Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Devious Plan That Might Just Wor...D'oh!

South Korean government plans to retaliate [for the Yeonpyeong-do Attack] with words as ammunition, believing a military strike would be frowned upon by the international community.

Now-former Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said on Wednesday at a National Assembly hearing that “a psychological war is ongoing, and we will continue that war but I cannot detail how that will take place.”

The newly launched plan for propaganda will likely be in the form of fliers, which a government source said “are already printed.”

The fliers will be flown into North Korean territory on giant balloons, a tactic that civilian groups have used in the past to send propaganda fliers, usually to tell North Koreans about life in South Korea and appeal to them to leave their country.

[North Korea] will have no idea whether it came from civil groups or the government,” a South Korean government official yesterday told JoongAng Ilbo.


Yeah, why not show some pictures of those fliers that the North Koreans won't know came from the South Korean government?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

B.R Myers Weighs in On the DPRK's Act of Aggression

In an article titled, North Korea Will Never Play Nice, B.R Myers begins by distinguishing what is a "provocation" and what is an "act of agression":

WHILE it is cowardly and foolish not to resist an act of aggression, the best way to deal with a provocation is to ignore it — or so we are taught. By refusing to be provoked, one frustrates and therefore “beats” the provoker; generations of bullied children have been consoled with this logic. And so it is that the South Korean and American governments usually refer to North Korea’s acts of aggression as “provocations.”

The North’s artillery attack on a populated South Korean island is now getting the same treatment, with the South’s president, Lee Myung-bak, vowing that Pyongyang will be “held responsible” and that “additional provocative acts” will be punished “several times over.”

There is no reason that North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-il, should take those words seriously.

In fact, I think I also had referred to the attack as a "provocation", albeit the "worst provocation since the Korean War armistice"

Of course, he is right that Kim Jong-il needed take any words of holding anyone responsible seriously. The North Korean regime rarely has to worry about much more than a mild rebuke in the Security Council or largely meaningless sanctions.

But interestingly, he doesn't seem to agree with my own extrapolation of his idea about this attack being related to the succession.

The provocation view of North Korean behavior also distorts our understanding of the domestic situation. Analysts tend to focus too much on the succession issue; they interpret the attack on the island as an effort to bolster the reputation of Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il’s son and anointed successor. Their conclusion is that North Korea will play nice once the young man is firmly in power.

In fact, I think there is no reason why it couldn't be an act of aggression to bolster Kim Jong-Un's reputation without leading to the conclusion that North Korea will "play nice" later. Myers points out that there has been a serious of increasingly serious acts of agression that the regime sees as necessary to bolster its military-first policies and to legitimise its militaristic rulers but isn't that exactly Kim Jong-Un's problem, right now? That he doesn't have any military credentials to go with his rank of four-star general so these acts might be necessary for the succession?

Well, I concur with his conclusion anyway:

There is no easy solution to the North Korea problem, but to begin to solve it, we must realize that its behavior is aggressive, not provocative, and that its aggression is ideologically built in. Pyongyang is thus virtually predestined to push Seoul and Washington too far, thereby bringing about its own ruin.

The Chinese should take note of this, since their rationalization for continuing to support North Korea derives from the vain hope that they can prop it up indefinitely. The military-first state is going to collapse at some stage; let’s do what we can to make that happen sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Like a Thief Crying, "Stop the Thief!"

The DPRK's explanation for shelling a civillian village in South Korea is that the South Korean military were conducting military maneuvres in what it considered its own waters.

The problem is a dispute over where the maritime border lies. In characteristically sober fashion, the KCNA explains:

The south Korean puppet group perpetrated such reckless military provocation as firing dozens of shells inside the territorial waters of the DPRK side around Yonphyong Islet in the West Sea of Korea from 13:00 on Nov. 23 despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK while staging the war maneuvers for a war of aggression on it codenamed Hoguk, escalating the tension on the Korean Peninsula.

The above-said military provocation is part of its sinister attempt to defend the brigandish "northern limit line," while frequently infiltrating its naval warships into the territorial waters of the DPRK side under the pretext of "intercepting fishing boats."

Well, given that the DPRK have frequently been caught intruding into both South Korean and Japanese waters isn't there a little room for maneuvre?

Should the south Korean puppet group dare intrude into the territorial waters of the DPRK even 0.001 mm, the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK will unhesitatingly continue taking merciless military counter-actions against it.

Running Dogs

It should bear in mind the solemn warning of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK that they do not make an empty talk.

There is in the West Sea of Korea only the maritime military demarcation line set by the DPRK.
Apparently not.

Well, even the North Koreans aren't claiming that the South Koreans shelled North Korean territory, only that they fired rounds within waters which they claim as theirs but which aren't.
Pyongyang, November 24 (KCNA) — After kicking off the war maneuvers for a war of aggression against the DPRK codenamed “Hoguk” the south Korean puppet group perpetrated on Nov. 23 such reckless military provocation as firing dozens of shells inside its territorial waters around Yonphyong Islet in the West Sea of Korea. The revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK took such decisive military step as reacting to the reckless military provocation of the puppet group with a prompt and powerful physical strike.

Nevertheless, the puppet group dared make an uproar over “a provocation” from someone and cry out for “punishment” like a thief crying “Stop the thief!”

Yes, the "puppet group" dared make an uproar about having its civilians shelled in response to military maneuvres! How brigandish!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why Did The DPRK Shell Yeonpyeong Island?

B.R Myers responds to this blogpost here.

In what is being touted the worst provocation on the Korean peninsula since the Korean War Armistice, the North Korean military have shelled Yeonpyeong Island including civilian areas.

Why have they done this?

Here are three possible theories (edited with updates and links):

a) The one I favour is an extrapolation of B.R Myers' idea that the North Korean regime can only retain legitimacy if its future ruler Kim Jong Un is given some military credentials to go with his rank of four-star general. If this is the case, then confirmation could come with some praise of the military action under his name. In which case, watch this space. Myers himself hasn't ventured a motive yet.

b) Andrei Lankov appears to believe this is an attempt to gain attention from the US. Others think it is an attempt to extort more food aid from South Korea given that it doesn't have enough to last the winter. This also seems like a reasonable possibility to me.

c) Selig Harrison seems to be going with his default belief that there are hardliners at work trying to scupper the recent brief thaw between the two Koreas:

The armed forces hawks don't like what they are seeing, and what they have done is a classic ploy in situations like this to stir things up and undermine the doves

And which doves is he referring to? Kim Jong-il?

According to this New York Times article, Lee Sung-yoon, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, disagrees with Harrison and instead agrees with me!

“There is no ‘rogue elements’ theory applicable here,” Mr. Lee said. “This is how North Korea approaches negotiations — not through the conventions of diplomatic courtesy but through raising the stakes through provocations. It’s been a potent formula, this provocation-negotiation-concession schema.”


Mr. Lee and other North Korea analysts said the clash on Tuesday was likely intended to bolster the political standing and military credentials of the son. The North would likely claim, he said, that “this is how the young general showed his mettle.”

We'll just have to wait and see...

Of course, I also expect that some conspiraloon is going to wheel out the tired and tested holler of "false flag!" as if the North's sinking of the Cheonan (or previous "false flag" according to the same loons) wasn't enough of a cassus belli.

Update: Two civilians were also among the dead.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"The Simpsons" Predicted 9/11

Though the Sheeple predictably wave it away as "just a coincidence"!

The clip from X-Files spin-off, The Lone Gunman, on the other hand really is amazingly similar to the conspiracy theorists' idea of what happened on 9/11.