South Korea has hinted and is now going to formerly announce that a North Korean torpedo sank their Corvette war ship. South Korea has been investigating the sudden explosion since it happened in March, the blast killed 46 sailors. South Korean officials have been hinting at North Korean military involvement in the sinking but up until now they have not directly pointed a finger at the hostile North. This is an escalation of tensions that have been putting pressure on not only the South Koreans but the United States as well who have nearly 40,000 troops there. North and South Korea are still technically at war, even though they both are made to abide by the cease-fire agreement. Clearly the North has violated this agreement set in place in 1953. The question is how will the South handle this?
The South has already ruled out any and all military forms of retaliation. They instead are leaning heavily towards economic sanctions; they key for these to work however is China’s willingness to agree to them. China has veto power in the UN, and China is a close ally to the North, but with the evidence the South has it will be quite hard for China to side with the North. A South Korean Government official briefed on the issue was quoted saying this “We will blame a torpedo attack and link it to North Korea”.
The North is of course denying any involvement in the sinking of the vessel and have said that if accused of the sinking they will retaliate, however they did not say how. This attack and the evidence going to be released will be sure to rock the boat in that region, and I’m sure enough to put troops on alert if they are not already. The United States presumably will want to re-engage in North Korean nuclear disarmament talks as well as to side with the South on sanctions imposed.
Either way this region is becoming quite heated and it is something that needs to be watched closely, as any attack by the North onto the South could lead to U.S. military involvement considering our placement there.