Some very interesting links were just brought to my attention; I thought I would bring them to yours. I ask only that, if convenient, a line be dropped my way should someone's epiphany prove to be a potentially comprehensive hypothesis. Or, as the Gentleman by way of whom come these links put it, 'Isn't the internet great?'
Joint Army investigators 10 specialized agencies of the country's experts Expert 25 people 22 people, professional member of Parliament recommended three people, United States. Australia. England. Sweden, 24 people participated, including four countries among the forensic experts, explosive type of analysis, the hull structure, management,Information analysis is divided into four division has been conducting research activities.Announced today that the team participated in the domestic content. Other scientific experts. Objective approach to research activities and throughIs derived through a process of verifying the results.□ inyanghan far from the sea floor deformation of the hull form and the evidence recovered from the waters of the accident investigation andAccording to analysis, Cheonan-term response in the bottom of the port gaseuteobinsil powerful underwater explosion of a torpedo to the hull byIs cut is considered sank.□ torpedo sank the shot causes the determined reason,○ area of precision measurement and analysis of the hull damage when seen, due to the shock and the bubble effect,The ship's keel, the hull was dry compared to the larger strain on the top was suddenly broken skinThe fracture was part of the hull.Jugappaneun indoor equipment for the maintenance of gas turbines, large openings were centered around break,Top of the port side has been greatly transformed, mutilated and transformed gaseuteobinsil bulkhead has been greatly compromised. Function, hammi bottom of the elbow at the bottom to the top of the underwater explosion had nothing to prove.○ trap me. Outer surface of the survey results closely, swaying heavily from side to side bangjihaeju trap routine shown in the HamanStrong pressure traces, bottom part of the pressure and bubble trail, no wire cutting, etc. yeolheunjeokyi by Underwater ExplosionA strong shock wave and the bubble effect is the cause of the sinking of the ship cutting and are to be informed.○ survivors and the coast guard Baengnyeong analysis of the contents of the statement, Survivors almost simultaneous explosions were audible in the 1-2, the port fell into shock on the face gyeonsibyeonguiStatements and that the water droplets, the coast guard the 2-3 seconds Baengnyeong height of approximately 100m of white columns flash was observedAffidavit, etc. When the water sucked out of the match in the blast was caused.○ In addition, the body fragments Optometrists Results phase was not found signs of burns, fractures and lacerations, etc., etc. are observedThe symptoms of shock and the bubble effect was consistent with.○ Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources of the seismic waves and an analysis of the air waves, seismic waves from the magnitude 1.5 to scale the four locationsHas been detected, the air waves at intervals of 1.1 seconds in the 11 locations has been detected two times. Seismic waves and the air was the same explosive sources, which by the underwater explosion shock wave and the bubble effect is consistent with the phenomenon.○ According to the simulation results several times over the depth of about 6-9 meters, the port about three meters from the center of gaseuteobinsil200 ~ 300kg in the total size of the location of the explosion pokbalryang had been considered.○ Baengnyeong analyzing water birds, using a torpedo attack was not limited to be considered.○ torpedo sank in the waters can corroborate the evidence as a crucial driving force of the torpedo propellers, including Mrs.Motors and control devices, has been promoting and collecting. The evidence that North Korea exported to overseas deployment for the purposeIntroduction to torpedo the plan set forth in Article match the size and shape werePromotion Department on the inside back, "a number" that we have secured a written Hangul and to mark with a torpedo in the NorthMatch. He ran all the evidence that parts of these torpedoes have been manufactured in North Korea has verified this.○ In addition, some of these results come from continually jegihae jwachona fatigue failure, crashes, explosions from internalNone of this has given nothing to confirm.