North Korea Attacks Sea of Japan
Sunday, May 01, 2005
(SNN Seoul) Japanese officials are rushing to verify reports that North Korea has fired a short range missile at the Sea of Japan.
North Korea threatened that Japan would be immersed in a "nuclear sea of fire"
There is precedent for Korea attacking the sea. In March 2003, the North launched two missiles to coincide with the inauguration of South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. In September, North Korea threatened that Japan would be immersed in a "nuclear sea of fire" if the United States were to attack the North. With the continuing attacks on the Sea of Japan, it is no longer assumed that this was a metaphor.
Connecting Japan, Korea and Russia, the East China Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and the Sea of Okhotsk through the Korea Strait, the Sea of Japan is a strategic military target. If North Korea were able to gain control of the Sea of Japan, it would be ruinous to its neighbors. The power to create tsunamis and typhoons alone could cause devastation.
North Korea insists on calling it the “East Sea”.
In addition to the military significance, there has been a longstanding contention between Japan and North Korea about the naming of the sea. While Japan favors “Sea of Japan”, North Korea insists on calling it the “East Sea”. If North Korea were to take control of the sea, they would most probably rename it.
Normally, the firing of one missile would not be so significant, but Sato Hiroshi (14), the only person in Japan that can pilot the robot Hotaru, is still in the hospital after his battle with the Chinese champion Gujia Bing Qing. Bing Qing is nursing Hiroshi back to health. Some say that Hiroshi has melted the heart of the “Ice Princess of China” and that she is being overprotective. Bing Qing fiercely guards his condition and has told officials that it will still be weeks before he has made his recovery.