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Why hasn't South Korea launched a war against North Korea?

It's hard to tell whether South Korea is acting wisely or like a sissy

You know, things aren't like they were when I was coming up. People today are big babies.

Back in my day, we didn't have peanut allergies. No sirree ma'am. If you suffered anaphylactic shock after eating a peanut, it was 'cause you were a sissy.

And we didn't have this "Internet" thing making everything so easy. If you wanted something, you had to work for it. You had to leave your house to steal music. You had to look a cashier in the eye when you purchased pornography. And you had to go to a library and hand-copy text out of a book when you wanted to plagiarize.

And back in my day, people had principles and honor, too.

For example, when one country fired a shot at another country, the other country would shoot back. You didn't question it. You just did it.

"Oh, a scruffy Serbian terrorist assassinates the Austrian crown prince? Well then, we will plunge an entire continent into a war that leaves 16 million dead and ends in a stalemate that will resume 20 years later with an even bigger war that leaves 60 million dead. We will call them Worlds Wars I and II."

With that in mind, you'll understand why I'm so disgusted by South Korea's wussified nonresponse to the recent torpedoing of its ROKS Cheonan warship.

On March 26, Cheonan was patrolling the Yellow Sea, one mile from Baengnyeong, a South Korean island just 10 miles from North Korea's west coast. Baengnyeong is near the so-called Northern Limit Line, the disputed sea boundary dividing South Korean and North Korean territorial waters. The line is an extension into the sea of the militarized land border dividing the two Korean states.

At 9:22 p.m., an explosion rocked the ship. Minutes later, the Cheonan's captain contacted fleet command to report that the ship was under attack. By about 9:30, the ship was underwater. Thermal images published on a Korean-language news site depict the ship breaking in two. Forty-six sailors died, as did one of the divers searching for survivors.

Why did the Cheonan sink? South Korea's forensic investigation determined the ship was hit by some sort of explosive from the exterior. Who would do such a thing?

Gee, I don't know. My sources at the U.S. Department of the Blindingly Obvious suggest the explosive might be North Korea's doing. The country's navies have had at least four clashes near Baengnyeong since 1999. Also, North Korea's foreign policy in recent years has consisted largely of well-timed, dramatic explosions. In October 2007 and again in May 2009, North Korea detonated nuclear weapons. And it's constantly testing ballistic missiles in the general direction of Japan and the U.S.'s Pacific coast.

North Korea, of course, denies it had anything at all to do with the incident. Its English-language propaganda website claims "puppet military warmongers, right-wing conservative politicians and the group of other traitors in south Korea are now foolishly seeking to link the accident with the north at any cost."

But that's not actually true. South Korean leaders have largely kept their bulgogi holes shut; mourning the loss, assuring the public that the responsible party will pay, but never actually naming North Korea.

Why is that? Well, maybe it's because South Korean leaders have no principles and honor, like people used to back in my day. Back in my day, if a Commie Asian ship so much as pointed a shuffleboard cue at you (see Gulf of Tonkin incident, August 1964), the honorable reply was to start a massive war leaving well over 1 million people dead (see Vietnam War).

Or maybe there's a better explanation. Maybe South Korean and U.S. leaders are being patient. Despite their anger, it might just be that they realize there's no point in starting a war with North Korea. Even if South Korea and the U.S. toppled the North Korean regime, the toppling would likely come after North Korea unloaded thousands of tons of conventional, chemical, biological and maybe nuclear weapons on South Korean cities, and probably Japan, too.

Is that sissy of them – or wise? Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.



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