□ As a result,○ collected crucial evidence, and the ship sank in the waters of the variant form, the contents statements of those involved, the body Optometrists resultsAnalysis of seismic and air waves result, the simulation results of underwater explosions, water bird Baengnyeong analysisCollected for analysis of the torpedo part domestic. Taken together, the opinions of other experts,○ Cheonan-term underwater explosion caused by the torpedo shock and the bubble effect has been cut by the sinking was○ port side from the explosion site gaseuteobinsil central 3m, about 6 ~ 9m depth, and○ weapons systems manufactured in the North 250kg high explosive has been identified as the size of the torpedo.□ In addition, since the last operating on May 4, United States, Australia, Canada, the UK and five countries 'multinational coalition intelligence analysis TF' inConfirmed by the fact that follows.○ The North Koreans Romeo class submarines (1800 tons), 20 vessels, submarines sangeogeup (300 tons), 40 vessels and yeoneogeup (130 tons) of10 mini-submersible vessels, including vessels and has a total of 70, and the damage received in the same scale Cheonan hamyiMay impact the total of about 200 ~ 300kg scale pokbalryang jikjueoroe, sound and performance of a variety of torpedoes guided trailHas a torpedo.○ facts and incidents like this and, considering the waters of the operational environment,These operations are operating in the environmental conditions in a small submarine underwater weapon systems will be judged as positive.In addition, the U.S. naval air station operated by West doedeon positive and some mini-submarines to support it mothershipCheonanham 2-3 days before the attack on the West Sea naval base, if North Korea attacked Italian hayeotdaga cheonanham 2-3 days after it is brought into the baseHave been identified.○ In addition, all its other neighbors of the submarine Chung mortgage or because they have been working in closeHave been identified.○ 5 월 15 일 in an explosion near ssangkkeul collected by a torpedo boat of the Parts,In other words, each 5 Exhibition and reverse propeller, propulsion motors and control devices for the U.S. to export weapons abroadNorth Korean weapons listed in the brochure made a CHT-02D must exactly match the design drawings of the torpedo.Found in the rear of the propellant inside the torpedo, "a number" that we have secured a written Hangul and another North KoreanIs consistent with the notation to torpedo. Eoroena Russian Chinese torpedoes, each is written in the language of their country.CHT-02D North Korean torpedo wakes and the acoustic sound using manual tracing methods, and 21 inches in diameter and weighs 1.7 tons250Kg of charge exploded in the torpedo is nearly 重.○ The analysis of all relevant facts and confidential information, based onCheonan by means bukhanje torpedo sank as a result of the explosion was outside the water to a conclusion has been reached.In addition, the more comprehensive view of the evidence that the torpedo was fired from North Korea's mini-submarines in addition to positiveI can not explain otherwise.
from FASWMD Around the World
Three 1,925 ton Type 800 Dolphin class submarines have been built in German shipyards for the Israel Navy. Modern submarines with the most advanced sailing and combat systems in the world, they combine extensive sophistication with very easy operation. The purpose of these submarines is to enable the Israel Navy to meet all the tasks faced in the Mediterranean Sea in the 21st century. The submarines cost $320 million each, and are twice as big as the aging Gal-class submarines that the Israeli navy has relied on to date.
It is generally agreed that these submarines are outfitted with six 533-millimeter torpedo tubes suitable for the 21-inch torpedoes that are normally used on most submarines, including those of the United States. Some reports suggest that the submarines have a total of ten torpedo tubes -- six 533-millimeter and four 650-millimeter. Uniquely, the Soviet navy deployed the Type 65 heavy-weight torpedo using a 650-millimeter tube. The four larger 25.5 inch diameter torpedo tubes could be used to launch a long-range nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM). According to some reports the submarines may be capable of carrying nuclear-armed Popeye Turbo cruise missiles, with a goal of deterring an enemy from trying to take out its nuclear weapons with a surprise attack. Under a system of rotation, two of the vessels would remain at sea: one in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, the other in the Mediterranean. A third would remain on standby.
