The DPRK in the Penalty Box

This sounds like as convenient a measure to take against Pyongyang as possible – put the DPRK in the penalty box.

…either ban broadcasts of the 2010 World Cup tournament in North Korea, or even better, ban North Korea’s side from participation in the tournament due to start next month. There is precedent for this: Yugoslavia was barred from participating in the 1994 World Cup because of ongoing United Nations sanctions. It’s also a sanction that would not benefit any internal hardliners responsible for the Cheonan.

Shin’s Letter and Alternative Theories of the Sinking of the Cheonan

I’m now in full skeptic mode about the Cheonan sinking. A commenter on the Diane Rehm Show board, ohmyeconomics, sent me a link to this “Letter to Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State“, in response to a query for information on alternative theories about the sinking of ROKS Cheonan. I was really interested in the part about US naval intelligence, but this is enough for me right now to consider.

I am S.C. Shin, a civil investigator recommended by Korean National Assembly for the sinking of Cheonan and I’m writing this letter to let you know the truth exactly here in Korea.

A Sane Conservative Response to the Cheonan Affair

I’ve often blogged about how unsatisfying and childish it is to call Kim Jong-il’s, or the DPRK’s, actions crazy. What is crazy is American conservatives calling for war. Fortunately, scholars like Charli Carpenter and The Economist make the conservative argument for sagacity look good.

Of course neither a conflagration nor an end to the regime may be round the corner. Despite a suspected stroke in 2008, Mr Kim has tightened his political grip. His power does not appear to have been shaken even by a disastrous currency reform late last year that further impoverished hard-pressed North Koreans. He has used the Cheonan affair to stir up nationalism at home, by thundering about the threat of invasion.

Fear Chasing the Peninsula

Kevin Drum asks frankly, “Why Did North Korea Do It?

Even by North Korean standards, torpedoing a South Korean ship is nuts. What on earth were they thinking? In the Financial Times today, Christian Oliver runs down the theories:

Korea 2012 Looks Like Fun (Audio)

Diane Rehm posts yet another show devoted to the “Rising Tensions on the Korean Peninsula“, featuring Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Michael Green, Leon Sigal, and Kurt Campbell. The one guest whose comments stood out for me was Sherman’s. Her call for a medium-to-long-term commitment to a political settlement on the peninsula, without shelving the short-term value of the Six-Party format, complements Charli Carpenter argument on bhTV about regime change. And then, Sherman just sounded scary. All those elections in 2012 are a recipe for all manner of foolishness.

China Is the Loser, Post-Cheonan (Audio)

John Pomfret, David Kang, and Ambassador Chung Min Lee hold an excellent discussion on the current escalation of tensions in Northeast Asia following the sinking of ROKS Cheonan by a North Korean submarine strike. Two comments struck me as important. … Continue reading

Strategic Binds on the Korean Peninsula (Video)

I'm pleased that Carpenter took the regime change position, even if I ultimately agree with Drezner, that regional players want the status quo for the next decade at least. Continue reading

Women in Korea #1

41:47 minutes (19.12 MB)
Women in Korea #1
May 2, 2010
Participants: Anneth Bun-as, Alex Karpen, Mindy Sisco, & Claudine Williams
Topics: The word 'vagina', The Cheonan and NK Culpability, & Dating Korean Men

Next Webcast: May 9, 8pm

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