US secretary of state Hillary Clinton toured the DMZ on the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea] side of the 38 parallel dividing the Korean peninsula. In the wisdom of her vast experience she announced that she had witnessed the terribleness of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea] through a heavily wooded and mined area through a telescope!
Later upon her return to the ROK capitol Seoul she announced new and tighter sanctions against the DPRK--sanctions she had hoped that the UN Security Council would have imposed but preferred to reject and replaced by a resolution which deplored the sinking of the ROK corvette the 'Cheonan' without blaming North Korea.
Following the Security Council refusal to lockstep in following the Obama administration down the primrose path of accusation which had left many strings untied.
Following the Council's vote, the DPRK proposed a meeting at Panmunjan [the DMZ] with the UNC counterpart to discuss the sinking of the 'Cheonan'. A joint meeting was held with UN Command participation [UNC] [read the US which has carte blanche as to the Command's actions], and by all accounts, a 'friendly atmosphere' prevailed.
Additionally, Pyongyang announced a desire to return to the stalled six party talks in Beijing to deal with the nuclear issue.
Mme. Clinton acknowledged none of these moves preferring to martially stamp her imperial metal of measure by more sanctions 'designed to eradicate money making ventures used to fund the DPRK's nuclear programme'; to stop the sale or procurement of arms and luxury of upmarket items; and of course the tried and true course of donning 'some businesses and individuals from travelling abroad' [intentionally left vague].
More to the point the US secretary of state contempuously and without a blush of shame said, these sanctions 'are directed at destablising, illicit, and provocative polices' by North Korea. Writ large in these words is the pursuance of an already overly sanctioned DPRK of a punitative policy of regime change; of bringing the Kim Jong il government to its knees and ultimately its collapse unless it accepts America's and its ally the ROK's terms.
To back up the US determination to deploy this economic weapon of mass destruction, Mme. Clinton spoke of the forthcoming joint US ROK 'Invicible Spirit' war exercises--yes they are called War Exercises with a capital W and a capital E to make the point--in the West Sea around the Busan perimetre far from the HLL near DPRK territorial waters.
Thus, the mighty US is rattling its sabres in safe waters to spike up the tensions that it and South Korea's president Lee Myung bek favour and encourage and feed to the point of playing chicken.
But China has issued a protest against these War Exercises which are too close to its own waters for Beijing's confort.
Mme. Clinton through her announcement of even more harsh sanction is displaying a vindictiveness which in a way makes George W. Bush's policy towards what he dubbed 'an axis of evil state' [North Korea] by putting a North Korean population on the verge of starvation on a bread and water diet.
Mme. Clinton's 'visite eclaire' to the DMZ and South Korea plays to the stalls or the galleries. She got her photo ops and pounded figuratively her fist and wagged her accusing finger at North Korea, not for the first time, with the solemn pledge that if it doesn't behave, it can expects.... Ouch! Expect war?
The US has been counting on China to rein in the DPRK, acknowledging an influence which it may very well not have. Besides, Beijing is not like the US willing to rush in where angels fear to tread.
Washington did not get its way with China this time. China and let's not forget Russia did not go along with its charade at the UN Security on a resolution on the 'Cheonan'. The DPRK wasn't named the culprit, but for the US and ROK, it remains on their most wanted list!
China's vigorous protest against the forthcoming military exercises "Invisible Spirit" has taken a lot of the winds out of its sails. So the big bully and its little henchman in Seoul will have to tread water more softly.
And just to show you the muscular posturing of a weakened US giant, another meeting of the military commission with North Korea and the UNC is going ahead as scheduled. And more likely than naught, it will engender the same friendly ambiance as the first get together.
It does not take much to unmask the game the US and the ROK are playing. GuamDiary calls it 'eyewash'. Yet the mainstream media is content to look at what is happening on the Korean peninsula with the grains of sand Washington and Seoul have thrown into their eyes!