Korean peninsula crisis: RoK fires into disputed waters despite DPRK's warnings

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by nandu, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    South Korean navy ship 'sinking near North'

    A South Korean navy ship with about 100 personnel on board is sinking off the west coast near North Korea, possibly due to a torpedo attack, reports say.

    The ship was sinking near Baengnyeong island, Yonhap news agency quoted navy officials as saying.

    It also said the South Korean ship had fired shots toward an unidentified ship in the North. The incident has not been confirmed by government officials.

    A rescue operation was said to be under way, amid fears for the sailors.

    The South Korean government has convened an emergency meeting, according to the officials.

    The ministry of defence has not confirmed the reports of North Korean involvement.

    The sea boundary separating the North and South has been the scene of clashes before.

    In November last year, a South Korean vessel opened fire when the Northern ship crossed a disputed sea border. The North Korean vessel then fired back.

    North Korea insists its ship did not cross the border then.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8589507.stm
     
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  3. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    A news report says a number of South Korean sailors died when their military ship sank off an island not far from North Korea.

    South Korea's Yonhap news agency cited an unidentified naval official early Saturday as saying there were some deaths. The military says it cannot confirm the report but says 58 of the 104 crew members on board the ship that sank late Friday were safe.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

    [​IMG]

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=10209959
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  4. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    S.Korean naval ship sinks in Yellow Sea, 40 sailors missing

    A South Korean naval ship sank in the Yellow Sea near the border with North Korea late on Friday, and more than 40 sailors are missing while 58 were rescued, local media reported.

    The incident involving the Cheonan vessel forced South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to convene an emergency security meeting although there was reportedly no sign that North Korea was involved. Patrol boats and helicopters were deployed for a rescue operation.

    The Navy, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency, said it has been "unable to pinpoint the exact cause of the incident" so far. Reports said an explosion in the ship's rear could have ripped a hole in its bottom.

    The border between the two Koreas was unilaterally drawn by the U.S.-led United Nations Command in the wake of the 1950-1953 Korean War and has been a sticking point between the North and the South.

    Pyongyang has not acknowledged the borderline and has drawn a new one on its own south of the current border. Naval clashes between the two states over the disputed area took place in 1999, 2002, 2009 and this year.

    The two countries remain technically at war as their conflict ended only in an armistice in 1953.

    http://en.rian.ru
     
  5. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Explosion in the rear, sounds like a homing torpedo.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Looks like North Korea sunk the ship but no official statements from USA yet.
     
  7. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    I bet it was one of the midget submarines firing the 53-65 wake homing torpedo. I guess those midget subs are good for something.
     
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Obama is trying to downplay this incident and the threats of nuclear strikes against USA,looks like all the wolves are starting to gather at the door.
     
  9. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hopes Fading for Survivors

    Defense Minister Kim Tae-young cautiously raised the possibility that the ill-fated Cheonan may have hit a sea mine laid by North Korea.

    Kim made the remark at a session of the National Assembly Defense Committee.

    He said, ``North Korea's sea mines might have been floating in our territorial waters.'' However, Kim refused to comment on whether the mines had been placed by the North intentionally or had drifted into South Korean waters.

    He rejected the possibility of a blast caused by South Korean mines. The minister also played down the possibility of a torpedo attack.

    North Korea bought about 4,000 sea mines from the Soviet Union during the Korean War and was believed to have laid about 3,000 of them both in the eastern and western waters of the Korean Peninsula, Kim noted.

    ``Almost all mines were removed, but not 100 percent,'' he said. ``A North Korean mine was found (in South Korean waters) in 1984 and another was removed in 1995.''

    Rescue workers confirmed the location of the stern of the downed frigate Cheonan, which split in two after an unexplained explosion, Friday.

    The location of the wreckage came after two days of search-and-rescue (SAR) efforts near the western sea border with North Korea, the Ministry of National Defense said Monday.

    Most of the 46 missing sailors are believed to have been in the rear part of the ship when the 1,200-ton ship was destroyed and sank 1.8 kilometers southwest of Baengnyeong Island near the Northern Limit Line (NLL).

    A day earlier, the Navy's salvage team confirmed the location of the bow of the vessel, which was carrying crew of 104. Fifty-eight sailors, including the captain, were rescued from one of the country's worst sea disasters, but the remainder are still ``missing in action.''

    It is possible that some missing sailors could have survived in air-pockets inside the ship, although the water in the West Sea is about 4 degrees Celsius.

    Early in the day, about 100 South Korean and U.S. divers began operations and succeeded in reaching the stern of the ship, which was about 50 meters from where the ship went down and about 40 meters underwater.

    The divers tied a loop of rope around the deck on the stern, ministry officials said.

    ``We are expecting to see some positive results as the rest of the body of the ship has been found,'' Rear Adm. Lee Ki-shik at the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters. ``We'll be sending down underwater cameras and hope that all sailors are still alive.''

    President Lee Myung-bak called for speeding up the rescue operation.

    ``We should use all the manpower and equipment available to rescue the sailors as fast as possible,'' Lee was quoted by his spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye as saying, after receiving an emergency briefing from his top aides.

    The President stressed rescuers ``should not give up hope for more survivors.''

    At a National Assembly committee session, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said, however, he believes the possibility of survivors is low given the amount of time that has passed since the accident occurred.

    Full-fledged SAR operations by civilian divers as well as South Korean and U.S. salvage specialists are underway, the minister said.

