By Iwazaru (Cartoon by Lee Scott)
Now that both Koreas have presented their cases to the United Nations Security Council regarding the sinking of the Cheonan, it is time to see if any kind of consensus and consequences will follow, though it already seems unlikely that it will matter.
North Korea, in typical form, threatened that its response to any punishment meted out by the UNSC “will be carried out by our military forces.” It continues to claim that it had nothing to do with the sinking and that the whole thing is “a complete fabrication from A to Z.”
Even the North’s ambassador to the United Nations, Sin Son-ho, oddly offered that he would lose his job if the UN weighs in favor of the South much like an attorney who fails to plead his case. Sin implored the Security Council to remain impartial and not ruffle the North’s feathers. He compared the South’s claims to Aesop’s fables saying, “This is indeed as funny story as some kind of fiction in the Aesop’s Fables.”
One can surmise that the North is elated by the news that the South Korean civic group the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) submitted its own letter to the UN questioning the South Korean government’s claims with eight questions that are “needing answers.” Such a bold, public refutation of the government’s claims has exposed the PSPD to some backlash from veteran groups in the South and an investigation related to national security by the Seoul prosecutors.
Last week, an interesting twist was thrown into the South Korean military’s reaction to the March 26 emergency which had already been beleaguered by accusations that it was unprepared and inept in dealing with the sinking. Reportedly, one of the generals in charge had been imbibing on the evening after attending an official meeting and showed up to an emergency meeting at the command center intoxicated. The general has stepped down but maintains that he was misrepresented by the news report and intends to sue.
In addition, the Board of Audit and Inspection which targeted the general said that the report that a second naval ship, the Sokcho, that arrived near the scene after the sinking and fired 130 rounds at a target to the north of the location had not initially said it was “birds” but instead said they thought it was an enemy vessel. This story shows the earlier report with an excellent map of that night’s events. Apparently, the Sokcho’s report that they thought they had an enemy target was changed in the report to say it was only birds.
All in all, some intrigue remains as to how the UN will deal with the smoke-and-mirrors sideshow that the North and conspiracy theorists have trucked into the New York headquarters. Heavy sanctions are already in place and it is not clear how much more could be done—perhaps some sort of joint declaration condemning the act is as far as the UN will go. China is clearly in no mood to take sides because of its interests.
However, Russia surprisingly made statements yesterday, June 17, that it’s continuing its analysis of the South Korean government’s evidence of the sinking and will make it’s final position known in a few weeks. Experts have speculated that Russia has nothing to gain by siding with the South and lots to lose if it goes against the North. Others say that Russia’s economic interests and ties with the South are set to strengthen considerably following the G20 Summit to be held in Seoul in November.
Resident cartoonist Lee Scott occasionally contributes to 3WM. He is or has been an avid: gamer/reader/writer/designer/cartoonist/developer/hatchet-man/teacher/entrepreneur.
Currently he spends his time helping to raise his one-year-old daughter and being a one-man-English-solution in Jung-gye, Northeastern Seoul.