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Korean troubles: a conflict impending?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:05 am    Post subject: Korean troubles: a conflict impending? Reply with quote

NKorea scraps sea accords; SKorea holds navy drill
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100527/ap_on_re_as/as_skorea_ship_sinks
By KELLY OLSEN, Associated Press Writer – Thu May 27, 4:04 pm ET
Quote:
SEOUL, South Korea – Military tension on the Korean peninsula rose Thursday after North Korea threatened to attack any South Korean ships entering its waters and Seoul held anti-submarine drills in response to the March sinking of a navy vessel blamed on Pyongyang.
Separately, the chief U.S. military commander in South Korea criticized the North over the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in which 46 sailors died, telling the communist country to stop its aggressive actions.
North Korean reaction was swift. The military declared it would scrap accords with the South designed to prevent armed clashes at their maritime border, including the cutting of a military hot line, and warned of "prompt physical strikes" if any South Korean ships enter what the North says are its waters in a disputed area off the west coast of the peninsula.
A multinational team of investigators said May 20 that a North Korean torpedo sank the 1,200-ton ship. Seoul announced punitive measures, including slashing trade and resuming anti-Pyongyang propaganda over radio and loudspeakers aimed at the North. North Korea has denied attacking the ship, which sank near disputed western waters where the Koreas have fought three bloody sea battles since 1999.
"The facts and evidence laid out by the joint international investigation team are very compelling. That is why I have asked the Security Council to fulfill their responsibility to keep peace and stability ... to take the necessary measures, keeping in mind the gravity of this situation," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he opened a conference in Brazil meant to help find solutions to global conflicts.
Inter-Korean political and economic ties have been steadily deteriorating since the February 2008 inauguration of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who vowed a tougher line on the North and its nuclear program. The sinking of the Cheonan has returned military tensions — and the prospect of armed conflict — to the forefront.
Off the west coast, 10 South Korean warships, including a 3,500-ton destroyer, fired artillery and other guns and dropped anti-submarine bombs during a one-day exercise to boost readiness, the navy said.
South Korea also is planning two major military drills with the U.S. by July in a display of force intended to deter aggression by North Korea, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Gen. Walter Sharp, chief of the 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea, said the United States, South Korea and other members of the U.N. Command "call on North Korea to cease all acts of provocation and to live up with the terms of past agreements, including the armistice agreement."
The U.S. fought on the South Korean side during the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. North Korea has long demanded a permanent peace agreement.
The prospect of another eruption of serious fighting has been constant on the Korean peninsula since the war ended. But it had been largely out of focus in the past decade as North and South Korea took steps to end enmity and distrust, such as launching joint economic projects and holding two summits.
The sinking of the warship, however, clearly caught South Korea — which has a far more modern and advanced military than its impoverished rival — off guard.
"I think one of the big conclusions that we can draw from this is that, in fact, military readiness in the West Sea had become very lax," said Carl Baker, an expert on Korean military relations at the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank in Honolulu, calling it nothing short of an "indictment" of Seoul's preparedness.
South Korean and U.S. militaries are taking pains to warn the North that such an embarrassment will not happen again.
South Korean media reported Thursday that the U.S.-South Korean combined forces command led by Sharp raised its surveillance level, called Watch Condition, by a step from level 3 to level 2. Level 1 is the highest.
The increased alert level means U.S. spy satellites and U-2 spy planes will intensify their reconnaissance of North Korea, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said, citing an unidentified South Korean official.
The South Korean and U.S. militaries would not confirm any changes to the alert level. It would be the first change since North Korea carried out a nuclear test in May 2009, a South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff officer said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.
A South Korean Defense Ministry official said Seoul will "resolutely" deal with the North's measures announced Thursday, but did not elaborate. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department policy. South Korea's military said there were no signs of unusual activity by North Korean troops.
Despite the tensions, most analysts feel the prospect of war remains remote because North Korea knows what's at stake.
"I don't think they're really interested in going to war," said Daniel Pinkston, a Seoul-based analyst for the International Crisis Group think tank. "Because if it's all-out war, then I'm convinced it would mean the absolute destruction" of North Korea. "And their country would cease to exist."
Thousands of South Korean veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars rallied Thursday in Seoul, beating a life-sized rubber likeness of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il with wooden sticks and stabbing it with knives. "Dialogue won't work with these North Korean devils," said Mo Hyo-sang, an 81-year-old Korean War veteran.
In Moscow, the Kremlin said President Dmitry Medvedev sent a group of experts to Seoul to study the findings of the investigation into the ship disaster.
"Medvedev considers it a matter of principle to establish the reason for the sinking of the ship," it said.

