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Are the US - South Korean war games a good idea?

02:33 UK time, Saturday, 24 July 2010

The US and South Korea have begun a major military exercise in the Sea of Japan, despite threats of retaliation from North Korea. What is your reaction?

The navy and air force manoeuvres involve 20 ships, 200 planes and 8,000 US and South Korean personnel.

Washington and Seoul say the war games are to deter a North Korean aggression. But North Korea called the exercises reckless and threatened to use nuclear weapons in response. China has also criticised the war games and warned against any action which might "exacerbate regional tensions".

Tensions between the two Koreas have been high since the sinking of a South Korean warship in March. An international investigation said the ship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo, a claim strongly denied by North Korea.

Are the exercises a good idea? Is China right to criticise the plans? What should the international community do? How should the US and South Korea react to the North Korean threat?

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    surely common sense should be used here, if you keep on stabbing an animal with a sharp stick, eventually it'll bite you. In these dasy of almost Peace why are they having military exercises anyway, or are they purposly trying to wind up the North Koreans?

  • Comment number 2.

    This is just political posturing by both sides. It will all be over in a couple of weeks. Nothing will change.

  • Comment number 3.

    @ Droschke
    Who is poking who with a stick. North Korea has to be stood up to. The US and S Korea are showing unity. If N Korea uses nucler weapons, there won't be a North korea and they know it.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    Note at all sides:

    Wars aren't games.

  • Comment number 6.

    The big bully North Korea always threaten to go out for nuclear attack against the South at the instance of comrade China's support. The torpedo that attacked the South Korean ship did not originate from limbo. All fingers point to North Korea as the aggressor given the recently aggravated relations between the two Koreas. America should solidly support SK by carrying forward with the joint military exercise in the cause for democracy and not get bogged down with China's threatening of instability in the region. Barking dogs seldom bite knowing fully the consequences.

  • Comment number 7.

    George Bush said there was an axis of evil destabilizing this world, Iran, Iraq and No.Korea, he was right, one down two to go.

    I think No Korea has nothing to lose except face, and I do not think they can afford to lose face. They threatened violence and if they back down they lose the respect of their own people and the threat they hold over the world would be diminished, so I expect some violence from them perhaps a small rocket barrage into the south.

  • Comment number 8.

    7. At 04:18am on 24 Jul 2010, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:

    I think No Korea has nothing to lose except face, and I do not think they can afford to lose face. They threatened violence and if they back down they lose the respect of their own people..........

    -----------------------------

    I thought that but then their own people will never find out due to the strict media control.
    They will spin some story about they bravely defeated the enemy from the south and us.
    They are on a win win here unless the captial is bombed.

  • Comment number 9.

    Yes! N Korea has a long history of threatening violence to get their way. You need to worry about them most when they AREN'T sabre rattling.

  • Comment number 10.

    Is it possible that we are looking at an aging ruler, desperate to accomplish some agenda before it's too late? The sinking of the South Korean ship sounds like bait to get a war started again. Could be, that he feels the need to take over the whole of Korea, or die trying along with countless thousands of others caught up in his intrigue..
    If the South and the USA give in, and halt the exercises, they will lose face in front of the world. But if they don't stand down, the D**n fools in North Korea might just use a nuke.. Or North Korea would lose face...
    Ego games.... Again.. Will we humans ever evolve past this insanity?

    "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."Genesis 3:24
    Could nuclear radiation be the "flaming sword which turneth every way"?
    A test for humanity, whether we shall survive, or cease to exist?

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm sure Obama will find some way of skirting on this one. He might just say the north has a nuclear backed 1 million man army and say "What can we do" then finish with an apology to the north. Now I know this sounds cynical but I'm kinda getting used to this administration and the above wouldn't be a huge shock.
    If it was up to me Kim's successor would be conventional dust. Or the other kind if his country
    makes a special request.

  • Comment number 12.

    So long as S Koreans allow US to keep treating them as Expendable, the provocation of N Korea will continue. If a possible Nuke Conflict was on US Border they'd be seeking a Diplomatic Solution.
    While US insists on holding War-Games just offshore of N Korea they will not tollerate any Foreign Military within 300 Miles of US shores.

    The persistance of US Sowing Conflict on Distant Shores could be the final straw for S Koreans who've already rebuffed their PM at the Ballot Box for War-Mongering.
    Without US agitating, the Korean People would've found an Amicable Working Relationship decades ago.




  • Comment number 13.

    What frightens everyone is the fact that North Korea keeps throwing out violent words geared at the United States and South Korea. Now they are threatening some style of nuclear attack or symbol. What bothers many is the fact that the North Korean government may be going through a major leadership change. This might be an opportunity/justification for that government to send out a signal that we have nothing to loose by taking military action against the United States, and, or South Korea. Mixing a change in government in a totalitarian regime with a possible outside threat could bring about a knee jerk reaction which in all reality could start a conflict that will be hard to stop once it has started. The North Korean government should not be cornered in any manner, because like an animal it might fight back for its own perceived survival.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm afraid to say it, but it seems the North Koreans are correct in their assessment of US policy as being based on a shallow "cowboy diplomacy". Some of the usual bellicose comments from Americans on this thread confirm this is the standard U.S. attitude to dealing with international threats and conflicts.
    Adopting the old, aggressive and inflexible stance of having to "stand up" to aggressors is both limiting and unproductive. Sure enough, North Korea is led by a terrible regime bolstered by Chinese self-interests, but playing the "war game" card is not doing anything to improve or ameliorate the situation for anyone involved in any way...in fact, quite the opposite, it merely exacerbates the conflict.
    What a disappointment the Obama-Clinton regime has become. Gone are the promises of "hands reaching out" and dialogue. In fact, those ideals never materialized at all...it seems they know they just have to pander to the image of the cowboy in the white hat to retain power in the US.

  • Comment number 15.

    I've seen several comments about the North Korean government being " cornered animals". I agree. However, I would not let a cornered animal dictate my response. Does anyone on this site wish to live in North Korea? Should we allow mad men to get stronger? Log onto Vice TV (Google "Vice guide to North Korea"). This problem will not disappear by looking the other way.

  • Comment number 16.

    Let me echo someone else's comment - - President George Bush was 100% right in identifying North Korea as a member of an axis of evil - - and all you sneering Europeans and "The World" were naive and deluded.

  • Comment number 17.

