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Breaking News: N. Korea shells Yeonpyeong-do

Local news is reporting that North Korea has fired some 50 shells at the West Sea island of Yeonpyeong-do, with South Korea firing 30 rounds in return.

More worrying, some of the North Koreans shells reportedly landed on the island itself, destroying about 60—70 homes and fields. The island’s population has also reportedly taken shelter. No word on casualties.

This is not good. This is not good at all.

UPDATE: Photo from Yeonpyeong-do, from Yonhap:

Some reports claim that shells are still falling.

UPDATE: South Korea has scrambled F-15s and F-16s over the West Sea islands. Casualties reported so far are one soldier seriously injured and three lightly injured.

UPDATE: Casualty figures continue to climb, with reports of one Marine dead.

UPDATE: It should also be noted that Cheong Wa Dae is looking into whether the shelling was a response to a South Korean military drill in the West Sea.

UPDATE: NORTH KOREA SPEAKS! Shockingly, they claim South Korea fired first. If you enjoy KCNA-style Korean, click here to read what they said. If not, here”s the English version:

“The South Korean enemy, despite our repeated warnings, committed reckless military provocations of firing artillery shells into our maritime territory near Yeonpyeong island beginning 1pm (1500 AEDT),” a statement from the North’s military supreme command said.

The North’s military “will continue to make merciless military attacks with no hesitation if the South Korean enemy dares to invade our sea territory by 0.001 mm”, it said in the statement carried by the official news agency.

“It is our military’s traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.”

In case you were wondering how to say that last line in Korean, it’s “도발자들의 불질을 무자비한 불벼락으로 다스리는 것은 우리 군대의 전통적인 대응방식.”

Now, a certain American North Korea expert will probably point this out soon enough, but judging from how that was put (in both English and Korean) and North Korea’s issues with the NLL, that statement might technically be true from Pyongyang’s perspective: North Korea claims Yeonpyeong-do and the waters around Yeonpyeong-do, so if South Korea was conducting a naval artillery drill in the disputed (from North Korea’s perspective) area, they were, in fact, firing into North Korean waters. I’m not sure if this is the line of argumentation they’ll take, but I suppose they could give it a try.

- The casualty count so far is two Marines dead (a 22-year-old sergeant from Gwangju and a 20-year-old private from Gunsan), 16 wounded (six seriously) and three civilians injured, according to the Chosun Ilbo. It seems the bulk of the fire fell on a Marine K-9 artillery base, hence the casualty figures.

- The South Korean military said the drill they ran was a regular firing exercise conducted once a month: it was held on Baengnyeong-do in August and Yeonpyeong-do in September (skipped in October). The target zone was 20—30km southwest of Yeonpyeong-do. They military also believes its retaliatory fire caused significant North Korean military casualties. If you’ve seen photos of North Korean coastal artillery positions, they’re pretty impressive: the guns are placed in caves dug in the cliffs.

UPDATE: Yes, officially speaking, I now care about North Korea.

UPDATE: Correction on something I said earlier. I said North Korea claims Yeonpyeong Island itself. In fact, it does not: as it and the other so-called Five West Sea Islands were occupied by the UN/South Korea at the end of the Korean War, Pyongyang recognizes South Korean control. It’s the waters around them they want: see this map:

Thanks to Kushibo for correcting me on that.

- Also from Kushibo, Prof. Brian Myers apparently talked with the Beeb about the attack:

On the drive home I caught Professor Brian Myers (author of The Cleanest Race, which deals with the nationalist cultism of North Korea) on the BBC, which was being broadcast, as it usually is at this time of night, through the local NPR affiliate.

His opinion echoed my own, that North Korea’s Tuesday attack on South Korea’s Yŏnpyŏng-do Island [aka Yeonpyeong-do] could only have happened because the ROK failed to retaliate in any meaningful (read: proportionate or greater military response) when the Ch’ŏnan was sunk. He also focused heavily on how this kind of thing would be necessary in a country whose raison d’être lies with its military, hence the so-called Songun [선군/先軍, sŏn•gun] policy.

UPDATE: Christ, the North Koreans nearly took out a myeon office:

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • Joseph Dart

    For those readers who can’t speak Korean, the Wall Street Journal has it in foreign-barbarian-language:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703904804575631763523837910.html?mod=djemalertNEWS

  • milton

    North Korea is still firing shells…the South shelled North Korean positions according to YTN

  • http://www.chiamattt.com chiamattt

    Same ol games. Why would anyone live on that Island?

  • WeikuBoy

    The Soccer Channel CNN’s got nothing. BBC, nothing.

    WTF?

  • WeikuBoy

    Bloomberg’s got it. Singapore’s int’l news channel’s got it.

  • milton

    North Korea sent a message to the south this morning telling the South to cease a training exercise which the North considered “preparation for an invasion.” According to YTN

  • seouldout

    Your The Soccer Channel CNN kills me every time.

  • milton

    President Lee is convening a meeting in an underground bunker.

  • WeikuBoy

    The Soccer Channel CNN’s got Ricky Martin.

    That figures. If only Natalee Holloway were Korean. Or a soccer player.

  • milton

    YTN says the shelling is ongoing and South Korea is preparing a response.

  • http://jikding.wordpress.com/ 조엘

    At what point does the potential risk of war no longer call for the inaction that allows this behavior to continue? At least the South fired back this time.

  • WeikuBoy

    Joel is right.

    I don’t mean to be a warmonger, but from the safe distance of the Philippines I really hope the ROK let’s those fuckers have it this time. Not a huge overreaction, but a strong reaction bordering on overreaction.

  • milton

    Agreed, the South needs a strong and immediate response to this. Any waffling or weakness will only invite further attack.

  • http://www.chiamattt.com chiamattt

    I really don’t think the South Needs to respond. Let them waste their shells. It’d be better for the gov’t to give those people a few hundred million won each to move off of the island.

  • http://www.chiamattt.com chiamattt
  • Wedge

    Time for ROKAF to test their GBU-15s on some real targets.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Chiamatt: If North Korea were wasting its shells killing the fish, I’d agree. Shelling people? That kind of thing usually doesn’t go unanswered… unless it’s North Korea.

  • Hamilton

    It will be interesting to see how the north lovers and conspiracy nuts pin this one on the South, but they certainly will.

  • Granfalloon

    Sorry if I’m being pedantic, but the term “risk of war” is a misnomer here. War never really left the peninsula, not matter how much South Koreans pretended otherwise. The term “risk of escalation” is more appropriate.

    That said, my thoughts and concerns are with the civilians on Yeonpyeong island, and with the ROK’s men in uniform tasked with defending them. Let ‘em have it, boys.

  • milton

    It will be interesting to see how the north lovers and conspiracy nuts pin this one on the South, but they certainly will.

    No doubt the South shelled itself to trick the public into accepting the presence of tactical nuclear warhead.

  • http://www.chiamattt.com chiamattt

    Marmot,

    I understand that people are hurt, but it’s not worth escalation. A strongly worded message is all they deserve.

  • milton

    Whatever happened to that recent promise that the South will hit back “10X” against any North Korean provocations? I wonder if that’s still in effect or if they’ll find a way to weasel out…

  • milton

    I understand that people are hurt, but it’s not worth escalation. A strongly worded message is all they deserve.

    That’s sarcasm, right?

  • cm

    A number of South Korean citizens and military have been injured. The island is on fire, and the civilians are heading towards a local school for cover.

    The South Korean air force has taken off.

    I wonder what they fifth columnists including many extreme leftists in the Labor Democratic Party in South Korea will say. This maybe the chance to wipe them off the map once and for all.

    And thanks China, let’s see what you’ll do now to protect North Korea from this, because North Korea is probably confident now that they have an uranium bomb, paid for and by courtesy of the Sunshine policy of the Roh Moo Hyun government.

  • http://www.chiamattt.com chiamattt

    No, it’s wasn’t. I wish further death and destruction on no one; especially my friends, family, and loved ones in South Korea. Do more people deserve to die in order for South Korea to ‘prove their stronger’ or ‘send a violent message’ to the north? I think not.

