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Thread: North & South Korea: On the Brink

  1. #1
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    Default North & South Korea: On the Brink

    November 24, 2010 12:13 PM
    North Korea on the "Brink of War" ... Again
    Posted by Joshua Norman

    Smoke billow from Yeonpyeong island near the border against North Korea, in South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. North Korea shot dozens of rounds of artillery onto the populated South Korean island near their disputed western border Tuesday, military officials said, setting buildings on fire and prompting South Korea to return fire and scramble fighter jets.

    Following Tuesday's shelling by North Korea of Yeonpyeong island off South Korea's coast that left at least four people dead, the North Korean state press agency said the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had been "pushed to the brink of war," according to several wire reports.

    "There is neither way to improve [relations] nor hope to bring them on track," North Korea's KCNA news agency quoted the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea as saying. "The confrontation between the North and the South in the political and military fields has been put to such extremes that the inter-Korean relations have reached the brink of a war."

    Considering the large scale death and bloodshed of the war on the Korean peninsula just 50 years ago, statements like this should cause at least a mild panic in the international community.

    Yet that kind of rhetoric has become so commonplace that U.S. State Department spokesperson Mark C. Toner said in a press conference Tuesday only that the U.S. and its allies would undertake a "measured and unified" response to North Korean hostilities.

    "It is a pattern, absolutely," said Toner, in reference to North Korea's hostilities and bellicose rhetoric. "We've seen this story before. We're not going to buy into this reaction-reward cycle that North Korea seeks to perpetuate."

    Whether DPRK's war rhetoric is a provocation or a genuine warning is hard to decode. In fact, the day before the shelling, KCNA warned that long-planned U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises scheduled to take place this week were "a criminal act of aggression for provoking another Korean war, (and) are pushing the situation of the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war."

    Last June, following the sinking of a South Korean warship in international waters which killed 46 South Korean sailors, North Korea reacted angrily when blamed for the incident, even though an extensive investigation showed that it was a North Korean torpedo that did it.

    At the time, KCNA wrote in a story that South Korea "faked up the incident" in an attempt to distract the world from its elections and that "those seeking a war and confrontation, estranged from the nation, are bound to face a miserable end."

    Threats of war and a miserable end to its enemies by North Korea are nothing new - so much so that a South Korean official told UK daily The Independent after the shelling that "there is no need to react sensitively or get happy or sad over every single statement issued with some political motive."

    The difference this time is that blood was spilled, and there is no sign of backing down on either side.

    North Korea said after the shelling: "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."

    South Korea responded with this official statement: "The Armed Forces of the Republic of Korea immediately and strongly responded to the provocation. The South Korean military will retaliate against any additional acts of provocation in a resolute manner."

    Against this backdrop, the U.S. remains committed to holding long-planned joint military exercises with South Korea. The USS George Washington aircraft carrier group is scheduled to arrive in the region Nov. 28, and will serve as a sign of "the strength of the ROK (Republic of Korea)-U.S. Alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence," according to a White House statement Tuesday.

    Given its history, North Korea will likely have a response to that as well.

    CBS News

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    1. This is one or more of (a) NK trying to bully SK and, more importantly, the US and its Allies into backing off over their increased military posture since NK sank the SK navy ship recently (b) NK trying to bully the same lot into granting concessions to NK (as they did with money for no more nukes, which money was paid without NK honouring its part, and the only people who were surprised were the American government elements who made the deal) because NK has so comprehensively f*cked its economy and agriculture that it can't survive without capital inflow, most of which, of course, will be diverted to the benefit of its hereditary dear leaders rather than the poor bastards they rule and exploit (c) the latest dear leader flexing his juvenile muscle to let SK know he's not a marshmallow.

    2. The fly in this ointment is China, which generally supports its rogue nutcase neighbour. Combined with China's growing economic power; American indebtedness to China; the consequences of China revaluing its currency and plunging America further into debt; and China's expansion to a deep sea navy to challenge the US in the Pacific, we may be seeing a re-run of some of the circumstances leading to the Allied war with Japan, albeit not with America making all the running this time.

    3. The seeds for Pacific War II are there. Not today or tomorrow, but in the next few years or decades. Ably assisted by the fact that the Chinese leadership is just as capable of bizarre action as is NK. Witness the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward.

    4. It's no coincidence that various countries in the SE Asia region are re-evaluating their relationships with the US, to which they have been at worst hostile and at best cool, and looking to a more positive relationship with the only country on the planet that can and would be prepared to contest the Pacific region with China.

    5. Cue swelling music and choral
    O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
    ...
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    Just been on the BBC and here's the latest on it;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11844387
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    I hope they sort this out sharpish as 'Korean War Part II: Sins of the father' is going to mess up my shares. More seriously, this would have massive implications for an already fragile world economy and it is my hope that fact alone will get everyone to calm down and stop all this brinkmanship.
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    Quote Originally Posted by student-scaley View Post
    I hope they sort this out sharpish as 'Korean War Part II: Sins of the father' is going to mess up my shares. More seriously, this would have massive implications for an already fragile world economy and it is my hope that fact alone will get everyone to calm down and stop all this brinkmanship.
    The only mob that needs to calm down are those crazies in North Korea.

