The South Korean warship Cheonan was sunk in mysterious circumstances on 26 March 2010. The remarkable events that followed are analysed by Tim Beal and woven into a larger study of the increasingly volatile relations between North and South Korea and US concern about the rise of China. South Korea's stance towards the North has hardened significantly since the new conservative government came to power. Beal argues that the South moved quickly to use the sinking of the Cheonan to put international pressure on the North, even before the cause of the sinking had been established. The US followed suit by attempting to pressurise China into condemning North Korea. The media reports at the time presented an open and shut case of unprovoked North Korean aggression, but the evidence points towards the accidental triggering of a South Korean mine as the cause and South Korean fabrication to incriminate the North. With the South bent on forcing the fall of the North's regime with US help and China unlikely to stand idly by, this book offers an essential guide to the key factors behind the crisis and possible solutions.