High Stakes Game of Chicken on the Korean Peninsula

The USS George Washington and her Battle Group arrived in the Yellow Sea

The game is on.  The U.S. Navy and South Korean Navy task forces are moving into position, the South Korean Military is on its highest peacetime alert and the North Korean military is moving fresh batteries of Surface to Air and Ground to Sea missiles into place.  While diplomats from the United States, China and Japan seek to avert a war the North Koreans continue to stoke the fire with fresh artillery fire near Yeonpyeong Island which it brutally attacked earlier in the week.  In the South popular protests are rising against any soft treatment of the North and the commanding General of the South Korean Marine Corps Maj. Gen. You Nak-jun attended the funeral for the two Korean Marines killed in the attack said “Our marine corps … will carry out a hundred- or thousand-fold,” retaliation against North Korea for launching Tuesday’s attack, You said, without elaborating as to what he meant by the comment. The Defense Minister Kim Tae-young resigned after the attack on Yeonpyeong Island, and veterans of the South Korean military protested Saturday in Seoul, stating they were angry that the South Korean government had not done enough to respond to the North’s shelling.

Silkworm Missile being fueled

North Korean rhetoric continues to rise in its belligerence and a North Korean State Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, the state agency in charge of relations with the South said in a statement carried by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA):  “Gone are the days when verbal warnings are served only, escalated confrontation would lead to a war,” and that the North Korean military was “getting fully ready to give a shower of dreadful fire and blow up the bulwark of the enemies if they dare to encroach again upon the North’s territory.”  The KCNA also said “If the U.S. brings its carrier to the West Sea of Korea at last, no one can predict the ensuing consequences.”

South Korean Aegis DDG

The defense drills begun today by United States and South Korean forces in the Yellow Sea involve the carrier USS George Washington as well as the Aegis Cruisers USS Cowpens and USS Shiloh and the Guided Missile Destroyer USS Stethem. South Korea has deployed one of its Aegis destroyers and two destroyers as well as frigates and anti-submarine aircraft.

North Korean forces have brought in SA-2 SAM batteries which an anonymous South Korea government source says “appear to be targeting our fighter jets that fly near the Northern Limit Line.” The source also reported that the South Korean “military is preparing for the possibility of further provocations as the North Korean military has deployed firepower near the NLL and is preparing to fire.”

Additionally the North is mounting C-201 Silkworm Ground to Sea anti-ship missiles on launchers along the coast in the disputed area which also hosts bases for submarines like the one that is believed to have sunk the South Korean Corvette Cheonan in March as well as fast attack craft mounting Styx anti-ship missiles.  If they were to attack the task force the North would likely attempt a saturation attack using ground and sea based SSMs against the Allied ships, however the task force includes at least 4 Aegis equipped guided missile cruisers and destroyers is well equipped to meet that threat.

The situation is tense and no one really knows exactly how it will develop is yet unseen but it will not take much to provoke a conflict that could engulf the region.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

 

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3 Comments

Filed under Korean Conflicts, Military, national security, Navy Ships, US Navy

3 responses to “High Stakes Game of Chicken on the Korean Peninsula

  1. Vinson

    Already seems worse than 1994, when I was off Korea and we had a couple weeks where the odds seemed likely shooting would start. We were loaded up and ready to launch… thankfully, things settled down. This time, I’m more worried about a misstep…

  2. Please note: I firmly believe China has already fired a warning shot at the U.S. also as that thing off the coast of California was definitely a missile, government lies beside. Thanks to Clinton allowing them to buy missile guidance technology along with this President’s Chamberlain like tendencies (Anti-American in my book) it stands to reason that China is getting exactly what it wants
    I wrote the following well over a year ago. In the full post, I made the argument that this President showing the weakness that he is now known for would in fact aid and abet this tin horn dictator in N.Korea. I just above took the China card into consideration as to my premise. Now, the madman is taking his shots as I feared and the Moron in Chief has the utter gall to proclaim this isn’t a crisis or something to that effect.

    “WE CANNOT NEGOTIATE WITH MADMEN! Chamberlain Jr. has got to get that through his fat head! While we fiddle/faddle, Korea lies to our faces while working at getting what they want! One other thing here. The folks on the left seem to think the Koreans, being the honorable people that they are would never do anything stupid! Wrong!! As is evidenced buy their latest action, the North Koreans are willing to risk destruction well knowing the weak sister leaders of the world will cave in as always. And in the eyes of the morons in power here, they can’t deliver a payload! WRONG! They have a short range missile that can deliver a small warhead. And lest anyone forget, we have 35,000 troops around the border there. One bomb. That’s all it takes! But we’ll trust the Anti-American UN and a madman?! Good Grief!

    • padresteve

      Joe
      I approved you post but cannot agree with most of it. This is a crisis and the fact that the President has sent the GW battle group into the East China Sea in spite of Chinese disapproval shows that he is not like Chamberlain. Every US President since Nixon has given China a pass and few have actually stood their ground in regard to the DPRK. President Obama may be the President that actually stands up to them. The last time that e got this close to conflict was in 1994 hen President Clinton deployed large Naval Forces to Korea an act that eventually forced the DPRK to back down. As to the “Chinese missile” off California that is still a matter of conjecture though I am inclined to agree with you regarding it. Perhaps if the previous administration had not bled us dry in the Middle East East and while doing so insisted on force structure cuts to the Navy and Air Force (praise be Donald Rumsfeld) until Congress demanded otherwise we would have a bit more flexibility in dealing with China and North Korea. One can criticize the President for some of his policies but for over a generation all of our presidents have handled China and the DPRK just as he has. This situation is perilous and instead of beating your chest and saying “I was right” you need to be praying that President Obama and his team make the right decisions in this situation.
      Peace, Padre Steve+

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