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LMB ordered N. Korea bombed, military said no, citing United States

Or so President Lee told the Chosun Ilbo.

In an interview with Korea’s paper of record, Lee said after North Korea shelled Yeonpyeongdo in November 2010, he told China that from now on, he would use the Army, Navy and Air Force to retaliate against not only the source of any North Korean provocation, but also support units as well. He also told the Chinese to tell this to the North Koreans, which they did during Dai Bingguo subsequent visit to Pyongyang.

He said this because he believed North Korea does what it does because it thinks the Americans won’t let the South retaliate (Marmot’s Note: He’s probably right about this, which makes the situation even more dangerous since even the long-suffering South Korean military can take only so much shit from the North Koreans. One of these days, they’re going to snap).

Seemingly proving his point, Lee said at the time of the Yeonpyeongdo Incident, he ordered the Air Force to strike North Korean targets, but a high-ranking military official blocked him, saying that the Air Force mustn’t get involved per the rules of engagement, and that they needed to consult with the Americans.

Lee said he later corrected the rules of engagement so that commanders on the ground could respond immediately and make their reports later. He also said the Americans at first opposed Lee’s plan to expand retaliation to support units, but the Koreans got their way in the end thanks to strong persuasion.

Lee said the most heartbreaking incident during his term was the loss of 46 sailors in the Cheonan sinking. He said it hurt when the men were killed, and it hurt again when people said the attack was staged.

When asked what he was most proud of, it was that Korea maintained plus growth when the world was experiencing minus growth due to the economic crisis. He said the world recognized this, and this made Korea the chair of the G20 summit.

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=783315197 Shelton Bumgarner

    We may look back at this time and say how “obvious” it was that Something Bad was going to happen in Korea because all the conditions were right for a Cuban Missile Crisis kind of situation where we come to the brink of war because of miscalculations on the part of those involved. What is so frustrating about North Korea, however, is you just don’t know. And, really, even if they do explode one or two more bombs what is anyone going to do about it beside more meaningless sanctions? Unless the West is prepared to preemptively attack North Korea nuclear facilities and risk a major regional war, we’re just going to have to accept not only a nuclear armed DPRK, but one with a growing ability to reach the U.S.A. The risk is, the DPRK will at sum point believe they can risk a war of some sort — even if it’s just one to make a point — because they feel they can blackmail the West using their nukes.

  • ZR

    “they needed to consult with the Americans.”

    They really are puppets of the yanks.

  • wangkon936

    Well, if you are gonna use America’s nuke shield, yeah, you need to consult with them before making major offensive actions beyond your borders.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    The facility with which the circumstances enable people to draw this false conclusion, and the readiness with which even the Korean right is willing to buttress it by scapegoating and blame-shifting the US in situations like this, is precisely one of the important reasons the US should withdraw its troops, cancel the misnamed MUTUAL Defense Treaty and make any decision to get involved in any particular dust-up involving South Korea strictly dependent on a contemporary assessment of US interests at the time.

  • http://www.gofundme.com/1k98a8 Jakgani

    Lee said at the time of the Yeonpyeongdo Incident, he ordered the Air Force to strike North Korean targets, but a high-ranking military official blocked him

    so much for “Commander in Chief” (the person exercising supreme command authority of a nation’s military forces or significant element of those forces) when other military officials can block and over-rule what you say…

    Is that the same as the USA?

  • SomeguyinKorea
  • KoreanCanadian

    and lose their leverage in Asian politics. Very smart choice.
    If American government decide to drop their global police role, it would be much simpler for many nations around Asia to simply follow Chinese/Indian examples. Good bye to good old days of global free trading.

  • que337

    Okay, let’s talk about it after removing the limit of SK having nukes and long-range missiles.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Duhhh – goes without saying.

  • cm

    What does it mean by: “Lee’s plan to expand retaliation to support units”?

    I didn’t understand that part at all.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    That ROK will target not just the NORK units that actually fire on the ROK, but any units that support those.

  • que337

    Oh well, then, be prepared for the second Pearl Harbor from Uncle Abe’s descendants who are taught ‘The US, not Japan, was the Aggressor’ and who have been grinding axes for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Kamikaze loaded with nukes hit Hawaii and West Coast, etc.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    LOL; you’re delusional.

