Details, details, details....... did anyone step back and look at the big picture?
In early 2010, the US defence agreements (US govt clearance to sell certain types of weapons) for South Korea, Japan and Taiwan were due to expire. The three countries were allowing the contracts to expire, because they had no fear of China. They were, in fact, doing more business with China than with the US.
Three weeks before contract expiration, the South Korean war ship Cheonan was cut in two by a underwater explosion. North Korea was blamed. North Korea angrily denied involvement and threatened military retaliation if punished.
Speculation flys about whether it was a N. Korean torpedo, or an old mine. Of course no one would dare mention a Limpet mine for fear of being called a "conspiracy theorist". Limpet mines have been effective clandestine ship killers for nearly a century, and 41 very concerned nations gathered in the Arabian Gulf for International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 13, but that couldn't be applicable here. No way...
The three contracts were renewed, with very expensive land joint exercises tacked on, as well as joint naval exercises in the East China sea. This irritated China (as intended) and put the fear on North Korea. North Korea does the war dance of rocket testing, so that the US can sell anti missile systems to Japan and S. Korea. Thank you North Korea, but sorry, no commission.
Now Japan, how about those island disputes. We have these weapons that would be perfect for such a situation. The Phillipines just ordered them and they are extremely pleased. Only 450 million each......... We can noise up the island dispute situation a little to justify the expense to the voting public.
And the band plays on......... nothing ever changes..... except the PR.