North and South Korea Exchange Fire

Contributed by RedNicD

South Korea held controversial military drills today, provoking a fiery response from the North. Today’s events have been called the worst incident since the actual Korean War of over 50 years ago.

Simulating an invasion of North Korea, 70,000 South Korean soldiers held a drill near the border with North Korea and repeatedly fired shots into Northern waters. North Korea responded by firing on South Korean military installations on the island of Yeonpyeong, which is seven miles from the North. At least 15 Southern soldiers were wounded and 2 Southern marines were killed.

South Korea responded by returning fire with K-9 155mm self-propelled howitzers and dispatching fighter jets. There have been no reports on the number of North Korean casualties. The shoot out between the two Korean militaries lasted around an hour.

This fight sent stock prices down. However, the US dollar, Treasury prices, and gold all rose in value as investors sought safe places to put their money.

“It brings us one step closer to the brink of war because I don’t think the North would seek war by intention, but war by accident, something spiraling out of control has always been my fear,” said Peter Beck, a research fellow from the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Any differences should be resolved by peaceful means and dialogue,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon via his spokesman.

“….[Both sides should]… do more to contribute to peace and stability on the peninsula,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

Representatives from the Administration of US President Barack Obama, in an amazing bout of double-speak, also called for restraint on both sides but also stressed its firm military commitment to South Korea.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was more direct, saying that,

“Enormous retaliation should be made to the extent that North Korea cannot make provocations again.”

While China and the United Nations are calling for peace and restraint, South Korea and its President are pushing for further conflict. The US, too, is feeding this fire by reminding the world of its staunch military commitment to South Korea.

Peace cannot be achieved through simulating invasion plans at the North Korean border knowing that Pyongyang would take it as a threat. Nor can it be achieved by indirectly threatening war through the stressing of America’s military ties to the South.

It is clear that the United States would be the only country to benefit from a renewed war in Korea, and the fact that the value of its currency went up during this incident proves it. Clearly the ruling elites of the USA are seeking to profit from yet another war. Peace can only be achieved when the United States leaves Korea entirely.