A lingering question in the new tension on the Korean peninsula is why the emerging world power can’t stand up to its failed state neighbour.
South Korea has F-15K fighter jets, Aegis destroyers, K-9 self-propelled howitzers. It claims a mutual defence treaty with the United States. Moreover, the model economy has the world’s 15th highest GDP, right behind Spain.
But North Korea gets the edge with a strategy of asymmetrical warfare, including submarines, mines, hovercrafts, special forces, and a scary ballistics arsenal:
North Korea’s nuclear, biological and chemical weapons as well as its ballistic missiles are another key component of its asymmetric strategy. The communist country is believed to have six to eight nuclear weapons similar in strength to the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. It is also believed to have between 2,000 to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, making it the world’s third largest arsenal. It has around 10 different types of biological weapons as well. A thousand tons of chemical weapons is believed to be enough to kill 40 million people on the Korean Peninsula.
It’s no wonder South Korea is afraid to blame the Cheonan attack on Kim Jong-il. President Lee Myung-bak is gathering evidence for the U.N. Security Council, but the only country that matters (after decades of failed U.S. and U.N. sanctions) is China. Together, Seoul and Beijing account for 80% of North Korea’s international trade.
Will China use it’s power for good?
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