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    North Korea has threatened to turn Seoul's presidential office into a "sea of fire" after South Korea conducted military drills near an island attacked by the North last year.

    The exercises marked the first anniversary of North Korea's artillery attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong that killed two marines and two civilians.

    The North Korean military warned on Thursday that "a similar sea of fire" may engulf Seoul's presidential Blue House if South Korean forces ever fired a single shot into North Korea's territory. The warning was carried by North Korean state media.

    Pyongyang blamed Seoul for provoking the attack last year, saying it struck after warning South Korea not to carry out live-fire drills in waters that both Koreas claim as their territory.

    South Korea's drills this week involved aircraft, rocket launchers and artillery guns and took place off Baengnyeong Island, another territory near the disputed maritime border.

    Officials said they were meant to send a strong message to North Korean rivals stationed within sight a few miles away. No live-fire activities took place.

    The North Korean military threat comes despite recent signs that animosities between the rival Koreas are easing, with diplomats seeking to resume North Korean nuclear disarmament talks.

    The South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, said on Wednesday he was sorry North Korea had not yet apologised for last year's shelling and that he expected an apology if relations were to improve between the two countries.




    North Korea is interesting. They have a strict anti-Zionist policy and a semi-Third Position government but they seem to be utterly incompetent with International Relations.

    This has worn away at them from the inside. Now, Kin Jong Il seems to be just batshit crazy. From winning a war in 1953 against the US to being nuts and deteriorating. Sad.



    In my opinion North Korea's ideology, despite having some favorable aspects (like their mentioned strict anti-Zionist policy), is far too stuck in commie-madness. The cult built around Kim Jong Il and his father Kim Il Sung is somewhere between shockingly insane and absolutely ridiculous, the state is unable to guarantee the well being of its citizens. Korean nation should best re-unite under a nationalist Korean government.



    Although, it may be unfair to mitigate blame on the North Koreans.  For instance, there wasn't much difference between North and South Korea in the 1980s – when both states were dictatorships.

    Would South Korea fair any better if it did not have free trade status with the United States (Hyundai automobiles in every dealership) and if it was being sanctioned by most of the western world?  Probably not,

    I figure that's the main reason the Koreans haven't reunified  – the American gravy train (free trade + military protection) would end as soon as the "North Threat" was over.



    I'd say that you are right to a large degree. Ever since the ceasefire to the Korean War, the South has been the USA's little baby. They have skilled industry and all, but the very favorable relationship with the US was key for this. South Korea literally went from rice paddies to modern cities in 40 years. If the Korea's reunite, then maybe they won't need the USA. There is a lot of expertise in the South, probably some up North too, and they should just sort out their own affairs. With good leadership and healthy nationalism, there is no reason why they couldn't do it. They truly are ONE nation so it sucks that they're separated. The Korean War is a civil war.



    Both sides have their share of being guilty for the division of Korean nation, North with its lunatic government and South with its degenerate American western capitalist system. They really need to find a third way.



    Wow, Huszar I don't know where you get your history books from but last I read North Korea did not win any war, ever???  The North Korean Army attacked South Korea (who had no Army)and drove all the way to the Pusan Perimeter, but was unable to dislodge the few US Army Regimental Comat teams that were flown in from occupation duty in Japan.

    In one of the most lopsided victories in Military history, The US Marine Corps landed at Inchon, where the communists thought it was impossible, because of the tides (thanks Russian advisors).  They completely destroyed the North Korean Army, who played almost no part in the rest of the war.  Then General Douglas MacArthur and the UN forces, disobeyed the US President and drove all the way to the Yalu River on the Chinese border.  China entered the war in a sneak attack and UN forces weresurprised and pushed back, but did not fall apart.  A US MARINE Division under General Chesty Puller fought and destroyed 26 of the Chinese Army's best divisions at the Chosin Resevoir  General MacAthur was releaved for risking starting World War III, because the occupation of North Korea was never in the original mandate from the UN, just the liberation of South Korea.  The US Army and UN Forces then pushed the Chinese back to the 38th Parell (where they had started) and conducted attrittion operations until the Chinese Communists agreed to a truce. 

    The affect of the Korean war was to convince the Soviets that the US would stand up to them and their aggressive atitude in Europe actually decreased, after Korea.  Mao Tse-Tung's favorite son was klled in Korea when the US Ai Frce took out is command cave, from which he never recovered.

    Today the ROK Army is one of the toughest in the world and most technicaly advanced.  The US troops in Korea are not really there to defend South Korea, which her armed forces are more than capable of, but as a symbol that the US will come to the Republic of Korea's aid should she ever be attacked again.



    You are probably more right than I was, Joms Viking, but the way you put it no one won the war. It's a statelmate (militarily and diplomatically) since 1953. Lopsidedness goes both ways.



    The South Koreans should invite the United States to leave and engage the North to begin talks for unification. Do they really think that the DPRK will attack just because the Americans leave?



    The ROKs have tried to open a dialoque with North Korea.  They have even given humanitarian food aid to the North in exchange for letting a train of family members in the South visit their family members in the North, but the North shuts it down all the time.  The American's tried to leave Korea during the Carter Presidency, but the North Korean Army killed a group of unarmed US soldiers cutting grass and trimming shrubs at the DMZ.  US Genral Singlaub called the President a traitor and ROK Army and Marine Corp Veterans protested for several days until President Carter changed his mind.

    The ROKs are right to be scared of the Communists.  My Uncle Jim fought with the US Marines at the Chosin Resivoir and the Chinese Communists killed the Korean civilians and dogs when they could catch them, because they thought there might be spies in them, so they fled in to the Marine lines.  My Uncle Jim came home with a puppy and my adopted Cousin Kim.  He had been killing Chinese with his M-1 Garrand and tripped over a pile of rags in the snow.  The rags were the dog and Kim.  He gave her to a Navy Chaplin with the other orphans, but he came back and got her and sent her home to North Dakota.  She is a Korean-American girl with a Wendish/German  last name.

    My two Aunts married two Polish-American brothers who fough in Korea (One US Army and one US Navy), both adopted orphans, who now have Polish last names.  I have adopted relatives from World War I, II, Korea and Viet Nam. 



    Your absolutely right, the communists are terrible people. I am well aware of what these people are like and do not sympathise with them in the least. If the Koreans want to keep an American presence in their country that is between them and Washington. Ill say this much though, I remember there being much better relations between the North and South in the early 2000's. It seems that the current government in the South is not very keen on engaging the North.



    The Strategic implications are that North Korea is an economic midget compared to South Korea, but South Korea's capital is very close to the 38th Parelel of the DMZ.  Seoul is one of the biggest and most modern cities in the world, but it is essentually right on the border with North Korea and a hostage to it's threats of a sea of fire.  To this day the South Korean and US military discover giant military tunnels and military infiltrators (that they kill) trying to attack  South Korea.  Kidnapping of foriegn nationals and attacks on South Korea's fishing fleet and military instilations occur to this day.  The Dictator does this so that Korea is isolated and nobody knows they are still living in the 1950s.  If you speak to the North Koreans they still believe that their allies the Khmer Rouge are in charge in Cambodia (another fine regime brought about by the Soviets and the Chinese Communists. 

    It goes well with US Army training doctrine to keep the men in danger areas, where they can hone military skills in a real threat enviroment, while still stressing the Junior leaders in real world missions, but without the chance of losing an untrained unit, you can not buy a training envoroment like that.  We did the same thing in Iraq and Afganistan, you must have a soure of conflict to train Junior leaders and test doctrine and equipment or you lose that edge.

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