Korea Strikes! | J@N | 11.23.10

Korea Strikes! | J@N | 11.23.10
So, it snowed in the Seattle area. And as happens every year, everyone in the area forgot how to operate a car. Tuning into the news to watch folks skidding on ice, sliding into ditches, and complaining about the delays is usually one of the highlights of the first snowfall in this region.

BUT NO. This morning, North and South Korea decided to SHOOT at eachother, causing a flare-up in ACTUAL news coverage that’s gotten in the way of enjoying our annual “Metro On Ice” showing. So you get to share our pain. We’ll be discussing the Korean conflict as well, cuz we just can’t get enough!

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BUT NO.  This morning, North and South Korea decided to SHOOT at eachother, causing a flare-up in ACTUAL news coverage that’s gotten in the way of enjoying our annual “Metro On Ice” showing.  So you get to share our pain.  We’ll be discussing the Korean conflict as well, cuz we just can’t get enough!

Early Tuesday morning, North and South Korea exchanged shots, shelling eachother with large artillery, raising tensions between the rivals to their highest level in more than a decade. (picture)
* Began as a threat from N. Korea for S. Korea to stop military drills near the maritime border between the two nations.
* S. Korea refused and began firing shells into the waters offshore of N. Korea.
* N. Korea responded to this by shelling the small island of Yeonpyeong, which houses a military installation and a small civilian population. (2 killed, 15 injured, no civilian casualties).
* S. Korea retaliated by scrambling fighter jets and firing howitzers across the border. (casualty numbers unreported)

Impact:
Stock Prices are the first thing people discuss this impacting.  Currency exchange and gold.
— WHAT THE FUCK, WORLD!?
— Allan (Listener) says, “That’s what war has always been about – the influence of political and economical change, by force.”
<Peregrine_Falcon> It was just six weeks ago that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il unveiled his youngest son Kim Jong Un as his heir apparent. In order to prove to the rest of the old guard that his son can handle leadership he wants to show that he’s a ‘tough guy.’ That’s why he allowed his son to order the attack on the island of Yeonpyeong.
<Peregrine_Falcon> He figures that now is a good time because the North Koreans all believe that the Obama adminstration lacks the guts to take any military action against them.

WAR??:
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, said an “indiscriminate attack on civilians can never be tolerated. Enormous retaliation should be made to the extent that (N. Korea) cannot make provocations again,” he said.

Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea and the U.S.-led U.N. Command, said in a Facebook posting that the U.S. military is “closely monitoring the situation and exchanging information with our (South Korean) allies as we always do.”
** Sidebar:  Facebook!?!?

Experts agree that Korean conflict is a major risk to the US
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2010-11-23-korea-reaction_N.htm

This act of aggression comes right on the heels of:
1) Kim Jong Ill appointing his son as heir apparent
* His son has no military experience – this attack may have been used as propaganda to improve the public’s view of his abilities as a military leader.
2) News was released of a new uranium enrichment plan that could further N. Korea’s nuclear program in violation of UN sanctions.
* Historically, smaller nations are prone to acts of aggression when their nuclear capabilities are made public.

It’s the first armed conflict of this scale in the region since the Armistice Agreement of 1953.

Follow my train of thought:
N. Korea is near-allies with China, and are also friendly with Iran.
If N. Korea decides to escalate and invade or further attack S. Korea, the US will respond.
Unless folks keep their heads and are CAREFUL and DIPLOMATIC about this situation, it could quickly boil over into a worldwide armed conflict.
(This is how World War I started, ya’ll.  Alliances and provocations!)

Some ‘experts’ that have been interviewed today are already talking about nuclear deterrent to large-scale conflict (that is, bombing Seoul).  Others are saying that China needs to be pressured to take a firmer hand in North Korea’s wellfare, since they currently supply a huge portion of the nation’s foreign aid.

It’s estimated by the UN that more than 10,000 N. Koreans have died of starvation over the past year.

Infographic on Korean Military figures

If you’re curious how a war between the US and Korea might go down, check out this nifty piece of fiction: “Red Phoenix” by Larry Bond

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