The project initially was structured to include an industrial team consisting of HDW and Thyssen Nordseewerke, lead by Ingalls Shipbuilding. The project, under which the boats would be built in the United States by Ingalls using US FMS funds, was cancelled in 1990. The crews of the submarines started training in 1994, and participated in the building process as well as in the acceptance procedures for weapon systems. Germany donated two of these submarines to Israel, which were delivered in 1997. Israel bought a third Dolphin submarine from Germany. The project to build the Israeli Navy's third submarine, named "Tekumah ," was launched in Germany on 09 July 1998 with the participation of Defense Ministry Director General Ilan Biran and other naval officers. Tekumah [T'kuma] is the Hebrew word for "revival." The third submarine arrived in Israel during mid-1999.
A major role for hunter, killer and patrol submarines is the destruction of enemy submarines and shipping. In order to achieve this, the submarine must load, store and launch a range of stores. The submarine must also detect its target while attempting to remain covert. The Israel Navy has three Gal submarines. They were built in the 1970s at the Vickers shipyard in Britain, based on German blueprints. The Gal submarines are an important part of the main combat force of the Israel Navy.
The German Type 209 diesel electric submarine is the most popular export-sales submarine in the world, and sales continue as smaller nations modernize their aging fleets. Greece was the first country to order this type of submarine from Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) of Kiel, Germany, and the first batch of these submarines entered service in 1971. The 1,200-ton Type 209 submarine is a hunter killer submarine that India purchased from HDW, Germany. The initial contract was for 2 submarines to be sold and for 4 more to be constructed at the Mazagaon docks in Mumbai. The deal however went sour when it was hit by a bribery scandal, after the first four ships were delivered to the Indian Navy.
Advances in electric drive and power conditioning were introduced into the German Type 212. This German submarine has low and balanced signatures including acoustic signatures, longer submerged mission capability and a modern combat system with sophisticated sensors and state of the art torpedoes. The technologies inherent in this design include a fuel cell air independent propulsion (AIP) system with a back up single diesel generator, highly modular arrangements of critical areas and the frame carrying the diesel generator and auxiliary equipment such as the hydraulic pumps, compressors, etc.- is enclosed in a sound absorbent capsule and isolated from the pressure hull. The AIP system utilized is more commonly called 'MESMA'. Translated it means Autonomous Submarine Energy Module and was developed for submarines.
The 1,720-ton Dolphin class is evidently somewhat larger than the 1,500-ton Type 212 submarines, and incorporates a conventional diesel-electric propulsion system rather than the AIP system.
Displacement: 1,720 tons submerged
Dimensions: 57 x 6.8 x 6.2 meters (187 x 22.5 x 20.5 feet)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric, 3 diesels, 1 shaft, 4,243 shp, 20 knots
Armament: 6 21 inch torpedo tubes (14 torpedoes & Harpoon SSM)
see also (from the footer to the above page):
Sources and Resources
- Israel Acquires New Submarine Howard Diamond Arms Control Today July/August 1999 -- The Dolphin has 10 torpedo tubes (six 533-millimeter and four 650-millimeter) and can carry surface-to-surface missiles or torpedoes.
- ISRAEL TO GET THIRD GERMAN SUBMARINE Military and Arms Transfer News Issue 95/5, 17 March 1995
- Israel buying 3 submarines to carry nuclear missiles
By Martin Sieff THE WASHINGTON TIMES July 1, 1998
- Swimming with the Dolphins By Yossi Melman Ha'aretz Tuesday, June 9, 1998
- Swimming with the Dolphins By Yossi Melman Haaretz Tuesday, June 9, 1998 Israel's new Dolphin submarines, built in Germany, will add a new dimension to the nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
- Fleet List: Israeli Navy Maintained by: Andrew Toppan
- Dolphin class (February 4, 1998) (74 K) - The Israeli Navy's
latest submarine, the Dolphin class Leviathan conducted her first see trials from the
German Thyssen Nordseewerke shipyard last week.
29 September 2009
Israel Get Two More German Submarines
JERUSALEM - Israel has taken delivery of two German submarines ordered four years ago, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.
“We have received two Dolphin-class submarines built in Germany,” he said, on condition of anonymity.
The submarines, called U212s, can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, although when it confirmed the sale in 2006 the German government said the two vessels were not equipped to carry nuclear weapons.
