In an editorial today, Ye Olde Chosun warns that if China isn’t careful, it could provoke its threatened neighbors into forming an anti-Chinese coalition.
Oh, and we really need to build that naval base in Jeju. Oddly enough, the Dong-A Ilbo penned an editorial about the Jeju base, noting that while Park supports it, Moon Jae-in opposes it and Ahn Chul-soo isn’t very clear about whether he supports it or not.
Nothing on Ieodo on the Hani’s editorial page, but on the front page of their online edition, they’re reporting they’ve got evidence of mines in the area where the Cheonan sunk. Don’t stop believin’, guys.
About that carrier…
The New York Times casts doubts on the usefulness of the PLAN’s newest toy:
American military planners have played down the significance of the commissioning of the carrier. Some Navy officials have even said they would encourage China to move ahead with building its own aircraft carrier and the ships to accompany it, because it would be a waste of money.
Other military experts outside China have agreed with that assessment.
“The fact is the aircraft carrier is useless for the Chinese Navy,” You Ji, a visiting senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore, said in an interview. “If it is used against America, it has no survivability. If it is used against China’s neighbors, it’s a sign of bullying.”
Vietnam, a neighbor with whom China has fought wars, operates land-based Russian Su-30 aircraft that could pose a threat to the aircraft carrier, Mr. You said. “In the South China Sea, if the carrier is damaged by the Vietnamese, it’s a huge loss of face,” he said. “It’s not worth it.”
I agree almost completely with that assessment. I say almost because while it’s certainly true China would be seen as a “bully” if it used its carrier against a neighbor, I’ve yet to see anything from Beijing that suggests they’d give a shit. If anything, it seems they’ve embraced the role of regional meathead, and I’d expect nothing less than to wake up one day with the Liaoning off Ieodo.
I knew it!
A Korean army colonel tells the Chosun Ilbo the real reason Japan is claiming Dokdo is to focus attention away from Daemado (a.k.a. Tsushima Island) and the maritime border in the Korea Strait.
Said colonel has been claiming Daemado as Korean territory since 2008.
As if Japan and China weren’t enough…
Clearly upset with China and Japan hogging all the attention, Pyongyang is doing its best to raise tensions at sea, too.
The Hanguk Ilbo reports that North Korean fishing boats have violated the NLL seven times since Sept 12. And according to one military official, the fishing boats are carrying North Korean soldiers.
One recent incident prompted ROK Navy patrol boats to fire warning shots, and an F-15K was sortied.