It looks like there won’t be any war in Korea.
The government has prepared a wimpy package of sanctions, according to Chosun Ilbo:
A senior government official on Wednesday said the sanctions formulated at the initiative of the Unification Ministry include banning sand imports from the North which were worth some US$70 million to the North in 2008. The imports were banned after the North launched a long-range rocket in April last year but were resumed in October. South Korean firms that have already paid can proceed but no fresh deals can be struck.
Another target may be fisheries products. Of the total W1.06 trillion (US$1=W1,142) worth of worth of imports from the North last year, fisheries products were second with W173 billion or 16.3 per cent after textiles (W477 billion or 44.8 per cent). A ministry official said, “Fisheries products are sold by companies under the North Korean military or government that specialize in earning dollars, so a ban would deal a blow to the regime.”
Perhaps South Korea’s response would have been more severe if they could claim international support. However, China turned a cold shoulder to President Lee Myung-bak, and America has been notably silent.
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