  • que337

    You don’t know Japanese.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    You’re awfully presumptuous; you don’t know WHAT I know – plenty of personal experience and study and, most of the previous generation of my family (5 uncles), unlike yours I’d guess, actually fought them for 4 years across the Pacific, then participated in the occupation

    But I guess you think you know them better, because you think and feel and would like to act out in just the way you project

  • que337

    When Japanese fooled Americans once, it was shame on Japanese; when they fool you twice, shame will be on you and your children, Sperwer.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Your preaching the wrong gospel there boy. The shame game is part of your cultural baggage, not mine. And your feigned concern for my children is so insincere it’s repugnant

  • que337

    I thought Americans have shame culture too:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO46ii3W07U&t=0m15s

    Anyways, shame is pertinent Japanese culture and that’s how they remember the Pacific War at Yushukan museum and Yasukuni shrine. As long as Japanese rightwingers perpetuate, IMHO, America is not safe.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Do you check under your bed for the boogie-man every night, too? Does he have crooked, bucked teeth, old-fashioned round eye glasses and a sallow complexion? Is he Tojo – or Gim Gu?

  • que337

    Are you talking about slim?

  • http://profiles.google.com/dcmusicfreak DC Musicfreak

    Q needs to take responsibility for his own stupidity, ignorance and racism and leave unrelated third parties out of this. Close up your bedroom, light up a yontan brick and go to sleep for us, and you will finally earn some respect and gratitude around here, Q.

  • wangkon936

    I find it interestingly odd that you are so forgiving of the people who tried to shoot down your uncle in the Great War but you are so hard on the people who have never tried to harm a hair on you or your uncle’s body.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dcmusicfreak DC Musicfreak

    Few people get more wrong about Japan than you. Stick to taunting Fukushima victims. Sperwer is way out of your league.

  • que337

    Don’t forget Mr. Aso Taro who could not hide his delight in the Korean War that had “fortunately, fortunately started” and Mr. Abe Shinzo who taunts sexually enslaved women.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    I find it disappointingly telling that you persistently and conveniently “forget” with which side Korea and 99% of Koreans fought and otherwise more or less willingly collaborated in WW2. The first encounters of any members of my family with Koreans took place then, when 2 of them who became POWS were regularly and enthusiastically beaten senseless by Korean members of the Imperial Japanese Army (under the ultimate operational command of a Korean Lt. General) – something that didn’t inhibit either one from subsequently volunteering for service in Korea during the Korean War. While they were not very forgiving of the individuals involved in their mistreatment, they didn’t hold it against Korea (or Koreans collectively) and, in any event, had the view that they were fighting FOR their country and its interests – not against the other side or for their allies). Like them, I harbor no considered negative feelings about either Korea or Koreans collectively or Japan or Japanese collectively.

    I also find your apparent approach to international politics discouragingly jejune. To paraphrase Tina Turner, “What’s forgiveness got to do with it?” Talking about forgiveness in the context of international politics is imo simply incoherent – a category mistake, like Descartes’ supposition that there is someTHING called “mind” over and above a person’s observable behaviorial dispositions. Not that you don’t share that error in approaching political questions with many, many people.

    So I haven’t forgiven anybody for anything, because as far as I am concerned it’s not a meaningful element of analysis, understanding and action (except perhaps, given my last observation, in a very Machiavellian sense) in connection with international affairs (or politics generally). My attitudes regarding how the US should act vis-a-vis Korea and Japan today are shaped only by my assessment of what’s in US interests (and the interests of Korea and Japan to the extent, but only to the extent, that they coincide with those of the US).

  • cm

    “I harbor no considered negative feelings about either Korea or Koreans collectivel”

    hmm…. could have fooled me.

  • pawikirogii

    with sperwer telling such a bolfaced lie, one wonders who finds him credible.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Ditto for you

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    That’s because you not only can’t handle the truth; you can’t even stand to hear it said

  • Hitokiri 1989

    Have to disagree to an extent here. Forgiveness and reconcilliation is at the core of Germany’s special relationship with Israel. Ditto that with France. So its not entirely irrelevant as you claim.

  • Hitokiri 1989

    The thing is, isn’t it true to an extent? That the ROK cannot act unilaterally against the Norks without consulting America?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Hitokiri:

    Yes, I agree to the extent that those are so-called “facts on the ground” these days that constitute a part of the reality with which responsible policy makers have to deal. Unfortunately, the “forgiveness” part was a mistake and just unnecessarily complicates matters. IMO, it only “worked” in Europe because the parties involved also still had (and to some extent still have) a sufficiently realistic understanding of international politics and diplomacy successfully to keep it in check. CF the situation in Asia today where that is much less the case.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Of course, but that’s because the ROK voluntarily put itself in that position because of the perceived advantage to itself. Hence, they shouldn’t whine about it. And if they want out now they have only to say the word (and accept the ensuing responsibilities). The problem with Korea is that it wants to eat its cake and have it later too and whinge when it doesn’t.

  • cm

    You mean ridiculous claims like “99% of Koreans fought for, willingly collaborated with the Japanese”?

    RIGHT.

    That’s truth for you. Here’s the real truth: 99% of your posts are Korea bashing. It’s all too predictable, so I don’t even bother. Have a good day sir.

  • bumfromkorea

    Korea and 99% of Koreans fought and otherwise more or less willingly collaborated in WW2.

    Comments like these are the reason why your opinion has about the same credibility as pawi. It’s a shame too, because laughable statements like that aside, you really know your shit.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Thanks for illustrating my point about not even being able to hear it by selectively quoting what I said to eliminate “more or less”. It’s true that many Koreans – far fewer than Korean apologists would like to believe, though – were unenthusiastic collaborators. But the fact remains that the vast majority at least went along – while something like 800,000 volunteered for the Imperial armed forces (go figure out what % of the able-bodied Korean male popuation that was at the time), a mere handful actively opposed, let alone took up arms against, the Japanese. As an outsider, and unlike Korean hyper nationalists (who like that DUP legislator not long ago whose father was a (rather brutal) member of the colonial gendarmerie often have skeletons in their closets), I don’t morally fault even the most enthusiastic of such collaborators (unless they committed actual crimes against persons and then only for that). But it is what it is, and the unwillingness of Korea honestly to come to grips with these facts is imo a major problem for Korea which unfortunately also reverberates in its relations with many other countries, not just Japan.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Thanks? but see my reply to cm

  • silver surfer

    Is no one else glad that America forced a de-escalation after Yeonpyeongdo? Mindful of where I am, I don’t much like the sound of a ‘sea of fire’.

  • cm

    He’s just using that excuse to just bash the ROK again. It only makes sense to confer with your main ally if you’re going to go to war. Especially an ally that will be involved in the fighting if there’s any conflict. There is no Koreans blaming Americans for being talked out of war. I’m sure quite a few people are even breathing a sigh of relief.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Right, that’s why a majority or near-majority of cadets at the KMA were reported to regard the US as Korea’s principal enemy.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    I really enjoy the way you reflexively hit the dislike button, cm, instead of presenting any sort of evidence-based, reasoned counter-argument. Do you vote up your own posts, too? Does that make you feel stronger? LOL

  • cm

    Honestly, it wasn’t me. I don’t usually click on either of the buttons, never mind clicking on my own, that’s just silly. It’s obvious somebody doesn’t like you.

  • bumfromkorea

    But they did make choices, frequently actively to collaborate; more often to acquiesce; and so it is what it is

    This is a far cry from

    Korea and 99% of Koreans fought and otherwise more or less willingly collaborated in WW2.

    Implication of the former being majority acquiesce and the latter being “Hooray for our Emperor! Kill those yanks for our Japanese overlords! Banzai! Tenno Heika Banzai!”.

    I seriously wonder what all those Korean peasants could have done, if the implication is that they should’ve fought or resisted the Japanese 순사s and soldiers in order to escape the label “collaborators”. To me, the label “collaborators” are put on people like Vichy France government, Jewish Ghetto Police, and the Koreans who became 순사s and officers of the Imperial Army (not too hard to imagine coerced Koreans in military labor and/or soldiers). To state that because the Korean civilian population at large posed no systematic resistance, they are all collaborators is really, really stretching the concept of collaboration.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Ok, my bad. I jumped to a conclusion based on the spped with which the ticks appeared; probably was my favorite stalker, Pawi, then. Sorry

  • Hitokiri 1989

    Well collaboration is a sticky issue in any country so I’m not surprised that Koreans might not be to honest with themselves about it. However I disagree with your point about enthusiastic collaborators, as such people helped to support the colonial state willingly. Its those collaborators who were “coerced” or unwilling that should be spared the moral judgement.