    On the accompanying map, the BBC have used the term "Sea of Japan" (and highlighted it for some reason or other. My understanding is that the Koreans refer to this body as the "East Sea." It would seem reasonable to use that term instead of the former for an article that focuses solely on the Koreans and makes no mention of the Japanese.

  • Comment number 18.

    My instant feeling is one along the lines of 'this is it'. DPRK are notorious at shrouding the truth about their nuclear capability, so sabre-rattling emissions from Pyongyang surprise me not one iota. All armed forces have to 'exercise'. That the US-South Korea are about to jointly do so is a double-edged sword in that it fulfils continued force fitness ability, but the location/partner is definitely exacerbating DPRK. Their threats unequivocally shot themselves in the foot by ascertaining that which IAEA inspectors have spent years trying to prove - confirming North Korea not only possess nuclear capability, but is willing to use it for other than domestic/electrical purposes. With two declared nuclear powers in their vicinity - namely US and China - DPRK should lock up their pea-shooters and spend the entire weekend enjoying peaceful country picnics.

  • Comment number 19.

    I was stationed in Korea a few decades ago (not the Korean War). It is a spooky place up on the DMZ. When N. Korea went off during the 50s, they went off when they thought the US wouldn't put forces in against them if they attacked S. Korea. They are a one-trick pony and continue to insist on a failed Stalinist state long after Stalinism was rejected in all other countries. They are a living political fossil and an example of the statement, "Insanity is trying the same old failed ideas and expecting new results." They are some very sick puppies and you can't count them out for anything.

    It would be wrong to assume they won't eventually do something horrifically stupid as a last 'hurrah' before they self-disintegrate. The only card they have left is their rabid military force and it is a case of 'use it or lose it'. Anyone dealing with N. Korea should be wary as if they were face to face with the deadliest snake in the world. Treating them flippantly could cost a lot of people their lives. Yes, they will eventually lose any war they start, but the opening phase would be utterly apocalyptic.

    One weird rationale the N. Koreans might be entertaining is that a huge catastrophic onslaught to quickly take the entire peninsula would deny any landing of sizable reinforcements by the US. The modern South Korean armed services are tops and powerful in their own right- not a rag-tag group like they were in 1950, but in a nuclear blitzkrieg where the attackers have no remorse against accepting huge casualties on their own side, the advantage lies with offense. They may think they can really pull this off. No, N. Korea should be watched VERY carefully.

  • Comment number 20.

    15. At 05:37am on 24 Jul 2010, Letsmoveforward wrote:

    I've seen several comments about the North Korean government being " cornered animals". I agree. However, I would not let a cornered animal dictate my response. Does anyone on this site wish to live in North Korea? Should we allow mad men to get stronger? Log onto Vice TV (Google "Vice guide to North Korea"). This problem will not disappear by looking the other way.

    Thank you Letsmoveforward this a good vid to share.
    I couldnt help but notice that the DPRK could use about 1 million or so cars. It looks as if their roads are decaying without ever being used.

  • Comment number 21.

    China's attitude in this may be calculated by N. Korea to be, at a minimum, 'non-interference' by the regional nuclear power to their rear. They could construe this as a tacit 'military go-ahead', as they construed Truman's statement of lack of concern about Korea as the 'military go-ahead' back in 1950. The political prize for China is huge in Asian politics if the US were to be humiliated militarily in the Korean peninsula. It would become THE dominant political force, without having fired a shot in anger. It would signal nothing less than the end of American influence in Asia.

  • Comment number 22.

    Surely these "war games" will not "deter aggression". North Korea stands alone (by its own choice, of course), and already has sanctions imposed upon it. Can you really blame it for threatening to act out? Whose brilliant idea was it to corner a snake and poke it?
    Muhammad Zaman, I agree. War is never a game, and is even less so when nuclear weapons are involved.
    Furthermore, the arrogance of the US is unbelievable. They have two wars on their plate already, and they talk about war games? The US can demonstrate support for South Korea without catalyzing yet another conflict.

  • Comment number 23.

    Although I appreciate North Korea should be held accountable for their actions. The United States provocative 'drill' is only adding to the tension.

    The North will never back down because that's the mindset of the Government there.

    A war of words is political child's play that could result in an unnecessary escalation of the tension.

    The U.S administration should concentrate getting it's own country in order before playing God overseas.




  • Comment number 24.

    Limited Nuclear War, never thought that was a good idea. North Korea has nuclear weapons and they threaten to used them if, joint US-South Korean military Forces practice maneuvers.

    North Korea should welcome, The Joint Military Exercises of South Korea and The US. These are for North Korea's safety as well as South Korea. These practice maneuvers exist to be better prepared so as to not to initiate out of accident military fire upon North Korea.

    That speaker within North Korea is suicidal, worldwide proclaiming ceremonially Harry Carry.

    North Korea will remove that speaker from their position because they over stepped their authority and do not speak for the North Korean Government.

  • Comment number 25.

    Read about, or cast your minds back to August 4th 1964 and the Gulf of Tonkin "Incident" that gave Johnson legal justification for deploying US conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam.

    Replace the Maddox with the Cheonan, and it all seems so clear.

    The Cheonan incident has not apparently been enough, but when an un-named NK vessel fires a torpedo at the USS George Washington whilst on the planned "Excercise" that should do it.

    How about the Bay of pigs "Incident" April 1961?

    If they did it before and said "We did it before" what makes people imagine....It will not be done again?

    Seems like history is a mystery to most people!

  • Comment number 26.

    'War Games'?

    More like who is the most machismo. 'Show us what you've got', 'My tools are bigger than your tools', 'Death by my hand is much more awful than by any other hand'.

    The noble art of self defence. Never provoke an attack you can otherwise avoid. Treat the enemy with respect and use stealth, strategy, intelligence, and co-operation to keep a peace if possible. But do not show fear in the face of intimidation.

    It is the last one that is the most difficult to accomplish since it requires the perfection of indifference without slipping into disrespect. The US, it would seem, has a long way to go before it learns finesse. We already know what North Korea believes.

  • Comment number 27.

    Confrontation will be unavoidable because the North Korean leadership need to galvinise its people before they finally boil over and overthrow the dictatorship. War games are a test of the North Korean resolve to see if the constant stream of statements they come out with are just so much hot air.The poor people of North Korea need the loonies who control and enslave them to be destroyed like the mad dogs they are,its only a matter of time.

  • Comment number 28.