The subs were ordered in 2005 and delivery was initially expected in 2010.
Including the two new ones, Israel has five German submarines — the most expensive weapon platforms in Israel’s arsenal.
Germany, which believes it has a historic responsibility to help Israel because of the mass murder of Jews in World War II, donated the first two submarines after the 1991 Gulf War.
It split the cost of the third with the Jewish state.
According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, the U212s are designed for a crew of 35, have a range of 4,500 kilometres (2,810 miles) and can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads.
Israeli media have written that the Dolphin submarine could be key in any attack on arch-foe Iran’s controversial nuclear sites.
An Israeli submarine recently used the Suez Canal for the first time in June, escorted by Egyptian navy vessels, in what Israeli media said was intended as a message to Iran.
Widely considered the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, Israel suspects Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge Tehran denies.
from Defense News
4 May 2009
South Korea Develops Mobile Force
Braces for Japan, China Buildups
To thwart North Korea's asymmetrical capabilities and other regional hostile forces, the Navy has emphasized strengthening its submarine fleet. The Navy has nine German-made Type-209 1,200-ton submarines and three Type-214 1,800-ton submarines, first built locally under technical cooperation with HDW of Germany. They are all diesel- and electric-powered.
"Submarine fleets are seen as one of the most powerful features of any military force," said Park Chang-kwon, a researcher at the state-funded Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA). "For South Korea, the requirements and roles of advanced attack submarines are essential to help neutralize the North's increasing asymmetrical capabilities."
Six more Type-214 subs are scheduled to be commissioned by 2018, when the Navy will inaugurate a submarine command. The Type-214 submarine, a core part of the future strategic mobile squadrons, is armed with modern torpedoes and submarine-to-surface missiles.
The 65.3-meter-long sub can submerge to depths of up to 400 meters, with a maximum submerged speed of 20 knots. With the help of Air Independent Propulsion (AIP), which improves its underwater performance and gives it stealth capability, the submarine can carry out underwater operations for as long as two weeks, putting Guam in its operational range, according to the Navy.
The sub's ISUS-90 integrated sensor enables operators to detect about 240 targets simultaneously and track 32 targets.
Beginning in 2018, South Korea plans to build indigenous 3,000-ton KSS-III submarines fitted with domestically built submarine combat systems aimed at automating target detection, tracking, threat assessment and weapon control. The heavy sub will be armed with indigenous ship-to-ground cruise missiles and be capable of underwater operations for up to 50 days with a more advanced AIP system, Navy officials said.
According to informed government sources, the Navy wants to deploy about six KSS-III submarines and then may push to develop a nuclear-powered submarine as a hedge against future uncertainties in Northeast Asia.
The Navy denies any plan to develop a nuclear-powered submarine.
Park, of KIDA, admitted the Navy needs nuclear-powered submarines in the long term but was skeptical about the plan, citing the potential political and diplomatic backlash, particularly from the United States.
South Korea initially pushed for developing a nuclear-powered sub in 2004 but canceled the initiative later for the same reason.
"The nuclear-powered submarine plan involves both military and political aspects," Park said. "Nuclear subs will, of course, offer benefits to the Navy in terms of much longer operational range and fuel efficiency. But the thing is, unless legal and political problems are resolved first, we can't go forward with the plan."
The analyst apparently referred to a 1991 inter-Korean non-nuclear declaration and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, in which non-nuclear weapon states such as South Korea are required to place all of their nuclear materials under inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure they are not used to develop atomic weapons.
Some proponents say that because nuclear-powered submarines use low-grade nuclear fuel, they do not violate the denuclearization pledge. Opponents say that since a nuclear-powered sub would require enriched uranium fuel, the ability to enrich uranium also could be used to produce material for building nuclear weapons.
