reply to post by earthdude
Everyone is going to have a different answer for it, however, I've been to Korea a few times and have learned a thing or two while there.
First, the attack on the South Korean island is very uncharacteristic of North Korea. Most of their targets in the past have been military in nature.
To understand why, you would probably have to see the DMZ, and it would be a good idea to watch this 14-segment documentary (yeah, 14 segments is a
bit ridiculous, I know). www.youtube.com...
North Korea is brought up under the teachings that the rest of the world is jealous of Korea and its bounty. Under these teachings - the rest of the
world would invade at the drop of a hat, were it not for the military might and excellent leadership of her people's leaders. The South Koreans are
seen as their family that has been corrupted by the rest of the world, and that it is one day the destiny of North Korea to re-unite the peninsula
under the purity of North Korea.
Exactly how many people believe all of that by time they reach adulthood is anyone's guess.
In any case - both sides have avoided even military casualties until recent. Several years ago, there was an exchange of fire between two ships, and
a few North Koreans were killed in the incident. The South felt so bad about the killing of people they still feel as family that a monument was
Here' the important bit of what I have to say:
While some people will classify North Korea's shelling of that island as a retaliation to live-fire exercises being carried out by South Korea, the
simple problem with this logic is that the 'retaliation' occurred hours later, and targeted a completely unrelated area inhabited largely by
North Korea incurred no damage and was never once threatened or would have appeared threatened. Typical response to an artillery
strike is what is known as counter-battery fire - the rounds fired are tracked through 3d space by radars and their point of origin computed with a
high degree of accuracy, and available batteries fire upon this location. Even if North Korea completely lacks functioning systems of this nature,
these exercises done by South Korea are nothing new and generally take place in the same area time and time again, at regular intervals.
This would lead me to believe that North Korea's strike was not in retaliation to exercises conducted by the South, but intended to correspond to
those exercises in an attempt to portray the South Koreans as antagonistic.
That is classic North Korean M.O. - make some noise, blow some stuff up, get free stuff from six-party talks.
There are, however, some considerable differences this time around. Civilians were killed. A populated area was attacked as opposed to a military
target (such as a ship - most of the skirmishes between the two nations have happened on the seas). This is very new, and very different.
This radical departure from the average antics to come from North Korea coincides with a change of command on the horizon for Korea, with the third
son of Kim Jong Il to be officially handed the reigns. While 28 years old, he is being branded as 30 years old in the North Korean media - a sign
that he is being groomed to appear powerful and capable of leading the nation, and potentially an indication of what kind of actions we can see him
taking. He is very likely to take a very strong and abrupt stance on things, and being young - be idealistic to the point of irrationality.
It is possible that he does, indeed, want to initiate a war in the hope of unifying Korea before his father passes away (a dream the present 'Great
Leader' had, but never realized, with regards to his father - perhaps because he realized the insanity involved in making the attempt).
Until recently, the leader of North Korea seemed content to be lauded as a deity and have his pick of grade-school girls. There is something to be
said for a dictator being content to be god of his little corner of the world and not have much ambition. However, it appears the successor is far
less content with that lifestyle and could destabilize the region.
As for why they would order that island attacked? There could be any number of reasons - it was less damaging than if North Korea struck at, say,
Seoul, and was somewhat less likely to garner a military response from South Korea by comparison to an attack on the mainland.
It could also have been meant to trigger a full retaliation and make the North look like the victims to those who would back it ("we only fired a
hundred rounds at this island and killed a few people - they responded with twice as many on our mainland and we had no choice but to retaliate.")
It's really difficult to logically deduce the full reasoning of a North Korean dictator. I can say, though, that whatever the exact reasons are, they
are almost certainly linked with the succession of power and the strike was intended to coincide with both the artillery exercises done by South Korea
and the present Naval exercises. That is classic North Korean "rattle the saber during the exercises and act like the rest of the world is picking on
The choice to shell the island as opposed to the open ocean or something similar to what they have done in the past is likely related to the
succession of power as well - but, exactly why is something that we will probably never know for certain.
edit on 1-12-2010 by Aim64C because:
Added link to documentary series that was missing.