Artillery dialogue a tragedy in NE Asia

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, November 24, 2010
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North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire yesterday, increasing regional tension. Dialogue through artillery fire is rarely an effective means to settle a dispute. But yesterday, dozens of shells struck the economic belt of Northeast Asia.

The clash benefits neither the North nor the South. North Korea showed its toughness through the skirmish.

But the move neither helps solve its economic plight, nor wins over understanding from other nations.

The exchange of artillery fire reportedly caused injuries and deaths in South Korea. The strike also proves the failure of the hard-line policies of the Lee Myung-bak administration. A series of joint military exercises by South Korea and the US apparently also failed to deter the North.

The exchange of artillery fire yesterday was more evidence of the chaotic status of the Korean Peninsula. The North tried to protect its own security in an inconceivable manner, whereas other countries' response was impotent.

The South, which was clearly reluctant to militarily engage the North, flexed its military muscles. The US and Japan tried economic sanctions, which proved futile. China and Russia could only appeal for restraint.

Northeast Asia should try to eradicate the Cold War mentality in this region, and fix North Korea's sense of insecurity. However, the US has no such strategic desire, whereas South Korea appears to be hesitating.


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