Tensions Rise Between the Koreas as Ship Is Raised
Jin Sung-chu/Yonhap, via Associated Press
A giant offshore crane salvaged portion of the sunken South Korean naval ship Cheanan off Baengnyeong Island, South Korea, Saturday.
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SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea on Saturday salvaged the remaining half of a warship that sank near a disputed sea border with NorthKorea, as suspicion of a North Korean torpedo attack deepened and two former South Korean presidents urged the country’s leaders to punish Pyongyang economically.
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The ship, the Cheonan, sank after a mysterious explosion split it in half on March 26. One sailor was found dead in the ship’s wreckageSaturday, bringing the total of confirmed dead to 40. Six others are missing and presumed dead.
The rear half of the ship was lifted out of the water last week. A team of international investigators have been scrutinizing the wreck to find clues to what and who caused the blast, which they believe was external. North Korea has denied any involvement.
In an indication of how seriously South Koreaviews the incident, President Lee Myung-bak met Friday with former presidents — a common practice when the nation is facing a crisis and seeking to build a national consensus.
Only two of South Korea’s three living former presidents were well enough to attend: Chun Doo-hwan, a former military dictator, and Kim Young-sam, who opposed the dictatorship but became a political conservative.
Thegovernment briefed the local news media on the meeting late Friday, saying the former presidents had both said they believed the ship was attacked by North Korea, a claim Mr. Lee has been careful not to make while the incident is still being investigated.
At the briefing, the former leaders’ personal, scarring experiences with the North were detailed.
According to the local media, Mr. Kim noted that hismother was killed in 1960 by a North Korean agent who attacked his island village on the south coast.
Mr. Chun, meanwhile, spoke of a spectacular bomb attack on South Korea’s leaders in 1983 that killed several cabinet ministers during a presidential visit to Yangon, Myanmar.
Such recriminations were rare during the decade from 1998 to 2008, when liberals ruled Korea and pursued a “SunshinePolicy” of aid and joint ventures meant to eventually reunite North and South Korea.
Mr. Lee came to power in 2008 promising to take a tougher line with the North, which had continued with a nuclear arms program despite the many overtures from the South. The meeting Friday — with its tough sound bites on the North — can be expected to continue to shore up Mr. Lee’s standing with conservative voters.On Friday, the two former presidents suggested dismantling some of the results of the Sunshine Policy, shutting down a joint industrial park in the North and denying permission to some North Korean ships to ply South Korean waters to save time and fuel as they travel abroad.
Chinese Military Seeks to Extend Its Naval Power
Bullit Marquez/Associated Press
The strategy reflectsChina’s growing sense of self-confidence and increasing willingness to assert its interests abroad.
YALONG BAY, China — The Chinese military is seeking to project naval power well beyond the Chinese coast, from the oil ports of the Middle East to the shipping lanes of the Pacific, where the United States Navy has long reigned as the dominant force, military officials and analysts say.
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China calls the new strategy “far sea defense,” and the speed with which it is building long-range capabilities has surprised foreign military officials.
The strategy is a sharp break from the traditional, narrower doctrine of preparing for war over the self-governing island of Taiwan or defending the Chinese coast. Now, Chinese admirals say they want...
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