US Struggles to Find ‘Response’ to South Korea Ship Sinking

Military Response 'Unlikely,' Officials Concede

Though it has been expected to be the case for weeks, now that South Korea has finally gone to the point of officially blaming North Korea for the sinking of the Cheonan warship in March, the US is scrambling to figure out what its response will be.

US officials have publicly backed South Korea’s determination of North Korean responsibility, but analysts say that a military response against the nuclear armed North is unlikely.

Officials say that they are considering seeking UN Security Council action in retaliation and that the US might take other unilateral measures against them.

But the options are extremely limited. Decades of US enmity has left the already reclusive North Korea a virtual pariah state, and there is precious little the UN Security Council or the Obama Administration could conceivably take away from North Korea in retaliation that hasn’t already been taken away long ago.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.