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Monday, November 29, 2010


Framing North Korea

On the TV news I was watching this morning, the "framing" of the story went like this (quoting verbatim): "The U.S. and South Korea continued war games this morning as tension on the peninsula continued to escalate." Which should, more accurately, have been worded this way: "The U.S. and South Korea continued war games this morning, continuing their escalation of tensions on the peninsula."

In the Washington Post today, we can read this (the wording is from the version in the San Jose Mercury News print edition): "The crisis began Nov. 23, when North Korea fired nearly 200 artillery rounds onto the small island of Yeonpyeong." No, the crisis began when South Korea, despite being warned by North Korea, fired artillery rounds into North Korean waters (or, at the least, into waters claimed by North Korea as their own). Not a word in the article indicating that almost all of the casualties on the South Korean side were military, not civilian (a way higher ratio than casualties inflicted by the U.S. or Israel in wars they are involved in). And of course, the article refers to the "sinking of the South Korean warship in March" without indicating the disputed nature of that event. South Korea is now talking about they will respond to provocations. Could there really be a bigger "provocation" than sinking someone's warship? If there really were evidence that that sinking was done by North Korea, don't you think that either the South Korea or the U.S. would have responded to it?

Update: CNN just referred to how South Korea and North Korea never signed a peace treaty. Uh, CNN, there's another party to that issue you seem to have forgotten about.

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