The Koreas and the south-east of Asia is a potentially volatile part of the world. Border tensions along with issues of diplomacy and the issue of democratic and non-democratic states working in such proximity has been a massive problem since way back when.
Living in a nuclear age and knowing that everyone has a nuclear weapon that they can launch – destroying the earth in minutes – it’s pretty scary to hear that North Korea have attacked South Korea (or at least, that’s how the western press have determined it. The North reports that they were attacked first and were just responding to the attacks). UN inspectors have recently left North Korea, finding that they are more than capable of creating nuclear weapons and have, supposedly, on some occasions exported them to neighbors such as Iran and Syria. Further to this, earlier this year the North Koreans were hounded by the international community for blowing up a South Korean ship.
The first response to this is: We should do something about it! And of course, all political leaders joined in a race to condemn the attacks and say how horrendous they were and how they shouldn’t be done. But America, in it’s incredibly emphatic tone (when it comes to war, at least) decided that they’re going to join in war games with South Korea ‘in solidarity’ with the South Koreans and show that they’re on their side. The show of power is designed to deter the North. Now, I’m not trying to be funny here, but surely if you send an Aircraft carrier along with other ships and submarines to join in with the South’s show of force, it’s motions to war against the North? Let us not forget, America are one of (if not the) most powerful nation in the world at the moment – their show of force may be threatening, but it’s also a sign of picking sides. American ships could be the next target.
I abhor the attacks between the two countries. They’re seemingly unprovoked and may suggest growing tensions within that area, but the attack highlights the masses and masses of problems in the international system. North Korea, in spite of them being in the wrong for attacking a sovereign state, can pretty much get off scott free. The international system, the courts and the treaties are all based on consent and currently there are no provisions to stop this from happening. I’d argue that China play a key role in this. The Security council permanent member has a veto in provisions that could stop this.
We’re living in a system which allows countries to attack others with very little response. That’s not helpful, but, I guess, neither is sending troops over to South Korea as proof of your strength – flexing your muscles just get’s people more angry. Yet, the counter argument is just as strong: North Korea won’t listen to diplomacy, so what can we do?
At least, I guess, things are going better on British soil? Well, yes and no. On the plus side, we’re yet to be attacked by any country, on the downside – it seems that Britain never learns. For the past few years, come winter it has snowed. And, for the past few years, every time it makes snow begins to fall from the sky, news reporters go wild.
The fact is, in spite of consistent snow every year, we’re surprised every time we see it. It’s as if as soon as the white stuff makes contact withe floor news reporters and people alike do a set combination of things.
First they get all childish and excited, peering out of the window hoping to see jack frost on their window sill as the white fluffy goodness falls and makes a blank canvas of possibilities.
Then, only moments later, they see their notebook and pen next to them on the side and begin writing. Writing and writing until they’ve enough stories to bore us all senseless with the inanity of the fact that, yes: weather is happening.
We grind to a halt when it snows. The only thing that truly works is the news companies who send every journalist possible to every corner of the country to stand in the snow and moan about the weather being bad and it catching people off guard.
The Korea’s are attacking each other and a few days later the only thing that matters to us is that the floor is covered in a strange white substance that appears every year and disrupts us all the same.
A bit of perspective would be nice. Two of the worlds largest powers are on the verge of creating nuclear armageddon but Old Frank down the road can’t get his car out of the drive because of the snow….. one of those stories is a little bit more important than the other you’d think.