Korean Crisis


 Korean Crisis 2010

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While the the fighting of Korean War of 1950-1953 ended with an armistice nearly 60 years ago, North and South Korea are still technically at war. Their ongoing hostilities have resulted in many incidents of violence over the years, with two particular incidents in 2010 pushing the two Koreas (and their allies), close to the brink of war. Those incidents of violence between North and South Korea in 2010, were the recent attacks on a South Korean warship and the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. Below are details on these two incidents, as well as the events of 2009 that led up to the current crisis and the Yeonpyeong Island naval battle of 2002.

North Korean Attack on Yeonpyeong Island --November 23, 2010-North Korean forces launched a surprise artillery attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. About 175 artillery shells landed on the island. The attack killed two South Korean marines, two civilians and injured 15 South Korean troops and three civilians. South Korea responded to the attack by shelling two North Korean coastal artillery bases on the mainland with K-9 155mm self-propelled howitzers. The South Korean military also scrambled F-16 fighter jets toward the area of conflict.

Many analysts believed that the attack was related to the ongoing succession issue in North Korea as the current leader, Kim Jong-Il prepares to hand over power to his son, Kim Jong-Un. (See also Dictators and Tyrants in World History)

After the attack, the South Korean Defense Minister resigned his post amid criticism that the initial South Korean military response should have been more robust in the face of the North Korean attack.

Korean Conflict Sources:

Artillery Heard in North Korea; U.S. Carrier Enters Yellow Sea--Bloomberg, November 27, 2010

North Korea readies missiles as U.S., South Korea begin drill--Globe and Mail, Nov. 27, 2010

New Korean war could ensnare Canada, documents suggest--Globe and Mail, Nov. 26, 2010

North Korea Issues Warning as Artillery Fire Rattles Island--New York Times, Nov. 26, 2010

North Korea attack linked to leadership succession--ABC News, Nov. 25, 2010

South Korea May Name Ex-General, Security Aide to Defense Post--Bloomberg, Nov. 25, 2010

U.S. aircraft carrier's arrival off Korean peninsula also sends a message to China--Washington Post, November 24, 2010

Korean Clash Forces the U.S. to Weigh Options--New York Times, Nov. 23, 2010

Emerging-Market Stocks Tumble Most in Five Months After Korean Conflict--Bloomberg, Nov. 23, 2010

Shelling of Yeonpyeong --Wikipedia Article



North Korean Attack on Yeonpyeong Island

Smoke rises from the North Korean Attack on Yeonpyeong Island November 23, 2010



The Sinking of the South Korean Warship Cheonan --March 26, 2010-The South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan, was exploded and sank on March 26, 2010, killing 45 South Korean sailors. South Korea blames the sinking of the ship on a North Korean torpedo launced from a North Korean submarine. North Korea denies any involvement with the sinking of the South Korean ship, and threatened "all out war" if South Korea retaliates.

South Korea on alert as tension grows over patrol boat sinking: South Korea's president expected to refer sinking of vessel to UN security council--May 22, 2010, Times Online

‘All out war’ threatened over North Korea attack on warship Cheonan --May 20, 2010, Times Online

South Korea Says North Sank Warship--Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2010

ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772)--Wikipedia article on the Cheonan

Naval clash between North and South Korean Navies --November 09, 2009- A North Korean naval vessel entered South Korean waters, refused to return to the North, and then was brought under fire by the South Korean navy. The North Korean ship was partially destroyed, and managed to escape back across the Naval Limit Line, which is the sea-border between the Koreas. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Northern incursion came only days before U.S. President Barack Obama was due to visit East Asia.

Capture of S. Korean fishing boat --July 29, 2009- North Korean naval forces seized a South Korean fishing vessel early on the morning of July 29, 2009, after it accidentally strayed into North Korean waters. The South Korean governement asked the Pyongyang regime to release the fishing boat and to return the four crewmen. The captured ship is 29 tons and is called the "800 Yeonan." The South claims the ship strayed into North Korean waters due to a satellite navigation system error or malfunction.

North Korean Nuclear Test --May 23, 2009--North Korea conducted its second nuclear test, raising tensions in Korea.

Korean Border Tension --January, 2009-North and South Korea both mobilized their military forces in response to verbal threats and posturing related to North Korea's statement that it has "weaponized" plutonium in its nuclear warheads.

SKorea army on alert after North's military threat--Jan. 18, 2009, Associated Press

Researcher: North Korea has `weaponized' plutonium--Jan. 17, 2009, Associated Press

Korean Naval Border Clash --June 28, 2002-North and South Korean naval vessels fought a twenty-minute gun battle in which 4 South Korean sailors died and 18 wounded near Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea. A South Korean frigate was sunk and a North Korean vessel sustained damage.

Korean Nuclear Tensions Resources:

Q+A-What's the real threat of N.Korea's nuclear programme?--Reuters, May 24, 2009



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