Playing Chicken at the Brink

“Did Seoul just win a terrifying game of chicken?” This question (from a Tweet by Beijing-based Globe & Mail correspondent Mark Mackinnon) was on many minds this week.

On Monday, 20 December 2010, the South Korean military completed a provocative 94-minute live-fire drill as part of its military exercize on Yeonpyeong Island. Despite threats of a deadly response, North Korea failed to take action.

A month earlier, a similar exercize prompted North Korea to launch a deadly artillery barrage on the island, destroying the homes of villagers and leaving two civilians and two soldiers dead, many others wounded.

DPRK: Stop shooting into our territorial waters!
ROK: Stop shooting onto our islands!
DPRK: You do that again and we’ll shoot harder!
ROK: Just go ahead! Make our day!

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