How’s this: North Korea shows off an advanced uranium enrichment program, special envoy Stephen Bosworth calls it the worst North Korean provocation in 20 years, South Korean defense minister Kim Tae-young is talking about the reintroduction of US tactical nukes to South Korea… and I still can’t bring myself to care.
But now he is:
Local news is reporting that North Korea has fired some 50 shells at the West Sea island of Yeonpyeong-do, with South Korea firing 30 rounds in return.
More worrying, some of the North Koreans shells reportedly landed on the island itself, destroying about 60—70 homes and fields. The island’s population has also reportedly taken shelter. No word on casualties.
This is not good. This is not good at all.
I, too, am a little nervous.
Still, this doesn’t feel like the prelude to a deliberate attack. The North isn’t a democracy that needs to sway it’s citizens with news of being attacked or the like to whip them into a frenzy before launching a real attack. If they wanted to attack, they would doubtless do so across many fronts at once; across the full length of the DMZ and with hijacked container ships at many harbors and with local agents spreading chaos. If there was a plan, it would contain some of the above aspects, not the shelling of a single island.
Still, shelling an island is pretty stupid. Since I can’t see any reason for it, I must assume the North Koreans are crazy and then, who can expect a reasonable attack plan from crazy people?
The herald reports one ROK soldier killed and the other sources report only injured casualties, including civilians.