Wednesday, May 05, 2010

South's turn for a bit of Haidong Gumdo

After years of North Korea's saber rattling, South Korea is returning the serve with its own show of Haidong Gumdo.

South Korea Vows Clear Response to Ship Sinking
President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea convened a meeting of top military commanders on Tuesday, calling for a review of his country’s defenses against North Korea and vowing a “clear and resolute measure” against those responsible for the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

South Korea, which has called a torpedo attack the likeliest cause of the sinking, has not specifically accused North Korea. But on Tuesday, Mr. Lee appeared to be inching closer to blaming the North.

“What has become clear so far is that the Cheonan sinking was not an accident,” Mr. Lee told senior officers.

He said the sinking, which killed 46 South Korean sailors, “reawakened South Koreans to the fact that just 50 kilometers to the north, long-range North Korean artillery and rockets are trained on us.” It also reminded South Koreans that “a threat that shatters our prosperity and stability can come in a way we cannot imagine,” he said.

Analysts said that Mr. Lee was trying to please his conservative base with a firm stance while avoiding too much saber-rattling, which could disrupt the financial markets.

Perhaps the market disruption obstacle has been negated by the Greece fallout, which is being blamed for causing the DJIA to slip into triple digits today.

Whatever, the Christian Science Monitor is taking a slightly more sanguine view of the situation, noting the meeting President Lee "convened" is a regular meeting of the generals, though it may be unusual for the President to lead it.

South Korea's leader calls Cheonan warship sinking 'no accident'
While President Lee Myung-bak linked the incident to North Korea in his speech at the twice-a-year meeting of the South’s top military commanders, he stopped short of accusing the North of involvement. The meeting is normally chaired by the defense minister, and Lee's presence alone revealed the heightened tensions between North and South.

"What is obvious so far is that the Cheonan did not sink due to a simple accident," Lee said, reports the Associated Press. "As soon as the incident occurred, I sensed it was a grave international and inter-Korean matter."

President Lee’s continued refusal to directly accuse the North highlights the cautious approach the South is taking toward its aggressive northern neighbor.

He pledged “firm and definite” action once the international investigation of the explosion is concluded. Lee has avoided talking of a military strike, and Reuters reports that South Korea will likely refer the North to the United Nations Security Council if it decides that Pyongyang was responsible.

Ready for another Tour of Duty, Jack?

Guambat hopes this does not land nearby tiny Guam in deep kimchi.



Blogger Jack said...

Guambat: Only if I'm returned to my full rank of staff sergeant and then only if I can have R&R in Guam from December 1 until April 30.


5 May 2010 at 2:32:00 am GMT+10  

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