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Thursday, May 27, 2010

US Offers Proof of N. Korea's Torpedo Attack on S. Korea's Navy

For those of you who may not know, the North Korean Navy torpedoed a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, back in March of this year. The attack killed 46 sailors and sank the Cheonan. North Korea, following their standard procedure, has denied everything while warning of dire consequences should anyone try to respond to their aggression.

It seems that Hillary Clinton (when was the last time we've heard her name in the news?) is pushing China to accept the fact that North Korea did indeed attack the South Korean vessel.

From the Financial Times article by Christian Oliver via Drudge Report:

"Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, on Wednesday said the US would offer additional briefings and information to China to convince it that North Korea torpedoed a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors in March.

"Beijing’s response to the sinking has been guarded and this makes it less likely South Korea will be able to marshal support for tougher sanctions at the United Nations Security Council.

"Mrs Clinton said a 400-page technical report on the sinking by an international team, including experts from the US, led to the 'inescapable' conclusion North Korea was to blame and that action had to be taken. Should the Chinese need more information, she said the US would offer it."

[...]

"She also said the US could take additional measures against Pyongyang but she did not specify what they might be."

Of course everyone knows, including Pyongyang, that Clinton's "additional measures" is a hollow threat. What would be interesting is if China were be moved by the US. China could bring very real pressure on North Korea. If North Korea were to ever lose China's favor, then Pyongyang would collapse within a month or less.

Is China being swayed to bring a little pressure to bear? My bet is no, but there are mixed messages coming out of China. While Bloomberg reports that "China May Shield North Korea" the same article notes: "China has a big stake in stability in Northeast Asia. Japan and South Korea are China’s third- and fourth-biggest trading partners after the European Union and the U.S., with combined two-way trade reaching $485.1 billion in 2009, Chinese customs figures show."

[...]

"China’s two-way trade with North Korea, at $2.7 billion last year, is less than 1 percent of that total, even though the two countries share a 1,415-kilometer (880-mile) border and an alliance going back to China’s 1950 entry into the Korean War."

As America and the EU flounder and look financially weak, China may be forced to look at South Korea and Japan more favorably. Personally, I believe the saber-rattling and brinkmanship that North Korea routinely practices is finally beginning to wear even on the conservatives within the Chinese Communist Party-- especially as China continues to feel the global economic crunch. The US has largely practiced a policy of appeasement and bribery with North Korea and tolerated their brazen aggression for years. South Korea and Japan... not so much. As the US slowly loses financial sway on China, South Korea and Japan may well rise up and have greater political influence on China in the near future.

4 comments:

  1. China's starting to feel some of the pressure that becoming (as seems increasingly likely) *the* world power will entail?

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  2. @ Fuzzy

    Lots of people look at China as the next emerging superpower. I don't see it, unless there's abruptly a lot of major changes in both their politics, economy and society. The inverted family pyramid is a major crisis for China, as is the oppresive government, and the continued one party rule-- don't let Newsweek fool you, China is a mess despite their purported ability "to get things done."

    Certainly China is gaining further in political and economic power and influence, but I don't see them emerging as a super power while they still have a ton of potentially fatal baggage.

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. More links to Asian porn... *sigh*

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