I was hoping things would start to settle down soon but it seems the opposite is happening and the immediate future doesn't seem too promising.
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Last edited by Darqcyde on Fri May 28, 2010 12:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Short answer: no.


Longer answer, Kim Jong Il and his psychotic heir are the only people who really want North Korea. Therefore, no one wants to invade and depose them They know this, but they like attention.

(Many South Koreans, though certainly not all, think that North Korea has become too culturally isolated to ever reunite the peninsula. Younger Koreans seem to be more optimistic about the chances, but that's all anecdotal.)
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't North Korea regularly promise war anyway?
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I asked my father, since, while he can't tell me specifics or a lot of what he knows, he gets briefed on pretty much everything, military-related.

(on asking what the US would do)
"Nothing."
"What do you mean?"
"Where's the world's biggest minefield?"
"On their border..."
"Right, so they'll go 'fuck you!' 'no, fuck you!' and nothing will happen."
"Well, this does seem a bit more extreme than normal - N.Korea just sunk one of S.Korea's ships after all."
"Yeah, and S.Korea will find some way to retaliate, it might go back and forth, but nothing will happen."

Now, I have a minor issue with describing ships sinking and large numbers of people dying as "nothing happening," but that is, apparently, indicative of the current command opinion of our military. So... yeah.
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Bart



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The chances that the Americans or South-Koreans will start a war seems very small to me, but the North-Koreans ? It does seem like a possibility that they'll turn up the crazy to 11 and invade some day.
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Sam the Eagle



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a snowflake's chance.

NK knows that any conflict means their destruction. China doesn't want a mass exodus on it's border and SK knows, after German union' example, that it'll take more ressources and spirit; the north starts far further than East Germany was, and Japan won't help due to the unsolved abductee issue.

Even if NK did shot that destroyer willfully, and the so-called "international team" won't cut mustard now (remember the "Iraq got WMD" proofs in UN) to some countries, Russia and China amongst them, it cannot afford to make China loose face on that issue.

The worst case scenario I can think of would be a military split meaning Kim is loosing his hold on power. That could lead to escalated incidents forcing both China and/or US to intervene.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

calling it, kim jong il has been dead for months
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Mr Gary



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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

also, Charlie Chaplin has a moustache.
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Him



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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did an American Mine Sink South Korean Ship?



New America Media, News Analysis, Yoichi Shimatsu, Posted: May 27, 2010
BEIJING - South Korean Prime Minister Lee Myung-bak has claimed "overwhelming evidence" that a North Korean torpedo sank the corvette Cheonan on March 26, killing 46 sailors. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that there’s "overwhelming evidence" in favor of the theory that North Korea sank the South Korean Navy warship Cheonan. But the articles of proof presented so far by military investigators to an official inquiry board have been scanty and inconsistent.

There’s yet another possibility, that a U.S. rising mine sank the Cheonan in a friendly-fire accident.

In the recent U.S.-China strategic talks in Shanghai and Beijing, the Chinese side dismissed the official scenario presented by the Americans and their South Korean allies as not credible. This conclusion was based on an independent technical assessment by the Chinese military, according to a Beijing-based military affairs consultant to the People Liberation Army.

Hardly any of the relevant facts that counter the official verdict have made headline news in either South Korea or its senior ally, the United States.

The first telltale sign of an official smokescreen involves the location of the Choenan sinking - Byeongnyeong Island (pronounced Pyongnang) in the Yellow Sea. On the westernmost fringe of South Korean territory, the island is dominated by a joint U.S.-Korean base for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. The sea channel between Byeongnyeong and the North Korean coast is narrow enough for both sides to be in artillery range of each other.

Anti-sub warfare is based on sonar and acoustic detection of underwater craft. Since civilian traffic is not routed through the channel, the noiseless conditions are near-perfect for picking up the slightest agitation, for example from a torpedo and any submarine that might fire it.

North Korea admits it does not possess an underwater craft stealthy enough to slip past the advanced sonar and audio arrays around Byeongnyeong Island, explained North Korean intelligence analyst Kim Myong Chol in a news release. "The sinking took place not in North Korean waters but well inside tightly guarded South Korean waters, where a slow-moving North Korean submarine would have great difficulty operating covertly and safely, unless it was equipped with AIP (air-independent propulsion) technology."

