The IHO(International Hydrographic Organization) meeting held in 2007 discussed the “East Sea, Sea of Japan” dispute between Korea and Japan. The dispute was based on the publishing of an official map of the oceans, and whether to include both East Sea and the Sea of Japan notation or not. Despite a much heated debate, the meeting ending with no straightforward results.
However it has been concluded that it is problematic to simply publish the map with the Sea of Japan notation.
It is important to understand the historical significance of the East Sea notation.
Currently the Sea of Japan notation that is official in many foreign maps are based on the IHO map that was published in 1929. Korea was occupied by Japan during that time, and that is when Japan forcefully named East Sea as Sea of Japan. However, Korea is no longer occupied by Japan and it must be noted that the East Sea(or Chosun Sea) notation has been used as early as the 4th century up to the early 20th century.
North Korea on Wednesday renewed its threat to stage a retaliatory sacred war against South Korean President Lee Myung-bak for insulting its new leader Kim Jong-un.
“Our military and people will cut off the windpipes” of those who provoke and destroy the origins of the provocation by staging a retaliatory sacred war, said Ri Yong-ho, a senior military officer, in a televised speech marking the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army.
The bespectacled chief of the General Staff called on the military to remain on maximum alert as he warned that the North will never tolerate any violation of its territory by South Korea or the United States.
North Korea frequently claims that the U.S. has a hostile policy toward Pyongyang and regularly holds military exercises with South Korea as rehearsals for a northward invasion.
South Korea and the U.S. say the routine joint military maneuvers are aimed at bolstering their readiness against a possible North Korean provocation.
South Korea has warned it is fully ready to retaliate against any North Korean provocation.
Lee has urged the young North Korean leader to give up the collective farm system and pay greater attention to human rights and defector issues.
Lee has also criticized the North for wasting about $850 million in the failed rocket launch, noting the impoverished country could have used the money to buy much-needed food for its 24 million people.
Kim apparently suffered an embarrassing setback when the North’s long-range rocket exploded soon after lift-off on April 13 and the U.N. Security Council swiftly condemned the launch.
The North had claimed the launch was meant to put a satellite into orbit, but South Korea and the United States said it was a cover for testing the North’s ballistic missile technology.
Separately, the KCNA praised Kim for turning the North’s military into an elite army equipped with self-defensive nuclear deterrent, referring to the North’s nuclear weapons programs.
Source: Yonhap News Agency
Amid growing worries that North Korea may soon carry out a nuclear test or launch attacks on South Korea, the U.S. urged Pyongyang Tuesday to use its energy and resources instead to improve the livelihood of its people.
Media reports based on unidentified intelligence sources suggest that the North may have almost completed preparations for another underground nuclear experiment.
It has also threatened to carry out “special military actions” against the South.
The DPRK is the acronym for the communist nation’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
North Korean hysteria against the South has reached new heights with its military, government and party organizations competing to hurl the worst-ever verbal provocations, with threats of imminent “retaliatory attacks” on President Lee Myung-bak and other “anti-North” forces here. The harsher its words become, the calmer our response should be.
Yet, another aggressive action is not so insignificant this time. Many South Koreans who live in Seoul, not far from certain destruction if a war were to suddenly break out, seem to repress this thought in their daily preoccupied lives. However, I think the likelihood of a de facto devastating war is getting closer and closer every day.
The border between the Koreas is the most heavily armed border in the world. If a leader decides to fire, then events would precipitate quite fast and there would be certain and sudden devastation. There is nothing that could subvert this possibility if a war broke out. The amount of losses would be incredible and about 60 years of building would be ruined.
It would also bring instability to Asia on the whole. What if China intervenes? This has been pretty much an historical certainty.
Thus, it is of great importance that an all-out war does not happen. Once guns start blazing, it is likely that Seoul will be on the table to be attacked by the North. Even though it is not something they may really want to destroy, but simply because it is here to be destroyed. The loss of life and horrors of war would yet again become a brute reality. Fortunately, this can be avoided.
Why is war eminent? The border is the most heavily armed in the world. There has been a shift in power in North Korea which is presently being tested. The North has already committed actions that would constitute a casus belli by any traditional definition. They have sunk a war ship (the Cheonan) and fired directly on South Korean land (on Yeonpyeong Island). The president and the leadership were criticized due to their response to each of these acts of war. Now, the president appears to be determined to respond in an effective way if any new developments of the same magnitude arise. (In any case, how could he not?) How could he get reelected if he didn’t act? It would seem cowardly. Protecting the sovereignty of South Korea and its citizenry is paramount. Another provocation by the North would set a dangerous precedent if it were not responded to in a proportional way. Of course, many might think that another conflagration that may abrupt would end in a brief reprisal but then die down as it has from past experiences with the North. However, it would seem this is not going to be the case.
