Friday, 26 November 2010

Chinese Perspective on the Korean War

Korea is in the news again this week, after the North Koreans shelled the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing four people and causing substantial damage. It has led to a considerable increase of tension on both sides and the threat of further conflict in the near future. These BBC articles examine why tensions are so high along the border, and why, as leader Kim Jong Il prepares for his son Kim Jong Un to take over, they might be escalating now.

The video shown above provides some historical perspective, interviewing a Chinese soldier, Wang Xinshan, who explains why he and his country felt so threatened at the time of the Korean War, and why China chose to intervene. A historian, Barbara Demick, meanwhile explains how ever since North Korean life has been completely dominated by the legacy of the war, with all of its citizens trained to believe that South Korea and its allies were fully responsible and might invade again with the smallest provocation.

PS: Here is an article with British soldiers' memories of their experiences in the Korean conflict.
PS: There is no official comment on the incident yet from North Korea's news agency. Here is a leading foreign policy blog's opinion on why this is the case.

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