Few would doubt that the most singularly atrocious military battery of 2010 was the unwarranted shelling of Yeonpyeong Island by North Korea, under the leadership of North Korean president Kim Jong ll. The South Korean Island of Yeonpyeong, west of the Korean Peninsula, in the Yellow Sea was home to some 1500 peaceful residents; four were killed, and at least eighteen injured in the hour-long rain of fire on December 20th, 2010. Following the barrage, the great majority of the island residents left their destroyed homes to seek refuge. Only 30 island residents remained.
Many have suggested that the artillery and munitions destruction was part of a scheme to gain needed supplies from the nations of the world, in exchange for a future promise to halt destructive military activity. North Korea has a failing economy and has gone to unprecedented limits, still failing, to bring grain and fertilizer to that hungry nation.
We recall that “every building” on South Korean’s tiny Island of Yeonpyeong was damaged or destroyed in the fiery attack, as that island was pummeled with unanticipated defilement. North Korean president Kim Jong ll may also have been motivated by a fatherly desire to impress his growing young son, now a general in the North Korean Army, with whom he recently stood in approval over a parade and celebration of military might and goose-stepping soldiers which included tractors towing missiles, those tractors bearing signs decrying hatred for the enemy of North Korea, our Unites States of America.
The aging North Korean President offered an explanation — more of an accusation — for the shelling. He called it a response to a “sinister calculation” on the part of South Korea, in concert with the United States, to establish that the West could indeed conduct inflammatory military exercises, a provocation to the North, south of the 38th Parallel, with the intent to establish a “tacit recognition” of that 38th Parallel armistice line, the line of demarcation. The dividing line is a fundamental concept within most of the free world since the end of the bloody Korean War in 1953. At the end of that war the United States and allies stood on one side of a line near the 38th Parallel; South Korea, and Russia on the other. Also established was a “demilitarized zone” on either side. The United Nations declared and drew this “Northern Limit line,” not recognized in the Korean Armistice Agreement of 1953.
President Kim Jong ll is old and ailing; he is known to have suffered a stroke and has difficulty walking. But still this notorious libertine, known to enjoy dancing girls and cognac, might find sounder ways to teach leadership to his college-educated heir. His son, Kim Jong Un studied in Switzerland and has toured North Korean factories with his father. Beyond that not much is known about the young general who will in all likelihood some day rule what has been a highly aggressive nation, North Korea.