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Attack is North Korean bid for attention

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It's a safe bet that this headline can be recycled, so make sure you save it after you throw away the article. Just put some saran wrap on it and throw it in the drawer. It will keep.

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"There are at least three things Kim will want to secure before he can comfortably hand over the reins: loyalty to the Young General, economic stability and political security ensuring the regime’s grip on power."

Best line of the article. Without the second one, the only way to get the first and third is fireworks like those they showed yesterday. If the west caves in, they get all three. The winning strategy is for the West to do nothing.

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Pyongyang has become frustrated by the slow pace of restoring relations

If North Korea shells civilians because they are frustrated by the slow pace of diplomacy, how would they react if South Korea were to slip in, bomb their uranium enrichment plant into the stone age, and deny any responsibility while several US aircraft carriers just happened to be cruising past Incheon and Goseong? Kim'd lose face, lose a bargaining chip, lose top scientists, and suffer more international sanctions. Probably start a war, eh?

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Couldn't disagree more. North Korea is in leadership transition, and is worried about a popular revolt. Also they are continually pushing their limits. Since they figured they didn't get punished after sinking that ship, they would try this and see if they could get away with it.

It's a weak government trying to look strong to it's population. And the reason nobody wants to fight back is because nobody wants to inherit a country filled with homeless people. That's the last thing the global economy needs.

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This example of industriousness and pluck last week sent the President of the United States home with no economic agreement so that they could aid their cows and cars. A large portion of the population will seize on anything to accuse the US of hegemony. But we won't be hearing any of that this week.

I am no jingoist; many Americans are, and the sense I get from reading comments in US publications is that patience with the Koreas is wearing thin. Just the mention of how this could affect SK's bid for the 2022 World Cup - 2022! testifies to the implacability of this issue. All parties involved should realize that the Koreas are not Israel: there is no natural constituency, no existentialism involved, and that the days of knee-jerk US involvement in this situation may be numbered.

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There is not much difference to the politics of war the US employs when their leaders need to show "strength".

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Laguna:Regarding SOUTH KOREA(not the "Koreas"), you couldn't be more wrong. In fact. I'm not sure what you're talking about.

kyoken: Nice try, but no dice.

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I wish someone would just carpet-bomb NK and get rid of the "Dear Leader" and his cronies.

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China is to blame for all this: if it wasn't for them there wouldn't even be a N. Korea today.

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Too bad North Korea doesn't have oil er, ummm, weapons of mass destruction...if they did I am sure that dictator would have been overthrown and the people freed by the world police :(

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Once the richer of the two Koreas, the North has suffered over the years from the loss of Soviet aid, economic mismanagement and natural disasters that destroyed its precious few resources.????

Basically the decline is due to mismanagement.

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NK actions are hardly a bid for attention ! . . dream on . . . They are testing reaction of US , Japan, So Korea. . .in fact I would not be surprised if one couldn't see the shadow of China's hand pulling NK strongs.

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Duh! of Course its a bid for Attention, getting & wanting OUR reaction, US,JP,SK is WANTING Attention & to cause more Tention in Asia. i AGREE with trulymadlyFukai. I doubt its china now, WHY would they be having NK do all these little things? the points against NK are stacking up EVERY Country in the world knows of their record of Actions & KNOWS who is trying to start Trouble

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semperfi, China doesn't have much pull with NK's decision making. If they did, North Korea would not be as poor and desperate as it is today.

Look at the difference between South Korea and North Korea. It's like day and night, literally. It's been said that the sparkling lights seen at night over SK is in stark contrast to the total pitch black darkness over NK. To make further insult to injury, China and South Korea are very strong trading partners. NK is just left to die away, due to their moronic leadership.

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I think the South Koreans should consult the Israeli Mousad about how to deal with this silly NK...village of dirt roads and fake atomic bombs. Take out the leadership and free the damn place.

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The NK is a mafia state back up by communist China. The world community must be decisive and strong in dealing with them, either be cool or else including the painful reality of war. China must be put on the spot and punished for its choice as well. May be some sacrifices must be made in order to salvage the rest of humanity at large. Too many are suffered enough for a few crooks. Shame to both of them.

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Ban Ki Moon and the U.N must get tough with NK and China. To blackmail and milking the rest for a few cronies is not a solution, and rather is a crime. To those who seek to provide the NK with more candy; you are as well part of the mafia enterprise.

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I am surprised (maybe I shouldn't be) that no one here has trid to understand why NK started the shelling in the first place. It was SK and US's endless military exercises and firing in the disputed sea areas that provoked NK. It's like two bigger kids constantly bully this little guy by flexing muscles right at his door step. So the weak kid decided to throw a punch: you want to fight? let's fight. You know what happened: the two bigger kids have been proven a "paper tiger".

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They were provoked, melikewine? So what do NK do? They naturally fire some warning shots then, you say? Ah, now I understand.

Oh, I forgot, human life has no value to them... who cares if they wipe out a community? The paper tiger game is more important.

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melikewine:"I am surprised (maybe I shouldn't be) that no one here has trid to understand why NK started the shelling in the first place. It was SK and US's endless military exercises and firing in the disputed sea areas that provoked NK."

It seems that many here have selective memories.

It wasn't that long ago that NK was having it's own military drills right of the coast of SK not to mention the the warning that ships should avoid a certain area because of missile test including firing right over Japan.

Now tell me how NK would have reacted if anyone had fired a missile over their territory.

Why when NK test fires missiles toward their neighbors and hold their own military exercises their neighbors don't go firing bombs at them but for some reason all you pro-NK or is it just anti USA/Japan group seem to think it is all just SK, USA that are at fault for provoking poor little NK.

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China clearly provides sufficient sustenance to keep the North from complete collapse. It does so mainly in my opinion to avoid a flood of refugees, political instability which might spread to China, and foreign soldiers on the border.

Strategically the Chinese needs it as a buffer between China and the U.S. sphere of influence but tactically needs to withdraw before Kim starts something that could lead the world to boycott their economy. In other words, China wants reform, just not at the expense of NK as a viable state.

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I don't think the Chinese are afraid of a unified Korea, because that hypothetical process would likely take 50 years or more, and China already has a few democracies on its doorstep anyhow, and it hasn't hurt them. My view is that the Chinese are merely favouring what they see as "the greater good", by maintaining a status quo that if upset, would spell social and economic disaster for them. I'm pretty sure no sane country like China feels happy about having a bunch of extremists next door, and that their friendship is growing more and more superficial- while China tries to rein them in with sticks and carrots (and a few subdued warnings to keep it down). Something to ponder: Is Taiwan's sovereignty and military deals with the U.S worth the lives and freedom of the North Korean people? Because that might just be China's price if push comes to shove.

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caffeinebuzz at 10:51 AM JST - 27th November. I don't think the Chinese are afraid of a unified Korea,

Few leaders in Beijing would relish the prospect of a unified Korea right on China’s doorsteps which would disrupt the power-balance in Northeast Asia. China prefers to have a weak North Korea dependent on it for handouts as a neighbor and a buffer against the prosperous South and its U.S. ally rather than a unified Korean nation which is both economically and militarily strong.

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sfjp330, I don't argue that they it's unappealing to them, but I also think that more than that, the Chinese wouldn't prefer having an impoverished and loony regime next to them either...North Korea is already upsetting the Northeast power balance as it is. If South Korea were to absorb the North, that process would set them back so much and for so long, that it would make East and West German reunification look like child's play in comparison. That's more than enough time for the Chinese to look for ways to make trade and make money, rather than for forking out constantly for a bunch of petulant kooks.

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