Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is proof against North Korea in the sinking of the 'Cheonan' conclusive?

Details of Seoul indictment against North Korea in the sinking of the corvette "Cheonan" can be disputed. For weeks now, South Korea has been conducting a media campaign to blame Pyongyang in the sinking of its vessel in disputed waters. Its spokesman proclaims that the North's responsibility is obvious. Is it? The determination of Pyongyang's responsability according to the international press, is shrouded in a "sensitive and classified document" which the South has refrained from making public. Were we in a court of law, the evidence Seoul presents is circumstantial, and leaves the jury with the option to deliver a verdict of not guilty by "reasonable doubt".
GuamDiary deplores the loss of life in the sinking of the 'Cheonan', the question of transparency remains. The opinion of international experts cannot dispel the cloud of questions as to South Korea's charge. Agnostically speaking, we remember the bay of Tonkin kerfluffle which brought the US fully into war in Vietnam. Later, it was proven a fabrication.
South Korea rattles an hollow sabre. It cannot declare war. The US threatens 'sanctions' which have never worked against North Korea. US secretary of defence Gates speaks of the North's not accepting sea boundaries which have been left defined since the 1953 Armistice agreement.
Washington calls for a strong reaction. Does the US mean war? Hardly. Bombast, yes; war, no. Perhaps a show of strength in international Pacific waters? Bravado has never impressed North Korea. They can run circles around America in this exercise.
Nary a calm voice is heard in this chorus of harrumphs. Joel Wit who during the Clinton presidency, preaches patience and openness and engagement with Pyongyang.
For those willing to bother listening to Kim Jong il, he has called for talks with the US.
Although US president Obama is willing to extend a hand, his administration has steadfastly taken a hard line on North Korea. It sounds as though it is the bully saying, 'you do as I say'. The record shows that this does not obtain with North Korea.
The US has too much macho bagage. With swagger and bluster, it won't draw Pyongyang back to six party talks, which is an excuse to get nowhere.
South Korea's president Lee Myung bek is seeing his 'drang nach Norden' fail miserably. And this was predictable the moment he torpedoed the 'Sunshine Policy'.
Both the US and South Korea are on a lose, lose path.
Pyongyang has responded with threats and war. Peeling back the wooden response, it is certainly in its rights to demand a full and thorough explanation of 'its blame' in the sunken 'Cheonan'.
As GuamDiary noted above, Seoul is not forthcoming in providing it. And in consequent, a reasonable doubt and questions remain.

No comments:

Post a Comment