    • 1. At 03:00am on 24 Jul 2010, Droschke wrote:
    surely common sense should be used here, if you keep on stabbing an animal with a sharp stick, eventually it'll bite you. In these days of almost Peace why are they having military exercises anyway, or are they purposely trying to wind up the North Koreans?

    I cannot believe this comment, I really cannot. The South Koreans are continuously got by the north. The sinking of that warship cost the lives of many South Koreans, I totally unprovoked attack

    When I was at school, there was a particular hard kid at school who kept bullying, but one day another kid snapped and kicked the living daylights out of the bully. Is it time for South Korea to say stop to the North?

  • Comment number 29.

    I can understand China's reluctance to have these military exercises on its' doorstep - but China is responsible for that moron in Pyongyang.

    The message to Kim Jong Il has to be crystal clear - you will not get away with threatening your neighbours and sinking their ships.

    China must get a grip with this errant child before it's too late.

  • Comment number 30.

    I am not sure if these war games are the old 'Team Spirit' games or some additional one. Team Spirit war games are, or were, practiced regularly in the Spring (March) at the beginning of the best weather for a tank attack from the North. So, I don't understand if these games were simply moved to July or these are additional ones. The N. Koreans ALWAYS protested the Team Spirit games.

    American intelligence in Korea was also always pretty good, but the N. Koreans built a lot of their installations deep into granite mountains. There is supposed to be at least one full air field built inside one of the mountains, as well as several tunnels dug past the DMZ out of which specialized N. Korean commando regiments were/are to stream on attack. The tunnels are supposed to be large enough to allow vehicles through them. They were supposed to be able to move a regiment and its baggage through into the South in an hour. When I was there in 1980, it was figured that 12 such tunnels exists. Only 3 had been found and were manned with ROK personnel staring over heavy machine guns into the deepening dark. Spooky stuff! I don't know if any of the other ones have been found or if even more have been dug.

    The N. Korean army is 1 million strong. Supposedly, there are over 10,000 artillery pieces pre-trained on targets in the South, including Seoul. If the balloon went up, it would go at night with a catastrophic artillery barrage from the North. Forward military camps would be wiped out and any headquarters establishments in Seoul would be as well.

    I am out of date with conditions in Korea. I know the 2nd Inf. Div. used to be up on the DMZ. At that time, it would have been wiped out in the initial barrage or, at least, rendered a shattered unit. My understanding now, (thank the powers that be), the division was moved far to the south, out of the artillery range and replaced with ROK forces, so, in theory, it will be able to come forward intact as a fighting unit. Still, those units up on the Western DMZ are understood to be 'toast'. Civilian casualties in Seoul would be appalling.

    It was always understood that any war in Korea would "instantly" go nuclear, because of the disparity in quantities of troops between the North and the American and South Korean forces, as well as the major difficulties in reinforcing and supplying them from the sea.

    I am not betraying any secret information here, since this was all standardly understood decades ago, by both sides. I am refraining from giving my opinions (and I have them) on the current military situation. What I have shown, however, gets talked about among military all the time, but seldom do civilians (other than the South Koreans, themselves) understand the intensely nightmarish quality of war in Korea. It is never talked about in the newspapers or places like this. I think those here should understand what is involved before making some of the rather light commentary here. Western newspapers and media tend to give their followers a 'ho-hum' reading of the situation (if they give it any attention at all). This is serious stuff if you are in South Korea. I have always wondered how they would attempt to explain 'sudden war' in Korea and the instantaneous lists of appalling casualties having given it no serious attention previously. Certainly, it is a bad plan to try to 'bitch slap' an angry cobra.

  • Comment number 31.

    Ron brings up another point. One of the secondary missions of the US is to keep the South from attacking the North. There is a sizable hawkish section in the South Korean military and political system who would want nothing better than to start a war with North Korea and attack it.

  • Comment number 32.

    22. At 07:03am on 24 Jul 2010, epdc wrote:
    //
    Furthermore, the arrogance of the US is unbelievable. They have two wars on their plate already, and they talk about war games? The US can demonstrate support for South Korea without catalyzing yet another conflict.
    //

    -The US talks about, and does a lot towards, protecting South Korea from a very beligerent NK.

    A NK that threatens the entire region with long range missiles and nuclear weapons.

    A NK that thinks it can sink South Korean vessels with total impunity - and almost can because it is the puppet master of a UN Security Council member (China).

    It is inconceivable to me that posters can actually accuse the US of escalating tensions in the region.

  • Comment number 33.

    I wonder what the response would be if North Korea and China were to hold war games, saying they are to deter US and South Korean aggression?

  • Comment number 34.

    Pat Burger - do you think that "Europeans" needed George Bush to point out to them that North Korea was controlled by an evil regime? The evidence has been before all our eyes for decades and it didn't take someone of Bush's genius to make us aware of it.

    If Europeans and "the rest of the world" were sneering, it was not because they failed to realise the obvious. Many were ddeply suspicious of Bush's motivation in identifying the Axis of Evil. Based on the outcome of the searches for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, it would seem that many Europeans were right to be reluctant to launch into combat based on what proved to be faulty "intelligence".

  • Comment number 35.

    "If you keep on stabbing an animal with a sharp stick, eventually it'll bite you ”"

    End Quote Droschke


    It's North Korea that has been doing the stabbing and drawing blood.

  • Comment number 36.

    @ "if you keep on stabbing an animal with a sharp stick, eventually it'll bite you."

    What do you do if the animal has already bitten you? (sunk ship)

    You put it down.

    North Korea needs its leadership head cut off to be frank. For this to happen, China needs to stop sitting on the fence all the time and stop supporting North Korea. If this happens then NK would fall much to the benefit of its people.

  • Comment number 37.

    We can only watch in horror as the war mongering USA flaunts its military power regardless of the risk of
    provoking an International war. Or maybe hoping to provoke one in order to swell the massive
    profits it already makes from its despicable arms trade. It is high time that the rest of the world boycotted all trade with the USA and ignored all its politicians until it is brought to heel and becomes fit to be a member of the human family instead of being a greedy psychopath .

  • Comment number 38.

    12. At 05:05am on 24 Jul 2010, lordBanners wrote:
    //
    So long as S Koreans allow US to keep treating them as Expendable, the provocation of N Korea will continue. If a possible Nuke Conflict was on US Border they'd be seeking a Diplomatic Solution.
    //

    -And there I was thinking it was the North Korean regime responsible for escalating tensions by sinking a SK vessel, and continuosly threatening armageddon - when all along it was the US!!

    Well, I guess the earth really is flat.





