Hunting Season on Cheonan Incident Conspiracy Theories Opens

Aside from collecting conspiracy theories about the sinking of ROKS Cheonan (here, here, here, and here), I’m partial to blaming the incident on subordinates.

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

Conservative Nuclear Family

It seems Pyongyang has found a way to unite Japanese and South Korean conservatives in reactionary alliance with nukes and missiles in the dowry. Happiness might just be a closed fuel cycle, although it's debatable whether it's a winning electoral strategy. GNP lawmaker Choi Ku-shik, the chairman of the party’s sixth policy coordination committee, said the [...]

A Dragon Beats an LTTE Tiger

Beijing's less than speedy resolution to slap Pyongyang's wrist is just one reason to reconsider how the United Nations votes its Security Council members to the big table. Vijay Sakhuja offers Beijing's less than positive influence in Sri Lanka as another cause for alarm. China continued to provide political and more recently enormous military support to [...]

How Many Missile Pads Does the Korean Peninsula Really Need?

"Today, with the construction of this space center, we let the entire world know that our national strength has built up by one level," President Lee Myung-bak said in a speech at the new center. "In the near future, we can go to space and the moon with our own technology. To do so, we [...]

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