Dialogue of Artillery
is a 'Tragedy' for Northeast Asia
does China, perhaps the only country with any influence over the North Korean leadership,
think of Pyongyang's shelling of South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island, which killed
two and wounded 19? According to this editorial from China's state-controlled Global
Times, while the North's shelling was 'ill-conceived,' the deteriorating situation
is a result of U.S. and South Korean provocation and a failure to address North
Korea's 'sense of insecurity.'
Increasing regional tensions,
North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire yesterday. "Dialogue"
through artillery fire is rarely effective for settling disputes. Nevertheless,
yesterday, dozens of shells struck the economic belt of Northeast Asia.
The clash benefits neither
North nor South Korea. While North Korea showed its toughness through the
skirmish, the move neither helps solve its economic plight, nor wins it
understanding from other nations.
The exchange of artillery
fire reportedly caused injury and death in South Korea. The strike also demonstrates
the failure of the Lee
Myung-bak Administration's hard-line policies. A series of South Korea-U.S military
exercises apparently also failed to deter the North.
The exchange of artillery was
yet more evidence of the chaotic status of the Korean Peninsula. The North
tried to protect its own security in an ill-conceived manner, whereas the response
from other countries was futile.
The South, which is clearly
reluctant to militarily engage the North, flexed its military muscles. The U.S.
and Japan tried economic sanctions, which proved futile. Meanwhile, China and
Russia could do nothing but appeal for restraint.
Northeast Asia should try to
eradicate the region's Cold War mentality, and address North Korea's sense of
insecurity. Unfortunately, the U.S. has no such strategic desire; whereas South
Korea appears to be hesitating.
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