Nuclear submarines can remain underwater much longer than conventional submarines propelled by diesel generators and are considered a strategic weapon second only to aircraft carriers. ■
from The Hankyoreh
Questions raised following Cheonan announcement
The huge security breach and torpedo markings have both caused experts to raise questions about the investigation findings released Thursday
» The label “1 beon,” No.1, is written on the shaft of the propeller of torpedo presented by the joint military-civilian investigation team as the evidence of North Korea’s attack, May 20.
The joint civilian-military investigation team on Thursday presented propeller fragments from a North Korean torpedo as conclusive evidence as to the cause of the sinking of the Cheonan. A number of questions remain, however, such as why no North Korean submarine was discovered after the Cheonan was attacked.
The investigation team said that a North Korean Sango Class Submarine and Yono Class Submarine had left a naval base on the West Sea some two to three days prior to the attack and returned to base two to three days after the attack. They determined that the Yono Class Submarine carried out the attack.
A Sango, Shark Class Submarine, weighs 300 tons, while a Yono, Salmon Class Submarine, weighs 130 tons.
Until now, military officials have been saying they did not detect any unusual military movements from North Korea.
“From March 24 to 27, the military detected two North Korean Sango Class Submarines, but the likelihood of their connection to the sinking was judged to be weak.” said Defense Minister Kim Tae-young before the National Assembly on April 2.
“We have not detected any unusual movements from the North Korean military,” said U.S. Combined Forces Command Commander General Walter Sharp through a press release on March 28, two days after the sinking.
In other words, at the time, the Sango Class Submarine that was detected around the time of the sinking was not believed to be directly connected with the sinking, while the Yono Class Submarine was not detected at all.
The investigation team confirmed that around the time of the attack, they had been unable to clearly identify the submarines that had left the base. A military intelligence official said later, through comprehensive analysis of all sorts of intelligence material, including communication intercepts, video footage and human intelligence, they belatedly learned that a Yono Class Midget Submarine had left with its mother ship.
This explanation, however, failed to clarify all questions. A joint South Korean-U.S. naval exercise involving several Aegis warships was underway at the time, and the Cheonan was a patrol combat corvette (PCC) that specialized in anti-submarine warfare. The question remains whether it would be possible for a North Korean submarine to infiltrate the maritime cordon at a time when security reached its tightest level and without detection by the Cheonan.
“If the North Koreans were to try an ambush in revenge for the Daecheong Island naval clash, they would have done so only after they were certain of success following several infiltration exercises in the waters off Baengnyeong Island,” said a former Navy admiral. “The investigation team announcement basically stated that North Korea had planned an attack with a low probability of success on paper and successfully carried it out on one attempt, but that assessment lacks military credibility.”
In fact, if things transpired as the investigation team announced, then a North Korean submarine penetrated the South Korean-U.S. surveillance net, waited precisely where the Cheonan would be approaching, sank the Cheonan in one shot, and then leisurely disappeared after completely avoiding a naval anti-submarine net that included the Naval ship Sokcho and Linx helicopters.
Some have stated that while it was possible the Cheonan was unable to detect the submarine, it remains difficult to understand how it could not detect the torpedo launch.
“A submarine is supposed to be difficult to detect military, but most torpedoes can be detected,” said Kim Jong-dae, editor-in-chief of defense journal D&D Focus. “It is doubtful they would have been completely unable to detect the launch.”
One military official explained they were unable to detect the torpedo since the one used in the attack had a different audio range from those ascertained by the South Korean military, but some respond that it is difficult to understand why they would not have the audio information contained even in brochures regarding a torpedo that has been produced since the 1980s. Accordingly, in order to clear up these doubts, some are calling for the military authorities to release the communication intercepts to show the North Korean submarine‘s intent to attack. The investigation team, however, has reportedly been unable to secure intelligence data that would confirm clearly the circumstances of the attack besides the fact that the Yono Class Submarine left its base in North Korea.
There are also some questions regarding the North Korean torpedo fragment, which was presented as conclusive evidence. First, some experts stated that the marking 1 beon, No. 1, presented as key evidence that it was a North Korean torpedo, is different from typical North Korean markings.