Like the triple entente before World War I, the North, like Germany, is feeling more and more isolated by the surrounding powers, and thereby, is progressively becoming more and more daring. (First, attacking a ship then attacking an island.) Also, like World War I, the reason for building up arms is for using them. This might seem a trivial thing to point out, but it is a fact. The North and South have built up a huge stockpile of arms. After sitting on and advancing arms for decades, the leadership of each country will be more and more inclined to use them.
War was pretty much destined to break out for Germany due to isolation and the build-up of arms which the leadership sought to use. They pretty much invented the casus belli in order to use the arms they had been/were acquiring. For North Korea, and to some extent, South Korea to seek to use the arms they have acquired.
Now the proverbial red button that lies before the leadership of both countries has never been bigger or brighter. However, once those buttons are pushed and a number of weapons are triggered, it will not seem like much of choice to go to war to the respective leaders anymore. The war would escalate and no one could in the immediate future undo what would be started.
Thus, it is paramount that some of history is not repeated and this does not happen. It will take cautious planning and diplomatic maneuvering. I think it can be done as we have seen the Cold War between Russia and the United States was deflated before unleashing a massive stockpile of weaponry (although those countries were in very different circumstances, like distance for one.) But, as of right now, the situation is at a crossroads on the verge of sudden yet necessarily avoidable escalation.
Thus, it must be stressed, for the leadership to be responsible. This involves not having an itchy trigger finger even with popular pressure because while defense should be strong and vigilant, it should be rationally determined for the better of South Korea and the world.
North Korea threatened Monday to launch special military actions against key South Korean targets, further escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula following the North’s botched rocket launch.
The military warned in a statement carried by state media that it would launch “special actions” soon against the South Korean government and conservative media.
However, there was no outward sign of tension on the North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone. At Panmunjom, small groups of tourists were touring the “peace” village and the buildings where the Korean War armistice was signed in 1953. The South Korean side was quiet.
The notice and other North Korean statements described South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as a “rat,” making personal attacks against the conservative president, who has pursued a hard-line policy toward Pyongyang.
For days, North Korea has railed against South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and conservative South Korean media for criticizing its rocket launch and the celebrations of the centennial of Kim Il Sung’s birth.
But Monday’s message, distributed by the state-run Korean Central News Agency and attributed to the “special operation action group” of the Korean People’s Army’s Supreme Command, was unusual in its specificity.
The threat from the North’s military leadership comes amid concerns that North Korea may be plotting another provocation in the wake of an unsuccessful rocket launch condemned by the U.N. Security Council as a violation of a ban against missile activity.
North Korea characterized the April 13 rocket launch as a failed bid to send a satellite into space – not a disguised test of missile technology – but then followed up two days later by unveiling a new long-range missile at a military birthday parade for late President Kim Il Sung.
However, it is unlikely that North Korea would launch a large-scale military attack against Seoul, which is backed by nearly 30,000 U.S. troops stationed in the South, said Kim Young-soo, a professor at Sogang University in Seoul.
The notice said the North’s targets include Lee and conservative South Korean media, though it did not elaborate on details of the North’s possible attacks.
Baek Seung-joo, a senior analyst at the state-run Korea Institute of Defense Analyses, said the North’s unusually strong rhetoric could mean a possible terrorist attack by the North on the South.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned North Korea against “further provocative measures,” telling reporters in New York late Monday that such actions “will not be desirable for the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.”
North Korea has a track record of terrorist attacks against South Korea, including the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner near Myanmar that killed all 115 passengers aboard.
In 1968, 31 North Korean commandos infiltrated Seoul in a failed assassination attempt on then President Park Chung-hee. North Korean defector Lee Han-yong, a relative of Kim Jong-il’s mistress, was killed in 1997 in what South Korea believed was an assassination by North Korean agents.
South Korea is within striking distance of North Korea’s missiles. Seoul, the South Korean capital city of more than 10 million people, is also within range of North Korea’s conventional artillery.
There are new concerns that North Korea may conduct a nuclear test as it did after rocket launches in 2006 and 2009. South Korean intelligence officials say recent satellite images show the North has been digging a new tunnel in what could be preparation for a third atomic test.
The North has also recently vowed to stage a “sacred war” against South Korea and “blow up” Seoul for insulting its dignity over the rocket launch and the celebrations marking the centennial of the April 15 birth of the country’s late founder Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un.
Lee said the North’s failed rocket launch is estimated to have cost Pyongyang about US$850 million, the equivalent of buying 2.5 million tons of corn for North Koreans.
South Korea expressed deep concern that the North’s threats and accusations have worsened inter-Korean ties and heightened tensions. “We urge North Korea to immediately stop this practice,” said Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk.
The North has made similar military threats against the South over the past several months, although no actual attack has occurred.
South Korea has repeatedly vowed to powerfully retaliate against North Korea in the event of any provocation as a revenge for the North’s two provocations in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans, mostly soldiers.
