The South Korean government asserts that North Korea deliberately planned and executed the June 29th naval clash. The North blames the South, but that's normal. One of the North Korean warships involved was also engaged in the 1999 battle and suffered damage and crew deaths, indicating a revenge angle. It is believed that senior North Korean military leaders ordered the operation in order to stall peace talks between the North and the South. They succeeded, as plans for an American delegation to visit the North were put on hold. The South Korean president is taking a lot of flack for his "Sunshine Policy" (negotiation with the North.) Many leaders in the North see no future for themselves as no one has figured out how to make a communist dictatorship work in the long run. So the Northern diehards resist any attempt at reform in the north, not being able to come up with any better strategy.