South Korea’s National Intelligence Service says it intercepted hints that the North was planning to shell Yeonpyeong Island three months before the attack, according to Chosun Ilbo.
Warnings were ignored, however, because threats are common from Pyongyang.
What’s significant here is that, first of all, North Korea was planning the attack so far ahead of time. It means the attack was more than a reaction to war exercises or a panicked response to uncovered nuclear facilities. The attack seems more likely to be an strategic act to consolidate power for Kim Jong-un and to force world powers back to the negotiating table.
Secondly, this headline suggests that South Korea is once again starting to blame itself for getting attacked. That’s basically all you can do in a conflict that precludes fighting back. Korea’s defence secretary has resigned for allowing the attack to happen. The Cheonan attack last spring was followed by similar regrets and resignations.
Likewise, the conservative Chosun Ilbo also published satellite photos showing the ineffectiveness of South Korea’s artillery counterstrike, which hit an empty field:
Photo: Courtsey of Stratfor
Next step is a roundtable with China and the U.S. which is exactly what Pyongyang wants.
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