  • Granfalloon

    chiamatt and milton,

    I think a good argument could be made that no matter what North Korea does, South Korea should just sigh, call it the cost of doing business, and do nothing but keep focused on their status quo.

    It’s not, however, an argument I agree with.

  • wjk, 검은 머리 외국인

    ROK should enlist foreign right wing Korean nationals in mandatory military service at the front line, especially if they still hold citizenship in the Republic of Korea.

  • wjk, 검은 머리 외국인

    or if they practically live in Seoul but still hang on to a foreign passport. IE, Tablo, Dave.

  • aaronm

    You first, Captain Ddonghole, you can be your very own one-man suicide squad charging the border. Mansei!

  • Hamilton

    An obligation of any government is to protect it’s people and SK isn’t doing that by sending NK strongly worded warnings to stop killing its people. While I admire the Ghandi like calm of some on this board, SK will need to eliminate that artillery or it will not be a legitimate government. Oh, and the nK’s will just do it again, they are pretty predictable like that.

  • valkilmerisiceman

    @25. Like you, I have family and loved ones in this country, but the intent of a South Korean escalation (in this case if they retaliate) is not to ‘prove they are stronger’ or ‘send a violent message’; it is to deter more aggressive attacks by the North in the future. Perhaps if the North finally sees that the South means business (something they have not been so good at showing so far), the lives of soldiers can be saved.

  • milton

    No, it’s wasn’t. I wish further death and destruction on no one; especially my friends, family, and loved ones in South Korea. Do more people deserve to die in order for South Korea to ‘prove their stronger’ or ‘send a violent message’ to the north? I think not.

    I agree. South Korea should continue to absord North Korean attacks and brush them off by crying to the UNSC where China can protect the mortal enemy. And besides, “Strongly worded statements” have been incredibly effective at deterring North Korean agression. Just like they deterred the Cheonan sinking, the three West Sea battles, various terrorist attacks, the development of nuclear arms…

    Yeah, that was sarcasm.

  • cm

    For those who are asking for peace at all cost. You are out of your minds. A South Korean marine has just been killed in action. South Koreans are supposed to take it in the butt again? I don’t think so!

  • aaronm

    While I understand the motive for responding in kind, let’s see what the end-game might be. Retaliatory strikes, North launches artillery barrage, South responds, US drawn in, North nukes or hits Japan with missiles, China drawn in, limited exchange between superpowers with increasing likelihood of nuclear exchanges. South torn due to unrestrained Japanese retaliation. And when the dust settles? Carnage, ruin, poverty, refugees and the massive costs of a likely reunification.

  • Wedge

    Chiamatt: We’ll send in Hans Brix with a stern letter from the UN. Beofre too long, we’ll all be singing “Kumbaya” around the campfire with Little Elvis and Littler Elvis at Panmunjom.

  • valkilmerisiceman

    Thank you Milton. I agree a million percent.

  • SeoulFinn

    I’m with Milton. It’s about the time to stop pussyfooting and send a clear and immediate response (i.e. retaliation) to the NORKS not mess with ROK any time soon.

    There must be huge stockpile of missiles that are nearing their expiration day. Launch them to those stations that fired! (Hey, as an additional benefit, it must be cheaper to use them than to dismantle them!)

  • cm

    “ROK should enlist foreign right wing Korean nationals in mandatory military service at the front line, especially if they still hold citizenship in the Republic of Korea.”

    Are you referring to me WJK? I would gladly volunteer, but I don’t think they’ll take me in, since I’m too old. What use would they have for someone who is past the mid forties?

  • Wedge

    #34: Here’s the end game: Enough GBU-15s (that’s a 2000-lb. guided bomb) to take out the artillery battery that did the firing. North says: “Holy Chamberlain, Batman, perhaps they do have a backbone.” End of provocations until the next Sunshiny president.

  • YBT199
    I understand that people are hurt, but it’s not worth escalation. A strongly worded message is all they deserve.

    That’s sarcasm, right?

    No, irony.

  • Hamilton

    Who said anything about escalation, you destroy the artillery that is shelling YP-do. It’s still firing, and self defense includes killing it by international standards along with the ADA that protects it. If NK wants to escalate you destroy whatever toys they bring into the fight.

    There is a reason why the three sea-battles didn’t escalate, nK got punched in the nose and backed off. They don’t do well in stand up fights and having too many troopers take it in the butt is very bad for morale. That is why they needed a morale boost by torpedoing the Cheonan.

  • milton

    MBN is reporting that the foreign ministry is studying whether to send this to the UN.

    Wow….just wow….

  • Arnar

    Well, let’s think about why they are attacking sK. Hamilton, you speak about “morale boost”. I’m french, and I saw in a french newspaper that after Kim Jong-Il arrived, he had “to make proofs”… Remember that he is now general !

    Is this attack the beginning KJI government ?…

  • milton

    If this story proves true and that is that course of action the government chooses, that flushing sound you’ll hear is the sound the sound of my respect for the South Korean government going down the toilet.

  • http://blog.oranckay.net oranckay

    Hey you Northern brethren of the one big happy minjoke, stop that. Really now, we’re serious. Cut that out. HEY!

  • cm

    South Korean casualties are climbing. One dead soldier, 13 injured. And it’s getting worse. I don’t think North Korea will take South Korean talking too seriously, right now. Because they’re not listening, even to their fifth columnist parties who are united in asking for North Korea to stop.

  • iwshim

    wait and see what happens tomorrow. maybe some NK Colonel will get executed in public. You know – NK saying some artillery officer made a mistake and we made him pay.

    Spend 48 hours to go over options.

    Wait and see how it unfolds.

  • Granfalloon

    It’s a little early for analysis, but here’s a thought. Kim Jong Un ordered the attack, for the sole purpose of getting some good propaganda photos (and maybe to set the tempo for what is fixing to be a continuation of his father’s “military first” policy). Pure, idle speculation on my part.

  • Hamilton

    Arnar,

    If nK comes out on top, ie milks concessions, gets a weak response from South Korea and the UN then I do believe that the great young General Kim Jong Un will get credit.

    If it fails and goes badly, that is how nK four star generals get sent to the Gulag or retired with bullet in the back of the head.

  • http://www.wm3.org iheartblueballs

    The SK government is currently mulling over two very serious retaliation plans:

    1. Cutting in HALF all monthly whiskey shipments to Kim Jong Il.

    2. COMPLETELY cutting Choco Pies from the daily lunch menu served to laborers at Kaesong.

    A third option of launching balloons carrying thousands of concert dvds of homersexual South Korean boybands was quickly dismissed as needlessly cruel and provocative.

  • http://www.racecarcreative.com seouliva

    anyone have any idea AT WHAT the south korean forces returned 30 rounds at? naval vessels? Land-based artillery? That fantastic hotel in Pyongyang?

  • http://www.ktlit.com ccmontgom

    Semi related…. won supposedly free-falling as a result of this..

  • Hamilton

    Seouliva, the rounds would most likely be fired at the north Korean artillery (land based) which is very well dug in. This is the equivalent of firing off a shotgun from your back porch at thieves who are already 1/2 a mile away. It makes you feel better but 30 rounds will not likely cause nK any damage. You need MLRS or precision munitions.

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  • http://wetcasements.wordpress.com wetcasements

    Surprised this didn’t happen while the G-20 was taking place.

  • cm

    “Surprised this didn’t happen while the G-20 was taking place.”

    Why would it, when NK had their sugar daddy China in Seoul?

  • lollabrats

    The Russians have proof that the island got snagged on a fishing line and got dragged into the path of some incoming shells.

    Fortunately, each of the alleged shells have been painted with a blue “1 beon,” which proves that the shells are actually obvious plants by the ultraconservatives to frame the DPRK, to delude the people into voting for the GNP and to toss the peninsula into another total war in which nothing good could possibly result.

    It’s all very pathetic if you think about it and all you are tools for thinking the peace-loving DPRK would kill ROK civillians. Goodness sakes! Did “bubble jets” also cause those fires on the island?

