What part of “Ignore North Korea at our own peril” does the previous and current administration not understand?
The Bush administration ignored North Korea because they claimed it was one of the “axis of evil” countries and did not want or need to negotiate anything with them.
The Obama administration has basically ignored North Korea as well, not for ideological reasons, but mainly because of the attack on a South Korea ship earlier this year as well as a greater need to concentrate on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Huge mistake, in my opinion.
Comment from Huffington Post:
Not to mention the Nkoreans actually have a darn formidable military and a decent central authority. Fighting them wont be as easy as it was in Iraq 03. Im talking actual war not the subsequent occupation which went horribly wrong
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea shot dozens of rounds of artillery onto a populated South Korean island near their disputed western border Tuesday, military officials said, setting buildings on fire and prompting South Korea to return fire and scramble fighter jets.
The skirmish came amid tension over North Korea’s claim that it has a new uranium enrichment facility and just over a month after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il unveiled his youngest son Kim Jong Un as his heir apparent
South Korea’s YTN television said two people were injured, several houses were on fire and shells were still falling on Yeonpyeong island. The station broadcast pictures of thick columns of black smoke rising from the island.
Yonhap news agency, quoting a military official, said four soldiers were wounded. President Lee Myung-bak ordered officials to make sure that the firing wouldn’t escalate, according to Yonhap, quoting a presidential official. YTN said between 1,200 and 1,300 people live on the island, citing an island resident.
A South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff official said dozens of rounds of artillery landed on the island and in the sea. The official says South Korea fired back. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of JCS rules, said South Korea’s military is on alert. He had no other details, and could not confirm the reports of casualties.
The firing comes amid tension over North Korea’s claim that it has a new uranium enrichment facility and just over a month after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il unveiled his youngest son Kim Jong Un as his heir apparent.
Tensions between the two Koreas also remain tense after the sinking in March of a South Korean warship in which 46 sailors died. Seoul has blamed a North Korean torpedo, while Pyongyang has denied any responsibility.
The countries’ western maritime boundary has long been a flash point between the two Koreas. The North does not recognize the border that was unilaterally drawn by the United Nations at the close of the 1950-53 Korean War.
North and South Korea have fought three bloody skirmishes near the maritime border in recent years, most recently in November 2009.