Ever since Korean relations went sour after the new President of South Korea stepped in, I have been thinking that the troubled relationships that occurred were not all coincidental. President Lee Myung-bak had been reversing all the positive goals achieved by the previous President. The sunshine policy was instead replaced by the toughest stance a South Korean president had taken since the Korean War. Things began to go sour bit by bit over the past 3-4 years. It didn’t stand out to the international eye, but as a follower of Korean relationships, I noticed South Korea began to force North Korea to change extensively for the price of economic and food stuffs. This aid which South Korea and the United States promises the North every year is usually never acquired because they also seem to upset the North before they could deliver it. So now that the South is taking this situation to an unrepairable stage, the United States, which is good at creating tension rather than repairing it, is again doing very little to stop the fuels of a possible large scale Asian conflict.
The South, which in recent decades had begun to see the North as a brother that had been torn apart by greater powers, is now isolating his brother in need. The North today cut off all formal ties with the South because of the blame being placed by the South for the sinking of a military vessel. The United States and the South had done nothing but blame the North from the very beginning. The North, which has very little to gain from conflict, was being put in the spot light again, not because of their missile tests or nuclear capability, but because they were seen as the only possible cause of the sinking. The North and South, throughout the decades after the Korean, have fought skirmishes since they are still technically at war. However, this event is different because for some reason, the West and South Korea are highly politicizing this event. Instead of looking at this situation with calm and logical decisions, both sides have so far allowed overwhelming emotions to dominate the presses. Everything the two Korea’s had worked for in the past decades is now in the garbage. The joint economic ventures, tourism, and friendly brotherhood will never be the same again. Much like how the economy and job market will never see the same glow for many years to come, the two Korea’s share a similar fate. One can argue that this tension makes sense, mainly because the news only shows negative views of North Korea. Normal readers will feel that the North brought this upon themselves. First off they believe North Korea pursued nuclear weapons illegally, then that North Korea allows their people to starve, and finally North Korea threatens its neighbors occasionally causing Asia from “growing.” But isn’t Western media wonderful? It allows us such a “unbiased” and “objected view” of the world. If Western media is objective then why does everything revolve on the “evil’s” of North Korea and the “justified” stance of the American armed forces?
The United States, as they usually are, were quick to prepare their military this week. Keeping in mind that North Korea was listed on the AXIS OF EVIL back in 2001, along with Iraq and Iran, and U.S. reluctance to remove N. Korea from the list until recently, shows that the U.S. are still interested in the region. The recent situation resembles many other incidents in the past. During the Vietnam War, when tension between North and South Vietnam were at their highest, the United States needed a reason to convince Americans to enter the “conflict” as it is still known in the United States, to a greater scale. Therefore, the Gulf of Tonkin incident was created. A phantom event where nothing actually happened to warrant military intervention in Vietnam was created. Other similar situations include pre-text for wars in South America, the Middle East and Japan’s own Mukden Incident to formally initiate World War II. I believe “evidence” can not be used until much time is spent examining it, and until formal experiments are conducted to conclude every result possible, leaders should keep their mouthes shut and do the job they owe to the people. That job is to promote a stable Asia, an Asia that doesn’t require outside interference to tell them that they are STILL an unstable region incapable of governing itself without help. Asia has matured since the 19th and 20th century, and will possibly surpass the rest of the world this century, as long as they don’t destroy themselves like several nations had done in the 20th century. It would be worse if these nations destroyed themselves over a missile that could have easily been stolen by anyone. This is especially possible because North Korea is a 3rd world country, and stealing a missile from them would probably be easy for any nation.
North Korea has been the most stable since the great famines of the late ’70’s thanks to South Korea, China and Japan’s effort to promote friendlier relationships and understanding among each other. This includes visa’s, sports events and Asian Union ideas. South Korea who put the most effort into this helped North Korea open its doors to the rest of the world, even to allow American visitors, investors, and professionals in. They teach English like a second language in the North Korean language schools and allows “limited” use of the internet. This stability as many believe was upset when the North continued to work on their Nuclear program, which originated back in the early 90’s. Believing it was impossible the fear of a nuclear North was dropped until its recent underground test. The fear created by the West was largely ignored by most of Asia. A nuclear North Korea? So what? Israel has nukes, as does Pakistan, India, China, Russia and the United States. No one will use them in fear of morality reasons and global repercussions. However, America keeps emphasizing this threat, and because of this the 6-party talks were created. The 6 parties include China, South Korea, North Korea, the United States, Japan and Russia. China has hosted most if not all the events and have done the best to stabilize North Korea politically in recent years. They take a firmer than neutral stance with the North and keep in order in exchange for aid. However, the United States keeps pushing for 6 party talks without a clear goal in mind. The only goal is an extreme one where North Korea has to give up all nuclear ambitions in exchange for aid that never gets delivered anyway. With the failure of most talks, the United States became frustrated. They say there’s more than one way to crack an egg. Maybe the United States have found their other way.
P.S. This sinking situation has coincidentally occurred just before South Korea election. There will be a great deal of sympathy for the conservatives this election. A recent election that saw “sympathy votes” was in Taiwan, not too many years ago. The president was apparently “shot” during his tour, however, evidence shows that there was already a bullet hole in the car windshield before the event occurred. As quoted from a South Korean:
“First of all, why has this happened now? We have an election in one week and many acts of provocation by North Korea have occurred in the period before an election. So we wonder – has this warship sinking accident been abused by the ruling party?
The evidence is not clear, yet our government takes the result of the investigation as a fact. But I wonder how the mark of the ink pen still exists [on the torpedo fragment] even after the explosion? And why has North Korea put a signature at the bottom of the torpedo?”