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Latest North/South Korean Exchange

By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 24 November 2010

Latest North/South Korean Exchange - by Stephen Lendman

Last March, North Korea was falsely blamed for sinking a South Korean ship, a topic an earlier article addressed, accessed through the following link:

Seoul said there's "no other plausible explanation....The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that (a) torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine," even though none was detected in the area.

At the time, evidence suggested a false flag, manufactured to blame the North. The incident occurred near Baengnyeong Island opposite North Korea. US Navy Seals and four US ships were conducting joint exercises in the area. The torpedo used was German, not North Korean as claimed. Germany sells none to Pyongyang. Yet it was blamed for what it didn't do, what apparently was Pentagon-manufactured mischief.

What now? According to US media reports, North Korea incited the gravest incident since the Korean War armistice. For example, on November 23, New York Times writer Mark McDonald headlined, "Crisis Status in South Korea After North Shells Island," saying:

"The South Korean military went to "crisis status" on Tuesday (11/23) and threatened military strikes after the North fired dozens of shells at a South Korean island, killing two of the South's soldiers and setting off an exchange of fire in one the most serious clashes between the two sides in decades."

America, Britain and Japan condemned the attack, the White House calling on North Korea to "halt its belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the Armistice Agreement."

"Analysts," said McDonald, "were quick to see the shelling as a deliberate North Korean provocation," even though South Korean forces fired first, AP reporting:

"The skirmish began when Pyongyang warned the South to halt military drills in the area, according to South Korean officials. When Seoul refused and began firing artillery into disputed waters, albeit away from the North Korean shore, the North retaliated by bombarding the small island of Yeonpyeong, which houses South Korean military installations."

A Pyongyang supreme military command statement read:

"The South Korean enemy, despite our repeated warnings, committed reckless military provocations of firing artillery shells into our maritime territory."

A November 24 McDonald article headlined, "Nerves Are Rattled in Seoul by Attack on Island," discussing the incident solely from a South Korean/Washington perspective, much like other Western media reports.

The BBC, for example, quoted a Seoul analyst, calling Pyongyang's action "an act of war." Other accounts were also inflammatory, Britain's Foreign Secretary, William Hague, condemning the "unprovoked act." Other comments were similar, citing various reasons for the incident (like internal North Korean tensions during a transition of leadership period), except for what, in fact, may be true, though at this point not everything is known.

However, the exchange occurred while South Korean forces were conducting "Hoguk" military exercises scheduled to end on November 30, including simulated landings. Pyongyang called them a rehearsal for invasion.

Now the aftermath, a David Sanger, Mark McDonald Times article headlined, "South Koreans and US to Stage a Joint Exercise," saying:

Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak "agreed Tuesday night to hold joint military exercises as a first response to North Korea's deadly shelling (as) both countries struggled for the second time this year to keep a North Korean provocation from escalating into war."

America's USS George Washington, a nuclear armed aircraft carrier, and accompanying ships will participate, clear saber-rattling over diplomacy that all US administrations, to one degree or another, have emphasized in US-North Korean relations for decades. That despite Pyongyang wanting rapprochement with the West, only to have Washington rebuff them, choosing confrontation over stability and risking war, potentially with nuclear weapons.

On Russia Today, investigative journalist Wayne Madsen called South Korean President Myung-bak "very warlike," in contrast to his predecessor, Kim Dae Jung's "Sunshine Policy" to establish greater North-South political contact and better relations. South Korea's current president "is very aggressive, very right-wing, very unpopular at home, and the only thing he has going for him is to get into a military showdown with the North." In other words, incite fear and conflict for political advantage, the same Washington policy Bush, Obama, and past US presidents adopted to justify imperial adventurism.

What next? So far, Pentagon officials said no additional forces are planned for the region, and America's 29,000 in South Korea haven't been placed on high alert. For now, Washington ruled out resumed six-party talks, including both Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and America. China and Russia, however, disagree, saying the incident shows the importance of restarting them now.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei, said it's " restart six-party talks as soon as possible. We hope the relevant parties do more to contribute to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula," adding that Beijing needs to clarify events leading up to the clash. "The situation needs to be verified," he said.

Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stressed "a colossal danger which must be avoided. Tensions in the region are growing." A cool response is needed. North Korea has no reason to want conflict. Washington and South Korea may have other ideas.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


Please listen to what I have to say about what's happening in Korea.