  • Comment number 39.

    Never mind the military exercises; the US has no business putting our forces in harms way. If the South Koreans have a problem with the Marxist loons to the North, then that is their problem, not ours.

    "Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto."--Thomas Jefferson


    James P
    California USA

  • Comment number 40.

    @ Pamela Read: "We can only watch in horror as the war mongering USA flaunts its military power..."

    Surely military power has already been flaunted - by the North in initiating an unprovoked attack on a S. Korean ship (and many other incidents over the years, including the downing of a civilian air liner)

    What do you expect the South and the US to do - wait for more unprovoked 'flaunting' from the North?

  • Comment number 41.

    North Korea are merely posturing, both to get China on their side and to stir up discontent in the South.

    Their pampered leaders have far too much to lose by risking a war they would certainly lose.

  • Comment number 42.

    Beware N. Korea has a lot more allies than the US think, or have.

    The problem of the Gulf oil will be a very minor one if this gets out of hand.

    Let me guess - some US aircraft will accidentally fly into N. Korea airspace just to test the water - they may get shot down if they do.
    Remember the war is still on, no peace treaty was signed, so in effect N.Korea legally have right to.

    What the USA need to understand, the little Empire they thought they had is now gone, and they are minor players in the world again. The ones with the money rule, these will dictate what the USA does.

  • Comment number 43.

    A 'sacred war'? What North Korean communist religion is that statement based upon? Is this a sure sign that angry men are still reliant on the posturings that have brought so much trouble to the world; using the backing of super-being power whenever it is convenient?

  • Comment number 44.

    There can be any painful excuse than denying of doing of a most organized act on the part of North Korea for killing the same Koreans living on the other side of the border taking a more broader view of the Globe than living under suffocation within it, where none is free; through shrinking of a ship which was no threat to it. Under such circumstances how the world can become an onlooker into the incident which might lead to doing of a very serious harm to the Globe with none’s notice. Accordingly we are duty bound to show our solidarity with South Korea no matter what consequences it lead to, for us to face. The Law must remain upholding everywhere equally. We cannot allow such mean mindless go unchallenged everywhere.

    Therefore USA is just and fair to do so irrespective of what others prefer to say to stop others from doing so amasses everywhere in a turbulent world where none is respecting none other than thinking of fulfilling of one’s self interest although we are just single human Spice within the Globe. Again when North Korea earlier announced that it had stopped developing Nuclear Arsenal, from where it got such lethal weapons of most precise nature to challenge the Greatest Power in the Globe? What is this? Who is behind them? All those who are becoming a force behind it, very much in hiding must fully understand that the world can well run without its presence if these Powers don’t follow the rule which is dictated by our Mother Nature for our peaceful coexistence. We therefore must act to uphold our value or face death than living likewise without the soul available.


    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA, PhD)

  • Comment number 45.

    If US and S.K retreat, then the threat will be repeated more and more! DPRK won't take the risk of a nuclear attack! The exercise should go on as scheduled!

  • Comment number 46.

    Good luck N.Korea - squaring up to a superpower and your brethren will no doubt be a short fight putting millions of your starved people out of misery.

    I just hope China doesn't get involved.

  • Comment number 47.

    The other angle is that history has shown that failing government leaders (eg. Thatcher during the 80's) needed a war to prop up their support and serve as a distraction from their local problems.

    So maybe the US is vying for a war?

  • Comment number 48.

    Using the logic on display in many of these remarks, I must conclude that if it weren't for warmongers like Neville Chamberlain, Hitler would have never been forced to retaliate against England. He was forced to herd millions of people into vacation resort camps in an effort to protect them from mass murderers like Halifax. Hitler was like a Teutonic Gandhi.

    It also seems perfectly clear that the Japanese were creating a defensive perimeter to protect their Asian brothers. Their treatment of POWs and their civilian collaborators was really England's fault; and all they got was what they deserved.

    If England hadn't provoked peace loving men like Napolean and Kaiser Wilhelm; those gentle souls would have been able to establish a lasting peace on the European continent.

    Seriously; why do Europeans love mass murderers so much. You can't find a place on Earth where Saddam Hussein was more popular than Western Europe. Now it's Mahmoud Ahmajinidad and Kim Jong Il that are the misunderstood victims of American hegemony. We hounded poor old misunderstood Joe Stalin until he had a stroke. All throughout the Cold War we heard Europeans blame us for picking on the peace loving likes of Mao and Breznhev. Now it's the gentle folks in social clubs like Al Quaeda, Hezbollah, and the Taliban.

    We're just awful people. The only nation or tribe in human history that had the capability to conquer the world and didn't even try. If we had England, France, or Germany's history's, maybe we'd petulantly try to malign the most benign and benevelont world power in history.

    Say what you want, you can always count on us to do some stupid thing like fight for the peace and freedom of people who despise us for protecting them. Europe built some nice welfare states with the money they saved by trusting their survival to American honor.

    You're welcome.

  • Comment number 49.

    yes they should in fact lets just invade north korea

  • Comment number 50.

    @48 nondecomp


    "Say what you want, you can always count on us to do some stupid thing like fight for the peace and freedom of people who despise us for protecting them. Europe built some nice welfare states with the money they saved by trusting their survival to American honor. "

    I'm not sure what you're getting at nondecomp other than proving that the US (so far) has backed` many of the wrong horses in the world and 'removed' those who would have served your causes better.

    If you believed so much in US honour then maybe you can ask the POTUS to focus on domestic issues rather than wars it cannot win because the US and honour in the same sentence atm is a misnoma

  • Comment number 51.

    War games play an important role in reducing the risk of real large-scale wars. Military personell needs exercise as something where they can employ their initiative and their energy. The more exercise they have, the less desire they have to launch a true military campaign for whatever purpose. Similarly, those who regularly perform physical tasks are less prone to violence. That the North Korean regime does not like the US-South Koran war games and threatened to launch a "sacred war" is a symptom of suicidal frenzy.

  • Comment number 52.

    "47. At 09:03am on 24 Jul 2010, druid2002 wrote:
    The other angle is that history has shown that failing government leaders (eg. Thatcher during the 80's)"

    The Falklands and the first war with Iraq resulted from an invasion on both occasions. Do you just like on your back and kick your legs in the air like a beetle? Perhaps you do.

    Appeasing bullies in the end means you get bitten on the backside. Of course these activities between USA and South Korea should go ahead.

  • Comment number 53.