The Cheonan sinking occurred in the aftermath of the March 11-18 Foal Eagle Exercise, which included anti-submarine maneuvers by a joint U.S.-South Korean squadron of five missile ships. A mystery surrounds the continued presence of the U.S. missile cruisers for more than eight days after the ASW exercise ended.

Only one reporter, Joohee Cho of ABC News, picked up the key fact that the Foal Eagle flotilla curiously included the USNS Salvor, a diving-support ship with a crew of 12 Navy divers. The lack of any minesweepers during the exercise leaves only one possibility: the Salvor was laying bottom mines.

Ever since an American cruiser was damaged by one of Saddam Hussein's rising mines, also known as bottom mines, in the Iraq War, the U.S. Navy has pushed a crash program to develop a new generation of mines. The U.S. Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command has also been focused on developing counterparts to the fearsome Chinese naval "assassin's mace," which is propelled by a rocket engine.

A rising mine, which is effective only in shallow waters, rests atop a small platform on the sea floor under a camouflage of sand and gravel. Its detection system uses acoustics and magnetic readings to pick up enemy ships and submarines. When activated, jets of compressed air or solid-fuel rockets lift the bomb, which self-guides toward the magnetic center of the target. The blast rips the keel, splitting the ship or submarine into two neat pieces, just as was done to the RKOS Cheonan.

A lateral-fired torpedo, in contrast, "holes" the target's hull, tilting the vessel in the classic war movie manner. The South Korean government displayed to the press the intact propeller shaft of a torpedo that supposedly struck the Cheonan. Since torpedoes travel between 40-50 knots per hour (which is faster than collision tests for cars), a drive shaft would crumble upon impacting the hull and its bearing and struts would be shattered or bent by the high-powered blast.

The initial South Korean review stated that the explosive was gunpowder, which would conform to North Korea's crude munitions. This claim was later overturned by the inquiry board, which found the chemical residues to be similar to German advanced explosives. Due to sanctions against Pyongyang and its few allies, it is hardly credible that North Korea could obtain NATO-grade ordnance.

Thus, the mystery centers on the USNS Salvor, which happened to be yet right near Byeongyang Island at the time of the Cheonan sinking and far from its home base, Pearl Harbor. The inquiry board in Seoul has not questioned the officers and divers of the Salvor, which oddly is not under the command of the 7th Fleet but controlled by the innocuous-sounding Military Sealift Command. Diving-support ships like the Salvor are closely connected with the Office of Naval Intelligence since their duties include secret operations such as retrieving weapons from sunken foreign ships, scouting harbor channels and laying mines, as when the Salvor trained Royal Thai Marine divers in mine-laying in the Gulf of Thailand in 2006, for example.

The Salvor's presence points to an inadvertent release of a rising mine, perhaps because its activation system was not switched off. A human error or technical glitch is very much within the realm of possibility due to the swift current and strong tides that race through the Byeongnyeong Channel. The arduous task of mooring the launch platforms to the sea floor allows the divers precious little time for double-checking the electronic systems.

If indeed it was an American rising mine that sank the Cheonan, it would constitute a friendly-fire accident. That in itself is not grounds for a criminal investigation against the presidential office and, at worst, amounts only to negligence by the military. However, any attempt to falsify evidence and engage in a media cover-up for political purposes constitutes tampering, fraud, perjury and possibly treason.

Yoichi Shimatsu, former editor of the Japan Times, is an environmental consultant and a commentator on Asian affairs for CCTV-9 Dialogue.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It's also worth remembering there is an election coming up in S.Korea so the "hawkish" elements in the political establishment certainly has an interest in spinning this story.
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Sam the Eagle



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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That made a funny read... but this piece is quite misleading:

1-

This guy, Yoichi Shimatsu, is a Chinese regime mouthpiece, not at all the 'independent commentator' portrayed. I love his ' Dalai Lama is a Nazi' piece, amongst other stuff one can google from his name that makes him look like a Chinese Glenn Beck.

2-

This is Sinfest, you know the rule : link or it doesn't exist. I'm all willing to believe once I've seen this "independent technical assessment by the Chinese military" report, based on which source by the way?. Until then, I'll tend to go along BBC's view as an unconcerned party.

3-

This political piece may be intended for domestic purpose. That said when China takes part of a summit in Seoul, and want to play regional power, well they know they'll be watched.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to see this Chinese assessment as well. I've been searching, and while I see references to it from a number of similar articles, I haven't found the actual assessment yet. Though I did find this

Quote:
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Regular Press Conference on May 27, 2010

On the afternoon of May 27, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Ma Zhaoxu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, I'd like to extend welcome to spokespersons of different agencies under the Beijing Municipal Government and postgraduate students from the University of Hong Kong.

