Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crisis in Korea

Don't know what kind of airtime this is getting in the American media, but the top story on BBC News Asia is about an artillery battle along the hotly contest Western sea border between North and South Korea. Apparently, North Korean artillery opened fire on military and civilian targets on Yeonpyeong Island.

Scary. This is certainly the worst it's been since we've been in Asia. As Nana says, in light of the recent Cheonan incident, in which North Korea got away scot-free with an unprovoked attack on a South Korean military ship, it seems like the North has decided it can kill South Koreans with impunity. This is kind of how it was in as late as the 1980s, when frequent North Korean terrorist attacks claimed dozens to hundreds of South Korean lives every year.

But who knows if the South and its allies will take action. With North Korean artillery trained on Seoul and South Korean and American aircraft trained on Pyeongyang, the two sides are locked in a kind of non-nuclear mutually assured destruction. A Mexican standoff, if you will.

For the sake of all our friends in Korea, though, let's hope this one gets resolved as quickly and peacefully as possible.

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