Wednesday, November 24, 2010

White House condemns North Korean attack on Yonpyong-do: "We stand shoulder to shoulder with South Korea"

President Barack Obama is reaffirming the US's solidarity with South Korea

From the Los Angeles Times:
President Obama will call South Korea's president later Tuesday to express America's solidarity after a military strike from North Korea, the White House said.

Briefing reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Indiana, deputy press secretary Bill Burton said Obama learned of the strike at 3:55 a.m., in a phone call from incoming National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

He called North Korea's action part of a "pattern of doing things that are provocative."

"The president is outraged by this action. We stand shoulder to shoulder with South Korea," Burton said.

Across Washington, leaders have responded with similar condemnation.

Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee, called North Korea's action "unacceptable."

"The North Korean regime is more dangerous than most people realize," he said. "This provocative attack is reprehensible."
But will they get behind the Kushibo Plan?

ROK President Lee Myungbak holds an 
emergency security conference at the Blue House.

Meanwhile, John Glionna of the LAT is reporting "growing alarm" among South Koreans in the wake of the North Korean attack, especially as the possibility of real retaliation looms large. Mr Glionna spoke to a few left or left-of-center voices who urged caution:
Seoul residents expressed growing alarm late Tuesday after a deadly North Korean artillery attack on a South Korean island, leading many to try to make sense of Pyongyang's latest provocation.

"It has finally come to this, the very day we all feared," said Douglas Shin, a Seoul activist. "This is real confrontation. If it goes a few notches higher, I'm worried that cooler heads will not prevail, and that there will be no point for standing down."

As South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his security chiefs huddled in an underground bunker to devise a response, several academics and former lawmakers called for caution.

"Civilian casualty is of grave concern, and the Seoul government should firmly denounce the North's action," said Chung Young-chul, a professor at Sogang University's Graduate School of Public Policy. "Having said that, South Korea shouldn't react emotionally, and further conflict should be avoided. We're not yet sure of the exact cause of the provocation."
Note the decidedly chinboista notion at the end that this attack could be South Korea's fault.

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  1. Obama uses that "shoulder to shoulder" phrase too often. It's losing it's effectiveness. =)

  2. Oh, sorry, it was Burton who said it. But still!


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