UnNews:North Korea sinks ship, but this time things will be different
|UnNews Audio (file info)|
|Listen to this story!|
27 May 2010
SEOUL, South Korea -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the world must respond to North Korea's sinking of a South Korean ship. The usual response, followed so consistently that it is known as the Madeleine-Condoleeza-Hillary Doctrine, is to send a female diplomat to the secretive regime, who promises that America will send food, fuel, and cash if North Korea promises to start acting better from now on.
International investigators concluded last week that the mysterious sinking of the warship Cheonan was not the "work of a lone wolf" but of a lone North Korean torpedo. The unfortunate conclusion of malice denied the American official the option of reacting with extra-harsh words, tougher inspections, and perhaps a bipartisan commission.
Relations between the two Koreas, which have technically still been at war since 1950, are as low as they have been this decade--a decade chock full of food, fuel, and cash with no strings attached.
"This was an unacceptable provocation by North Korea," Mrs. Clinton told reporters in Seoul, the final, beefy leg of her Asian tour. Mrs. Clinton proposed to build a Chuck E. Cheese near the Demilitarized Zone, where North Koreans could be taken for a birthday party if they just play nice.
North Korea denied that the torpedo was launched in malice. "We just wanted to see if we could get it all the way past Japan, like the nuclear missiles," said Maj. Gen. Pak Chan Su on behalf of the army. The North extended an olive branch by cutting communication links and expelling 8 South Korean officials from a factory park that South Korea built for it. But it did not close the factory, a fact touted by the South Korea Unification Ministry.
The U.S. has 28,500 troops in South Korea, whose duty is to give the official signal that the North is invading, by patriotically being the first to die as the invasion rolls past. This permanent force was not an issue when Republicans criticized Obama for the Afghanistan build-up, nor when Democrats criticized Bush for the Iraq build-up, nor when Monica Lewinski criticized Bill Clinton for his own massive build-up.
The U.S. force is planning two joint military exercises with South Korea. "It will be like a carnival," said Mrs. Clinton, "and the North is invited!" The strengthened alliance between the two nations "must feel like a noose tightening," said Lee Sang-man, a South Korean professor who will pay no price for guessing wrong. "The North will never go to war now!" He pointed to 1974, when the North threatened to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Jimmy Carter went to the peninsula, calm prevailed, and happily, the North went back to promising it would never develop nukes.
- Matthew Lee and Hyung-Jin Kim "Clinton: World must act on SKorean ship sinking" Associated Press, May 26, 2010