    Its just yet more provocation on the side of the US. North Korea is one of the 'axis of evil' countries that bush talked about. Of course the US is never the aggressor (every country they have ever invaded has deserved it according to them) so if they prod North Korea enough North Korea will retaliate giving the US the reason to go to war with them.I wouldn't be at all surprised if the US staged yet another attack on themselves during the upcoming exercise.

  • Comment number 54.

    Scientists often look for intelligent life in space - the rank stupidity of two parts of the human species, squabbling over a piece of land, makes it ABUNDANTLY clear that intelligent life is scarce on THIS planet!

    The table in the the conference room is seemingly aligned so that the border between N&S Korea runs down the middle! That is pathetic - no better than a swarm of little brats drawing a line in the sand with a stick! Can no one see that all this is so unbelievably ridiculous - it's a good job the rest of life on this planet cannot use a human language - or we'd be told not to be so DAMN stupid - we're all on this ONE planet - why in god's name can we not live without trying to slaughter each other???

    I suspect I am not alone in fearing for my kids future - I don't want them to see mushroom clouds on the horizon - but the way the human species is demonstrating the intelligence of retarded dinosaurs, I am VERY pessimistic! Is that too much to ask?

  • Comment number 55.

    What if this does escalate to a full scale war? How is the US really going to help South Korea? The US doesn't even have enough men for the other two wars they have going on. And where is the money going to come from to finance a potential war? I am sure China will give us the money to fight their ally. I mean where is the reasoning, I am not defending what North Korea has done but what is to be gained from this for all sides involved. This whole situation seems like its going to backfire for the US but maybe that will be a good thing, maybe the US will come to realize that its empire is dead and the way in which they conduct themselves to the world will have to be re-evaluated. But as an American I won't hold my breath there is a large part of our population that is completely blind to our current standing in the world and its really rather depressing.

  • Comment number 56.

    That "Northern Limit Line", that seems to define the territorial limit, does not look even remotely fair.

  • Comment number 57.

    At 09:05am on 24 Jul 2010, nomdecomp wrote:
    Europe built some nice welfare states with the money they saved by trusting their survival to American honor.

    We didn't save any money at all when the US deigned to join WWII. It was only when you realised that hitler wouldn't have stopped at Europe that you decided to join the fight. And even then it took an attack on your home soil. If you look into your history instead of dismissing the deaths of millions of europeans (the majority of which were Russian i might add) you will find that England was a bankrupt nation until the late fifties because of that war. And that we didn't finish off paying the debt to the US till the early nineties.

  • Comment number 58.

    You can recite history over and over, the days of face to face combat has gone. There are choices of weapon no one wants to even think about using, nuclear, chemical or biological. Use any of these in a strike attack then the rest of the world will be your enemy, so revert back to armies and manpower, well Iraq went well and still no different and Afghanistan is doing fine after years. Once a war begins all the mad terrorist will be out, what starts as a war in a far away land suddenly becomes one at home. You cannot fight aggression with aggression. Earlier a comment was made about a school bully, beat the living daylights out of them is my answer too, except that nowadays the bully has friends and they retaliate with bricks through windows and setting fire to things. The bigger the bully the worse the repercussions.

  • Comment number 59.

    12. At 05:05am on 24 Jul 2010, lordBanners wrote:
    .........
    The persistance of US Sowing Conflict on Distant Shores could be the final straw for S Koreans who've already rebuffed their PM at the Ballot Box for War-Mongering.
    Without US agitating, the Korean People would've found an Amicable Working Relationship decades ago.


    Of course. America needs enemies to preserve its identity. It also needs the threat of war to keep its economy going. About 15% of the American workforce is, directly or indirectly, employed on "defense" (which is to say weapons for use outside America or those actually using them).

    A nuclear peace would be devastating for America.

  • Comment number 60.

    The US and South Korea have been provoking North Korea for more then a year now. If they wanted a serious investigation on the sinking of this ship why didn't they invited China, Russia, Brazil or Japan to join this team? They didn't and a South Korean who objected to the findings has since been threatened with jail. So one should have serious doubts about these findings.
    It is also obvious that the foreign policy of Barack Obama is more of the same Bushism. He seems to be running into rows with countries from Britain over Somalia and Venezuela to Iran and North Korea. He is no man of dialogue but a man of threats and war. The US found its Uncle Tom on Pennsylvania Avenue.

  • Comment number 61.

    While all parties should exercise restraint for the sake of world peace, it is imperative that the North Koreans are told the consequences of blatant aggression. Nobody in their right minds wants war in the Korean Peninsula.

  • Comment number 62.

    "Using the logic on display in many of these remarks, I must conclude that if it weren't for warmongers like Neville Chamberlain, Hitler would have never been forced to retaliate against England. He was forced to herd millions of people into vacation resort camps in an effort to protect them from mass murderers like Halifax. Hitler was like a Teutonic Gandhi.

    It also seems perfectly clear that the Japanese were creating a defensive perimeter to protect their Asian brothers. Their treatment of POWs and their civilian collaborators was really England's fault; and all they got was what they deserved.

    If England hadn't provoked peace loving men like Napolean and Kaiser Wilhelm; those gentle souls would have been able to establish a lasting peace on the European continent."

    Yes, very nice. I'm afraid some of my fellow Europeans are so congenitally anti anything the US does that they have forgotten how to use their minds.

  • Comment number 63.

    Thomas and Malovern:

    You write North Korea has done the biting. There is no serious proof worth the name to say with certainty North Korea did sink this ship. Kim il sung might be a fool in many ways but before accusing someone one needs real proof, not some allegations coming from the present government in Seoul and Washington. They are one side in the conflict not neutral observers. This is a very serious matter, one should have serious proof.

  • Comment number 64.

    So North Korea dictates to the US and South Korea.

    If the North attacks, I'm sure the world will not be sympathetic to them and the North will face an onslaught.

    As China is North Korea's ally, what are China doing? Silence is all I hear....

  • Comment number 65.

    "War games play an important role in reducing the risk of real large-scale wars. Military personell needs exercise as something where they can employ their initiative and their energy. The more exercise they have, the less desire they have to launch a true military campaign for whatever purpose. Similarly, those who regularly perform physical tasks are less prone to violence. That the North Korean regime does not like the US-South Koran war games and threatened to launch a "sacred war" is a symptom of suicidal frenzy"

    Another perspective on this.

    Perhaps the perception of North Korea as part of some kind of 'axis of evil' is starting to be seen as a joke. The country is on it's knees and presents, if left alone, no threat to anyone.

