The Newsletter 55 Winter 2010

Engaging North Korea after the Cheonan sinking

Timothy S. Rich

With the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War this summer, we are once again reminded of unresolved Cold War tensions. The March 26 sinking of a Republic of Korea (ROK) military ship, the Cheonan, with 46 of the crew found dead or still missing, has provided additional fuel for inter-Korean conflict while the current Lee Myun-bak administration has deliberately chosen a more conservative approach than its predecessors towards Pyongyang. While evidence strongly suggests, and global opinion largely concurs, that a North Korean torpedo caused the Cheonan sinking, little substantial evidence has arisen regarding whatever rationales may have been behind such a move.

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