A reader or two of GuamDiary asked who did we think blinked first: North Korea? South Korea?
Common wisdom believed the North did. But did it?
Events do tell a different story.
South Korea fuming from the sinking of its corvette 'the Chenon' in March 2010, felt humiliated and insulted as its campaigned to blame the North for the ship's sinking and the loss of 46 crew. [As GuamDiary oft commented on the sunken 'Cheonan', there are too many loose ends to the South's brief. And branding the DPRK the culprit begs the following questions: why was the ship's officers drunk? why did the South refuse to publish the full report of its findings until August 2010, although it was ready earlier? why did Seoul hide behind 'national security' to hold up the report's finding? why did the South rejects the North's dossier and its request to send a delegation to Seoul? why did it reject out of hand Russia claim that the 'Chenon' churned up a torpedo lying dormant in the Yellow Sea close to the NLL [Northern Limit Line] which caused the explosion which sank the corvette? And the list continues...]
Having failed to bell the blame of the sinking on the North, South Korea embarked on provacative military exercises with the US used live fire along the NLL, as a warning to North Korea. The crunch came in November 2010 when after Pyongyang forewarned Seoul that should any shells fall into its territorial waters, the North would respond. And respond it did. The riposte blew out the legs from under ROK president Lee Myung bak's 'Drang nach Norden' policy of brinksmanship [which a released US cable released by Wikileaks revealed].
The fear of a third war on the Asian continent put the fear of God in the US and in South Korea. Yet Lee refused to stop the drills, the latest of which took place in the early days of 2011. In order to hold Lee's lunatic policy of provoking war with the North, the US blinked. Washington cooked up a new tack to deal with the DPRK: a dual prong approach: a desire to see North Korea back at the six party talks in Beijing, even though the Obama administration had done everything in its power not to talk to Kim Jong il & co. The other part of the rushed project was to cobble together an axis of the willing to thwart North Korea, composed of the US, South Korea, and Japan. Washington has continued its old policy to bait and switch, based as GuamDiary contends, on the faulty and false assumption that by delaying talks with North Korea and a sucker's bet that the transition of power in Pyongyang will fail. In other words, the US is buying time, and putting off any peaceful resolution of the Korean War and other serious problems festering for the last 60 years. The US is smarting at inability to stop the North nuclear programme. Well, we all know that if were not for George Bush's fantasies, the North might not have tested a nuclear device. If the US is hopping mad that the North is a member of the nuclear club Washington created in 1945, well the shame and blame falls squarely on its shoulders!
Who blinked first? South Korea and the US.