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Monday, April 26, 2010

Cheonan Sinking Continues to Spur Media

The South Korean ship, the Cheonan, which blew-up and sank mysteriously in waters bordering North and South Korea, and killed 46 South Korean sailors, continues to feed the media with stories of increased tension between the two countries. A recent statement from a South Korean military official mentioned something about a torpedo blowing up under the vessel. Presumably, this statement was made because investigators concluded the ship was destroyed by a concussive column of water brought about by a non-contact type explosive.

I have no special insight into what happened, nor am I here to circumvent the investigation being conducted by dozens of international salvage investigators, but this incessant talk of military options and growing tension are nothing but the media's transparent attempt at generating viewership and readership. Why does the media have to feed this monster time and time again? Never mind, I know the answer. It's because instead of just reporting the news they're taking their cues from the Hollywood playbook. Make it tense, make it thrilling, hype it up to the hilt.

North Korea has denied any involvement in the sinking. Well, OK. Obviously, that doesn't mean much. They don't have to be telling the truth. Why should they admit it? But if they're not telling the truth, what does it mean?

1. Somebody at the border deliberately hit a launch trigger without authorization.

2. It was an accident caused by the North Koreans. Nobody meant to do it.

3. It's part of a long term strategic plan to weaken South Korea without anybody knowing it.

4. They really didn't do it.

5. They did it. But they're not going to say they did it because they were testing a new underwater R.O.V. type weapon that they don't want anybody to know about.

I have said this before. It was an errant, old mine. Let me repeat: It was an old mine. (It's the beauty of blogging. I can say whatever I want without proof or consequence.) Meanwhile, U.S. and South Korean authorities are insistent that all the mines from the area had been cleaned up. Yeah, right. We still have mines and other unexploded ordnance is waters of the continental U.S. How can we be sure the Yellow Sea is mine-free?

Could it have been a remote detonated mine? Of course. Could it have been a mini-suicide sub or an underwater R.O.V. Of course. Could it have been something the North Korean's were testing that they don't want us to know about? Yup. But if it were any of these things, there would be parts of it around, material evidence, and so far, nothing of the sort has been found. Also, this is a border area. If North Korea had deployed a weapon in a no-mans area of the Yellow Sea, wouldn't somebody in South Korea have known about it? It's called surveillance and due vigilance. I can see my bedroom window from a satellite over my house. Why can't the South Koreans and the U.S. see what's going on in the waters between South and North Korea?

Only an old mine could explode into virtual nothingness. Maybe some very powerful active pinging detonated it.

Anyway, if the U.S. and South Korea let this situation devolve into a wider conflict then there truly is no logic in government. (What am I saying? Logic in government. That's funny.)

The Iranian President has threatened our friends with nuclear annihilation. He thumbs his nose at his neighbors, defies international law, supports and arms terrorists and is building nuclear weapons factories. He's engaged in an unprecedented military build-up. These are known facts. What are we doing about Iran? Nothing. Seeking an international consensus.

So what if it turns out I"m wrong and the North Koreans have committed an act of unforgivable aggression? We may have to send them a very scary warning. And if that doesn't work, we'll be seeking an international consensus against them, too.


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