Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DPRK anoints Kim Jong Un with some murder and vandalism

That is my explanation for the murderous and vandalous assault on Yeonpyeongdo (do = Island) (37°40'N,125°41'E), by the Korean People's Army.  Yeonpyeongdo is an island well north of the 38th parallel and is far closer to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)  mainland than the Republic Of Korea (ROK).  So it was an easy target.  The Korea Herald reports one marine is dead and four seriously injured, but also there have been 60-70 homes damaged of what is largely a community of fishermen.  Chosun Ilbo (in Korean) is reporting that 1772 residents of the island are in shelters, with others fleeing on fishing boats south towards the mainland.  Certainly the destruction has been overwhelming and overshadows the usual occasional skirmish of gun fire that is the DPRK's means of "practicing".

There is little doubt that the DPRK will claim it is a response to the military exercises started on and around the island in the weekend, which the DPRK threatened would not go without a response.  Typically the DPRK response would be the odd shell falling well short just to send the signal that the "military demarcation line" is nearby, although the exact location in the two seas either side of Korea is always disputed.   This time it is real, perhaps the greatest incident in Korea since the war, in terms of sheer damage.   It may well be simply part of the process of demonstrating to the people that Kim Jong Un is a great general (he was anointed the status of 4-star general in September), fending off the "provocative" imperialist forces.   Yet it also shows the tension in that regime, as recent rhetoric and activities have been far more peaceful, with exchanges between families and a toning down of DPRK rhetoric.   The truth being that the Korean People's Army has some leaders who see no interest whatsoever in a reduction in tensions, as transformation of DPRK-ROK relations could only result in a lowering of military expenditure.

The only appropriate response is to respond militarily to this response in kind and then freeze aid and further discussions.  The DPRK deserves to be condemned forthright not only by the ROK government, but by the US, Japan, China and other countries.   Hopefully the rather lackadaisical attitude of many ROK citizens will have been shocked open by this to realise the real threat from the north.  Sadly most in the DPRK either know nothing about the news (the story of which is being carefully crafted for the Korean Central News Agency as I type this) or will have the usually manufactured story about the DPRK having been the victim of provocation, and responding boldly to a threatened attack under the wise guidance of General Kim Jong Un.

It would be funny if it didn't cost lives. 

However, in the spirit of "if you can't shoot 'em laugh at them" you too can create a DPRK propaganda insult with the DPRK Random Insult Generator you "half-baked philistine".

By the way, if you want the latest and best intelligence on the DPRK that is published, you will find it hard to beat North Korea Economic Watch.  It is responsible for by far the best overlay of detail on Google Earth of the country called North Korea Uncovered.   Bear in mind that much of that overlay shows what 99% of citizens of the DPRK do not know, and think of how much it irritates the DPRK that it is known by everyone else.

UPDATE:  The Korean Central News Agency does its job with typical "unique" use of language.  Merciless strikes that don't quite note the destruction of the homes of families on the island.

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