on the North. Some were already predicting that the skirmish will go down in history as just one of the occasional bloody episodes staged by the North Koreans.
"This is one of our many dilemmas," said Lee Jong-min, a dean at Yonsei University. "We are so used to living with the North Korean threat and just say, 'Those North Koreans are crazy'." That response, he said, was in itself crazy considering that the attack was "the first time they've shot at Korean territory since the Korean War".
President Lee's difficult position was underlined yesterday by conflicting reports about his office's initial response to the shelling. Shortly after the attack began, he reportedly said that the South's military should "carefully manage the situation" to prevent an escalation. But after criticism of the response from opposition lawmakers, President Lee's office said he had ordered jets to strike a North Korean missile base, The Korea Herald reported.
Many Koreans had put their hopes in the so-called Sunshine Policy of reconciliation between the two Cold War enemies when Kim Dae-jung was president of the South from 1998 to 2003. He not only met North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il, but agreed on a wide range of cultural and commercial ties.
Mr Kim's successor, Roh Moo-hyun, continued with the policy until stepping down in February 2008 when he was replaced by the conservative Mr Lee, who has since taken a much harder line.
In that era, one newspaper noted, "any unintended clashes" would "immediately set in motion channels for emergency dialogue." This time, the paper said, "there was no senior-level emergency communication." That explained "why this incident warrants more serious concern. "
President Lee's office has rejected the North's claims that the South's military provoked Tuesday's exchange. "We have come to the judgment that what happened on Yeonpyeong Island was a definite military provocation against the Republic of Korea," it said. Military forces across the South are still on high alert as the people of Seoul, just south of the border, wonder what will come next.
Who calls the shots in North Korea?
Purposefully shrouded in an overwhelming air of mystery, the leader of North Korea holds ultimate power over the nation's political and military strategy. Weakened by ill health, the 69-year-old is believed to be grooming his son Kim Jong-un as his successor.
Third son and political heir apparent to Kim Jong-il, 27-year-old Kim Jong-un's political might has risen sharply in the last six months. Recent inflammatory events are thought to be Kim Jong-il's efforts to prove his son's worth and therefore ensure he succeeds as leader.
Widely believed to be the key challenger to Kim Jong-un's succession, Kim Jong-il's 64-year-old brother-in-law is vice chairman of the country's National Defence Commission and is thought to be the leader's deputy. Unlike Jong-un, he is a long-standing political force.
Chief of staff for the People's Army and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party, Ri Yong-ho is reported to have been second in of command for the attack on South Korea earlier this week, as is Kim Jong-un.
The view from Seoul: outrage and self-criticism
By Donald Kirk
Thursday, 25 November 2010
South Korea's "big three" conservative newspapers led a chorus of media condemnation yesterday of North Korea's attack on an off-shore island in a battle against a return to complacency among many ordinary Koreans.
"North Korea's provocation has gone beyond our imagination," said an editorial in JoongAng Ilbo, one of the big three papers. "With our memories of the Korean War still vivid, this massive attack confirms again the grim reality that such a tragedy can be repeated at any time."
Despite such imprecations, however, the sense among many Koreans was they could carry on as usual after an incident that many believed might go down in history as just one of many occasional bloody episodes staged by the North Koreans.
While conservatives called for "retaliation", a significant leftist and liberal minority believed the attack reflected the failure of dialogue between the two Koreas.
That view was evident in the measured response of Hankyoreh, a liberal newspaper that is much smaller in circulation than any of the "big three" but remains the voice of a significant minority.
In measured words, careful to blame North Korea for a "provocation", Hankyoreh said the incident "shows the severity of the uncertainty and risk spawned by the complete breakdown of dialogue between North Korea and South Korea."
Hankyoreh acknowledged the incident was "a deliberate provocation from North Korea" but said it also "shows the structural frailty of inter-Korean relations in their current stage". The piece looked back fondly on the previous era of so-called "sunshine policy".
Adrian Hamilton: Obama risks making the Korean crisis worse
Thursday, 25 November 2010
The very worst response to the Korean crisis is to do what President Obama did yesterday: that is to announce a joint US-South Korean military exercise on the border this weekend. The State Department then explained that the exercise had been planned for some time and that its aim was one of deterrence rather than aggression. But it also announced that it would be moving an aircraft carrier from Japan to Korean waters forthwith.
