Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. The Trump Stock Market Trap May Be Triggered - Barry_M_Ferguson
2.Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - Richard_Mills
3.US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - Richard_Mills
4.Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - Anika_Walayat
6.US Dollar Breakdown Begins, Gold Price to Bolt Higher - Jim_Willie_CB
7.INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - N_Walayat
9.US Prepares for Currency War with China - Richard_Mills
10.Gold Price Epochal Breakout Will Not Be Negated by a Correction - Clive Maund
Last 7 days
Gold Price Trend Validation - 22nd Aug 19
Economist Lays Out the Next Step to Wonderland for the Fed - 22nd Aug 19
GCSE Exam Results Day Shock! How to Get 9 A*'s Grade 9's in England and Maths - 22nd Aug 19
KEY WEEK FOR US MARKETS, GOLD, AND OIL - Audio Analysis - 22nd Aug 19
USD/JPY, USD/CHF, GBP/USD Currency Pairs to Watch Prior to FOMC Minutes and Jackson Hole - 22nd Aug 19
Fed Too Late To Prevent US Real Estate Market Crash? - 22nd Aug 19
Retail Sector Isn’t Dead. It’s Growing and Pays 6%+ Dividends - 22nd Aug 19
FREE Access EWI's Financial Market Forecasting Service - 22nd Aug 19
Benefits of Acrobits Softphone - 22nd Aug 19
How to Protect Your Site from Bots & Spam? - 21st Aug 19
Fed Too Late To Prevent A US Housing Market Crash? - 21st Aug 19
Gold and the Cracks in the U.S., Japan and Germany’s Economic Data - 21st Aug 19
The Gold Rush of 2019 - 21st Aug 19
How to Play Interest Rates in US Real Estate - 21st Aug 19
Stocks Likely to Breakout Instead of Gold - 21st Aug 19
Top 6 Tips to Attract Followers On SoundCloud - 21st Aug 19
WAYS TO SECURE YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE - 21st Aug 19
Holiday Nightmares - Your Caravan is Missing! - 21st Aug 19
UK House Building and House Prices Trend Forecast - 20th Aug 19
The Next Stock Market Breakdown And The Setup - 20th Aug 19
5 Ways to Save by Using a Mortgage Broker - 20th Aug 19
Is This Time Different? Predictive Power of the Yield Curve and Gold - 19th Aug 19
New Dawn for the iGaming Industry in the United States - 19th Aug 19
Gold Set to Correct but Internals Remain Bullish - 19th Aug 19
Stock Market Correction Continues - 19th Aug 19
The Number One Gold Stock Of 2019 - 19th Aug 19
The State of the Financial Union - 18th Aug 19
The Nuts and Bolts: Yield Inversion Says Recession is Coming But it May take 24 months - 18th Aug 19
Markets August 19 Turn Date is Tomorrow – Are You Ready? - 18th Aug 19
JOHNSON AND JOHNSON - JNJ for Life Extension Pharma Stocks Investing - 17th Aug 19
Negative Bond Market Yields Tell A Story Of Shifting Economic Stock Market Leadership - 17th Aug 19
Is Stock Market About to Crash? Three Charts That Suggest It’s Possible - 17th Aug 19
It’s Time For Colombia To Dump The Peso - 17th Aug 19
Gold & Silver Stand Strong amid Stock Volatility & Falling Rates - 16th Aug 19
Gold Mining Stocks Q2’19 Fundamentals - 16th Aug 19
Silver, Transports, and Dow Jones Index At Targets – What Direct Next? - 16th Aug 19
When the US Bond Market Bubble Blows Up! - 16th Aug 19
Dark days are closing in on Apple - 16th Aug 19
Precious Metals Gone Wild! Reaching Initial Targets – Now What’s Next - 16th Aug 19
US Government Is Beholden To The Fed; And Vice-Versa - 15th Aug 19
GBP vs USD Forex Pair Swings Into Focus Amid Brexit Chaos - 15th Aug 19
US Negative Interest Rates Go Mainstream - With Some Glaring Omissions - 15th Aug 19
GOLD BULL RUN TREND ANALYSIS - 15th Aug 19
US Stock Market Could Fall 12% to 25% - 15th Aug 19
A Level Exam Results School Live Reaction Shock 2019! - 15th Aug 19
It's Time to Get Serious about Silver - 15th Aug 19
The EagleFX Beginners Guide – Financial Markets - 15th Aug 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

The No 1 Gold Stock for 2019

The Korean Crisis Breaking News, Cui Bono?

Politics / GeoPolitics May 31, 2010 - 04:11 AM GMT

By: F_William_Engdahl

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe alleged North Korean sinking of a South Korean boat in March has dramatically escalated tensions between north and south Korea. It has also caused a reversal of a planned Japanese government push to close the US military base on Okinawa. The major question in the bizarre affair is Cui Bono?