  • Hitokiri 1989

    I’m curious though. What were their experiences? Is it like most of the accounts i read from other veterans they mention how brutal the Japanese were during the fighting and war and then how meek and kind the Japanese were after the war?

  • ConnieHinesDorothyProvine

    So do ALL of these people learn everything that they know from Chuck Norris movies?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    That’s certainly the accepted view and, insofar as my relatives’ experiences are concerned, they bear it out. Combat is intrinsically brutal, even within the accepted boundaries. Once in a meeting of the family men, including those who fought in the ETO, the latter felt that they were “lucky” to have fought in a theatre where, despite the intrinsic brutality and the frequent exceptions with which the conventional Western rules of war were violated, there was still some semblance of playing by the rules. Those who fought in the Pacific recalled how shocked they initially were to discover that there were in effect no such agrred rules, because (although they did not understand it at the time) the prevailing senses of “honor” among Allied forces and the Japanese, respectively, were so fundamentally different; their experience was that compliance with what they assumed to be the rules was the infrequent exception.

    Ditto the occupation experience. I had a long talk with one of my uncles about that. He said that when he first arrived and was told he couldn’t carry a weapon, not even his sidearm, he was quite apprehensive about having to go out into the city (Tokyo). When he did, though, sans weapons, and derssed in his service uniform, not his battle rattle, the average Japanese passersby, including uniformed Japanese officers, seemed quite cowed by his presence; they weren’t necessarily actually “kind” but they were very respectfully polite..

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    If i remember correctly, we have the French to thank for the concept of collaboration, and as the French example, like the Korean, illustrates, it is strictly an instrument of political “justice”, i.e., not justice at all but a tool of raw political power masquerading as justice. Why? Because none of the behavior it is used to penalize that is truly culpable isn’ already adequately covered by existing, well-established and consensually-accepted criminal classifications, such as treason, assault, battery, murder, etc.

  • que337

    Have your uncles told you about rampant VD problems in the Allied troops after landing on Japan?

    The VD ratio for the 8th Army troops more than doubled from 26.84 per 1,000 in early September to 56.38 per 1,000 in late October, 1945. The VD rate for the entire US occupation forces during the first three months of 1946 rose as high as 233 per 1,000. The rate was astonishingly high among the US Navy and Marine troops — 476.12 per 1,000 for the troops in Yokosuka and 574.84 per 1,000 for the troops in Sasebo in Nagasaki prefecture in June 1946. In other words, in some cases, at least half the US Navy and Marine troops were suffering from VD, in particular gonorrhea.

    - Toshiyuki Tanaka, Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformation)

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Do you work at being an impertinent asshole or is it genetic? Or does the former act as a multiplier of the latter? Why don’t you go look up rates of venereal disease in Korea before Liberation and report back. Wait, don’t bother; you’ll just tell us it was Japan’s fault.

  • que337

    Penicillin was not widely used before the world war II, so that there would be not much Japanese contribution in VD treatment.

  • Jieun K

    Let’s stick to substantive arguments without invoking authority.

  • silver surfer

    People who are polite out of fear deserve no credit for it.

  • provIdence

    Sahachiro Hata developed, in 1909, Arsphenamine also known as Salvarsan and compound 606, a drug that was introduced at the beginning of the 1910s as the first effective treatment for syphilis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahachiro_Hata

  • que337

    It was not effective treatment and could not be applied in clinics because “the step from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside … is extraordinarily arduous and fraught with danger.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsphenamine

    Mercury was most widely used treatment of syphilis until the the advent of penicillin.

  • provIdence

    We learned his achievement at elementary school, and it’s rather pity to find the drug did not work too well. If it worked well, he must have got a Nobel prize.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Wagner-Jauregg

  • wangkon936

    Wowzers. Dear Mr. Sperwer. Who are these 99% of Koreans who fought for and collaborated with the Japanese? Is it the 37k some odd Koreans who volunteered for the Japanese army? The rest were drafted, you realize that right? You do know what “drafted” means, right? 30 some odd thousand volunteering to fight is a very small number out of a population of 20 million.