    Think people! Think! Or that is what I would implore if it wasn’t for the fact that most of you are Americans and therefore lack that which is the most sublime of abilities.

    >:(

  • Craash

    great – just what I don’t need at the moment – The Korean won to drop further in value.

    selfish – I know, but it will be a consequence.

    I hope at least, they evacuate the citizens of the island ASAP.

  • http://wetcasements.wordpress.com wetcasements

    “Why would it, when NK had their sugar daddy China in Seoul?”

    Just to prove they could disrupt a high-profile event involving the leaders of SK, the US and Japan, even if it pissed off the Chinese.

    And your view of the Chinese-DPRK relationship is puerile to say the least. Tensions between the DPRK and China have existed since even before 1953.

  • Hamilton

    One might consider poo-pooing away any connection between North Korean provocations and China, its biggest and nearly only supporter as even more silly.

    KIS cleverly played off the former Soviet Union and China to extort the most support to his country. That was then, today north Korea would collapse without Chinese investment, and out right sustainment support in food, raw materials and fuels. north Korea clearly goes out of its way most of the time to not piss off (too much) mother China.

  • lollabrats

    “Who said anything about escalation, you destroy the artillery that is shelling YP-do. It’s still firing, and self defense includes killing it by international standards along with the ADA that protects it.”
    –Hamilton

    Hopefully, for the sake of the islanders, the deployment of F-15s means that this has been ordered. Of course, I have my doubts. It does seem that LMB has no stomach for defending his people from attack.

    “South torn due to unrestrained Japanese retaliation.”
    –aaronm

    Yes, that DPJ party sure seems capable of playing the wild card of destruction here. :P

    “And your view of the Chinese-DPRK relationship is puerile to say the least. Tensions between the DPRK and China have existed since even before 1953.”
    –wetcasements

    We are all aware of your point and yet it does not invalidate his point.

  • http://www.wm3.org iheartblueballs

    It is amusing to see numerous long-time commenters here who are under the impression that there is a chance Seoul will “let em have it” or somehow won’t in fact “take it in the butt, again.”

    Has it not been pretty clear over the last decade that the overriding concern of the SK government when it comes to military provocations and attacks from NK is always “How do we respond in a way that won’t scare foreign investors and rattle the markets?” And isn’t it also clear that the answer to that question never involves significant military action in retaliation?

    And is it also not clear that NK is fully cognizant of the SK gov’t tying its own hands behind its back in deference to markets and FDI, and continues to take advantage of that fact?

    You sound like a bunch of Charlie Browns who think Lucy won’t pull the football this time. We’ve seen this movie before and it always ends the same way.

    Seoul wil take it in the butt, again, because they have made very clear their willingness to absorb NK artillery dildos rather than risk being rammed with numerous capital flight dildos.

    So they lube up, bend over, paint a large target on their ass, let NK have their way, and then send their rapist a fat check next month after the public screams of sexual assault have died down, in the hopes that the next inevitable butt-raping might be delayed or perhaps softened up a little.

    Rinse. Repeat.

  • http://wetcasements.wordpress.com wetcasements

    “One might consider poo-pooing away any connection between North Korean provocations and China”

    It would be just as stupid to say there’s no connection between China and the DPRK as it would be to say China is an unquestioning “sugar-daddy” for the North.

    Which is to say they are allies to some extent, but with different (and sometimes competing) goals.

  • Jieun K

    LOL.

    Cue China’s stock answer:

    Both sides should work harder for peace [in the region].

    Going around in circles. Again.

  • Acropolis7

    Robert, you blogged last night that this latest developement in NK concernig the centurfuges and LWR was not relevant to people in the peninsula , as you put they are now “Jaded”. Surely you do not think that this has nothing to do with The new Light weight Reactor ?

    The DPRK always fires shells into the Yellow Sea. So does the ROK. Both Korean twins fight, the world is use to that,.. However,,

    Truth is that only one Koprean twin fires shots right before it is about to do something Major Internationally Provocative.

    Guess which twin…

  • Canuckygreg

    2 words of advice for y’all in Kimchiville: duck! cover!

  • http://pawikirogii.blogspot.com pawikirogii

    ‘Seoul wil take it in the butt, again, because they have made very clear their willingness to absorb NK artillery dildos rather than risk being rammed with numerous capital flight dildos.’

    back to the cock talk, eh? you ever been in the military? ever been in a war? no? then stfu.

    k?

  • R. Elgin

    Read the Reuters report: they list the thoughts of mostly market analysts.

    South Korea is hostage to commerce and the things that enable it to enjoy prosperity. A fight will harms South Korea’s interests and the North Korean leadership knows this and uses this weakness to gain what it wants. The South Korean leadership has been reconsider just how weak they need to be so I will wait to see just what they want to do about the North.

    Oddly enough, this comes at a time when the Chinese are trying to bait Japan at the senkaku Islands, once again, with armed fishing boats (?) with helicopter pads on the stern.

  • http://pawikirogii.blogspot.com pawikirogii

    the s koreans have a lot more to lose here so they have to move more cautiously. those expats calling for war are the ones who’ll shit their pants at the slightest sign of danger. you can bet they won’t be joining up with uncle sam to put their manhood where their big mouths are. ain’t that right, blue?

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  • lollabrats

    “A fight will harms South Korea’s interests”
    –R. Elgin

    An artillery attack is different from other kinds of attacks because the South would have legal cover to destroy the guns. This is an actual opportunity to take clear and limited reprisal attacks against the infrastructure that holds the south in ransom.

    I think by keeping the conflict from escalating beyond the destruction of weapons that are actively killing southern Koreans, the ROK would be fine with investors. Ultimately, war is no bar against most business prerogatives. And I hold to the belief that KJI is too weak to shell Seoul itself.

  • Hamilton

    Pawikirogii,

    You are aware that north Korea is killing South Koreans, destroying their homes and will do it again right? All this talk of “going to war” is rather silly, you are in one dummy.

    So if I’ve never been shelled, mortared and rocketed, or even shot at in War, I am not allowed to talk oh great one? What exactly is your cutoff point? Maybe you should try to use some logic in your arguements not just diversions.

    And whats wrong with shitting your pants? Ever wonder why swat teams take pre-action dumps before hostage rescues? Do you have a problem with evolution? You go ahead and clench slowboy, I’ll see you later at the subway if you make it.

    South Korea has an obligation to protect it’s people, it can’t do that and leave north Korea shelling it’s people. If it were any other nation negotiations might work, but this is north Korea and they are invulnerable to concience or eloquent cries to “stop” or I’ll ask you to stop again.

    In the end I have to agree with IHBB and I don’t want to. SK won’t do anything. The few 155 unguided cannon shells will tear a few holes around nK artillery positions and nothing more. South Koreans will die, lose their homes and north Korea will just do it again. A victory for Pawikirogii.

  • Acropolis7

    Remember, remember, the 23rd of November…

  • lollabrats

    I see that the possible reason LMB sees as being the impetus for the attack is military drills that took place on the island recently. If LMB does not respond to the attack by destroying those guns, then I wonder what the purpose was in carrying out those drills there in the first place. It is impotence to parade your military toys around on an island one day only to cower the next day when the real enemy attacks.

  • http://pawikirogii.blogspot.com pawikirogii

    yes, let’s start a war so that millions of people in the south can die. that’ll teach the north. it’s unfortunate that there has been loss of life but south korea must move cautiously here because they just have more to lose. you do understand that, don’t you?

    lookee, if you and blueballs promise to join the us military and go to korea should war break out, then i will support your provocations. till then, understand that you can talk tough behind the shield of a computer screen.

    i don’t blame the south for moving with caution. nor would i ridicule them like that he-man obsessed with cock and balls has done.

  • Acropolis7

    If all reports are true, then the DPRK has finally formally pushed foward a true bluff. Then again it depends on the sources.

    * still awaiting word from Reuters*

  • Hamilton

    Pawikirogii, who said kill millions? Only you have. You again provide no logic train. Let me work your words back on you.

