Bowing to North Korea

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The U.S. edition of the state-owned China Daily newspaper reported on June 29:

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will launch a six-day, live ammunition drill starting on Wednesday in the East China Sea, a move that analysts said is in response to a joint exercise between the United States and Republic of Korea (ROK) navies in the Yellow Sea. The PLA decision was issued on June 24 and posted on major Chinese websites on Monday, when the US-ROK drill was scheduled to start…. But the ROK navy announced on Monday that their joint maneuver has been postponed to July.

The paper cited Shi Yinhong, a senior expert on American studies at Renmin University in Beijing, who stated, “Though the Chinese government did not say anything about the drill, anybody with common sense on military strategy will bet that they are related…. Any large country has its bottom line for military vigilance and pride. The US-ROK drill has drawn angry response from the Chinese public and I think that is one reason behind its delay.” Apparently, American pride is not as strong as Chinese, as the U.S. Navy seems to have retreated in the face of the Chinese protest and counter-exercise.

On June 28, North Korea threatened to bolster its nuclear capability to cope with what it said is a hostile United States. Earlier, it had warned all shipping away from its Yellow Sea coast. It was thought that Pyongyang might conduct anti-ship missile tests in the days before the planned U.S.-ROK naval exercise as its own show of force.

Meanwhile, North Korea’s other ally, Russia, is commencing on June 29 the largest military exercises it has conducted in the Far East in 15 years. The land, sea and air maneuvers will place Russian warships near the Sea of Japan. Earlier, a team of Russian experts had issued a report claiming that there was no credible evidence that the North Koreans had sunk the Cheonan. Moscow also worked to weaken the statement issued at the G8 summit condemning North Korea for the attack.

Kim Myong Chol, who is billed as an “unofficial” spokesman of Kim Jong-il and North Korea, claimed in a column for Asia Times that China has been circulating a report that the South Korean corvette had actually been sunk by an American mine and North Korea was only being blamed as part of a “false flag” operation to stir up tensions. Kim said the Chinese “leaked” the report to New America Media, which claims to be the “largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations.” There it appeared as a column by Yoichi Shimatsu, a former editor of the Japan Times, now an environmental consultant and a commentator for CCTV-9, an international television network run by the Beijing regime.

The Chinese disinformation story is now making the rounds of left-wing websites including Online Journal, Dissident Voice, War Is A Crime (formerly After Downing Street), and the Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel where the sinking is compared to other alleged “false flags” like the sinking of the battleship Maine, the invited assault on Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the 9/11 attacks.

Beijing is thus doing much more in regard to North Korea than President Barack Obama charged at the G20 meeting when he said China was simply “turning a blind eye” to Pyongyang’s provocations. Beijing is bringing to bear its diplomatic, military and propaganda resources to defend North Korea as it has always done. And under this onslaught, Washington it falling back in disarray.

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  • Joseph Tan

    President Barack Obama is quoted as saying "there is a difference between restraint and willful blindness" to President Hu Jintao in refusing to go along with the American condemnation of alleged North Korea sinking of the Cheonan. "Alleged" because:-
    i) there is no independent experts in the investigation of the sinking – independent means include having Chinese, Russian or even North Korean expert involved in the investigation
    ii) The basis of natural justice is amongst other thing – allow the other the right of hearing. America NEVER allow North Korea a chance to explain – in fact North Korea flatly denied the sinking caused by her.
    iii) Evidence is that the sinking is at a place where the American- Korean military exercise is going on or imminent to go on. As such what is the chance of the North Korean sub going through such a condone? Her sub is obsolete by US and South Korean standard not to mention the ASW (anti-sub warfare) that US had deployed in the area.
    iv) Although North Korea may not be very co-operative with international opinion or persuasion, but that does not meant that they are so dumb and ridiculous to say that she sent a sub on such a reckless mission at the expense of not only being caught but endangered their seamen as well. Further their sub is in no way match the American or South Korean navy or sub.
    v) No wonder even majority if not most of North Korean (saved the military) do not believe the cause is through the North Korean, much less the Chinese nor the Russian.
    vi) The cause may be due to unexploded mine or other weapon that thousands that were dumped in there during the Korean War (1951 – 1953) that many were still unaccounted for.
    vii) Therefore when Barack Obama says that the Chinese is "willful blind" to North Korea alleged act missed a point. The very basis for that condemnation itself does not hold water. How can such a distinguished Harvard graduate and the America president make such a loose and reckless statement to another leader.
    viii) With greatest humility. I think Barack Obama may even owed President Hu JIntao a personal if not a public apology.

    Thank you

  • Peter

    Mr. Joseph Tan,

    Thanks but no thanks for your efforts to chime in any piece of knowledge you think you might have to share. First off, the Korean War took place between 1950 through 1953.

    Since then, there have been up to eleven, specific incidents of North Korean attacks on S. Korean assets, personnel – to include the recent Cheonan incident. As history continues to repeat itself, North Korea has continued to deny their involvement in any of the internationally known incidents.

    With the sinking of Cheonan, North Korea yet again showed how elusive and dishonorable they can be. Allowing them to conduct a joint investigation of the Cheonan ship will be like 'allowing the robber to come back to the crime scene.'

    In addition, there are two more defectors that have come forward and commented on this incident. I ask that you read the following site to engage and broaden your horizon on this incident:….

  • USMCSniper

    China uses North Korea as their "bad guy" to intimidate and get cooperation in the Far East. One must remember that it was the Red Chinese that negotiated the Korean Truce at the 38th parallel in 1953 with the North Koreans politely sitting quietly.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    What will the Chinese do, sew the buttons of their export shirts on upside down?
    No one can stand up to the American Navy nor its power, however with wimp in-Chief
    it is possible that they may send out a canoe and demand surrender of the fleet and
    from Obama get it…………………………..William

  • Gigi

    Can anyone detail incidents which transpired with North Korea involving American military between 1993 and 1999? This may have involved US Army military who may have mistakenly crossed into an unauthorized area while patrolling the DMZ. Those involved may have also been ordered not to speak about it.