    Was it the handful of Koreans who signed the Eulsa Treaty in 1905? How about all the Koreans who broke out with Taegukgis in March 1st, 1919? Were they the 99% of the Koreans who wanted to be Japanese subjects? How about the estimated 5k to 50k who died during that overt demonstration of the Korean people’s desire to be independent of Japanese rule? Were there any collaborators in that group?

    The simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Koreans did not want to be a part of the Japanese empire. Please get it through that thick skull of yours. You know, colonialism is an interesting thing. It forces some unscrupulous natives to pick sides and see how they can best benefit. It happens everywhere where colonialism is implemented. A good example would be the Americas in 1776-1781. People picked sides and the losers high tailed it to Canada. Even celebrated war heroes (i.e. Benedict Arnold) can pick the wrong side and totally be a part of the wrong side of history and have their names completely etched in stone to be synonymous with “traitor.” The actions of a few collaborators do not mean that the vast majority of Americans didn’t want to be free of the yoke of oppression, does it?

    Let’s take Apartheid in South Africa before 1994. The Afrikaners had plenty of black collaborators. Most of the policemen used to keep order in the black segregated sections where… black. Most of the governing councilors of the black townships were… black. The Afrikaners pretty much had one tribe of blacks play off the other tribes since each tribe had an ax to grind against the other. However, the fact that Apartheid had it’s collaborators doesn’t make it somehow not immoral or the Afrikaners culpable for the vast majority of the blame. Most importantly, history does not assign responsibility to black people for the Apartheid system despite the huge number of black collaborators.

    I honestly don’t think you have enough knowledge of colonial history (and world history) to approach it from a comparative standpoint. You are examining Korea’s colonial past from the wrong end of the microscope. There is nothing unusual to the colonizer having native collaborators. Some people thought doing so would advantage themselves materially, some had an ax to grind against the past government, others just wanted to be toadies to the powers in charge. Out of a population of 20 million, you can find a few tens of thousands who will drink your Kool Aid, no matter how unpalatable it may be.

  • jk641

    Recently?
    This was back in 2004, during the heyday of leftist Korean presidents (and teachers).
    The students who picked US as the #1 enemy said that they had been taught that way by leftist teachers. (The Nat’l Teachers Union is, or was, extremely leftist.)
    This is in no way reflective of the general population.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Sperwer has forgotten the first rule of Korean historiography: six months ago was a really long time ago, but 4,000 years ago was yesterday.

  • jk641

    Who said anything about six months?

  • Bob Bobbs

    It’s hard to believe that all of those recruits have completely changed their minds since then. It’s also not very convincing to say that the National Teachers’ Union is in no way representative of the general population, as these people are paid by the general population, educate the children of the general population with their consent and help to form the opinions of millions of children who go on to become…the general population. When you look at things from a broad perspective, 2004 wasn’t that long ago. But in a country where people have to replace their cellphones every 3 months so their neighbours won’t think they are poor and historical buildings are torn down every day to build another Lotte ‘Castle’, it’s not surprising that you’d think it was.

  • que337
  • fe5629929

    delete

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    The point is that Koreans are deeply ambivalent about the US role in Korea, even when they generally are supportive, i.e., they want the US to bear a significant blood and treasure risk as a guarantor of peace and stability, but they still grouse loudly about the consequences (divided peninsula for 500, Bob) and generally try to scapegoat the US for those consequences without accepting that their own decision to take refuge under the US umbrella makes them equally responsible for them.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    LOL

  • Hitokiri 1989

    I have to disagree. Collaborating willingly with a colonial power would fall under the crime of treason as such actions serve to support and perptuate that colonial power in its oppression of the native populace. I personally think the only problem is that many people have a black and white view of collaboration ignoring the fact that there are many reasons why people collaborate with a colonial power.

  • jk641

    It’s hard to believe that all of those recruits have completely changed their minds since then.

    Why? Those entering cadets were high school graduates, not adults.
    They had many formative years ahead of them.
    Koreans generally become more conservative as they get older.