    Nobody understands what goes through their isolated little minds, but they sure as hell are dangerous. Not least because they subscribe to the belief that the whole world but particularly the US is determined to and will destroy them (if only!), so there seems to be that gotterdammerung fatalism which infects the worst kind of dictatorships and results in the people being sacrificed by the deluded leaders.

    Which is why it would be better for everyone if they, or at least their leadership, were removed.

    But China stands in the way. So what does China get out of it? Probably the same sort of benefit an outlaw bikie gets by saying he's reformed but he can't control his pit bull, so it's best not to upset the dog as it may wreak mayhem. It keeps everybody wary of both the dog and its owner.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    Quote Originally Posted by student-scaley View Post
    I hope they sort this out sharpish as 'Korean War Part II: Sins of the father' is going to mess up my shares.
    Samsung.

    Recommendation: Sell
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Samsung.

    Recommendation: Sell
    I don't have any there, I more concerned about my Japanese stocks!
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    Quote Originally Posted by student-scaley View Post
    I don't have any there, I more concerned about my Japanese stocks!
    I hope you didn't invest on the Japanese stock market. It's been somewhat underwhelming for the past 20 years or so.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I hope you didn't invest on the Japanese stock market. It's been somewhat underwhelming for the past 20 years or so.
    Japanese industry mostly, technology companies etc. If Korea does go hot I might shift to BAE
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    Quote Originally Posted by student-scaley View Post
    Japanese industry mostly, technology companies etc. If Korea does go hot I might shift to BAE

    By all means feel free to ask me for investment advice.

    My motto is "Buy at the bottom of the market, sell at the top."

    My practice has, alas, been more the opposite.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    I was thinking about posting a reminder to people (other than student-scaley and me, as we are conducting a coded conversation at a meta-level beyond the ken of the average member ) to keep on topic, but upon momentary reflection I thought that this was a good thread in which to consider the relationship between stock markets and the prospect, and reality, of war.

    My assessment of stock markets is that they are what most Western (forget about the rest) racetracks would be if largely unsuccessful efforts hadn't been made by racing authorities to stop horses being nobbled and jockeys pulling horses and everyone but the common punters trading in and benefiting from inside information. But even allowing for all the supposed experts trading (usually with other people's money) on the stock market and almost invariably failing to predict and avoid major collapses, the essence of the market is that it is a barometer of confidence.

    So why doesn't something like the current NK craziness depress the markets significantly with the prospect of a major regional, if not international, war yet a minor drop in an overseas stock market a few hours ahead of a local market will be followed locally when the local stocks have sweet FA to do with the stocks sold down on the other side of the planet before the sun left that side of the planet?
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    By all means feel free to ask me for investment advice.

    My motto is "Buy at the bottom of the market, sell at the top."

    My practice has, alas, been more the opposite.
    Don't take this the wrong way old chap but i'm not in the habit of taking investment advice of stangers on the internet

    But all jollity aside, this is the very real concern of a conflict in Korea. Any conflict would act as a vortex to the local markets and economies that would have knock-on effects in the rest of the world. Which is why I think South Korea won't let it escalate too far and the Chinese will reign in their pitbull, North Korea.

    It seems to be part of life in the pennisula, every so often there is a little spat or border incident causing the rest of the world to speculate on the liklihood of war starting anew but it usually calms down again. Everyone has too much too lose by going the full hog - money makes the world go round after all!
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    Quote Originally Posted by student-scaley View Post
    Everyone has too much too lose by going the full hog - money makes the world go round after all!
    Yes, and call me cynical, but it seems that NK engages in these bizarre and seemingly random, but I think very, very carefully calculated acts like a toddler's tantrum to get what it wants, which is money. And probably the bully's confirmation that by pushing its victim around it can get what it wants, which history shows NK has always got and which merely encourages it to keep doing it.

    The really dangerous point will be reached when the West, being primarily America, cracks the shits with NK's tantrums and says 'No more' and means it. And NK, and China, don't realise they really do mean it.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Yes, and call me cynical, but it seems that NK engages in these bizarre and seemingly random, but I think very, very carefully calculated acts like a toddler's tantrum to get what it wants, which is money. And probably the bully's confirmation that by pushing its victim around it can get what it wants, which history shows NK has always got and which merely encourages it to keep doing it.

    The really dangerous point will be reached when the West, being primarily America, cracks the shits with NK's tantrums and says 'No more' and means it. And NK, and China, don't realise they really do mean it.
    Come that day my antipodean friend, I'll suddenly develop a medical ailment and have myself medically downgraded. As that war is going to be one of the biggest meat grinders in a generation.
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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    Default Re: North & South Korea: On the Brink

    China will step on NK long before they do anything serious... Or if they do anything serious!

    China cannot afford anything that damages Western trade and relations. They still keep their bluster up publically, but the reality is that China needs the West and the US as much as we need them.

    An errant North Korea is as likely to be backhanded by China as by the US.

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