    Yes, lets allow north Korea to kill South Korean citizens, destroy their homes murder their children. Let them do it as often as they want and only say “please stop” which has never worked with them.

    I promise to join the US military but I can’t promise to come to South Korea, the US military is funny about that it is this weirdly authoritarian organization you wouldn’t understand. Personal prefference of duty station is quite low on the list, needs of the Army is first. Just like the first obligation of the US is to protect its citizens, something you wouldn’t know anything about.

    As for the tough shield of a computer screen, you use yours very well little coward. Live your life in fear and give up your freedoms, only submission to north Korea will give you the “peace” you look forward to.

  • http://www.wm3.org iheartblueballs

    Fear not South Korean citizens! Your government has mobilized all its resources and best minds….not to protect your lives….but to monitor foreign investors, currency markets, and find out what the gossip reporter at the National Enquirer thinks about this latest attack.

    This shit belongs in a Kubrick movie:

    The government will hold a meeting of economic policymakers to monitor the economic fallout of North Korea’s artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island in the West Sea, officials said Tuesday.

    “The meeting will focus on the impact of the attack on the economy and the local financial markets, and what action must be taken,” Vice Finance Minister Yim Jong-yong said.

    Other officials said that they are checking overseas reactions because news of the surprise attack took place after the local financial market closed for the day.

    “The situation is being monitored closely to limit any repercussions, and a 24-hour emergency response team has been ordered to keep tabs on all economic indicators and to react quickly to sudden developments on a real-time basis,” a ministry official said. Indicators such as credit default swaps and non-deliverable forwards are being reviewed.

    The official said Seoul plans to check local financial conditions, export markets, raw material imports and prices of everyday commodities and foodstuffs.

    Other reactions that will be monitored include those by overseas business partners and prospective investors, and the effect the latest incident could have on the country’s sovereign rating.

    Related to the attack, the BOK convened an emergency meeting to check overseas currency markets and investor responses that could result from the North’s military attack.

    “The BOK will comprehensively inspect market movements in relation to the North’s provocation,” a central bank official said. “It will monitor foreign investors’ movements and discuss how to respond to future developments of the event.”

    NK is on the attack, people are dying, an island is on fire, and the crisis response team is fervently monitoring the price of kimchi and worrying whether the Germans might sell a few shares of Samsung.

  • Granfalloon

    “yes, let’s start a war so that millions of people in the south can die. that’ll teach the north. ”

    No it wouldn’t “teach” them. It would end their existence as a nation state. Pretty important distinction.

  • lollabrats

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2010/11/123_76762.html

    TITLE: Impoverished North Korea facing aging society

    Interesting. This could mean that should the ROK ultimately annex the north, the north may not have a glut of cheap labor avaiable which the south could take advantage of to lower the cost of unification.

  • Granfalloon

    Be nice IHBB. It’s easy to smear the white-collars sitting at desks while combat is still going on. But everybody knows that South Korea has a lot more to lose from belligerence than the North. If the South allows a Northern attack to hit their economy, it’s a victory for the North. Both sides know this.

  • milton

    Ten bucks says Kaesong stays open…

  • lollabrats

    Hello, pawikirogii.

    I am with Granfalloon. I do not think KJI has the option of attacking major urban centers in the south. What the DPRK really do not want is to collapse. That is their foremost objective. Their military attacks against the nll periphery of the south continue because those attacks not only do not conflict with their foremost objective, but seems to cement their hold on the north.

    But an attack against an urban center in the south is a completely different matter.

    But it is all a moot point. The ROK has so far only committed to declaring that what the north has done is an intolerable act of war and that any future attacks will be met with some sort of something.

  • Acropolis7

    0It is official, All world media outlets, both reputable and not are now confirming. The Korean Race is officially at war since 57 years of Truce. What happens within a 3 hour drive north from Seoul will now affect what happens a 3 hour drive of Pyongyang. Robert now I wish you would never have posted that you where “Jaded” to their threat.

    Stay safe Robert, and may you, your family and everyone in South Korea right now be graced and blessed with safety against The Korean Caligula Sr. and Jr, up north,

  • iwshim

    iheartblueballs

    The markets and their collective wisdom reflect more than financial information.

    I imagine the North would be quite sad to learn that have not shaken the markets; it really is the ultimate way of saying you are irrelevant.

    The North lost the war 18 years ago – it is best just to wait them out.

  • lollabrats

    Arirang reports 2 military KIA and 16 injured. I have not heard much about civilian casualties.

  • milton
  • lollabrats

    “NK is on the attack, people are dying, an island is on fire, and the crisis response team is fervently monitoring the price of kimchi and worrying whether the Germans might sell a few shares of Samsung.”
    –iheartblueballs

    This is actually normal and appropriate. Governments are divided into many departments and it is quite appropriate for the financial wing of it to be taking care of the financial consequences of a major national crisis.

    The article you cite actually notes which entities will be involved:

    “The finance ministry said the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday morning, will be attended by senior officials from the Financial Services Commission, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the central Bank of Korea (BOK) and the Korea Center for International Finance.”

    The military wing of the government, I am sure, is probably preoccupied with other matters at the present.

  • lollabrats

    “scratch what I said. Starting tommorow, Kaesong is closed.”
    –milton

    It is possible that I did take you up on that bet. It is possible that you don’t know of it because the comment section is a bit buggy and my comment has disappeared…

    ^^;

    :p

  • Acropolis7

    lollabrats, the only thing that is confirmed now WITHOUT A SHADOW OF DOUBT, is that not even Selig Harrison can defend Jung Eun now if he cares about what is left of his cards.

    The apple does not fall far from the tree. There is a reason Kim Jong Il chose Jung Eun as his successor, and it is to no one’s benefit except the Imperial North Korean Dynasty. Anyone whom still doubts that after today deserves to live in the DPRK as a permanent tourist outside Pyongyang!!

  • lollabrats

    I have to go now. But I want to say that my thoughts are with the families of those who lost loved ones and those who lost their homes–and possibly everything they have…

  • lollabrats

    “lollabrats, the only thing that is confirmed now WITHOUT A SHADOW OF DOUBT, is that not even Selig Harrison can defend Jung Eun now if he cares about what is left of his cards.”
    –Acropolis7

    Unfortunately, I believe that the ROK has given the Harrisons of the world a way to defend the DPRK. I believe that their defense will go something like this:

    The ROK actually precipitated this conflict by holding military drills on and around the island. This freaked out the north, who either feared an imminent invasion or felt intimidated by the show of force so close to their shores. This is why although we should not condone it, it is understandable why they did what they did. In other words, the fault lies wholly on the shoulders of the GNP and its leader, LMB.

    Something like that.

    But then again, my crystal ball was made in China…

    :p

  • lollabrats

    ^
    I should add that the Harrisons of the world believe that the DPRK was treated unfairly when they were forced to accept the nll demarcation and that it is within their right to oppose this unjust border. Thus, the USA must sign a peace treaty with the DPRK to ensure that no more ROK citizens will die from an attack by the DPRK partly by ensuring that the nll is drawn further south.

  • Arnar

    Well, it appears that there will reallybe a war…
    Of course, it’s quite surprising that the SK government only speaks about economy and does not threaten NK. But we nkow there as been shells and othing else ! Are they waiting for an attack ?…

    Let’s go back on the “economis problems”. Maybe theuy speak of it because it’s a national matter. If there would be a war, it would be international ! And don’t speak about a world war, but more that UNO and other countries may support NK or SK. So, they are waiting what are saying those other countries, more powerful.

    I just saw on Le Monde website (french newspaper) that Russia, UK and USA are against that NK attack. Already three members of the security council with veto are for SK… I don’t know what thinks Mr. Sarkozy, but he may join them. The problem is about China, who may support NK.

    Finally, there is the nuclear problem… Will it be used again SK ??

  • Arnar

    ps : China’s words are quite neutral, speaking of coming back to peace…

  • cm

    China just go their excuse to shelter North Korea again – North Korea claiming that the South fired first. China will probably try to broker a deal that says North Korea will cease the shelling, in return for South Korea not engaging in naval exercise in that region. And all is well once again until next time.

