The probability of a new armed incident between North and South Korea remains high, and the spiral of confrontation is being untwined by the Hoguk military exercises, which are being conducted by South Korea. A U.S. carrier-borne naval group has entered the territorial waters of South Korea.
This occurred on the second day after the artillery shootout between North Korea and South Korea. The “George Washington” aircraft-carrier, which has 75 warships, and also 6,000 sailors and marines on board, will get involved in the military exercises on Sunday, November 28th. Seoul’s statement to the effect that the Hoguk exercises must demonstrate the strength of its alliance with Washington has infuriated Pyongyang. It threatened to organize new attacks unless the “military provocations of the South Korean instigators” are brought to a halt, an expert with the Institute for Oriental Studies, Dmitry Mosyakov, says:
"What has given an impetus to all these events were, of course, the maneuvers of the South Korean army and fleet. Meaning the 70,000 mobilized people who were ready for action. This always causes acute tension among the people in North Korea. Their psychology on that score should be taken into account: North Korea’s enemy conducts military exercises, practically, non-stop. Warships come and go here and there - no calm at all. The North Korean leadership is very nervous on that score. As a result, a military deadlock situation is emerging, which is becoming an object of concern for North Korea’s neighbours."
The Chinese Foreign Minister Yan Zechi has delayed his visit to Seoul that was planned for Friday, finding it, as it appears, unseasonal. On the results of consultations with India, the Deputy Secretary of the Russian National Security Council Vladimir Nazarov said that the holding of military consultations in close proximity to the demilitarized zone with North Korea triggers the use of force. In view of the above-mentioned, the fact that the day before the incident North Korea asked South Korea to tell it whether the military exercises it is conducting, are a prelude to invasion. At the same time, South Korea acknowledges that an artillery firing exercise was carried out in the direction of North Korea, which immediately delivered a strike in return. True, South Korea says that a firing exercise was not conducted in the direction of North Korea, and that there was another target there. And still, the waters, where the shells from South Korea fell, North Korea regards as its own territory. The source of this conflict is that the border issue remains unresolved, an expert with the Institute for Oriental Studies, Alexander Vorontsov says.
"The fact that the Korean problem remains unsettled is a source of all troubles. A neither-peace-nor-war situation, which emerged after the signing of an armistice agreement as long ago as 1953, remains. Attempts to conclude a peace treaty or a legally mandatory agreement to end the war in Korea once and for all, which were made over the past years, have ended in a failure."
To prevent the deadlock situation from giving rise to new conflicts between North and South, it is necessary to organize emergency talks. The format of the talks has already been worked out – meaning the 6-party talks with the participation of Russia, China, the USA, Japan and the two Koreas. The immediate task is to do whatever is possible so that the situation will be under control and to promote peace there. As Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on Thursday, the assessment by the UN Security Council of the incident on the Korean Peninsula could be helpful in this. The minister says that consultations on this problem are currently underway.