South Korea Fires on North Korean Warship Near
South and North Korean warships exchanged fire off their western coast after the North’s vessel crossed a disputed sea border and ignored several warning shots, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in Seoul.
The North Korean vessel ventured 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles) into waters claimed by South Korea at about 10:33 a.m. local time today, triggering a two-minute exchange of fire that left 15 holes in the South Korean vessel, according to the military. The North’s ship returned across the border in flames after it was badly damaged in the exchange, Yonhap News reported, citing a government official in Seoul it didn’t identify.
I was posting about this on Venezuela yesterday:
Hugo Chávez tells Venezuela troops to ‘prepare for war’ with Colombia
President Chávez of Venezuela told his country yesterday to prepare for war with Colombia, which he accused of being in league with the United States.
Only days after sending 15,000 troops to the volatile border, Mr Chávez, Washington’s main enemy in the region, ordered the Venezuelan military and people to prepare to “defend the homeland”, claiming that the US planned to use Colombian bases to mount an invasion of his oil-rich nation.
Colombian troops are better equipped, better trained, and are battle-hardened from years of fighting the FARC. The only edge that Chavez has is in the air, with his relatively modern Russian Sukhois and F-16s vs. Colombia’s aging Kfir (Israeli modified Mirage 5) fighters, but that could be offset with one U.S. AWACs providing aerial radar assistance. President Obama will likely avoid involvement–not necessarily an unwise move considering Chavez wants to play up the U.S. as an imperial aggressor meme–but providing some token assistance in the form of a non-combat support role (like AWACs) might be enough to put Chavez in his place. And it would further signal other U.S. allies that the White House still takes our defense alliances seriously.
Which is exactly why Obama is very unlikely to send any non-combat support.
As Ed put it,
It took America’s enemies a couple of years to take Jimmy Carter’s measure during the Cold War. It has taken less than that for our enemies to take Barack Obama’s measure.
It’s going to worsen.
No podcast today because of a prior commitment, but you can listen to the archived podcasts.