And of course, it’s Defense Minister Kim Tae-young:
Defense Minister Kim Tae-yung on Sunday threatened North Korea with retaliation if it is found to have been behind the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan on March 26. “Retaliation — whatever form it takes — must be done,” Kim said on KBS TV. The possibility of a vicious cycle of retaliation “must clearly be considered,” he said.
The minister was echoing Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Kim Sung-chan’s pledge during Thursday’s funeral for the 46 sailors killed in the shipwreck that whoever caused the tragedy would not be forgiven and get away.
As we know, the defense minister talks a lot. But this time, he was joined by former USFK commander B.B. Bell (operative word: former), who, according to Ye Olde Chosun, called for strict blockade measures against the North if it is proven they sank the Cheonan.
The Chosun runs down some of the options, including large naval drills near the NLL, attacks on North Korean submarines, and my personal favorite — as it is of the defense minister, apparently — bringing in nuclear-armed US bombers:
Dispatching U.S. Air Force B-2 stealth bombers or B-52 bombers to the skies over the Korean Peninsula is also an option.
Asked by lawmaker Kim Jung of the Pro-Park Geun-hye Coalition at the National Assembly Defense Committee session last Wednesday whether deploying nuclear bombers alone could send a sufficiently strong message to the North, the minister replied, “I think it would be good show of force.”
Nothing like a little nuclear posturing to brighten one’s morning.
Anyway, I’ll believe any of this talk only when it actually happens.