Sunday, May 23, 2010

How Inconvenient!

This picture, which appears at the Foreign Policy blog purports to show a piece of the torpedo which sank the Cheonan diplaying the Hangul script. I'm dismissive of conspiracy theories that claim the evidence is fabricated or of those who react to the discovery of Korean script on the torpedo with, "How convenient!" simply because it is in no way convenient to South Korea or any of the other countries that sent its experts to be part of the international investigation such as the US, UK, Australia and Sweden.

The DPRK has offered to send its own investigators:

The Democratic People's Republic Korea (DPRK) on Saturday urged South Korea to receive an inspection group to be dispatched by the National Defense Commission (NDC) of the DPRK to verify evidence related to the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, the official KCNA news agency reported.

But they have been refused:

According to the KCNA, Seoul's rejection of the DPRK inspectors "can not be construed otherwise than a move to prevent the true nature of its conspiratorial farce and charade from being brought to light."

The South Korean side has already given its reasons for rejecting this delegation no doubt seeing the murder of 46 of its seamen to be humiliation enough:

But South Korean Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young on Friday rejected the North's demand as "outrageous", saying it would be "like a robber or a murderer insisting he must inspect the crime scene".

South Korea said Friday the North should instead attend military talks with the US-led United Nations Command (UNC) after the command wraps up its investigation to review the findings of the investigation and determine the scope of armistice violation that occurred in the sinking.

It seems that it could also be inconvenient for North Korea in this final straw will be the end of the "Sunshine policy" of engagement with North Korea.

The Wall Street Journal's editorial insists that Kim Jong-il's regime no longer be seen as legitimate:

The larger strategic insight is to recognize that North Korea won't change until Kim dies or his regime falls. The goal of the West should be to increase pressure on the North toward the latter goal, especially given signs of increasing discontent in the North...

...The [US] Administration could also announce that its "future vision" is for a united and democratic Korea, similar to the united and democratic Germany that Mr. Obama celebrated in his famous Berlin speech. Supporters of engagement will decry this as provocative, but it will put the North on notice that the U.S. no longer accepts its legitimacy as a given.

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