Friday, September 28, 2012

Speaking of Sparking a War

We may soon get a lesson in rationality from the Axis of Evil's Asian franchise.

South Koreans are edgy about what North Korea might do before South Korea's December elections:

In the last ten days, there have been a half dozen episodes of North Korean fishing boats straying en masse below the inter-Korean water border called the Northern Limit Line. North Korea has long disputed the border.

The area has been the site of deadly skirmishes in 2002 and 2009. The South Korean warship Cheonan was attacked near the westernmost South Korea-controlled island in that area in March 2010. And in November 2010, North Korea opened fire on the South-controlled Yeonpyeong Island.

Earlier this month, Kim Jong Eun himself visited the North Korea-controlled islands from which the North’s army fired artillery on Yeonpyeong.

The North Koreans do seem to be working themselves up to something bigger.

If the North Koreans attack, there will be a big South Korean response against the base that launches the attack. I don't think South Korean leaders can get away with just taking another punch as the North Koreans have grown to expect.

I expect missiles and air power in significant amounts to really pound the North Koreans rather than a tit for tat exchange.

Then we'll see if North Korea's elites have a realistic appraisal of their armed forces and let the crisis subside or if they order escalation along the DMZ.

As we pivot to Asia, never forget that we've been there holding the line for over 60 years.