  • cm

    China’s position on this: Let’s meet at the 6 party talks, to talk negotiate with North Korea.

    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/11/23/2010112301494.html

    I am truly sorry that these fuckers didn’t get nuclearized back to the stone ages, when Truman had the chance back in the 1950. I wish Douglas McArthur would have been in charge.

  • Hamilton

    If the Cheonan attack tells us anything, the supporters of north Korea will accept no level of evidence that implicates the North. Even South Koreans are still split on whether a steath reef no one can find or a South Korean conspiracy sank the ship. The same is already shaping up on this latest attrocity.

  • Granfalloon

    “Thunderbolt.” Even their rhetoric is outdated.

  • http://www.twitter.com/migukin Migukin

    When I woke up this morning, I saw the smoke in the picture and thought it was Seoul they’d attacked. While this is serious, it’s not as serious as it could be. Maybe this is a training exercise for the new kid?

    The only reason I fear something really bad could happen is how unconcerned the US is about this. I’ve decided nothing is ever going to change with the DPRK, since appeasement is the only policy people in the West seem to agree on.

  • george m

    This from STRATFOR:

    ‘With the ongoing leadership transition in North Korea, there have been rumors of discontent within the military, and the current actions may reflect miscommunications or worse within the North’s command-and-control structure, or disagreements within the North Korean leadership.’

  • Craash

    re# 98

    (The only reason I fear something really bad could happen is how unconcerned the US is about this.)

    Actually, the US is concerned, but they are playing the ball.

    Numerous times, during the previous years, DPRK has done something, but the South has just forgiven and given more aid.

    Remember, it was only a couple of months after the Cheonan attack that the South was sending medical, food and financial aid back to the North.

    Its about time the US stood back this time and did nothing while they watched what the south would do again.

    Why continue to help the south? when the south keeps helping the north?

  • Craash

    Seoul has been impotent for the last 20 years. Its time it took some MVIX or whatever does the trick.

    Lee MyungBak apparently had to phone KJI and ask him to stop it!

    childish, but thats all he can do, in a civilised manner.

    I agree with “blueballs” the south will do anything just to protect the economy.

  • slim

    cm “I am truly sorry that these fuckers didn’t get nuclearized back to the stone ages, when Truman had the chance back in the 1950. I wish Douglas McArthur would have been in charge.”

    Must say the same thought ran through my mind this morning.

  • wjk, 검은 머리 외국인

    ” iheartblueballs November 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm
    A third option of launching balloons carrying thousands of concert dvds of homersexual South Korean boybands was quickly dismissed as needlessly cruel and provocative. ”

    –again, the gratuitous “local men are homersexual” line. Look, they probably score better than you in real life, you racist. Go to h*ll. Nobody cares about your circle jerks except English speaking foreigners involved in Korea who get an orgasm from reading your comments made from Mama’s basement.

    –why I hate gyopos. From thousands of miles away, they advocate going to war. Because they don’t live there and they get to lie around in a warm room. Picture the US helicopter in the US embassy in Saigon and Vietnamese people waving blue passports with Eagles on them.

    –2MB will do the most reasonable thing. Avoid war with China, who will be more than happy to watch and feed like they are doing in Darfur and raise voice if US participates. China is the new brown shirt state of this era and an evil to be exposed. No one has the balls to touch them due to sheer numbers. Have lots of babies, Koreans. Go to goondae at age 18, and get the production line going, Korean girls. We all know you blame maternity duties but don’t even have your first kid before age 30.

  • American Kim

    why I hate gyopos. From thousands of miles away, they advocate going to war. Because they don’t live there and they get to lie around in a warm room. Picture the US helicopter in the US embassy in Saigon and Vietnamese people waving blue passports with Eagles on them.

    Why I can’t stand native Koreans. They b/tch, while, moan, and with 사대주의 running through their veins they protest US beef and burn Japanese flags over rocks in the ocean, but when the Taliban kidnaps ROK missionaries, they want America to help. They burn US flags yet don’t want American troops to leave. They hate America yet take for granted the free dollars from US taxpayers (including kyopos that are hated by native Koreans) which lower each ROK taxpayer’s burden to the defense of the ROK.

  • http://www.chiamattt.com chiamattt

    I hate saying this but it’s probably true. The reason the South Korean government doesn’t commit to a more resolute response is because these North Korean “provocations” are the best thing that ever happened to the Korean economy. The chaebol LOVE them because they “naturally” drive the Korean won down and a low won is what Korea needs for its export oriented economy. No one can accuse you of tinkering with your currency when you have a crazy neighbour influencing global attitudes toward your currency.

  • Granfalloon

    I’m out of my area of expertise here, but I find it hard to believe North Korean attacks are good for South Korean business.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    American Kim: Just in case you weren’t aware, wjk is a Ko-Am.

  • valkilmerisiceman

    Chiamattt, I think that you are a smart guy and often make good arguments, but please respond to the points argued against what you said earlier.

  • American Kim

    Robert Koehler: duly noted, but it’s not as if there are no native Koreans like the ones I described, yes?

  • http://www.chiamattt.com chiamattt

    @108 and the rest of you who think I’m a “peace at all costs” kind of person.

    I live in Korea; it’s my home. Half of my family lives in Korea; it’s their home. Why would I want to jeopardize that? I very much hate the North Korean regime, and I look forward to the day that change arrives in North Korea, but I will not participate in your calls for full scale war. If a training exercise on a South Korean island in the West Sea is declared an act of war by North Korea, what do you think North Korea would think of an actual retaliation?

    If South Korea continues to train close to the border, and has not learned from past “incidents” then they should expect this kind of thing. I wish no ill will on the innocent people living on YPdo, but they also knew that living there came with certain dangers.

    YPdo is not Seoul. YPdo is not a manufacturing hub. YPdo is just a small island and small islands are sometimes meant to be uninhabited. No one lives within the DMZ…so with that in mind, perhaps no one should live in YPdo.

    I don’t think South Korea is a nation of pussies who won’t stand up to China or North Korea. I just think South Korea is looking at the PROs and CONs of not attacking North Korea, and the PROs for not attacking far outweigh the PROs for attacking.

  • numberoneoppa

    Wow. Didn’t expect this.

    I would say a bunch of things right now, but I’m really not qualified.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    It’s OK: few of us are. Fire away.

  • numberoneoppa

    Maybe later. Anyways, really appreciate the updates and coverage.

  • numberoneoppa

    Normally, I’d be another person saying “yeah, I hope this really escalates so that the ROK can dispose of the DPRK government once and for all”. However, after just talking to my girlfriend, she said something that I really didn’t think of much. She said that she was worried about her friends in the army. Holy shit – how could I forget – I have friends serving right now, too. It makes me think – it really does. However, I’m still leaning towards making DPRK pay for this. If ROK knows how to carry out a proper modern warfare, there shouldn’t be any need to lose any more lives.

  • hardyandtiny

    This is the best time to run downrange and drink at the off-limits bars.

  • Hamilton

    #110 Cold, very Cold.

    “I live in Korea; it’s my home. Half of my family lives in Korea; it’s their home. Why would I want to jeopardize that?” Why indeed, North Korea might not be satisfied with a shelling a small island next time and you would feed that cycle. Why can’t those people live somewhere else? It’s their home, has been in most cases for centuries. Just don’t complain when you are asked to get out of Seoul, it is in range too, won’t you just accomodate them for peace?

    “I just think South Korea is looking at the PROs and CONs of not attacking North Korea, and the PROs for not attacking far outweigh the PROs for attacking.”

    I think you are correct but the calculus is flawed, this only works with people you actually can buy off or appease. Despite Billions in aid, 2000 summit bribes, food handouts, sweet heart tourism and factory deals the norks keep killing South Koreans year after year and demanding more.

    You also repeat the false dilemna, response = all out war. If that occurs it will be north Korea that makes it happen.