I posted a link for a very good documentary investigation into the sinking of the South Korean Navy's Cheonan combat corvette last March in the first post of the page further below several days ago. It's roughly 26 minutes and very good, while also being very unfavorable for the SK and US governments, and strongly favorable for NK, which I never believed would have been responsible. The film and investigation is by a group of South Koreans who very quickly started to gather eye-witness information and scientific analysis that definitely leaves me believing that while the group isn't yet prepared to claim or say that the SK government meant to lie, I believe the government leadership did, some people in the political and/or military leadership of SK anyway.

It was not credible from the start that NK would've attacked a foreign ship, not even if the ship or vessel had been in NK waters. NK leadership would've much more likely fired warning shots or sent an alert to the UN, or taken some other action, but not an immediate and violent strike. It wasn't credible, while it was strongly credible that NK was very deliberately or intentionally being falsely accused.

Stephen Lendman wrote:

The incident occurred near Baengnyeong Island opposite North Korea. ... The torpedo used was German, not North Korean as claimed.

If I correctly recall what the above documentary explains, then the incident actually occurred along SK coast and a sub from NK would've had to travel a very [long] way, maybe 2,000km or miles or so, at 5 knots/hr to nearly the SK coast and then back the same route to NK again without being detected by SK and US or certainly US ships in the area, which this research group makes clear would be very implausible. And the group also explains that the Cheonan was not plausibly, or possibly, sunk by a torpedo. Based on expert investigation, the Cheonan either definitely or else most probably sank because of striking bottom. The real location of the sinking and the real damage to the vessel does not fit with the cause being a torpedo and definitely matches with a vessel that hit bottom, or whatever the expression is.

I got the link for the documentary video at Global Research TV, posted Nov. 16th, 2010, and the documentary is the fruit of several months of rather extensive and [independent] investigative research by a group of South Koreans who didn't gullibly buy into their government's and US claims that NK committed this sinking of the Cheonan, as well as other claims. I initially believed that the incident may have been a false flag kind, but the above documentary certainly seems to be honest, "for real".

Re. the new incident between SK and NK:

The following history doesn't provide proof of what the present situation involves, but definitely makes for very interesting reading in light of the new incident between the North and South, as well as with respect to criminal US involvement and propaganda in both cases.

""Die for a Tie" -- How the Korean War Began"
by David Swanson, Nov. 23rd, 2010

Wayne Madsen on Russia Today is mentioned by Stephen Lendman and I guess he was referring to the following brief interview.

"North Korea bombing: South Korean prez looks for war PR boost?" (1:37)

RussiaToday, Nov. 24th, 2010

South Korea says it has discovered the bodies of two civilians on one of its border islands, shelled by North Korea. Pyongyang claims the attack, which took place on Tuesday, was in response to Seoul firing weapons during military drills near the frontier. RT contributor Wayne Madsen believes the South Korean President is using the incident for his own political interests.

I haven't viewed the following interview with Wayne Madsen on this new SK-NK incident and tension, having just found the link while searching for a longer video with him than the above one; but the interview on The Alex Jones Show should be good.

"Wayne Madsen & Alex Jones: North Korea Attack Part Of RAND Plan For Total War?", Part 1 of 2 (13:41)

TheAlexJonesChannel, Nov. 23, 2010

Part 2 of 2 (4:23)

Paul Joseph Watson
November 23, 2010

The exchange of artillery fire between North and South Korea, which the North says was started by South Korea firing shells during a military drill, could act as the catalyst for a huge new conflict that the RAND Corporation has been lobbying for over the past two years.


Both Alex Jones and Wayne Madsen say the same things that Stephen Lendman did in his article of this page about the March incident, the sinking of the Cheonan, but all three of them and everyone else definitely should view and listen to the investigative report the first part of this post is about. I don't know which of the two stories describes what really happened in March, but while the South Koreans who produced the investigative report potentially could have done this to try to help cover up a false flag attack by SK and/or the US in March, the research team certainly seem to be honest, imo.

This is a short, but nevertheless fine interview. I didn't know what MEP means so looked it up at Wikipedia and would evidently be "Member of the European Parliament".

"South vs North: 'Koreas clash could turn into Gulf War III'" (3:05)

RussiaToday, Nov. 23, 2010

South Korea has admitted it fired artillery shells that triggered an early morning clash with North Korea. However it says it was part of a military drill and denied it was directed at the North. Earlier Seoul blamed the North for what it called an unprovoked shelling of its island. Pyongyang claimed the South had violated its maritime border during the military drills. Seoul has since threatened its neighbour with what it called 'enormous retaliation'. For more insight, RT talks to Glyn Ford, former MEP and author of 'North Korea on the Brink: Struggle for Survival'.

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