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Most South Koreans Skeptical of Report Blaming North Korea for Deadly Ship's Explosion in March

The incident added tension between North and South Korea. But the international community and the South Korean public can help defuse this potentially dangerous situation.

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In the months ahead, public disapproval coupled with North Korean refusal to acknowledge responsibility, may induce the Lee administration to make a more realistic appraisal of its current approach. In the interim, South Korea will likely continue to press the international community to censure the North, although China will likely block any such attempt. Then, after a period of posturing to convince others and itself of its strength, South Korea will probably pursue a more diplomatic approach. Indeed, the South is already softening its stance with a recent shipment of much-needed food aid to the North.

Despite some movement, tensions remain high. It falls on the international community and the South Korean public to ensure this incident does not engulf the peninsula in a more serious conflagration and to help facilitate the move back toward reconciliation.

Peter Certo and Greg Chaffin are interns with Foreign Policy In Focus. Hye-eun Kim is a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

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