Lee Yu Kyung firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve traveled to Laos last November for 3 weeks to do a story about Cluster Bombs. It was my second coverage on the issue, but the first FIELD story, as the first coverage was compiled relying on phone calls, materials and informations that were excellently provided by one of the crucial sources of mine. It was him who has made me alert on the subject for the first time, but it was “Korea’s involvement” in the Bombs, which made me more agressive on the subject. Regardless my detemination to live as a cosmopolitan beyond border, I’ve got a duty to file on wrong doings of my home country particularly when the country involves in a war or trade of such munitions, which have been banned by the International Treaty, to which about 100 countries are signatories.
Two companies (HanWha Corp. & PoongSan) in South Korea has transmitted certain types of cluster munitions to Pakistan last March. This kind of transmission is believed to be under control by the Ministry of Defense . The two companies responded to me respectively as follows ;
“There’s been ongoing threat by North Korea, we need to keep DEFENSE in strong..” (Han Wha Corp.)
“Korean-made cluster munitions have SELF-DESTRUCTED ability if not exploded, so dud rate is low..” (Poong San Corp)
No answer to “‘how much dud rate?” and “What experimentation has your company conducted to estimate dud rate?”
In terms of dud rate, the Israeli-produced M85 submunitions are the only self-destruct submunitions known to have been used in combat: in 2003 by the United Kingdom in Iraq, and in 2006 by Israel in Lebanon, where they were fired in artillery shells according to the cluster bombs experts. The M85 is a DPICM-type submunitions, similar to Poongsan’s ‘155mm artillery shells’, which were transmitted to Pakistan Ordnance Factories. My source accounted on this ;
“The manufacturers of the M85 claim that only 0.06% of the bomblets fail to go off or self-destruct; the UK government claims a similarly low failure rate of 0.74%. Yet in both Iraq and Lebanon, researchers found dozens of unexploded M85 bomblets littering the landscape: unexploded munitions that, according to the UK government
and the manufacturers, shouldn’t exist”
On top of that, Why Pakistan? which has allegedly transmitted Nuclear Technology to a couple of countires including, North Korea? which is deemed as one of the most dangerous counties in the world, which has been on the brinks of war with India at times, which has conducted air strikes on ‘their own people’ in the lawless Tribal Areas at times (in repeat with cease-fire). Humble excuse, No justifiable by imputing to ‘North Korea’.
I’ve been truly appalled in Laos as learning the facts that people in Laos (notably in Xieng Khong Province in North and Savanakhet in South) have been ‘living together’ with UXOs(Unexploded Ordnance), particularly cluster munitions (or ‘bombies’ as locals call) for decades. During my stay in the country, I hardly got out of the appalling ‘imagination’ (but it was ‘factually’ happening decades ago), in which air bombs be dropped every 8 minutes for 9 years in this tranquil country. People had taken refugees in caves, which were also targetted by the USA airplane often, or died in helpless. And Nowadays, similar imagination has haunted me again as watching and reading what’s happening in GAZA.
One terribly disturbing news (out of many) hit us two days ago, indicating that Israeli forces alledgedly used some sort of cluster bombs as well as experimental weapons. This news should be verified soonish, if not right now.
Nevertheless, given the fact that Israel has used cluster bombs during the ‘war against Hezbollah’ in 2006. there are high risks of using cluter bombs or likes. Ironically, it was actually Israel that has ‘contributed’ to break silence as to how dangerous the cluster bombs are, to generate outright opposition against using cluser bombs all over the world.
Yet, Israel hasn’t behaved accordingly to its ‘contribution’, along with the US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan and the both North and South Korea.
For my coverage on Cluster Bombs, you can click the below ones. or find out from the “cluster bombs(laos)” category of this blog. Variety of this story would be published by a few more outlets in german and english soon.