A late minute update signals that the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea] is slouching closer to pin blame on the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea] for the sinking of its navette 'Cheonan'.
A closer look at previous articles on the incident resulting in a loss of 46 lives, shows that it is couched in the conditional mood: a sure sign that it is proving very difficult to throw the weight of guilt on North Korea, which has denied any involvement.
The closest South Korea has come to advancing proof is the finding of a very thin trace of aluminium. Seoul therefore concludes that it was a torpedo from the North which sank its vessel. Yet the statement is inconclusive, and the exhibits of the 'prosecution' in the court of public opinion wanting. Yet, South Korea in its statements, is preparing world opinion to see the 'Cheonan' incident as it does.
The ROK president Lee Myung bek is facing a tough election in June. His party holds the cards, but the South Korean voters may not return the majority he now holds.
Proof positive of a North Korean hand in the sinking would surely turn the tide in his favour, and ramp up war fever in the southern half of a divided peninsula.
Mr. Lee is in no position to launch a war, so instead he is grandstanding.
North Korean watchers have already advanced scenarios of the DPRK's guilt. Some are more plausible than others, but the question remains as to what are they going to do?
Very little. The British Aidan Forster Carter is very much in this school of thought. Yet even he has become so disillusioned that he simply wishes that the DPRK would disappear from view.
The US scholars and diplomats in and out of government are for a show of strength. That tack has never worked.
The Korean American Victor Cha hits out at China for not corralling its ally the DPRK which is dependent on China for economic and food aid. He is impertinent enough to insult China by saying that until it does, China doesn't deserve to be recognised as a 'major power'.
In brief, these ways of thinking highlights what is known for a long time. The current government of the ROK and the Americans are not serious about negotiating with the DPRK. Little wonder, it is not an easy task, the more especially the list of items span at least 60 years.
For fear of looking weak, the George W Bush administration came up with the six power talks which have led to stalemate on one hand, and in Bush & co's adolescent show of bravado, to the DPRK becoming a nuclear power.
It is obvious that stupidly Seoul and Washington are buying time which is not in their favour. The longer they delay in dealing directly with the DPRK, the more difficult it becomes for them, and the longer crises continue.
Like the 'Cheonan' Washington and Seoul are fishing waters with loose mines and torpedo[e]s floating around at least from the Korean war.