    So South Korea (looking more and more like the agressor) backed by its big beefy friend is starting to bully its weak little brother. Why? Because it can. Little brother then threatens to retaliate with whatever he has. He is laughed at and they carry on provoking, forcing the hand of little brother because he has to stand up for himself. Result, a fight, one which little brother knows he can not win but has to have it none the less.

    But hang on, little brother does have a big friend and how long will he stand by before he feels compelled to act?

    Also, look at it from North Korea's perspective. What if. for arguements sake that Britain was involved in a stand off with France. How would Britain react to the site of the French Navy hanging about playing war games in the channel or off the coast of Norfolk?

    This is provocation, possibly in order to shift emphasis away from a fight the US has been provoking but can not actually allow to happen, against Iran.

    Why do the US need to pick fights anywhere? They see their domination as a paramount goal.

  • Comment number 66.

    #48 nomdecomp

    An 'American honor' disposed of Soviet Russia, the 'greatest threat to freedom and democracy there has ever been' just how may I ask?

  • Comment number 67.

    "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."Genesis 3:24

    Nukediver, I find your kind of quoting from a work of ancient fiction and fantasy ridiculous. I presume you are American.

  • Comment number 68.

    "The other angle is that history has shown that failing government leaders (eg. Thatcher during the 80's)"

    The Falklands and the first war with Iraq resulted from an invasion on both occasions. Do you just like on your back and kick your legs in the air like a beetle? Perhaps you do.

    Appeasing bullies in the end means you get bitten on the backside. Of course these activities between USA and South Korea should go ahead."


    "Ruffled Feathers" - show me the North Korean agression please. Are they holding 'war games' this weekend? NO

  • Comment number 69.

    When two people - or two countries, in this case, N. Korea and the US of A - suffer from extreme paranoia, dangerous and stupid behaviour from each side is the inevitable consequence - as we see here. Sooner or later, something - or someone - is going to snap - it's just a matter of time & the appplication of incresing pressure - but the 'snap' WILL occur - to the detriment of everybody else.
    Bullies care not for the consequences of their behaviour.

  • Comment number 70.

    North Korean reaction and China's concern to these 'war/exercise/ games' is to be expected?

    Unsurprising that this 'exercise' has been organised since the recent attack on a South Korean vessel by an NK sub?

    It is the nature of our species to 'huff and puff' at each other, and attack, if the threat persists - like any other creature on earth with a natural instinct to protect itself?

    However, as far as we know, other species don't do politics or revenge as WE understand it? Memories are long in certain other mammals with an equally complicated and sophisticated structure.

    Furthermore, mono-political/economic culture exposes quite clearly how primitive we still are, in accepting, under fear, of extreme ideology of any kind in any country with any culture?

    Humans as individuals, are innately responsible and good - but it's our enduring stupidity to still be herded/ bullied and indoctrinated that makes us as vulnerable as the animals we farm?

    Threats and return of veiled threats in a mutually assured destruction age is unique to humans and the science we employ?

  • Comment number 71.

    The point is who sank the S.K warship? although the murder was regarded as N.K., it seems that the USA was more likely to sink the warship,,,just as they did to Spain hundred years ago,,,,,the USA just want to make up an excuse to impose pressure on N.K.,,and dull the domestic pressure from oil leaking and ecomoma crisis.......

  • Comment number 72.

    37. At 08:19am on 24 Jul 2010, Pamela Read wrote:
    //
    We can only watch in horror as the war mongering USA flaunts its military power regardless of the risk of provoking an International war.
    //

    -Or watch in horror as NK sinks another SK vessel, perhaps?

    Or how about us watching on (in horror of course) as NK invades SK and the US doesn't come to its' aid - because people (like you) will call it a 'war monger'?

    Just who will we turn to then, Pamela?

    You can forget about the Chinese - They just do what the psycho in Pyongyang tells them to do.

    Maybe the Russians? - I don't think so, somehow.

    Well, looks like the Peninsula will be re-unified under the 'Dear Leader', Pamela, if the US won't save the day.

    But at least everyone (except the South Koreans - but who cares about them?) will be happy that the US is again a member of the human family.

  • Comment number 73.

    [17. At 05:53am on 24 Jul 2010, flutin wrote:
    On the accompanying map, the BBC have used the term "Sea of Japan" (and highlighted it for some reason or other. My understanding is that the Koreans refer to this body as the "East Sea." It would seem reasonable to use that term instead of the former for an article that focuses solely on the Koreans and makes no mention of the Japanese.]

    'Sea of Japan' is now it is referred to in the UK. This is a British site, ergo...

    NK has made these threats before. I doubt they'll go ahead. Unless they've decided to take the rest of us out before they die of the starvation that's been rampant there for a while now...

  • Comment number 74.

    War games is one thing, but provocations made toward North Korea, if any of them happened in the past, is another thing. Although the North Korean regime stated not once its hostile attitude toward the West by threats, there is no need to test whether there is something true behind such threats. As a result of its own problems, the North Korean regime will soon go by the same road by which all dictatorships go, and, probably, we will see a single democratic and unified Korean state. There is not much time left.

  • Comment number 75.

    How does a communist country call a sacred war ? This is posturing. Their leaders may have delusions of grandeur but they know they cannot take on America and win. Just let them get on with their posturing and gamesmanship. Ignore it until they actually look like doing something then challenge them in the international arena. But even they know use of nuclear weapons is suicide

  • Comment number 76.

    [36. At 08:16am on 24 Jul 2010, malovern wrote:
    @ "if you keep on stabbing an animal with a sharp stick, eventually it'll bite you."

    What do you do if the animal has already bitten you? (sunk ship)

    You put it down.

    North Korea needs its leadership head cut off to be frank. For this to happen, China needs to stop sitting on the fence all the time and stop supporting North Korea. If this happens then NK would fall much to the benefit of its people.]


    Oh dear - did you read ANYTHING that cythara posted? Maybe you should.

  • Comment number 77.

    Most readers and correspondents here are severely hampered by their western attitudes - myself included. We don't properly understand the culture of the people of the region.

    While in western eyes, it might seem prudent to stand-down and avoid agravating N. Korea, they allegedly were the agressors. Standing down may well be seen as a sign of weakness in another culture.

    Someone who really is prepared to launch a nuclear first strike against the US or their allies is someone to be very scared of indeed. No matter who is in the White House, the pressure to retaliate will be irresistable. Obama is less likely that Bush to flatten every city in the north, but small, targetted attacks against the leadership could be very effective.

