Korean Peninsula/South China Sea Tensions
by Stephen Lendman
On Monday, Pyongyang test-fired a short-range ballistic missile, covering a distance of about 450 km before spashdown in Japanese economic zone waters.
In response, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said “(a)s we agreed at the (G7 meeting just concluded), the issue of North Korea is a top priority for the international community. Working with the United States…(unspecified) specific action” will be taken.”
Monday’s launch was the third since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office on May 10, Pyongyang determined to develop an effective deterrent to threatened US aggression. International law affirms the right of self-defense.
A White House statement said Trump was briefed on the launch. The US Pacific Command said it tracked an apparent short-range ballistic missile for six minutes, assessing it posed no regional threat.
Possible further Security Council action will follow. On CBS News Sunday’s Face the Nation, US Defense Secretary Mattis said if Korean peninsula conflict erupts, it’ll “probably (be) the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.”
Pyongyang “has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on earth,” referring to Seoul, South Korea.
“And in the event of war,” China, Japan and Russia will be endangered, he added, along with ludicrously claiming the DPRK is “a direct threat to the United States.” The opposite is true.
President Moon warned about dashed hopes for peace on the peninsula. He called an emergency National Security Council meeting.
Hostile Western and regional policies toward Pyongyang forces its government to develop deterrents in case of war. Anything less would be irresponsible.
Moscow urged restraint, above all avoiding “military activity in the region.”
Separately, Beijing reacted sharply to “irresponsible remarks” by G7 countries, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang saying:
“We are strongly dissatisfied at the G7 Summit gesticulating over the issues of the East and South China seas under the guise of international law.”
China’s position is “clear and consistent,” committed to resolving disputes diplomatically.
“We hope the G7 and countries outside the regions will clearly understand the situation, observe their promises of not taking positions on the disputes, fully respect regional countries’ efforts to manage disputes, stop making irresponsible remarks and play a constructive role for regional peace and stability.”
Beijing complained about US provocations in a part of the world not its own, including a Pentagon warship entering waters close to China’s Meiji Reef, part of its Nansha islands South China Sea waters, its defense ministry warning it to leave.
A China People’s Daily commentary headlined “The wicked are the first to complain,” saying “(i)f you come to China’s door looking for trouble, then don’t complain about it afterwards.”
“This is not the first time that the US has provoked China. (Its) increasing(ly) frequen(t) provocation(s) (are) a troubling sign for the hard-won peace and stability of the region.”
Washington’s imperial goals are unchanged – seeking “military domina(nce) (over) the Asia-Pacific region in order to maximize relative power.”
“The frequent reconnaissance activities by US military ships and aircraft is the root cause of security issues between the two countries, according to China’s Ministry of National Defense, and China has urged the US to put a stop to these activities.”
“(S)top poking the peaceful panda.” It’s most unlikely given Washington’s rage for unchallenged global dominance, risking unthinkable nuclear war.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.