We've been here before and it's never done any good. Certainly it's done nothing to change Pyongyang's behaviour. It was South Korea's military exercises this month, in response to the sinking of one of its warships by a North Korean submarine, that helped bring about the latest clash as the northern regime upped the ante by opening artillery fire on Yeonpyeong Island.
It was only a few months ago that the same US carrier was sent into the same waters in a demonstration of strength. It had no effect on the North's stance then, and it is unlikely to have any more this time round.
Of course this incident is more serious than others in the past. Television pictures of whole villages burning and the loss of several civilian lives on the island have aroused popular anger in the South and the demand that the government "do something" in retaliation. But if history teaches you anything it is that gesture politics, when it comes to waving the military stick, is the cause of many a disaster.
And in the case of the Western response to North Korea it is gesture politics out of futility rather than determination. The joint exercise is taking place, the USS George Washington is speeding to the area, not to do anything but to create the appearance that Washington and Seoul are "doing something".
One can sympathise with their predicament. The West can huff and it can puff but there is very little that it can do to bring the North Korean house down. The regime has nuclear weapons and has recently displayed the fact that it has gone well down the road of uranium enrichment.
The US no longer has the power through its perceived military predominance to force change in the region. Yet it dare not risk total armed confrontation any longer. The UN is no use because of China's veto in the Security Council. Kim Jong-il's rule in Pyongyang is uncertain as he attempts to invest his younger son, Kim Jong-un, with the succession. And yet it would be a mistake to dismiss all prospects of a peaceful resolution just as it is a mistake to dismiss North Korea either as a manipulative, evil, militaristic powerhouse or as a ramshackle failed state incapable of anything.
In reality it is neither, or rather something of both. There is nothing that it has done so far that is entirely irrational. Developing nuclear weapons and uranium enrichment may make no sense economically, but it has immeasurably increased its security from the outside attack it fears.
At the same time, from Pyonyang's point of view, all its actions have taken place in waters whose allocation to South Korea at the end of the Korean War it has never accepted and continues to dispute. Indeed, it has a point if you look at a map.
If the regime's main fear is, as it is, of foreign intervention, then playing the aggressive card makes sense. And if your main problem is, as it so often is, domestic power politics, then raising foreign fears is a well-established tactic for ensuring internal unity.
The truth is that no-one really knows what the political situation within Korea is. It may be that Kim Jong-il is seeking military support for his son by scoring some aggressive points against the South. It may be that the military is displaying their own muscle to the son by baring their teeth so dramatically.
We don't know. Beijing probably doesn't know. Which is why it has seemed so impotent to control its ally's actions. It's very easy to declare that China should act as a parent to discipline its errant child, but having been through all this with South Africa and Zimbabwe, we should know by now that Beijing may be as constrained as we are in effecting correction. Pulling the plug on its neighbour could well be far more dangerous than letting it totter along whilst urging calm.
The number of dead in Seoul would be like something the world has not seen since WW2. The area of Seoul and around it has a population of 25m so even conservative estimates are probably talking upwards of a million, like the above report says.
In 2007, the two countries agreed that the wartime operational control of South Korean troops will be transferred from Washington to Seoul on April 12, 2012. Some in the South Korean and U.S. governments have said the transfer should be delayed because of North Korea’s increasing hostility.
South Korea's top court ruled Monday that possession of instrumental music with titles praising North Korea violates a tough national security law.
At an emergency meeting in Seoul, Lee ordered reinforcements for about 4,000 troops on the tense Yellow Sea islands, along with top-level weaponry and upgraded rules of engagement that would create a new category of response when civilian areas are targeted.
Originally posted by detachedindividual
reply to post by Agent_USA_Supporter
You forgot scenario #4...
NK takes the warning from SK and ignores the military exercises. They walk back to the table to collect their reward for not attacking again (read bribe). Nothing happens and we all go back to worrying about Iran until the next time NK needs some aid.
That is probably the most likely scenario.
Originally posted by buddha
have you seen the photos and film?
over 50 shells and 4 houses BURNT down.
I bet this is staged.