Tuesday, 23 November 2010

North Korea Strikes South Korean Island

So this is how I understand it. There is an area in the West Sea (often called the Yellow Sea) of Korea that is disputed territory between South Korean and North Korea. For this reason the area have been one of high tension, but also one of avoidance by the two Koreas over the last thirteen years. However, earlier this year South Korea and America have been doing naval exercises in this area, something that obviously had North Korea uncomfortable. North Korea warned South Korea than if they were to practise in this area again, they will be forced to see it as a provocation. Yesterday or earlier today (I'm not sure exactly) South Korea had another naval exercise which included shooting missiles into this area of the sea. North Korea, who claims that this area is part of their ocean waters, saw it as an attack and retaliated by firing dozens of shells towards a small South Korean island. Some houses were hit and South Korean civilians two South Korean navy soldiers were killed and injured. "North Korea is threatening to continue launching strikes against South Korea if it violates their disputed sea border . . ."

Analysts say that the reason for North Korea's attack is because of its "growing frustration toward the conservative South Korean government as well as the need to hold one-on-one talks with Washington for aid." I think it is much simpler. The South Korean navy did suspicious military exercises in waters they know to be disputed. Do they really expect North Korea to ignore such a blatantly arrogant move?

And now the the South Korean government announced that it may retaliate by shooting at the North Korean missile launch base. If this kind of tit-for-tat mentality continues it might escalate into something truly unpleasant. Since the current South Korean president has been in office, the tension between the two Koreas have risen uncomfortably. Is this part of some greater strategy he has? I don't think it is working.

As for my worried family and friends, do not stress too much.

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