North and South Korea are like two neighbors who live right next to each other in close quarters who hate each other. The hatred is always there and both neighbors are continually arguing about the property line and accusing the other of crossing the line and any other accusation they can imagine. Both neighbors do not believe anything the other neighbor says and constantly accuse each other of any real or imaginary act. Then every once in awhile the hatred flares up and threatens to boil over. Each neighbor talks loudly about what they are going to do to the other neighbor. The other people in the neighborhood hear the commotion and try to calm everyone down except that some neighbors have pledged to support each side in the event of a skirmish so any conflict between the neighbors could escalate into a neighborhood conflict. Well that on a global scale is the Korean peninsula.
Grab your globe and look at Korea and you will see that the Korean people on either side of the border live so close that any conflict go get out of hand quickly. That is the backdrop for the current escalation of tensions following the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel on March 26, 2010. Following the sinking the South Koreans naturally suspected North Korea of sinking the vessel since whenever anything happens it is always North Korea’s fault. Of course North Korea denied sinking the ship. Today on May 20, 2010 the official report was released and it appears clear that a North Korean submarine did, in fact, sink the South Korean ship. And as expected the North Koreans denied it. There official statement read, “We had already warned the South Korean group of traitors not to make reckless remarks concerning the sinking of warship Cheonan of the puppet navy.” http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/05/20/south.korea.sunken.ship/index.html Notice the words “traitors” and “puppet navy.” Obviously North Korea will deny to the end any involvement. For South Korea’s part they vowed to take “resolute countermeasures.” Their problem is that those countermeasures are limited without starting a war.
The United States joined in the report and conclusion that North Korea sank the South Korean vessel and since the United States is bound by treaty to support South Korea in addition to having troops right next to the border any countermeasures by South Korea that would invoke an invasion by North Korea would put the United States in the middle of a war. The Korean peninsula is the most dangerous place on the planet. The North Korean have a massive army and it is a very short distance from the border to Seoul, the capital of South Korea and in between are the American troops.
So what should the United States and South Korea do? The answer is all that is possible to punish North Korea without starting a war. You have to know how far you can go and not light the fuse. Because if those North Koreans troops ever came across the border the United States would have no choice but to take every action possible to protect our troops and South Korea and those actions could lead to a situation that no one would ever want to see happen. So this is a serious game on the highest level and one mistake could set off a chain reaction that could not be stopped. So let us hope that it is just two neighbors yelling at each other over the fence and neither neighbor goes beyond the point of no return.