    As for the NTU, they were very leftist and were most powerful during the leftist presidents’ tenures.
    At its peak, about 20% of Korean teachers were affiliated with it.
    I think Lee Myung-Bak did as much as he could to dismantle the NTU. (rightly so)

  • jk641

    I think you should travel to other countries and see what real anti-Americanism looks like.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    You’ve sorta just made my point: collaboration is a redundancy; treason is the crime. The issue then becomes what constitutes treason, I suppose. Established precedent is pretty clear, and “mere” collaboration doesn’t satisfy it, nor in my view should it – precisely because it is so, so far from being clarified into reasonably black and white rues of enforcement.

  • Hitokiri 1989

    Thank you for the reply. It always intriguing to hear personal recollections like those from your relatives. My thanks again.

  • Hitokiri 1989

    I’d just like to add Poland and the Soviet Union as the subjugation of Poland receives a lot of symphaty in the West. I guess Poles also can’t complain about Soviet oppression because there was a Polish Army serving with the Soviets, they were liberated by them and the fact that “Marshal of Poland” Rokossovsky was a Pole.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Happy to oblige. My family has served in the British, American colonial, Canadian, Union, Confederate and US forces since the 16th century, which is a family tradition that is kept alive not only by continuous service but by regular meetings of the family men to share their experiences. Because of my residence in Korea, I haven’t been able to attend much for the past 20 years, so it was nice to have an occasion to recollect the fraternity. So thank you for the question.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Now I think you are missing the point; it’s not, at least in my case, a lack of sympathy for what Koreans actually experienced, but what they often make of that experience.

    My former father-in-law was a young officer in the Polish Army in 1939 who survived the invasion and then fought in the underground with the (non-communist) Home Army until the end of the war, He was in Warsaw when the Red Army stood down from its advance and let the Germans destroy the city and thereby try to complete the extermination of the Polish nationalists and Jews that (in the case of the nationalists) the Soviets had started with the Katyn Forest massacre in 1940. He survived that, capture by the Germans, escape, capture by the Russians and deportation to the Gulag from which he escaped and walked back to the Western zone of occupation in Germany. AFter the fall of the Communist regime in Poland, he was awarded the Virtuti Militari, the Polish equivalent of the Medal of Honor for his service. Through him I met many, many Poles and other Eastern Europeans, non-Jews and Jews, with similar or worse stories. I have always been struck by the difference between their attitudes towards the Germans and the Russians and those of Koreans towards the Japanese. Except in the case of some (but not all) the Jews, who were almost all concentration camp survivors, they did not actively cultivate and , dare I say, celebrate a cult of victimhood and resentiment of the sort that is such a blight on Korean national culture. What stirs my curiosity is why?

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    North Korea absolutely cannot execute on the Sea of Fire plan. Training is essential to military effectiveness, and North Korea has not had suitable training for 30 years. Their forces were in a parlous state in 1990, and that was still their heyday. Doesn’t mean they can’t be dangerous for places like PY-do, or that we oughtn’t worry about missile development, but a full-fledged invasion is far-fetched. That means Spokane is safe too, Wolverines.

    In related news, under the sequester the US Army will have to suspend training and give soldiers a real cut in pay and screw retirees out of veterans’ benefits, but TracFone is getting a huge Federal contract to supply free Android-powered Obamaphones to the poor. Thanks, Barack!

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    I have – to many; i once accompanied a former veryhigh USGOV official, chairman of the Chase Manhattan bank, member of the The Trilateral Commision and architect of the Cold War, then known as the Chairman of the Establishment, on a trip to various countries, and on one occasion took an egg aimed at him. I’ve seen anti_-Americanism in spades. And it doesn’t much bother me in an emotional sense; it comes with the territory (which is one reason i think we should getout of a lotta territory).

    US culpability for the division of Korea is a staple of mainstream Korean historiography, and if you just rub up against a typical Korean, let alone scratch the surface, even a rightwinger, you’ll be treated to a

  • wangkon936

    I think you need to explain what you mean by this:

    “Korea and 99% of Koreans fought and otherwise more or less willingly collaborated in WW2.”

    Before I address what you say in the last paragraph:

    “What stirs my curiosity is why the difference; why has Korean chosen the play the hapless victim card?”