    Nowadays, it is very difficult to hide anything from a well-equipped military machine and Bunker-busting munitions, even tactical nuclear variants could well be deployed to 'decapitate' the Pyong-Yang Government as soon as they have alienated China - something that the use of a nuclear weapon would doubtless do.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    Many people on here have quoted from the Bible and are ridiculed for it.

    Remember, the Bible is also the worlds oldest history book.

    Acts of aggression have been made for thousands of years, all written down, Empires have been made and lost because the oppressed took revenge or the leaders become so complacent they are taken over.

    Today there are no Empires, each country rule themselves, some bad, some good. No country has the right to interfere with another countries policy, until that country goes beyond it's boundaries.

    If N. Korea were left alone, what would they really do?

    Make a nuclear bomb and fire it at the south - I don't think so.

    Sometimes the best action is to walk away.

  • Comment number 80.

    The truth is, I doubt very much if anyone commenting on the state of NK have ever actually visited the place. Most of what we know about NK is what we are told through the western media, and we all know what a paragon of truth-telling that is.

    As for Bush's so-called 'axis of evil', these are countries that do not bow down to the corporate globalisation agenda, that is why they have been labelled as 'evil'. While our own politicians sign away our respective country's sovereignty to non-democratically elected cabals of corporate puppets, the 'evil axis' countries continue to exercise their own self-determining way of life. Their way of living may be quite alien to our own cultural mindsets, but who are we to dictate to them how they should live?

    What evidence have we that NK support and train so-called terrorists? We don't, no such evidence is forthcoming. We can parrot the same statements about NK that our highly-controlled media tell us about the N. Korean population living under a severe dictatorship, but we ourselves are not that far behind, it's all a matter of degrees and perceptions. It's simply a matter of whose hypocrisy you accept. We are all blind to the occulted machinations going on behind our own cultural doors.

    SK is nothing more than a 'puppet' regime of America and American political ideology. No, not the ideology that the American population illusorily pander to, that long forgotten premise of 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness', but the ideology of the NWO's globalising ethic, of which genuine 'freedom' is the true terrorist. It gets in the way of the NWO's agenda. For the NWO to achieve their agenda, it must dismantle freedom, and all its attendent qualities and virtues that give society its purpose for being (just take a look around).

    A military dictatorship or a corporate one, both are dictatorships. They are just masks on the same hidden face. The N. Koreans live under one mask, and we, under another. Axis of evil...huh, don't make me laugh! They're just countries not cooperating to the NWO.

  • Comment number 81.

    If the exercises (not 'war games', please...) are needed than they should definitely go ahead. If they're serious exercises rather than flag-showing, they're bound to be expensive, and I'd have thought that as sensible countries both the US and S Korea would have found more cost-effective ways of getting up N.Korea's nose if that's all they wanted to do.

  • Comment number 82.

    NK hasn't threatened to use nukes in response to the exercise. They simply stated that their were ready to use nukes to defend against imperialism, whatever that is.

    It's worthwhile remembering that the torpedo was of German manufacture and is currently in use with several countries. Of those only NK lacks the ability to sneak a submarine into the middle of a naval exercise and sink an anti-submarine vessel without being noticed.

    Personally I can see more benefit to SK/US from the incident than to NK/China.

  • Comment number 83.

    There seems to be idiocy involved on both sides in this: Firstly, North Korea is not so much a "loose cannon", as a wildly-flailing, short-fused cannon which its only surviving "friend", China, is fast losing patience with, if it has not already lost it. One needs to be aware that relations between China and North Korea are not all warm buddy-like and haven't been for a while. Secondly, although one can understand that these "war games" are meant to send a message to North Korea that forces are there and are capable of withstanding attacks, the message only works if one can assume the recipient is sensible and rational enough to understand it and then make a rational decision based on the information conveyed: one cannot be sure of this in the case of North Korea. Bear in mind that there is almost certainly a power-struggle taking place within North Korea at the moment, and so we are in the situation where not only is there a power-struggle going on between North Korea on the one hand and the USA and South Korea on the other; we also have an internal one between the various power-factions within North Korea, all wanting to show that they are more powerful, have larger genitalia, etc than their rivals. One must also not forget that there are "hawks" within South Korea as well who are also trying to do their "I'm better than you, yah boo sucks!" games with their own rivals.

    It is a total mess, and one which might make one believe that the best thing is to engage in real, hard decision making, involving China, the USA, and possibly Russia alone to decide what is to be done, and then to simply go and tell the two Koreas: this is what has been decided. This is what you will now do, and then see what happens. This cannot involve the UN, as this would become decision-making by dysfunctional committee where all kinds of other international rivals and factions will try to influence things for their own selfish ends.

  • Comment number 84.

    "North Korean reaction and China's concern to these 'war/exercise/ games' is to be expected?

    Unsurprising that this 'exercise' has been organised since the recent attack on a South Korean vessel by an NK sub?

    It is the nature of our species to 'huff and puff' at each other, and attack, if the threat persists - like any other creature on earth with a natural instinct to protect itself?

    However, as far as we know, other species don't do politics or revenge as WE understand it? Memories are long in certain other mammals with an equally complicated and sophisticated structure.

    Furthermore, mono-political/economic culture exposes quite clearly how primitive we still are, in accepting, under fear, of extreme ideology of any kind in any country with any culture?

    Humans as individuals, are innately responsible and good - but it's our enduring stupidity to still be herded/ bullied and indoctrinated that makes us as vulnerable as the animals we farm?

    Threats and return of veiled threats in a mutually assured destruction age is unique to humans and the science we employ?"

    And your point is? Rabbits don't have wars? There has never been a llama arms race?

    Good point, Sir, I've never seen a rubber plant fight either if you come to mention it...

  • Comment number 85.

    I think it is time to break North Korea's back once and for all.It can't simply terrrorize neighboring countries every now and then.The show of force is necessary at certain occassions and this is the perfect time after they sanked the south korean vessel for no reason.

  • Comment number 86.

    The wind direction (West to North West) is alright for Pyongyang to start a nuclear conflict in the East Sea (Japanese Sea) where the US and Korean warships are located.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/forecast/1656

    Because Japan (West to South West wind) will see the radioactive cloud coming:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/forecast/1317
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/forecast/1786
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/forecast/1788

    Of course that will be the end of the PDRK, but macho dictators like Kim Jong-il never seem to act in the interest of their people.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-il

  • Comment number 87.

