North Korea's state radio dismissed South Korea's 90 minute masturbatory military exercise with live fire and heavy air cover in and around the island of Yeonpyeong, as 'not worth reacting [to]'.
With a sharp index finger nail , the North's leadership prickled the South taut balloon of warlike bluster and tin soldier bravado.
For Seoul, president Lee Myung bak was going to let Kim Jong il know who holds the trump cards: the South repeated the same drills that had provoked the North's shelling in November along the NLL [Northern Limit Line], albeit in a very abbreviated format.
And what's more, Lee had to contend with protest from South Koreans about his reckless playing chicken with the North.
The Obama administration which has its own version of 'lips to teeth', has coordinated and supported Lee's recklessness to the hilt. As GuamDiary has documented, Washington's lips is protecting Seoul's teeth, as 'bulldozer' Lee has pursued aggressive measures - military, diplomatic, economic, and mis- and disinformation - towards Kim Jong il & co.
US policy is banking on the collapse of the North within next few years, and accordingly, has in desperation fallen back on the 'policy of rollback' in the Obama administration's futile attempt to bell the North Korean cat. Suddenly, in a fit of nostalgia for the days US triumphalism of the early Cold War, the US North Korea clerisy bolstered rank sentimental yearning to right the defeat it suffered during the Korean War to wipe Kim Il sung & co. off the face of the map of Korea.
America learns little from history but to embrace failed ideas and actions.
Saying this, Obama in response to Pyongyang's urging sent New Mexico governor Bill Richardson scurrying off to the North Korean capital to 'parliament' with the North's top party and military leadership. Since the US president is unwilling or simply cannot control its client in Seoul, it is hedging its bets in making 'nice' to the North.
Contrary to the reporting of a hostile US press, North Korea does not display the almost complete lack of caution of Lee Myung bak & his ilk. Although Pyongyang has remained on a warfooting for the last 60 years - since the outbreak of the Korean War and the almost complete destruction from the air of US aircraft - it has tried in the last 20 years to engage Washington. It had some success during the Clinton years, but suffered a violent rebuff by the 'virtuous' George W. Bush and the man with a glad hand who took his place in the White House.
Kim Jong il's repeated calls for face to face contempt with the US have either been ignored or fallen on deaf ears. When the US responds it icily throws on the carpet maximal demands, with the snarl of a child who wants his marbles back since the others won't play by its rules.
Well, old darlings, no one is playing by America's rulebook of diplomacy. So Obama & co. like Bush & co., can only think in terms of the smashing fist. War or threats of war.
Well the US & South Korea learnt a hard lesson when North Korea lobbed its shells on the island of Yeonpyeong as a reply to the South's fire landing in North Korean waters. For the first time in 47 years - since the signing of the 1953 Armistic agreement - the two Koreas exchanged fire outside the DMZ.
And that gave the US the 'willies'. For all its braggadocio, the US cannot sustain another war in Korea...it doesn't want another war in Korea. It is already on the short end of two disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which have weakend the 'empire' greatly.
Hence the presence of Richardson in Pyongyang. Still the 'sham' of Obama's maneuvre is apparent: Obama hasn't the intestional fortitude to deal with North Korea directly as an equal. And like the red queen in 'Alice', when it comes to North Korea, he has to run faster and faster on treadmill to keep in place and short of war.