South Korean Defense Minister promises retaliation

This is pretty scary stuff:

I sincerely hope there isn’t a multi-hundred-thousand-death war in Korea’s immediate future.

I doubt they will escalate it to a full blown war.

Unfortunately, it only really takes one side to escalate; I don’t know what I think North Korea will do if they take the notion into their heads that the South is really coming after them.

Hopefully China can convince Mr. Kim to do some backpedalling during his visit.

ETA: (We’ll see if some poor bastard is publicly executed for “going rogue” and firing the torpedo in the next week or two.)

Wow, I see he actually did venture outside his country. I don’t even think China will help them if they attack S. Korea.

For all we know, he could be having trouble holding together his power. It’s so closed there, we have no idea what is really going on.

Here he is in China, by the way.

An update: a report not yet released to the public concludes that a North Korean torpedo sank the Cheonan. Washington Post story here.

From what I’ve read, South Korea is going to officially blame the north today.

I’m kinda scared as to what will happen if the South actually does something to retaliate. The US still has tens of thousands of troops in South Korea who, if North Korea decides that the war is back on, would probably be the first targets.

It’s hard to even make good guesses about how North Korea is going to act. Right after the sinking happened, I thought about this some, and I couldn’t decide which course of action by the South made real war least likely.

I do think the the U.S. presence makes things more complicated, not less.

South Korea has to do something, and they have every right to do it. If China will play ball in the U.N., the situation can probably be defused with additional sanctions. If they won’t, this could get ugly…

Anyone know what kind of aid the South gives to the North? Cutting off aid is the safest thing I can think of to do as a response.

South Korean aid to the North had already been substantially reduced before the ship sinking, largely because of North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.

If South Korea goes to war the US will be soon to follow. I’m not sure if I’m happy or upset at that.

I believe there is a defense traty which obligates the US to assist if North Korea invades, but has no such obligation of the South does.

OTOH, perhaps my memory is fuzzy, and the language is ‘attacks’ rather than ‘invades’, and it would seem the north has already attacked.

Ah, well, interesting days ahead. I imagine the US is talking very quietly and closely with China, about what kind of military action wouldn’t result in a Chinese military response.

Air strikes on nuclear facilities maybe. Or sinking the North’s submarine fleet – I’ll look around and see if there’s any info on how big a task that might be.

Wiki says the North has more than 20 subs, so there’s no way they’re going to find them and kill them all without some much larger engagement happening. Maybe some kind of traffic analysis can determine which sub fired the torpedo, and at some point they can isolate it and sink it. Or they can just pick one that’s currently farthest away from any help, and sink it.

Submarines are the one component of the military that you might be able to sink covertly. No survivors or distress calls if you get them under water, and the North surely doesn’t have the resources to do a lot of deep water salvage looking for evidence.

I kind of like this as a way of retaliating. Just start knocking out their subs when you catch them alone. OTOH, it won’t be long until they they know what’s happening even if they can’t prove it, and they will probably issue pretty broad attack orders to their subs.

North Korea may have military might, but this can only end in South Korea becoming Korea Island if they escalate to full out war.

Everyone. Take a deep breath. Stand back. Think. Love.

That’s my best advice.

Stop fighting your brother.

Damn, this is scary shit.

OK, now the North is saying that any retaliation will result in war. Forget “kinda scared,” now I’m really scared.

I have to imagine that any North korean plans for war probably begin with a massive bombardment of all South Korean bases near the DMZ. This would result in massive US casualties.

What kind of commercial shipping lanes exist within reach of North Korean subs? Are their subs really all that advanced? Did they build them themselves or purchase? My uneducated guess would have been that a N. Korean / US sub conflict would end 20 - 0. Any reason to think otherwise? (and yes, I realize what would happen above the surface is a different matter entirely.)

Think on the bright side…if they do that, we’ll finally get out of Iraq like Obama promised, because we’ll need the troops in a war on the Korean peninsula! Yay!

Apparently the N Korean sub approached and sank the S Korean warship undetected, which doesn’t bode terribly well for the South. But it may be that the Southern ship had most or all its detection gear shut down because it wasn’t expecting any trouble. I haven’t seen anything in the press about that.

According to Wiki, the North has 4 Soviet built Whiskey class subs and 22 Chinese built Romeo class subs, also built in the 50s. It seems like they haven’t been able to afford to update them in quite some time.

As I said upthread, I do kind of like the idea of retaliating by quietly tracking down and sinking one or more of these subs, what happens when the North figures it out? Every ship that travels to or from South Korea is probably in range of the subs near the coast, and there must be a lot of them. I imagine there’s a lot of trade with Japan, there’s the auto transporters shipping their cars out everywhere, …