    I said it to pawi and now to you; surrender to north Korea and you can have your peace for what it’s worth. Hitler could have used a few good men like you, oh wait…he had them. You are in a war you just won’t admit it and someday it may kill people you actually give a damn about.

  • Rambutan

    LMB @ CNN: “Enormous retaliation is going to be necessary to make North Korea incapable of provoking us again,” Lee said.

    “Given that North Korea maintains an offensive posture, I think the Army, the Navy and the Air Force should unite and retaliate against (the North’s) provocation with multiple-fold firepower,”

    Has he been reading the Hole? Sounds like SK may well do something besides talk and send strongly worded letters.

  • numberoneoppa

    ^Holy crap!

    In other news, CNN is bloody useless. Highschool football injuries are far more important than this situation, obviously.

  • lollabrats

    “Has he been reading the Hole? Sounds like SK may well do something besides talk and send strongly worded letters.”
    –Rambutan

    Who knows. This is what SK presidents always say. Maybe one day it will be different. ^^;

  • slim

    Here’s John Bolton on the uranium revelationn) for what it’s worth

    Los Angeles Times
    Nuclear blinders
    North Korea’s newly revealed nuclear facility should surprise no one, and Washington must no longer be played for a fool. The U.S. should work with China on reunifying the Korean peninsula.
    By John R. Bolton
    November 23, 2010

    “Stunning” was how Siegfried Hecker, former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, described North Korea’s new uranium-enrichment facility. While more sophisticated and extensive than previously believed, this plant is entirely consistent with 15 years of sustained effort by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to perfect its nuclear weapons program.
    Indeed, media reports about a new enrichment plant surfaced as early as February 2009. Moreover, just a week before Hecker’s announcement, North Korea confirmed it was building a larger nuclear reactor at Yongbyon. Pyongyang’s prior effort (in Syria) to replace its existing but aged reactor was frustrated when Israel bombed it in September 2007.
    Seoul’s minister of defense is so concerned, he has suggested deploying U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea for the first time in two decades. The size and scope of the North’s just-revealed facilities will not, however, surprise anyone except those still entranced by the myth that North Korea will voluntarily negotiate away its nuclear weapons. Though our intelligence is imperfect, Pyongang almost certainly embarked on illicit uranium enrichment even before the ink dried on the Clinton administration’s prized 1994 Agreed Framework. That deal was one of several North Korean pledges to denuclearize, in exchange for tangible benefits from the outside world — every one of which Pyongyang has violated.
    The North may once again be testing America’s strategic patience. We must avoid repeating our recent errors. After U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously concluded in mid-2002 that Pyongyang was preparing an industrial-scope enrichment program, the Bush administration decided to confront the North. At a key meeting in October 2002, the North defiantly admitted it was engaged in enrichment. Unfortunately, the U.S. response was to launch the hapless negotiations known as the six-party talks, providing cover for the North’s continued progress on nuclear weapons.
    Worse, in President George W. Bush’s second term, an assertive group of deniers in the State Department and the intelligence community claimed or implied that North Korea did not have a substantial or ongoing uranium-enrichment program. They denied that the North Koreans had conceded as much in 2002 and that there was sufficient evidence of a continuing program. The intelligence community downgraded its confidence level in its earlier conclusion, not because of contradictory information but because it had not subsequently acquired significant new data. State Department negotiators scorned the idea that the North had a serious enrichment capability.
    All of this was done to support a passion for negotiation, hoping Pyongyang would yet again pledge to denuclearize. But denying and minimizing the threat of enrichment for most of the last decade was well wide of reality. When the North announced after its second nuclear detonation in May 2009 that it was “beginning” an enrichment program, Pyongyang was simply bringing into the open activity almost certainly begun 15 years before. The North had once again successfully played Washington for a fool.
    We must avoid these grievous errors going forward, not only regarding North Korea but also Iran, whose involvement with Pyongang on ballistic missiles and probably nuclear weapons is long-standing. There is substantial reason for concern that Tehran’s capabilities and its penchant for cooperating with the North exceed U.S. intelligence estimates. Moreover, the spinning of North Korea-related intelligence in recent years bears an uneasy similarity to the famously distorted 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Such politicization of intelligence provides a clear basis for high-priority investigations by the incoming Congress.
    Moreover, North Korea’s newly evident capabilities should give the Senate pause before it succumbs to President Obama’s pressure to ratify the New START arms control treaty this year. New START is myopic in focusing only on parity with Russia, because Washington has far broader global responsibilities for friends and allies under our nuclear umbrella that Moscow does. Equally dangerous are China’s growing strategic nuclear capabilities. Add to that list the inevitable Middle East proliferation if Iran gets nuclear weapons and outliers like Venezuela and Myanmar potentially embarking on nuclear weapons programs. This is hardly the time to limit the U.S. nuclear arsenal, let alone in a binding treaty like New START.
    The last thing Washington should do now is resurrect the failed six-party talks or start bilateral negotiations with the North. Instead, serious efforts need to be made with China on reunifying the Korean peninsula, a goal made ever more urgent by the clear transition of power now underway in Pyongyang as Kim Jong Il faces the actuarial tables. North Korea’s threat will only end when it does, and that day cannot come soon enough.
    John R. Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations.”
    latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-bolton-northkorea-20101123,0,3330920.story

  • lollabrats

    ^I take it back. Can anyone tell me whether KDJ or RMH ever made threats like this?

  • bumfromkorea

    It’s a simple cost/benefit analysis

    Retaliate
    Cost: Possible escalation –> IMPACT: massive civilian casualties
    Benefit: Possible reduction of ‘provocation’. –> IMPACT: No more NK killing SK soldiers near the DMZ

    Don’t Retaliate
    Cost: 100% chance ‘provocation’ in the future –> IMPACT: Continued killings of SK soldiers near the DMZ by NK
    Benefit: 0% chance of escalation –> IMPACT: No massive civilian casualties

    Given this, I don’t blame the South Korean gov’t for not retaliating in ways that some of you are advocating. Even if you disagree with not retaliating, you have to see that it is at least a rational and reasonable choice.

    Not exactly a time to be saying “What a bunch of fucking pussies!”, in other words.

  • numberoneoppa

    Why does everybody think that massive civilian casualties will ensue if ROK retaliates?

    In modern warfare, ROK should be able to take out every single strategic target in DPRK in about 5 minutes. A modern blitzkrieg of sorts, rendering the North unable to attack. Also, it’s not as if ROK has no defenses against missile-based attacks.

  • lollabrats

    Slim, I can’t say I agree with Mr. Bolton in the way he slipped in a strange argument against START into a discussion about Korea. I find that tasteless and beside the point. If large scale proliferation becomes inevitable, then the solution is to arm our friends, not take away our ability to keep Russian arms in check and freeze Russia out of our diplomatic agenda.

  • Hamilton

    1Oppa, North Korea has 1000s of artillery pieces that can range Seoul in addition to over 1000 Scud and larger missiles. It would take time to cut down that horde but your basic premise is correct, an attack on the Artillery that fired on YP-do does not necessarily escalate the conflict unless nK chooses to.

    In three naval clashes when they got a beating, they backed off and chose to not bring in more combatants.

    BumfromKorea, good thing those soldiers have no families, I mean they are really not even people, as long as they die who cares right? What praytell makes you think that nK will confine its provocations to military targets? As painfull as it is, you are just kicking the can down the road.

  • slim

    The point, shared by some liberal commentators, is that START is a misplaced diplomatic priority now — 1980s style thinking when modern threats have nothing to do with Cold War rivalries (or at lesat US-Russia rivalry). Important, perhaps, but not urgent in the world we live in today.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    North Korea’s “enablers” can’t be too happy about this:

    http://www.chinavestor.com/technical-analysis/pre-market-report/72613-china-stocks-tumble-in-asia-as-koreans-exchange-fire.html

    When will the Chinese understand that the North Koreans aren’t good for business? And the Chinese are more businessmen nowadays than they are Communists and have been so for quite awhile now.

    Hey, PRC. The current North Korean government is not conducive to the peninsular “harmony and stability” that you claim to desire. Time to bring option “B” out of your back pocket. Option “A” ain’t working.

    http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/10/15/2010101500572.html

  • Rambutan

    @Lollabrats: They usually don’t talk like this. They usually say, “one more step over the line, and we’ll do something”.
    This is different. This is, “we’re about to do something, we have no choice”.

    @bumfromkorea: I agree. Those shells falling on some island way off the coast could just as easily be falling on Myongdong or Bundang, X tens of thousands per hour. That’s a much higher price than what is being paid now with a warship here, an island there.

  • numberoneoppa

    Hamilton – well that sucks. I just don’t think DPRK would attack Seoul, though. There’d be no coming back from that. All hell would break loose on DPRK in a situation like that. Not just from ROK but the US would obviously get ‘involved’ as well.

    Of course the downside is that the US would feel obligated to keep troupes there for another 50 years. :/

    Hmmm, if the American soldiers are busy at war, they won’t be in the clubs and bars. Hmm…

    CNN just had a 5-minute segment on the issue. Didn’t really tell us anything new, though – only that the 5-Sided-Building has said nothing on the issue.

  • lollabrats

    “Cost: Possible escalation –> IMPACT: massive civilian casualties”
    –bumfromkorea

    As Granfalloon noted above, you leave out the DPRK’s incentive not to cause mass civilian casualties in the south. They can’t give the ROK a reason to invade the north because the DPRK does not have the capability to defend itself against an ROK invasion. And massive civlian deaths may give the ROK reason to invade.

    “In modern warfare, ROK should be able to take out every single strategic target in DPRK in about 5 minutes.”
    –numberoneoppa

    The problem is that much of South Korea is Seoul. The DPRK would only need to fine off as many shells into the capital as they could before their guns were killed to cause mass carnage. But there are a lot of guns pointed at Seoul.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936
  • cm

    Retaliate
    Cost: Possible escalation –> IMPACT: massive civilian casualties
    Benefit: Possible reduction of ‘provocation’. –> IMPACT: No more NK killing SK soldiers near the DMZ

    Don’t Retaliate
    Cost: 100% chance ‘provocation’ in the future –> IMPACT: Continued killings of SK soldiers near the DMZ by NK
    Benefit: 0% chance of escalation –> IMPACT: No massive civilian casualties

    ———-
    I disagree with the “Don’t Retaliate” assessment. You are right to a point, but only short term. In the long term, no meaningful and forceful retaliation will just increase the chance of war in the future. You are just putting off war and mass casualties that will follow, if North Korea does not get punished. If North Korea once again gets away with this, who knows what their next step may be? I’m betting they’ll press that button harder next time.

  • cm

    South Korea does not need a massive all out war. All they have to do is to take out those North Korean positions that are bombarding the little island. What are the North Koreans going to do? Escalate the situation by doing what? Bombard Seoul? I highly doubt it because if they do that, they have crossed the bridge of no return.

  • Hamilton

    #1Oppa, it is a very tough choice. Most believe that nK needs quite a lot of preparation for an all out attack. SK and the US need considerably less time to prepare a decent defense.

    It seems that to advocate self defense is now equivalent with being a war monger but I don’t see it that way. You can rip off the band aid or you can bleed each and every year from the thugs up north. And the blood has families same as all of us, good people.

    Right now good people are dying and I suspect nothing will be done. Inaction on the Cheonan encouraged this attrocity, what will this one beget?

  • Rambutan

    Now if the attacked island had been Dokdo, this would have already gone thermonuclear.

  • lollabrats

    “The point, shared by some liberal commentators, is that START is a misplaced diplomatic priority now — 1980s style thinking when modern threats have nothing to do with Cold War rivalries (or at lesat US-Russia rivalry). Important, perhaps, but not urgent in the world we live in today.”
    –slim

    I disagree that START is misplaced, slim. The W. Bush-Putin relationship proved that the Cold War rivalry is both dead and as relevant as ever. W. Bush acted as if Russia did not matter. Putin and much of Russia took offense and caused us a lot of diplomatic grief. The Russians want to be taken seriously. And they are bitter about how weak they have gotten. And as long as they have all those bombs to threaten eatern Europe with, they must be taken seriously.

    We do not do our eastern European friends any favors by ignoring Russian bombs.

    Furthermore, there is a lot of speculation that Putin is putting himself in position to replace Medvedev as the next leader of Russia. And Putin hates being ignored by the US.

    I just do not see how we gain any geo-strategic advantage by scrapping START. The people of Russia will not trust us more if we sign. But at least we can inspect their arms.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Rambutan,

    Who’s “thermonuclear” device would South Korea have used?

  • lollabrats

    “South Korea does not need a massive all out war. All they have to do is to take out those North Korean positions that are bombarding the little island.”
    –cm

    This is the point. It would not be escalation to kill those guns because those guns themselves signify the level of present aggression.

  • bumfromkorea

    BumfromKorea, good thing those soldiers have no families, I mean they are really not even people, as long as they die who cares right? What praytell makes you think that nK will confine its provocations to military targets? As painfull as it is, you are just kicking the can down the road.

    Okay, you need to calm down a bit. I have no idea where you got the whole “who gives a shit about those soldiers getting killed?” from what I said, let alone “they are really not even people”.

    As Granfalloon noted above, you leave out the DPRK’s incentive not to cause mass civilian casualties in the south

    You are just putting off war and mass casualties that will follow

    Indeed, and that’s why I’m undecided between retaliation and non-retaliation at this point. After all, as noted in my previous post, there is a possible escalation, not a definite one. Impacts (while nowhere near 100% certain) are of course incomparable to the casualties so far, but it would be madness to simply ignore the continuing casualties as well (i.e. “When is it time to say ‘enough is enough!’?” situation).

    It’s a classic policymaking dilemma between uncertain future catastrophe vs. certain present disaster. I don’t know which side I’d consider myself in, but “KILL THOSE MOTHERFUCKERS!” attitude is NOT something anyone ought to have in this situation. Agree with retaliation (and it would be reasonable and logical), but don’t proceed to think that those who are against retaliation are somehow unreasonable, cowardly, or retarded.

    I wouldn’t be as half as timid about retaliation as I am if Seoul didn’t have enough natural gas line underneath the city to reignite the Sun.

  • bumfromkorea

    This is the point. It would not be escalation to kill those guns because those guns themselves signify the level of present aggression.

    But this would be a moot point in this situation because North Korea is not a rational actor (and your point assumes that the party who started the aggression is rational). NK is already saying that South fired first (deja vu?), and firing back may (emphasis on may) escalate the situation (with catastrophic consequence).

  • lollabrats

    “But this would be a moot point in this situation because North Korea is not a rational actor (and your point assumes that the party who started the aggression is rational).”
    –bumfromkorea

    I don’t see that they are unduly delusional about their capabilities. After all, earlier skirmishes off YPD is what led them to the realization that they are seriously outgunned by the ROK. This is what made them change their strategy to favor guerilla tactics, as seen in the Cheonan incident. This tells me that they are not utterly deluded about what they can and cannot do.

  • Hamilton

    nK is a rational actor. It is a bully and pushes the limits of what it can get away with each time. If you haven’t been paying attention it has been escalating and I don’t want to see where the next one goes.

    The only area it took a U-turn was in the naval battles. Battle 1 nK took a drubbing and did not escalate beyond the sailors they killed. But they weren’t happy with the results. Battle 2 nK stacked the deck and ambushed a SK ship, they still took a beating but killed a sizeable number of sailors, it did not escalate either. Battle 3 nK got pounded since SK revised its ROE. The U-Turn was nK killing the Cheonan.

    Now they are shelling civilian towns, this won’t end well.

    Oh, and I never said “kill those MFs” that was you. Self defense isn’t war mongering, its called protecting your people. That used to be a requirement of legitimate governments.

  • lollabrats

    YPD and the Cheonan need to be seen in the context of a communist push to delegitimize the nll. Their reasoning is corrupt but their own defense of their attack on the YPD garrison is not beyond understanding.

