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South Korea and China

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Quote:SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea said on Tuesday it would use greater force, including firearms, against Chinese boats fishing illegally in its waters and summoned China's ambassador to protest against a clash between a Chinese vessel and a coast guard boat.

South Korean coast guard vessels regularly chase Chinese boats for fishing illegally off its coast, at times resulting in violent confrontations.

The disputes are an irritant in relations between China and U.S. ally South Korea, even as their economic relations grow close and they share concerns about North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

South Korea's coast guard said on Tuesday that its officers would be authorized to use firearms, including handguns and onboard cannon, against illegal Chinese fishing vessels if deemed threatening.

"We will actively respond to Chinese fishing boats that obstruct justice by using all possible means if needed such as directly hitting and gaining control of those Chinese fishing boats as well as firing common weapons," Lee Choon-jae, deputy chief of South Korea's coast guard, told a news conference.

South Korea's Ministry of Public Safety and Security, which oversees the coast guard, said one of its patrol boats sank last week during an operation to crack down on a group of Chinese vessels fishing illegally off the Korean peninsula's west coast.

It said the patrol boat was rammed by one of the Chinese vessels. No injuries were reported.

The Chinese vessel fled the scene and returned to its home port, the South Korean coast guard said.
The ROKs are getting serious about all these provocations.  They're sick and tired of being pushed around for centuries.  I saw this attitude up close and personal, way back in 1971 when I was stationed there.  

My houseboy was the nicest guy you'd ever hope to meet.  We spent hours talking together over the ensuing months I was assigned there.  I was also the battalion Public Relations Officer(Cold War Officer), so I made it a point to know the locals as much as possible.  I learned an awful lot about the Korean thinking process.  

One of the ever present dangers was that from the North Korean agents(UIs - Unidentified Individuals), slipping into the ROK border zone, and then into the US security zone.  They were sent south to assassinate officials or commit sabotage on different objectives.  Like every able bodied adult male, he was a member of the "Home Guard" and had to spend designated nights standing guard or doing sweeps in the local area.  I asked him what he would do if he came upon one of them, and his immediate response was "Kill him".  

His response was not surprising, but the way he instantly changed his personality to cold hard determination was what was telling.  It was as though the blinders were suddenly removed.  It was the same kind of determination people use when they see a scorpion or poisonous snake around their children.  The response is immediate and no longer worth contemplating.  Its a natural and automatic process now, and beyond thought.  

He also commented that "We" are no longer going to stand still and let others rule us.  And he meant every word.  I believed him, and could see this in the eyes of almost every South Korean I met.  They are sick and tired of being treated like someone's slave or punching bag from now on.  If PRC wants to play bully, then bring it on!  

South Korea had sent an infantry division to Vietnam, The White Horse Division, during the conflict.  And the Viet Cong were scared to death of them.  You didn't fuck with the ROKS.  PRC may be bigger and stronger, but the ROKs are Badder.


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