Monday 26 Sep 2022 | 02:55 | SYDNEY
Monday 26 Sep 2022 | 02:55 | SYDNEY

Yeonpyeong-Cheonan comparisons


Malcolm Cook

30 November 2010 10:42

At first glance, the action-reaction scripts for the DPRK's two recent acts of war against South Korea seem depressingly similar:

  1. The North attacks the South.
  2. There is an immediate global call for calm, no escalation (largely ignoring the fact that a non-military response to North Korea is itself an escalation) and, bizarrely, even to reward Pyongyang for its violence.
  3. China refuses to condemn its only ally, while Chinese voices help the DPRK muddy the waters by claiming that the DPRK is somehow the victim and was goaded into reaction.

Looking a little closer, though, there seem to be four positive differences:

  1. Unlike the Cheonan attack, the Yeonpyeong attack (the first military attack on South Korean land by the North since 1953) has rallied the South Korean population against the North.
  2. Russia has publicly condemned North Korea.
  3. The Australian Government and Foreign Minister Rudd seem to have strengthened their already strong language against the DPRK and on China's need to bring more pressure on Pyongyang.
  4. The US and South Korea carried out naval drills in the Yellow Sea (with an Australian observer on board) despite DPRK and Chinese opposition.