Meanwhile, North Korean defectors and South Korean activists opened the annual North Korea Freedom Week in Seoul on Sunday as part of their efforts to highlight the dismal human rights record in the North.
North Korea’s military warned Monday of imminent “special actions” that would reduce South Korea’s conservative government to ashes within minutes, sharply escalating the rhetoric against its southern rival.
The threat comes as North Korea’s new commander in chief, Kim Jong Un, makes a strong show of support for the “military first” policy championed by his father, late leader Kim Jong Il. North Korea marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of its army Wednesday.
Seoul expressed worry that the threats were hurting relations between the countries and increasing animosity.
Also Monday, the North’s Foreign Ministry warned in a separate report carried by the KCNA that North Koreans “are now eagerly waiting for the issue of an order so that they may mercilessly punish the traitor.”
The latest militaristic warning came in response to Lee’s recent comments that Pyongyang claimed have hurt the dignity of the North’s new leader Kim Jong-un.
Last week, Lee urged Kim to give up the collective farm system and privatize state-owned agricultural land to help enrich the North and its residents. Lee also called on the young North Korean leader to pay greater attention to the human rights and defector issues.
Kim vowed to uphold the dying wish of his late father, long-time leader Kim Jong-il, who pursued nuclear and missile programs as well as a military-first policy. The North has said the world should not expect any change from it.
A South Korean Defense Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with departmental rules, said no special military movement had been observed in the North.
In November 2010, after issuing a warning to the South Korean government, North Korean troops showered artillery on a front-line island in disputed western waters held by South Korea. The attack killed four people, including two civilians.
Clearly, Pyongyang is looking to distract its subjects from the military failure earlier this month. However, this threat goes beyond their normal bluster, as the AP notes above. Threats from the DPRK usually use more general terminology, and especially timeframes, as the Kim regimes attempt to force some concessions from their opponents in the rational world.
In this case, I’d guess that the issue is starvation. Lee Myung-bak cut off food aid from the South in 2008 that didn’t get tied to concessions from Pyongyang, and now the latest missile test has ended the food shipments from the US as well. The military needs that food aid to keep the rank and file from rebelling, let alone the unfortunate people of the DPRK. Kim can’t afford to let the army starve, and he can’t domestically produce the food necessary to keep it from happening. He needs that food aid to resume in order to keep his new position as hereditary dictator.
If the DPRK seriously tries terrorist attacks in Seoul, however, starvation will be the least of their concerns. This could become a shooting war again, and it will take a mighty careful balance to keep it from expanding to China, Japan, and Russia all over again. Right now it looks like bluster, especially since Pyongyang hasn’t moved any troops to the border after their announcement, but the threat of terrorist attacks won’t be taken lightly by Seoul or the US.
Just hours after an embarrassing launch of a rocket that crashed to the ground in a little over a minute, North Korea suffered another blow to its prestige as it was expelled from the Axis of Evil.
The decision was announced by the presiding Chairman of the Axis of Evil, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who cited as the reason for the expulsion North Korea’s evident “lack of evil.”
“There are a lot of evil countries out there, Iran for one, who are trying to terrify the world by developing nuclear weapons,” he said. “When North Korea launches a so-called ‘rocket’ and it goes about twenty feet before blowing up, that just makes it harder for the rest of us.”
A spokesman for the erstwhile evil nation objected strongly to Mr. Ahmadinejad’s statement, saying it was “totally unfair to judge how evil a country is based on one crappy rocket.”
For a rogue nation that prides itself on threatening the world community, membership in the Axis of Evil is considered essential, which makes North Korea’s expulsion from the group a particularly damaging setback.
“The rocket thing is hurting our credibility, evil-wise, no question about it,” one aide to North Korean President Kim Jong-un said today. “This afternoon we tried to threaten Japan and it went straight to voicemail.”
In a possible sign of newly reduced ambitions, North Korea today hurled a roll of toilet paper over the border at South Korea.
Mr. Ahmadinejad offered no comment about the latest incident on the Korean Peninsula, other than to say, “Really, the whole thing is kind of sad.”
5 months have passed since Kim Jong Un took over the leadership of North korea after the former leader Kim Jong Il passed away. Then, what kind of changes took place in North Korea during that 5 months?
Under the dictatorship, everything including political system and economy greatly depends on the characteristics of its leader, and it is no exaggeration to say that the type of leader can determine the fate of that country.
However, although 5months already have passed since Kim Jong Un succeeded the power, he’s been following the same old path of the past and bad political practices. Actually, this was pretty predictable, because he never had any proper training before he succeeded the power and he’s still a kid in his 20s who is lacking of experience
Therefore, Kim Jong Un is the top leader in name only and he’s just a puppet who’s sandwiched between Kim Jong il’s experienced old guards.