China has power to stop Korean conflict
Sinking of warship marks alarming rise in tensions, says Con Coughlin
Published 22/05/2010 | 05:00
Kim Jong-un has been described as being 'just like his father', and has the same hard-line political outlook and temper
Even by the standards of the military clashes that have become a perennial feature of life on the Korean peninsula, the sinking of a South Korean warship by a North Korean mini-submarine marks an alarming, and potentially catastrophic, escalation in tensions between the two countries.
Since the end of the World War Two, there have been only two notable submarine actions that have resulted in the sinking of enemy ships, and both of them have taken place in times of war. The Indian frigate sunk by a Pakistani Daphne class submarine in 1971 was torpedoed during the Indo-Pakistani War, while the controversial attack on the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano by the British Royal Navy's nuclear-powered submarine HMS Conqueror was launched during the Falklands War.