I have no announcement to make. Now the floor is open.

[...]

Q: When will China finish its assessment of the investigation into the Cheonan incident? If the assessment is already completed, what is China's conclusion?

A: This issue is extremely complicated. Since it has no first hand information, China is still studying and assessing information from all sides in a serious and prudent manner.


So... on afternoon of the same day as your article, Him, the Chinese Foreign Ministry went on record saying 1) that it has no first hand evidence (did it make the findings as to high explosives, or was it a different board? related: did the author of your article know that it's possible to get around sanctions when you're friends with countries like china?) and 2) that they had not completed their assessment.

Um.

Not sure what to make of that...

Also, I have a slight problem with the insistence of how a torpedo acts on a target. In only one of those three did the target tilt laterally, and then the two haves twisted in opposite directions. Torpedoes in WWI, yeah, they holed the hull of the target and caused it to tilt over and sink. Torpedoes now, they break ships in half, and the two halves sink independently. Considering that there are plenty of stories and photos of them raising the front half of the Cheonan... it rather seems like the ship wasn't just holed and slowly sunk. But that's just me.
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Him



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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam the Eagle wrote:
That made a funny read... but this piece is quite misleading:

1-

This guy, Yoichi Shimatsu, is a Chinese regime mouthpiece, not at all the 'independent commentator' portrayed. I love his ' Dalai Lama is a Nazi' piece, amongst other stuff one can google from his name that makes him look like a Chinese Glenn Beck.

Oh shit, maybe I should have checked him up better, but the New American Media website seemed legitimate enough. In either case there's undoubtedly a propaganda war on both sides here.

Quote:

2-

This is Sinfest, you know the rule : link or it doesn't exist. I'm all willing to believe once I've seen this "independent technical assessment by the Chinese military" report, based on which source by the way?. Until then, I'll tend to go along BBC's view as an unconcerned party.

So naturally I did a double.check of the JIG:
"Opening Statement

The Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group (JIG) conducted its investigation with 25 experts from 10 top Korean expert agencies, 22 military experts, 3 experts recommended by the National Assembly, and 24 foreign experts constituting 4 support teams from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Sweden. The JIG is composed of four teams--Scientific Investigation Team, Explosive Analysis Team, Ship Structure Management Team, and Intelligence Analysis Team."

Here's their report in it's entirety.
Also, if this was a cover-up for friendly fire, as the original article asserts, of course they would find parts of the torpedo. But that's venturing into conspiracy theory land.
In any case the initial report on may 6th talked of a torpedo of "german origin" and a possible North Korean cover-up.

My google skills are not that l33t but I have yet to find the chinese military report mentioned in the original article.




Quote:
3-

This political piece may be intended for domestic purpose. That said when China takes part of a summit in Seoul, and want to play regional power, well they know they'll be watched.

Well, given the upcoming elections there as in any case been some political finger-pointing in S.Korea itself: Probe satisfies some, others have doubts

Progressive paper toes Pyongyang party line

The North Korean statement referenced there is brilliant by the way.


" As the group of traitors declared that the sinking of the warship "Cheonan" is linked with us, the NDC of the DPRK will dispatch an inspection group to the spot of South Korea to verify material evidence concerning the linkage.

The group of traitors should produce before the dignified inspection group of the DPRK material, evidence proving that the sinking of the warship is linked with us.

We remind the group of traitors in advance that there should be not a shred of doubt about the material evidence to be produced before the inspection group."
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Last edited by Him on Sat May 29, 2010 9:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sam



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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be a wee bit hilarious if it was an american mine that sunk the ship but the potential is less than credible to an insane degree.

I mean right now the odds that the DPRK done did it is like 99.9999999%
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Him



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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
It would be a wee bit hilarious if it was an american mine that sunk the ship but the potential is less than credible to an insane degree.

I mean right now the odds that the DPRK done did it is like 99.9999999%
Unless it's another Tonkin Bay.
The political debate in S.Korea seems to be running hot anyway, with the main opposition party disputing the results of the probe, and a member of the probe being forced to resign for allegedly spreading false rumors not matching the official result.

But yeah, even so, it seems most likely at this point that the DPRK are behind this attack.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man, this thread is adlinking me to the international korean dating site
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