“North Korea does not frequently use the term beon,” said one North Korea expert. “Instead, they use the term ho, as in Daepodong 1-ho, Gangnam 1-ho, etc.”
In fact, a North Korean training torpedo obtained by the South Korean military seven years ago was marked “4 ho.” In light of the fact that the beon discovered on the torpedo fragment and the ho found on the training torpedo are different, the investigation team could not have conducted a precise handwriting analysis. The team said it would consider a plan to determine the similarity through ink analysis, but it is uncertain whether a clear answer will result.
Both appear to have been written by hand inside the torpedo for organization and maintenance purposes, but why one is beon and the other ho is a question.
from China Matters
Friday, May 07, 2010
Pyongyang Pushes Back on Cheonan Sinking Story
Several people have pointed out that the Foal Eagle exercise officially ended March 18, well before the Cheonan sinking on March 26.
According to the U.S.F.K. spokesman as reported by the Korea Times:
A U.S. Navy group of four ships― three warships and one salvage vessel ― have joined South Korea's rescue and recovery operations for its sunken frigate, the Cheonan.
Kim Yong-kyu, spokesman for the U.S. Forces in Korea (USFK), provided information on the U.S. Navy's participation in operation.
The spokesman said its participation was made at the request of South Korean authorities.
The four U.S. ships belong to the U.S. 7th Fleet, based just south of Tokyo.
"They were participating in Key Resolve/Foal Eagle Exercise, a joint Korea-U.S. military drill which will continue until the end of April," the spokesman added.
Navy Times, also not known as a Nork mouthpiece, reported the incident thusly:
The Japan-based cruiser Shiloh, destroyers Curtis Wilbur and Lassen and the salvage ship Salvor — carrying a team from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1 — were ordered to help with the search after the South Korean government asked the U.S. for help, a Pentagon official told Navy Times.
The U.S. ships were already at sea when the South Korean patrol ship Cheonan sank on Friday as part of the international exercise Foal Eagle, the official said. The cause of the sinking is still not clear.
The "official" is a Pentagon official who was talking to Navy Times but "asked not to be identified because of the delicacy of the situation involving North and South Korea".
Maybe some reporting glitches here, but Foal Eagle was still going on with the participation of three Aegis-class destroyers. The Navy Times article does confirm that the U.S. ships were not at their base in Japan and, with the phrase "already at sea", welcomes the reader to draw the inference that the ships were not in the area when the Cheonan sunk. It will be interesting if the report on the sinking describes the location of friendlies at the time of the incident. (CH, 5/9/09)
Asia Times published an article, Pyongyang sees US role in Cheonan sinking, by Kim Myong Chol, identified as "often called an "unofficial" spokesman of Kim Jong-il and North Korea."
He asserts that North Korea had nothing to do with the March 26 sinking of the South Korean frigate Cheonan off the west coast of the Korean peninsula and on the South Korean side of the NLL (Northern Limit Line), the de facto and frequently disputed maritime border between the two antagonists.
Kim makes the interesting point that the Cheonan was engaged in an annual joint US/ROK military exercise known as Foal Eagle 2010 and several Aegis destroyers were in the area. Presumably all this high-tech military hardware would be able to detect the presence of a North Korean intruder.
He also raises the possibility of the Cheonan being done in by friendly fire.
It's reported that the Cheonan's sister ship, the Sokcho, was also in the area and marked the incident by firing wildly toward North Korean territory at a flock of birds on its radar instead of steaming to the Cheonan's rescue.
So shaky fire discipline by the Cheonan's own team during a complicated multi-vessel exercise near hostile territory looks like a potential hazard/explanation.
With this context, conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this paragraph from the Korea Times on May 7:
The multinational investigation team is also closely looking into the possibility that a North Korean submarine fired a German-made torpedo used both by South Korean and American navies in an attempt to dodge its responsibility.
The report of the team is supposed to be out around May 20.
