November 24, 2010
Following its deadly attack on Yeonpyeong island on Tuesday, North Korea said it was responding to a provocation by South Korea.
Pyongyang characterized South Korea’s nationwide military drill called Safeguarding the Nation as “simulating an invasion of the North” and “a means to provoke a war.”
The official North Korean news agency said on Tuesday night that the South “recklessly fired into our sea area,” according to the New York Times. Lee Yong-geul, South Korea’s deputy minister of defense, admitted that artillery units had been firing from a battery on the South Korean island of Baeknyeongdo, close to the North Korean coast.
The Pentagon will further exacerbate the situation by sending in an aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS George Washington into the Yellow Sea. The U.S. had postponed the deployment during earlier anti-submarine warfare exercises amid complaints from Chinese military officials that a carrier in the sea threatened China because U.S. warplanes from the ship could reach targets in China, according to the Washington Times.
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The Pentagon rejected China’s assertion and said it will transit the Yellow Sea because it is international waters. “That is international waters. We’re going to operate in the Yellow Sea. We and others,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, last month.
ABC News reports that the White House will “spend a great deal of effort” to get China involved in a “robust” stand against North Korea. “We need to send a strong signal to the Chinese that they need to stand up to North Korea,” a White House official said. The official added that Russia’s statement condemning the Yeonpyeong island attack was much stronger than after the North Koreans sank the ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772) in March of this year.
ABC News does not mention that a Russian investigation team concluded that the sinking of the South Korean ship resulted from an “indirect outside underwater explosion,” likely from a mine rather than a torpedo fired by North Korea.
In May, investigative reporter Wayne Madsen’s intelligence sources in Asia said the attack was a false flag incident designed to finger North Korea.
“An investigation of the suspect torpedo’s metallic and chemical fingerprints show it to be of German manufacture. There are suspicions that the US Navy SEALS maintains a sampling of European torpedoes for sake of plausible deniability for false flag attacks,” Madsen wrote.