    Re #48 nomdecomp wrote:

    'You can't find a place on Earth where Saddam Hussein was more popular than Western Europe. Now it's Mahmoud Ahmajinidad and Kim Jong Il that are the misunderstood victims of American hegemony. We hounded poor old misunderstood Joe Stalin until he had a stroke. All throughout the Cold War we heard Europeans blame us for picking on the peace loving likes of Mao and Breznhev. Now it's the gentle folks in social clubs like Al Quaeda, Hezbollah, and the Taliban.'






    Poor naive, gullible West European Disunion members [new members know better for an obvious reason] who would support and defend any dictator, any terrorist outfit and any rogue nation or totalitarian homicidal regime as long as they would think they could do some harm to the Evil Empire [read: U$A].

    Vladimir I. Lenin had a good term for such people: 'useful idiots'.

  • Comment number 88.

    North Korea is a relic of the Cold War and should have been dismantled like the USSR or embraced capitalism like the Chinese.

    Communism failed,it lost.

    Thank god America is protecting S.Korea like they did Western Europe from the Soviets or we all would be in a queue to get toilet rolls and food.

  • Comment number 89.

    War games! North korea should be destroyed.

  • Comment number 90.

    On a serious note:


    Dear Leader's N. Korean Gulag cannot threaten anybody with nuclear weapons, 'cause it ain't got any.

    [a fizzled nuclear test does not mean you have 'weaponized' devices.]



    If N. Korea is ever on a brink of actually developing any nuclear weapon - there' ll be no problem 'casue that concentration camp will become one huge parking lot next day.

    Care of U.S. VIIth Fleet. [nothing more would be required]
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    An elephant and a mouse are walking across a bridge.

    At one point the mouse turns to the elephant and says:

    "Aren't we stomping!"

  • Comment number 91.

    I guess nobody in the UK remembers anymore who started the Korean War.

    And that at least 1000 Britons died in a UN-sponsored effort to push N. Korean Communist agressors back to their starting point.


    [perhaps Truman should not have dismissed McArthur after all :(]

  • Comment number 92.

    despite what north korea say, they will never use nuclear weapons. such an act would cause swift annihilation at the hands of the americans. whilst the north korean government might be cruel, evil people, they arent stupid. they know that when american warheads start landing in their country, there will be nowhere to hide.

    for this reason, we need to stand up to and push the north hard. the cuban missile crisis was the shock that the USA and USSR needed to cooperate. whilst i'm not advocating a crisis of such stark peril, i would say we need to dangle the north over the edge, and see if it likes what it sees. if the north follows any of its brinkmanship policies, then it is following the path to destruction.

  • Comment number 93.

    Poke - Poke - Poke .......

    See they are really aggressive now.

    What you need is more weapons - just sign on the bottom line there, so that the US have sole rights to supply, and sign there, there and there to accept military assistance at x $billions per day, to be funded by trading of goods. Yeah, shame about the oil rig you built for us, no idea how it sunk but we put a complete media blanket around the area to stop any rumours, anyway we don't need the oil now as a lot of the manufacturing will be done here, and we got our scapegoat BP to take the blame.

  • Comment number 94.

    panchopablo wrote:
    North Korea is a relic of the Cold War and should have been dismantled like the USSR or embraced capitalism like the Chinese.

    Communism failed,it lost.






    Tell that to Western 'comrades'.


    [Kumbaya my lord, kumbaya...]

  • Comment number 95.

    Let's face it. North Korea is a country run by a lunatic. Kim Jong Il is a nutter of the first order. I would not put anything past him including the use of Nuclear Weapons.

    With the US Nuclear arsenal aimed squarly at Pyongyang tomorrow I doubt this 'posturing' would lead to anything and if it does it's night night North Korea. China best get the '101 ways to deal with despots' book out and read it carefully.

  • Comment number 96.

    77. At 10:37am on 24 Jul 2010, Ellis Birt wrote:
    Most readers and correspondents here are severely hampered by their western attitudes - myself included. We don't properly understand the culture of the people of the region.

    While in western eyes, it might seem prudent to stand-down and avoid agravating N. Korea, they allegedly were the agressors. Standing down may well be seen as a sign of weakness in another culture.

    Someone who really is prepared to launch a nuclear first strike against the US or their allies is someone to be very scared of indeed. No matter who is in the White House, the pressure to retaliate will be irresistable. Obama is less likely that Bush to flatten every city in the north, but small, targetted attacks against the leadership could be very effective.

    Nowadays, it is very difficult to hide anything from a well-equipped military machine and Bunker-busting munitions, even tactical nuclear variants could well be deployed to 'decapitate' the Pyong-Yang Government as soon as they have alienated China - something that the use of a nuclear weapon would doubtless do.

    -------
    right

  • Comment number 97.

    '68. At 10:04am on 24 Jul 2010, proudtobeacumbrian wrote:
    "The other angle is that history has shown that failing government leaders (eg. Thatcher during the 80's)"

    The Falklands and the first war with Iraq resulted from an invasion on both occasions. Do you just like on your back and kick your legs in the air like a beetle? Perhaps you do.

    Appeasing bullies in the end means you get bitten on the backside. Of course these activities between USA and South Korea should go ahead."


    "Ruffled Feathers" - show me the North Korean agression please. Are they holding 'war games' this weekend? NO'



    1. Go back to the Korean War.

    2. Sinking of South Korean ship.

    3. North Korean is now talking about nuclear war.

    4. Wonder why South Korea doesn't want to part of a united Korea?

    5. The war games are probably a peaceful response to the sinking of the South Korean ship, don't you think? I don't think North Korean ships are being used as targets, are they?

  • Comment number 98.

    Should the US - South Korean war games go ahead?
    Why can't the US but out of the region and let China handle North Korea? Somebody should take Ms Clinton to one side and point out to her that the US is now seen in the world as a bully only interested in helping itself expand geopolitically and economically irrespective of what the people on the ground actually want. And what do Americans do with all the accumulated wealth - yes, they get fatter.

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    panchopablo wrote:

    "Thank god America is protecting S.Korea like they did Western Europe from the Soviets or we all would be in a queue to get toilet rolls and food."





    A small correction: we'd be taking toilet paper to the laundry.

    And munching on copies of "Pravda" and "Izvestya".

    [perhaps there'd still be "Morning Star" published. And "L'Humanite".]

 

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