On March 26, a 1,200-ton Cheonan corvette was sunk apparently by a torpedo. Forty-six sailors died when the ship went down near the disputed Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea following a sudden explosion. On May 26, a special investigative commission of South Korean military and unnamed experts from the US, Canada, Britain, and Sweden, issued their report stating that, “Cheonan was sunk as the result of an external underwater explosion caused by a torpedo made in North Korea. The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine.”

That report has detonated an explosive rise in tensions in the entire Korean Peninsula and byyond to Japan. It has involved the Chinese and Russians in efforts at defusing the crisis. It also comes at an extremely convenient moment for the Pentagon. North Korea vehemently denies that it fired the torpedo and has accused Washington of provoking the clash. North Korea, angered by the accusations, has declared it is cutting all ties with Seoul and allegedly has ordered its 1.2- million armed forces to get ready for combat.

The United States and South Korea will hold joint military drills to practice interception of submarines "in the near future," a Pentagon spokesman has stated, calling the maneuvers “a result of the findings of this recent incident." The Obama Administration has said Pyongyang should face consequences and expressed its "unequivocal" support to South Korea. Obama has directed his military commanders to coordinate with South Korea to "ensure readiness" and "deter future aggression."

Curious proof

The key piece of evidence cited by the anonymous commission is a fragment of a torpedo propeller – somehow recovered at the final phase of the investigation - with a marking which reads “No. 1” and matches a North Korean torpedo found 7 years ago in the Yellow Sea, according to Alexander Vorontsov, Head of Korea Department of the Institute for Oriental studies of the Russian Academy of Science. He adds, “Considering that the blast was allegedly caused by a torpedo carrying a net explosive weight of 250 kg, investigators must have been remarkably lucky to find the right fragment with the marking implicating North Korea. The marking, which is the sole indication of the country of origin of the torpedo, could of course look exactly the same on a South Korean torpedo.”

The Obama White House has rushed to endorse the Commission report. The White House condemned “the act of aggression” in a statement made available almost immediately on release of the report. Even before the report was released, Obama talked to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak by phone and reportedly told Lee that all contacts with North Korea should be suspended until it becomes clear who perpetrated the attack, not exactly a calming move.

Japan, whose new Government had won election on a pledge to close the controversial US Naval base on Okinawa, suddenly capitulated and agreed with Washington to “settle” the dispute, citing the Korean crisis as grounds. Japan and the United States have now come to an agreement on the relocation of theUS military base in Okinawa. Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and US Defense Secretary Robert Gates met at the Pentagon the same day the Korean commission issued its “findings.”

To date both the Russian and Chinese governments have reacted extremely cautiously to the Seoul claims. Russian foreign minister Lavrov has stated that Moscow would carefully review pertinent materials, both those from South Korea and “from other sources.” He made clear that Moscow had reservations about the South Korean version of the incident and deemed further verification necessary. Lavrov also urged restraint on both sides, a stark contrast to the Obama Administration.

China's position is generally similar. China’s foreign ministry spokesman described the sinking of Cheonan as a tragic incident and stated that the priority in dealing with it should be to sustain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the entire North East Asia. Beijing is calling for calm and restraint until it transpires what exactly happened. Unofficially, China criticizes the evidence at South Korea's disposal as unconvincing, patchy, and contradictory and says it is going to assess the situation independently.

North Korea insists that the evidence was forged and is ready to send its inspectors to assess it. Pyongyang is offering to delegate representatives to review South Korea's “evidence,” a timely and rational initiative intended to keep the inter-Korean dialog afloat during the crisis and help defuse the conflict. South Korea's refusal to enter talks with Pyongyang would further diminish the credibility of their evidence.

In addition to the dispute over the status of the key US base on Okinawa in Japan, the US is under pressure to end its military command in South Korea and turn it over to the South Koreans in 2012. The US has 28,000 troops on the peninsula. In line with an agreement reached after the end of the 1950s Korean war, South Korean soldiers follow US military orders in case of war on the Korean Peninsula. The latest incident comes as North Korea appeared ready to resume the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, involving Russia, Japan, China, the United States and the two Koreas, stalled in April 2009 when Pyongyang pulled out of the negotiations in protest against the United Nations' condemnation of its missile tests.

In 1999 this writer spoke with a former US Ambassador to Beijing, a career CIA officer and close friend of the Bush family. The former diplomat stated, in an incautious moment, “If North Korea did not exist, we would have to create it. They allow us to keep our fleet in the Japanese waters despite the end of the Cold War.” Perhaps the sudden heating up of Korea tensions is also related to a longer-term Pentagon agenda for the region. If we ask Cui Bono, the clear reply is Washington.

1. Alexander Vorontsov, The Conundrum of the South Korean Corvette, RIA Novosti, Moscow, May 26, 2010.

By F. William Engdahl
www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net

*F. William Engdahl, author of Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century and Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order (Third Millennium Press), may be reached via his website, www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net.

COPYRIGHT © 2010 F. William Engdahl. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

F. William Engdahl Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules