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N. Korea Severs Ties, Orders Preparations for War

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Posted on May 25, 2010
U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Christopher M. Burke

Tensions between North and South Korea are spiraling out of control. The north has cut all ties, and Kim Jong-il reportedly ordered his forces to prepare to defend against attack. Seoul continues to push for satisfaction in the U.N. Security Council after the north allegedly torpedoed a South Korean warship.

State media reports that North Korea will not engage diplomatically until the south’s President Lee Myong-bak leaves office. Lee has backed his nation away from its so-called sunshine policy, meant to ease relations between the two Koreas.

Speaking from Beijing, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised President Lee and referred to stability on the Korean Peninsula as a “shared responsibility” with China. Clinton added that “we will work with the international community and our Chinese colleagues to fashion an effective and appropriate response” to the crisis.

China is by far North Korea’s biggest trading partner and, together with South Korea, accounts for most of the north’s imports and exports.  —PZS

The Guardian:

The announcement, leaves relations at their worst point for years. It came as a monitoring group in Seoul reported that the Northern leader, Kim Jong-il, last week ordered his military to prepare for war in case the South attacks. Southern military officials were unable to confirm the report, and said they had detected no unusual troop movements.

Pyongyang’s statement followed President Lee Myong-bak’s announcement that the South would suspend trade, ban Northern ships from its waters and take Pyongyang to the UN security council. This morning, he announced that it would redesignate the North as its “main enemy” – a term it dropped six years ago, when relations were thawing.

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By nemesis2010, May 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, May 27 at 1:04 pm

”Change the actors to Israel sinking a Syrian ship and all the viewpoints here will change—and sympathy for the attacker will vanish overnight.
Predictable as Old Faithful or a solar eclipse.”

Yeah, because given the history of that little arrogant rogue state it will be a Syrian ship carrying flour in international waters. The U.S.S. Liberty ring any bells?

Have you any evidence that North Korea attacked that ship? Real evidence, not Hillary squawking… ummmmm?

Israel has no one but itself to blame for the rightfully negative view that the world now has of that rogue state. They blew their political capital through their atrocious actions!

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By Inherit The Wind, May 27, 2010 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Change the actors to Israel sinking a Syrian ship and all the viewpoints here will change—and sympathy for the attacker will vanish overnight.

Predictable as Old Faithful or a solar eclipse.

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By nemesis2010, May 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

This is a recurring theme. The question is what does North Korea want this time; Oil, food, some special French wine for dear leader and perhaps a really cool pair of Elvis sunglasses? And of course the U.S. will give the little shithead whatever he asks for.

It’s time to nuke their asses and get this war with China and Russia going. If we win we cancel all that debt and we can balance the books. If we lose—what the hey—we’re screwed anyway. Too many people in the world, let’s clear out some space. Malthus may prove out to have been right all along.

China isn’t about to let him mess with their biggest employer.

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By Peter Z. Scheer, May 26, 2010 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

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By Peter Z. Scheer, May 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

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By brewerstroupe, May 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

The “torpedo” attack is a crock. It is impossible for even a mini sub to maneuver and escape detection in those shallow waters.
Most likely an old mine, of which there are plenty in the area left over from the Korean War and apparently 136 were laid in the 70s, only about 10% retrieved.

In the aftermath of the sinking, Won See-hoon, (director of South Korea’s National Intelligence)and South Korea’s Defense Minister Kim Tae-young both insisted there was no foul play. When speculation persisted that the Cheonan had been sunk by a North Korean torpedo, the Defense Ministry called another press conference to reiterate “there was no unusual North Korean activities detected at the time of the disaster.”
A ministry spokesman, Won Tae-jae, told reporters that “With regard to this case, no particular activities by North Korean submarines or semi-submarines…have been verified. I am saying again that there were no activities that could be directly linked to” the Cheonan’s sinking.
They had good reason to be confident - there were four AEGIS ships in the area in joint U.S./ROK exercises. If an antiquated North Korean sub could escape their notice in the middle of War Games, you better close down Annapolis and start sending your swabbies to Pyongyang for training.

So what changed?

Mr Lee is up for re-election and he has staked his career on a belligerent stance towards the North while the electorate has been becoming more tolerant.

The U.S. of course doesn’t want to give up Okinawa.

The “International Report” that has been trumpeted as unanimous is neither international nor unanimous. The only non-member of the “Coalition of the Willing” was Sweden and they were not too happy about it:

The U.S., Britain and Australia - all of which helped in the investigation - are all prepared to back up the findings. Only Sweden, which also sent investigators, is a reluctant partner in blaming the North Koreans.

No doubt these interests have capitalized on a maritime disaster.

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By Leefeller, May 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

How about this; the US attacks North Korea because it doesn’t have any oil, to show everyone the USA can attack for other more important reasons, soon as they come up with one!

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By diamond, May 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

What gives Gerard is that the CIA and the Pentagon are bad losers. They’ve never got over losing the Korean war and have never signed a peace agreement with North Korea. War with a nuclear power is impossible so I agree something else is going on. Probably a distraction from the military/Industrial complex’s plan to attack Iran. Who knows? It’s always hard to predict what psychopaths will do next, wherever they live.

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By kerryrose, May 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Didn’t the US just fan the flames by having the US Marines practice naval drills with the South Koreans?  Why does the US want North Korea to wage war?  In other words… What’s in it for us?

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By Anarcissie, May 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps Madame Secretary is in Beijing to cut a deal.

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By gerard, May 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Reminds me somehow of Marcus’ recent article on political kindergarten.  A couple years ago North and South Korea were shaking hands.  Last year it seemed that the North Korean “nuclear threat” had been calmed and relations between the US and the North were improved.  Then the hapless “journalists” who strayed inside the North’s prison-camp nation, and the resolution of resulting tensions.  Then the North sinking a Southern ship. Then the US backs the South.  Then the North threatens war, etc. etc.

It would seem that this feisty, backward, locked-up little nation will do anything to get in the news, and the US and the South don’t know whow to ignore them but instead play into the routine. The North and the South are brothers—all Koreans. South Korea is way more “sophisticated” and “modernized”—for what that’s worth.  Think the manic behavior of the Red Queen in “Alice.”  Enough already! (Or do we need a little war in that area to justify the renewal of the Okinawa base? What really gives here?)

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