Thursday, 20 May 2010

Cheonan sinking by NK Torpedo

As it was said two days ago the results of the multinational experts investigation on the sinking of the South Korean military ship are revealed to day stating with no doubt that it was a North Korean torpedo which caused the blast and death of 50 soldiers.

The joint experts commitee has worked since the end of March 2010 just after the explosion. It consists of 25 experts from ten domestic professional institutes, 22 military experts, three lawmakers from related National Assembly committees and 24 foreign experts from the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and Sweden. The group was divided into four departments: forensic science, explosive pattern analysis, hull structure and data analysis.

The results say with no doubt that it was a North Korean 250kg torpedo CHT-02D which hit the South Korean ship. Parts of the torpedo with original North military markings were found on the site of the catastrophe.


The question is: what now? Where does it aim?
The current president of South Korea, Mr Lee is known for his much harder course towards Kim Jong Il and it is very likely that some serious measures will be conducted. But...

South Korean economy and civil prosperity, the very core of its potential is located in Seoul which is very close to DMZ. To close to risk any actions without threatening the success of two yuppie generations and their wealth - and South Koreans put a big value on their wealth. Despite their national pride and patriotism/nationalism they are not likely to risk their nice cars and homes for war with the North.

Even bigger factor are SK cheabols which founded Kaeseong Economy Zone and used to make enourmous profits on NK cheap labour power. Cheabols bosses are the SK aristocracy - the most influential in politics both domestic and overseas. They have not once tried to convince SK government on less hard treatment of NK because of potential and real profits for their companies - and for the entire economy.

Rice farmers also push on exporting their products to NK especially in times of hunger.

What will happen in such situation?
President Lee will very likely improve founds for national defence system, train more troops, and buy more weapons.

He will also push on the US - SK free trade act which will make US more friendly towards Lee even in times of Obama in the White House.

The South Korean economy will suffer some hits from panicked investors on stock exchange and the KRW exchange rate will shake a bit.

Apart from that the world will turn as it turns. The possibilities of President Lee on move on this chessboard are slight, but he will do what he can.

The question remains if there is any power to stop Kim Jong Il from such actions, external power. Kim Jong Il regularly meets with Hu Jintao and negotiates both on help in hunger relief and both on tight border security to stop escapes through mainland China. It is certain and confirmed that Hu Jintao tries to push Kim on reforms in his system, but it seems - effortlessly. China either doesn't try hard enough or more likely has no real power of influence on NK so there is a very little hope for international talks on reconciliation progress.

How different it is from the effortless and omiting investigation after the crash of Tu 154 near Smolensk. Two months and we have results.


PS2. I am now in Warsaw until August so my reports and analysis come with some hours delay.

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