North Korea trash politics sky-high while our pollies are distracted

Guard Post at YP-Do, 3 June 2024

From Baengnyeongdo, South Korea: Here at what the Americans call PY-Do in the Yellow Sea, we are closer to North Korea’s capital than we are to the South’s capital, Seoul. PY-Do is an ‘island outpost at freedom’s frontier’. It is home to over 4,000 South Koreans and exists in an administrative afterthought of the Korean Armistice Agreement in an area known as the Northwest Islands.

The United Nations Command (UNC) established a Northern Limit Line (NLL) in 1953 at a time when the North’s navy was barely existent. In effect, South Korea stays below the NLL while North Korea does not recognise it. The five Northwest Islands, of which PY-Do and Yeonpyeongdo (YP-do) are a part, remain a flashpoint for hostilities between the two nations.

PY-Do is the site of annual South Korean and US military drills designed to ‘bolster their readiness against North Korean nuclear threats’. Technically, North and South Korea remain at war, but general hostilities ceased in 1953. The threat of tit-for-tat skirmishes, however, is ever-present.

Writing in the Unfiltered newsletter, Alexandra Marshall had this to say about my article:

I was chatting to Michael de Percy before Speccie TV the other day and he was telling me all about his trip in South Korea. ‘You should be our foreign correspondent!’ I unfairly badgered him on air. Michael was kind enough to dutifully reply with an excellent story of what it’s like in the demilitarised zone. He writes: ‘It is confronting and gives one a sense of gratitude for the lifestyles we enjoy in the West. But it also makes me realise how important it is that we actively defend our way of life and celebrate the achievements of the West.’

My latest in The Spectator AustraliaNorth Korea trash politics sky-high while our pollies are distractedNorth Korea trash politics sky-high while our pollies are distracted.