    But yeah, I see the same thing everyone here sees. My opinion just happens to fall on the other side of the fence from where you’re standing. :)

  • lollabrats

    NHK is reporting that the reason the DPRK attacked the ROK is to force the ROK, but especially the US, back to the 6PT. Apparently, the DPRK is threatening more violence if the ROK and the US do not return…

  • lollabrats

    ^
    I must second Mr. Bolton’s sentiment that the 6PT should now be formally scrapped–and should have been a long time ago.

  • lollabrats

    Russia is at least saying that bad things should happen to someone who attacks a South Korean island. They won’t identify who may have attacked the South, though.

    I love that China can sit back and counsel patience. Of course, the words are directed at only one party. i wonder if they giggle at their fortunate geo-political position when they gather for a secret meeting.

  • cm

    A little accidental South Korean missile lob onto one of those illegal Chinese fishing boats that are floating about off the coasts of South Korea, should do the trick and make me feel much better about retaliating on the Chinese.

  • wjk, 검은 머리 외국인

    all these retarded gyopos saying let’s go to war.

    there is no modern shield for artillery shells that I know of, and artillery alone can destroy most of Seoul.

    attacking North Korea means the same in 2010 as in 1950. China will be happy to watch the peninsula knocked back to the stone ages, as it supplies.

    Since the late 1980s, even plebeians in Seoul were told a war with North Korea will send the peninsula into a dark whole in just one day of fighting. But, the gyopos raised on Grade A milk pasteurized milk have no idea of this. Gyopo males still go to the peninsula to get a wife trading their aspirations for a North American cash only dentist as their real true love versus someone, anyone with a blue passport.

    2 hours is all it takes.Is there a place to hide the Seoul population in 2 hours?

    MAP OF THE DAY: How North Korean Artillery Could Level Seoul In Two Hours

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/map-of-the-day-how-north-korea-could-destroy-seoul-in-two-hours-2010-5#ixzz168Gx8L5K

    Strangely, I rarely have seen a gyopo girl go to Seoul to look for a non English speaking husband to come to North America.

    I hate the surname Kim. Kim Ilsung, Kim Jongil, Kim Jongeun, Kim Jungnam, Kim Daejung with secret children, Kim Yongsam with secret children, Shilla the small original hermit kingdom. 사대주의 started with Shilla.

    the babo gyopo needs to be like me, the smart gyopo who calls things right.

    i’d imagine people would be trampling each other to death in Seoul if North Korea was firing their ground guns for 2 hours.

    if you want a war, you need to do a special deal with China first to ensure playing with Seoul instead of Pyongyang. The f–kers are all about Chinese Empirism so they will always play for Pyongyang and there is no retaliation. You just talk and talk and hope Mr. Kim has a another stroke while banging a girl 50 years his junior.

  • Craash

    I wonder what Jonathan Lee thinks of NK now?

    If only he had unfurled his sign saying “peace treaty” and “nuclear free DMZ children’s peace forest” on YongPyong-do instead of in China, he could have prevented any incident.

    Somebody ought to shock some sense into his mother.

  • Craash

    cm – ((All they have to do is to take out those North Korean positions that are bombarding the little island. What are the North Koreans going to do?))

    Perhaps when you finally move to Korea in 9 more months you could receive a little more education.

    The north DID NOT cross the nll in order to strike YongPyong-do, they did it from their side.

    The position from where the artillery came from, is so firmly entrenched, that it is almost impossible to take it out from staying within our side of the nll.

    The only way to take it out, would be to actually be right over top of those positions, which would mean that “we” south Korea invading NK territory – which is exactly what NK wants us to do, so they have an excuse to tell the world “SK invaded NK”.

    any more recommendations cm?

  • Seth Gecko

    Why aren’t the updates numbered in this article? Just curious.

  • Granfalloon

    Now that I’ve slept on it here’s my take:

    Against military retaliation. Pro sanctions, enforced by military. Maybe all-out war.

    Seems to me this year’s provocations is all about convincing the North Korean people that the military-first policy of NK is necessary for their survival (which is actually true, just not in the way the regime would have its people believe). This is not without a tinge of desperation . . . NK people accepted military-first in the 90s, even as they were starving to death. Seems now they need demonstrations, which is actually good news, dead marines aside.
    S. Korean military retaliation would only give the regime the military legitimacy it obviously needs very badly. However, this cannot go unanswered. So what I would do (calling on my years of foreign policy experience*) is ramp up containment to nigh-hermetic levels. Stop any and all humanitarian shipments. Sink any ships coming from North Korea the moment they enter international waters. Use economic sanctions, with the help of the US and Japan, against any countries providing aid to NK. It’s a gamble, yes, because critics will call this tantamount to handing NK over to China. Perhaps it is.

    But I don’t see any other choice, other than all-or-nothing. And maybe that’s the eventual endgame anyway, so maybe sooner is better than later. Scary thought.

    So, I don’t see what small-scale military retaliation will accomplish. Either hit them where it hurts (ie, make the regime look bad in non-military ways), or hit them completely (ie, evacuate Seoul and say a prayer).

    *sarcasm

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Well, if this is true then the Norks have already won:

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7308626.html

  • DynamicallySparkling

    Breaking news…here’s photos of the devastation. Admittedly most of the destruction was probably caused by fire.

    http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=009&aid=0002358359

  • milton

    Don’t Retaliate
    Cost: 100% chance ‘provocation’ in the future –> IMPACT: Continued killings of SK soldiers near the DMZ by NK
    Benefit: 0% chance of escalation –> IMPACT: No massive civilian casualties

    I think you need to think this through a little harder. The problem with this analysis is that it completely overlooks the nature of the future provocation you give a “100% chance.”

    What happened yesterday was a dangerous escalation. For the first time, civilians were targeted. Who knows what will come next. The shelling of Seoul? A thrust across the DMZ? An attack on Japan? Shooting down an airliner? With the failure of Seoul and Washington to meaningfully deter NK aggression and the China’s increasing penchant for protecting the North, Pyongyang is no doubt emboldened and confident that they can get away with increasingly belligerent and aggressive acts. What makes you so sure the next provocation won’t result in “massive civilian casualties?”

  • cinemagauche

    ” North Korea’s Tuesday attack on South Korea’s Yŏnpyŏng-do Island [aka Yeonpyeong-do] could only have happened because the ROK failed to retaliate in any meaningful (read: proportionate or greater military response) when the Ch’ŏnan was sunk.”

    Brian Myers is a hard-core ideologue. Even the United Nations, while condemning the Cheonan attack, did not condemn North Korea as the perpetrator.

    South Korea anyways admits to opening fire first this time (as part of a military drill) but the North’s response was disproportionately violent. Who knows anyways what’s really going on – it might just be a sideshow – “surface tension” between the two sides – while in the backroom they’re strategic partners.

  • milton

    cinemagauche,

    Slowly put down your bong and come back to reality.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936
  • will nolens

    156 cinemagauche -

    ”North Korea’s Tuesday attack on South Korea’s Yŏnpyŏng-do Island [aka Yeonpyeong-do] could only have happened because the ROK failed to retaliate in any meaningful (read: proportionate or greater military response) when the Ch’ŏnan was sunk.”

    that is a Kushibo quote not a Myers quote.

    what Myers actually said is here –

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/11/23/131535591/korea-worst-act-of-aggression-against-south-korea-since-50s

  • Hamilton

    Milton, I second that. Unbelievable.

    cinemagauche, There is a very very small garrison on YP-do. They have very few artillery pieces which are test fired on a regular basis to the West away from nK territory and away from fishing areas. They post notices and make radio broadcasts to enure there are no fishing vessles in the area and that the north Koreans know they will be firing. They also post patrol boats at the edges to further ensure there is no chance of civlians getting injured. They then fire a few rounds per gun to test the systems and then stow them.

    You call that firing first and a confusing situation? I would like to assume you are just ignorate and not a shrill for nK or a conspiracy nut. A few quick questions to determine which….did SK destroy the Cheonan themselves, did it strike a stealth reef, or did nK most likely sink it? I’ll skip the mad cow questions.

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