  • wangkon936

    I thought we went through this. Now, for the 3rd time, 800k Koreans did not literally volunteer for the Imperial Japanese Army. I can quote where you MISQUOTE this, but I don’t want to embarrass you… again.

    The real number of Koreans who actually volunteered for the Imperial Army and actually went to uniform is actually around 33-37k. This is from the same source you misquote.

  • provIdence

    All Unit 731 documents were transferred to the US military at the end of WW2, and they have been made public. Thus, you can find what the Unit 731 was doing if you are interested.

    There is a review article about the documents at Chronicle by Richard Byrne.

    http://chronicle.com/free/v53/i20/20a00901.htm

    He cites a committee member, at your despair, saying as follows:

    (Quote)
    Mr. Drea admits to some disappointment that smoking guns on Japanese war crimes did not turn up,

    especially when compared with documents on Nazi crimes that have led to new conclusions on

    what American officials knew about the Holocaust.”

    “To be honest, I’d hoped we’d find something,” Mr. Drea says.

    “That’s the historian’s dream: fresh information that illuminates a dark problem. It just wasn’t there.”

    (End quote)

    So, your problems of the stakes, the comfort women issue and the 731 Unit have been cleared.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    I don’t think my passing your tendentious little litmus test should be a prerequisite for your responding to the latter point. That you apparently think otherwise is an indiction that platethief is onto something in his comment and that you really can’t even rise above your biases to understand my position. Anyway, I haven’t had the time today to answer your other more detailed versions of the same point; but I’ll get to them soon.

  • que337

    Yoshio Shinozuka, unit 731 member tell the different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7yDOXGmtro

  • provIdence

    It is said that Yoshio Shinozuka joined Unit 731 in 1939 at the age of 14. If he stayed there until the end of WW2, he was there until he was 19 without any prior medical training. It is almost impossible to believe that anyone like him ever developed any new germs for testing. I wonder what anybody expect from his “operations” of dead or dying bodies. He must be lying or had been educated for lying. It is rather impossible to imagine that such institution would ever employ such childish soldiers.

  • jk641

    I think Korean military brass would know a lot more about the US military’s misdeeds or mistakes than the average Korean.
    Perhaps this would negatively influence their view of US.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Perhaps, but his lengthy sermon was strictly about US culpability for dividing the Korean peninsula and not giving Rhee carte blanche (and all the arms, money, men and other resources) necessary to reunify Korea – all supposedly constituting a violation of Korean sovereignty and dignity – and, for good measure, despite the obvious contradiction of his concern for Korean sovereignty, complaining that the US didn’t overthrow Chun. I doubt he knows anything about all that that isn’t accessible to anyone with the requisite Sitzfleisch. A very confused guy.

  • que337

    Actually, Dr. Yuasa Ken, 1st Lieutenant witnessed his medical training at Japanese Army hospital in Shanxi Province, not 731 Unit which was located in Manchuria. So your reference of 731 Unit is a diversion.

  • jk641

    I think most people would agree that it was China’s entry into the Korean War which caused it to end in a stalemate.

    With Soviet Union and China supporting North Korea, I think it would’ve been very difficult for the South Korean/ UN forces to reunify Korea without the use of nukes.

  • wangkon936

    That is a mistake. You made a hefty claim that 99% of Koreans collaborated with the Japanese during their wars in the second half of the 20th century. It’s a big claim that deserves to be backed-up. However, if you want to retract it, then you can do that too, but you should make a decision rather than averting it.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    I think the US/UN/ROK could have trounced China, even without nukes, and (as long as they didn’t occupy any Chinese territory, especially in the upper reaches of Manchuria bordering the Soviet Union and conducted themselves circumspectly in the vicinity of the small border between Korea and the Soviet Union, and thereby risk Soviet intervention. Because the split between the Soviet Union and China already was well in the making, Stalin imj would have sat it out unless there was a direct threat to the Soviet Union. That still leaves open the question whether it would have been good policy for the US, ie., in its oen best interests. I follow George Kennan’s view that it would not.

    In any event, the stalemate was not the origin of Korean division, just its continuation. Its origins are complex and go back much farther, but certainly a defining moment was the division of the peninsula on military grounds at the end of the war.

  • silver surfer

    I was under the impression that they don’t need to invade: they just need to let loose with all that massed long-range artillery just north of the DMZ.