The Rival Koreas

    On the Korean peninsula, things are not good. Tensions between the two rival Koreas are strained since the North shelled the South Korean island, Yeonpyeong Island. The drill which the South carried out on Yeonpyeong Island agitated the North and the North retaliated, shooting over 50 artillery shells at South Korea, killing two civilians and two Korean Marines. This attack has been the worst on the South Korean territory since the Korean War ended in 1953.

    Despite this, South Korea was set on carrying out another drill on the border island yesterday. The North had threatened to retaliate, this time even more badly than the last time. However, South Korea ignored this warning and one of the Defence ministers said that there was no plan to cancel the drills. They added that the only factor they were looking at was the weather. They still carried out their drill yesterday. According to reports, marines fired 1,500 artillery shells into the water, pointing in the direction of the South, like the last time. However, the mercurial North Korea did not retaliate and when asked why, they replied that they felt that it was not worth reacting one-by-one to military provocations. The U.S. State Department said that the South's exercise was defensive in nature and the North had been warned beforehand, so there is no reason for the North to retaliate to South Korea's drill, which lasted only about 90 minutes.

    Beijing is considered North Korea's most important ally and has been urged to use its influence to change the North's decision to attack the South, but it was unclear if the changed decision by the North had to do anything to do with China. However, China and Russia have been asking the two Koreas to avoid any actions that could inflame tensions on the divided peninsula. These two countries are part of the UN Security Council, together with the United States, France and Britain.

    Interestingly, not only did the North not retaliate to the drills by South Korea, they even offered to allow United Nations inspectors back to the nuclear site, and also started selling fuels rods again, potentially to the South. Last month, they also showed a US scientist a new, highly advanced uranium facility and a plutonium plan, which can provide a new way for them to build atomic bombs. This shows that they are prepared to give up their plutonium programmes, which is the source of the fuel rods. Pyongyang, the city where the government is, has even agreed to consider the New Mexican's governor's (Mr Richardson) proposal for a military commission between the US, the two Koreas, and a separate hotline for the Korea's militaries. Mr Richardson hopes that these actions from the North will signal a new chapter and a round of dialogue to lessen tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

    I hope that the two Koreas can come to a consensus through peaceful talks, and bring safety to both sides. I think discussions would be a better way to improve relationships between the Koreas, instead of repeated retaliations, which may result in the needless loss of lives. I hope this tension between the Koreas will resolve soon, before war breaks out, to allow the presence of peace again.


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Hi guys, I'm a student in Singapore, and this are some thoughts and essays I have written over the years.