Will the Korea who blew up that warship please report to the principal’s office
Of all the things the shipping industry does not need right now, a shooting war between North and South Korea is probably top of the list.
The 1,200-tonne Cheonan was blown in two on March 26 by an “external explosion”, according to an investigation, killing 40 of the 104 crew and leaving six missing, presumed dead.
If the Cheonan was indeed hit by a torpedo, there are only two possible places the weapon could have come from.
Firstly, the ship was really close to Dear Leaderland and as they say up there in the DMZ, the torpedo doesn’t fall far from the tree. No one has more motivation to shoot up a South Korean ship than the lunatic the country shares a border with.
There was even a report yesterday where a demoted general was seen with the North’s commander-in-grief wearing four stars on his collar when he was supposed to have been busted down to a three-star. This was, the news report breathlessly declared, obviously a reward for the general sinking the warship.
The second option is that some Einstein on board messed up the coordinates while launching one of the six torpedoes carried in the arsenal and the ship blew herself up.
Seoul has not directly blamed the North Koreans for sinking its boat, which appears to give credence to theory number two. In matters of Asian diplomacy it is never wise to underestimate the power of saving face, but if South Korea does blame the North to save itself the embarrassment of admitting it sank its own ship, the pressure to retaliate from the people would be overwhelming. It is unthinkable that the country could allow the deaths of 40 of its seamen to go unavenged.
So we sincerely hope North Korea did not fire that torpedo, and if it was indeed the South, that they will be big enough to admit it. Asia is leading the world out of recession and stability in the region is pretty important.
Nice as it may be to stick a hoist up Kim Jung Il's petard, disputes are only fun until someone nukes a city.