And, last, but so far from least that I would venture to hypothesize it central to motive (if this was a false flag event):
Hatoyama Says Japan Must Keep U.S. Base on Okinawa (Update1)
By Takashi Hirokawa and Sachiko Sakamaki
May 24 (Bloomberg) --
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama decided to honor an agreement to relocate a U.S. military base within Okinawa, saying threats from countries such as North Korea trump local sentiment to shift it elsewhere.
Hatoyama has “no choice” but to relocate the Futenma Marine Air Base on the island, he told Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima yesterday. Apologizing for abandoning a campaign pledge, he said the decision was made “given security concerns in East Asia such as the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
The move resolves an eight-month dispute with the Obama administration that has contributed to a plunge in Hatoyama’s popularity. Reneging on his promise may imperil his Democratic Party of Japan’s chances in elections for the upper house of parliament slated for July.
“Hatoyama wasted six months and made everyone his enemy,” said Tsuneo Watanabe, author of “Japan’s New Security Strategy” and director of policy research at the Tokyo Foundation. “It’s entirely possible the DPJ loses these elections.”
Hatoyama visited Okinawa two days after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss how to respond to North Korea’s deadly attack on a South Korean naval ship.
‘State of Alert’
“The North Korean attack is good news for Hatoyama in that he can say we’re in a heightened state of alert,” said Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies at Temple University’s Tokyo campus. “At least he can go into the election without this over his head, but I don’t know how much it will help him.”
Hatoyama told Nakaima at a meeting at the governor’s office in Naha that Japan will move the base to the coastal area of Henoko, as envisioned in the original agreement. Thousands of residents have demonstrated against keeping the facility in Okinawa, citing noise, pollution and crime, and have voted in local politicians who oppose the base. Protesters waved banners saying “Don’t Betray Us” outside yesterday’s meeting.
Nakaima told Hatoyama the decision was “extremely regrettable and very tough to accept.” Speaking to reporters later, the governor said “There’s a strong feeling of betrayal,” given Hatoyama’s campaign pledge.
The U.S. has pushed Japan to uphold the 2006 agreement to move Futenma within Okinawa, as part of a $10.3 billion plan that would also transfer 8,000 Marines to Guam. Clinton met with Hatoyama and Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada in Tokyo on May 21, saying both countries sought “an operationally viable” solution.
Clinton and Okada met to discuss a coordinated response to a report finding that North Korea fired a torpedo that sank a South Korean naval vessel in March, killing 46 sailors. A U.S. official traveling with Clinton said on condition of anonymity three days ago that the incident helped remind Japan of the need for an American military presence.
The two sides will release a joint agreement on relocating Futenma on May 28, Japanese media including the Yomiuri newspaper said last week. Under the original agreement, helicopter units at Futenma would be moved to new facilities at Henoko near the existing Camp Schwab, and a runway would be built on reclaimed land.
Hatoyama’s popularity has plummeted since the DPJ won a landslide victory in the Diet’s lower house in August, ousting the Democratic Party of Japan from half a century of almost unbroken rule. He suggested in April that he may step down should he fail to reach a deal on Futenma before the end of the month, and the Social Democratic Party has threatened to quit his coalition ahead of July’s elections for the less-powerful upper chamber, should he keep the base on Okinawa.
“The South Korean ship incident raised the public’s awareness of Japan’s security situation, but it won’t help Hatoyama convince Okinawans or help his approval ratings,” said Atsuo Ito, a Tokyo-based independent political analyst.
Okinawa, 950 miles (1,530 kilometers) south of Tokyo, hosts 75 percent of the U.S. bases and more than half of the 50,000 American military personnel stationed in the country.
Hatoyama’s approval rating fell to 21 percent, down 4 percentage points from last month, while his disapproval rating rose 3 points to 64 percent, the Asahi newspaper said on May 17. Sixty-one percent of respondents said Hatoyama would be breaking his commitment if the Marine units stay in Okinawa, the Asahi reported.
The paper obtained 2,077 valid responses in the May 15-16 poll, and didn’t provide a margin of error.
Be seeing you.
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