Who Prokoved Whom in Yŏnpyŏngdo?
Justin Raimondo, echoing the above RT story posted at the Lewrockwell.com Blog, calls the "[l]atest incident a provocation – but by whom?" — Korean Conundrum: Is There a Way Out? He notes, rightly, that "the South Koreans were conducting military 'exercises' near the disputed island, which North Korea claims as its territory, and South Korean ships had opened fire, albeit – they claim – not in the direction of the North Korean mainland."
Mr. Raimondo also suggests that "the military exercises, code-named 'Hoguk,' involving all four branches of the South Korean armed forces and some 70,000 troops, simulated an attack on North Korea, and were meant to provoke the North Koreans, who responded as might be expected." He continues, "US troops were supposed to have participated in the exercises, but apparently the Americans thought better of it and pulled back at the last moment – perhaps because they knew a provocation was in the making."
He goes on to argue, even more pointedly, "For the South Koreans to conduct military exercises in this explosive region, never mind firing off rounds, is nothing but a naked provocation of the sort the West routinely ascribes to Pyongyang. In the context of North Korea’s recent revelation that it is increasing its nuclear capacity, the South Korean military maneuvers were meant to elicit a violent response – and succeeded in doing so."
"The chief obstacle to peace in the Korean peninsula hasn’t been North Korean intransigence, or South Korea’s enmity, but the intervention of the superpowers," he says, suggesting, "There is but one solution to the Korean conundrum: the complete withdrawal of US troops, who are being held hostage, in any event, by the prospect of a North Korean nuclear strike." He concludes, "Then and only then will peace blossom on the Korean peninsula."