WMR's Asian sources report that last week's North Korean bombardment of South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island, just twelve miles off the heavily-fortified North Korean coast, may have been triggered by a failed South Korean operation to covertly ex-filtrate North Korean military defectors from the North.
Some intelligence from China confirms that the South fired a barrage of artillery rounds to screen off North Korean patrol boats that were in pursuit of a crippled South Korean submarine carrying the North Korean military defectors.
North Korea claimed it retaliated after South Korean artillery fire from Yeonpyeong island hit North Korean territory. On November 28, South Korea had to admit its forces on the southern side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Gyeonggi Province "accidentally" fired a 155-mm howitzer into the DMZ.
Just as South Korean President Lee Myung-bak used a purposeful or accidental sinking of the South Korean anti-submarine warfare corvette, Cheonan, by either South Korea, U.S. naval forces, or a combination to the two, to provide himself with a military boost in the polls, the latest incident with North Korea has now injected the USS George Washington battle group into the Yellow Sea and China's exclusive economic zone for joint naval exercises with the South Korean Navy. This has prompted warnings and stern protests from both China and North Korea.
The Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang issued a press release stating the U.S.-South Korean war games near disputed waters amounted to "no more than an attempt to find a pretext for aggression and ignite a war at any cost."
The Cheonan incident resulted in Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama reneging on his campaign promise to eject the US Marines from an airbase on Okinawa, which resulted in the fall of his center-left government and replacement with a more pro-U.S. government in Tokyo led by Naoto Kan. The Japanese government has strongly backed Seoul and Washington in their confrontation with North Korea, and, due to Pyongyang's alliance with China, Beijing, as well.
Lee's bellicosity and brinkmanship with the North is largely a result of his being a front man for the Pohang Gang, a group of Presbyterian neo-crusaders and South Korean heavy-industry and defense sector tycoons allied with the liberal-turned-neocon former president, Kim Young-sam. Pohang is the home town of Lee Myung-bak and the center of his political base. Ironically, the Cheonan was a Pohang-class patrol combat corvette.
It is believed that the Pohang Group has strong links to the Arlington, Virginia-based "Fellowship," a group of Christian defense corporation moguls and neocon politicians who promote a projection of U.S. military and political power abroad through the use of Jesus Christ as a tax-avoidance tool and deceitful expedient. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a member of the Fellowship. The right-wing war mongering of the Lee government is, in many ways, a throwback to the Methodist Syngman Rhee government. What Lee and Rhee have in common is that they both represent a distinct minority with ties to U.S. evangelicals in contrast to the progressive-left mainstream Protestant churches.
The net result of the South's military showdown with the North is the purge of liberal elements in the Pyongyang regime, just at the time North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is handing power over to his son, Kim Jong Un, who may have sympathies with the liberal elements within the Communist Party and military. For Washington, which is caught in an economic death spiral, with Beijing holding the financial cards, the end game may be a Pacific War, designed to bail out a collapsing economy and forestall the end of the American empire....