It looks like China and South Korea still upset about the Yasukuni Shrine by the Japanese politicians.
China and South Korea skipped a meeting of finance chiefs from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea on Friday in India, their officials said.
There is no clearer sign that tensions in East Asia are warming up than the news that the Russians are deploying a new reconnaissance ship to snoop on US missile defense in Hawaii and Alaska. This comes after the Russians simulated a bombing run on a US missile defense radar in Japan. The Russians vehemently oppose increased US missile defences around Asia, which could compromise Russian offensive missile capabilities. The short-term catalyst for more US missile defense is North Korea, of course. Kim Jong-Un can only threaten to leave Seoul – or Washington – in a “sea of fire” so many times before the US begins shoring up defenses – even if the stories of threats may be poorly translated into English. The longer-term catalyst for increased US missile defence is China, which is developing anti-ship missiles designed to keep the US Navy further from its shores. There is a great irony the latest deployments by the US. For years, China and Russia, especially, have been glad to look the other way on North Korea’s threats because they tied up the US in Asia. Now that North Korea has ramped up the rhetoric to new levels, the US has all the justification it needs to boost its presence in the region – something neither Russia nor China wants. And they say the Cold War ended.
This is interesting. Apparently the mystery cyber attack that shut down a range of South Korean banks and crippled parts of its media also hit a US-based North Korean human rights group. Suspicions obviously turn to Pyongyang, particularly after its earlier claims that it was the target of a US/South Korean cyberattack. Of course, if a country besides North Korea wanted to test its offensive cyber capabilities, also attacking organizations outside of South Korea would be a good way of covering their tracks. At this point the forensics would focus on where the attack came from. That’s why all the stories at this point are about suspicions.
This comes after a lot of noise has been made by North Korea and the US regarding cyber attacks.
From AP (via NYT)
Police and South Korean officials were investigating the simultaneous shutdown Wednesday of computer networks at several major broadcasters and banks. While the cause wasn’t immediately clear, speculation centered on a possible North Korean cyberattack.
At this point, there is no reading on how big the attack in South Korea but it seems substantial.
North Korea was also fulminating at a few B-52 flights over South Korea. This will be interesting.
Obviously, cyberattacks are coming into their own as a strategic and tactical weapon. They are strategic in the way China uses them for economic espionage and tactical in this case and in the way the US has used them on the battlefield in Afghanistan and in the Middle East.
The fear of course is that what’s happening in South Korea is a prelude to analogue acts of aggression.