    About 20 South Korean vessels, including the 3,000-ton Gwangyang rescue ship and two minesweepers, have been conducting efforts to reach possible survivors.

    The Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet dispatched a 3,000-ton rescue ship to the site, and 15 U.S. divers are supporting the operations, Kim said.

    The cause of the explosion on the ship remains unclear.

    Several possibilities have been suggested: an accidental onboard explosion, a blast caused by hitting rocks or sea mines planted either by North or South Korea, or a deliberate outside attack, such as by torpedo.

    North Korean involvement has been feared, but Cheong Wa Dae and defense authorities have sought to downplay that scenario. U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. Walter Sharp also said in a statement that his command didn't detect any indication that the North had been involved.

    Noticeably, Minister Kim revealed during the parliamentary session that a North Korean spy plane was scouring the area near the NLL hours after the Cheonan sank.

    Some suspect the mission of the plane was related to the accident, but Kim said the aircraft was believed to have been conducting a routine nighttime mission.

    The 1,200-ton Cheonan was on a routine patrol mission in western waters when it sank near the island, 16 kilometers from the North Korean coast. The sinking is one of South Korea's worst peacetime naval disasters.

    In 1974, a Navy landing ship capsized off the south coast in stormy weather, killing 159 sailors and coast guard personnel.

    In 1967, 39 sailors were killed when North Korean shore guns pounded a South Korean Navy ship off the east coast.

    The waters in the western sea make up the most volatile section of the inter-Korean border. North Korea rejects the NLL drawn by the United Nations at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

    Fatal naval skirmishes took place there in 1999 and 2002; and in recent months, North Korea has been firing coastal artillery into waters north of the NLL.

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr
     
  10. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Seoul suspects North mine sunk navy ship

    Seoul (South Korea): A North Korean mine may have caused the explosion that sank a South Korean naval ship three days ago near a disputed maritime border, the defense minister said on Monday.
    Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said military authorities have not ruled out North Korean involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan, which split apart within minutes of an explosion in the rear hull late on Friday night. South Korean officials have been careful to say the exact cause of the explosion remains unknown, and that the rescue mission remains their priority. However, Kim told lawmakers on Monday that North Korean involvement was one possibility. “North Korea may have intentionally floated underwater mines to inflict damage on us,” he said.
    A mine placed by North Korea during the Korean War may also have struck the ship, he said. Many of the 3,000 Soviet-made mines North Korea planted during the war were removed, but not all. Kim noted that a North Korean mine was found as recently as 1984. There are no South Korean mines off the west coast, he added. Kim ruled out a torpedo attack, citing rescued sailors who were manning the radars.

    Divers finally reached the wreckage of a naval ship that sank nearly three days ago and rapped with hammers on the stern where 46 crew members are believed trapped, but got no response, military officials said on Monday. Military officials said time was running out for any navy crewmen who might still be alive and trapped inside watertight cabins aboard the Cheonan, which sank after an explosion late Friday split the 1,200-ton vessel apart.

    http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Defa...eLabel=17&EntityId=Ar01702&ViewMode=HTML&GZ=T
     
  11. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Another ship missing, South Korea military suspects Torpedo attack most probably sun

    Another ship missing, South Korea military suspects Torpedo attack most probably sunk its naval patrol ship

    03 Apr 2010 8ak: A South Korean fishing boat with 9 crew has sunk in a collision with a Cambodian registerd vehicle in the same waters where a South Korean Naval patrol boat Cheonan mysteriously sank last week. A military diver has also died in the rescue effort reports BBC.

    South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said that he suspects a torpedo is the most likely cause of sinking of Cheonan. As evidence he points to thermal observation device readings and seismic wave recordings. However, the Hankyoreh reports that there is little evidence to suggest a North Korean torpedo attack since the ship's sonar did not detect one, but says that investigations are underway.

    http://www.8ak.in/
     
  12. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Birds or North Korean Midget Submarine?

    A large flock of birds or a North Korean midget submarine?

    That is one of the questions surrounding the inexplicable sinking of the ROK Navy's patrol ship, the 1,200-ton Cheonan, off Baengnyeong Island in the West Sea (Yellow Sea) last Friday night.

    As things stand now, just an hour after an explosion on the Cheonan broke it into two before it sank, its sister frigate Sokcho fired 130 rounds from its 76mm main canon.

    This took place at 10:57 p.m.

    The Navy and the Defense Ministry maintained that the shooting took place as part of a standard procedure following a large object detected on the frigate's radars.

    Later, it explained that it was a flock of birds that duped radar operators as an unidentified object.

    Conspiracy theorists contend is that it was a North Korean vessel that infiltrated South Korean waters on a mission to damage a Navy vessel and that the Navy is trying to cover this up because of fear of heightened tension rising between the two Koreas.

    This theory is lent credence as eight years ago, the South Korean Navy won a victory in a skirmish with North Korea and, considering military tendencies to get even with the foes, it can’t be ruled out that it was a North Korean attempt to score a South Korean kill.

    The Ministry of National Defense said Thursday it did not detect any North Korean submarines near the western sea border last Friday night when the Cheonan naval ship was hit by an unexplained explosion.

    In a 27-page news release, the ministry reiterated the target to which the nearby Sokcho frigate was firing after the Cheonan sank has been found to be a group of birds, following an analysis of Sokcho's radar and electrical optics tracking systems.

    Right after the incident occurred around 9:20 p.m. in waters off Baengnyeong Island near the sea border with North Korea, the Navy's 2nd Fleet Command directed the Sokcho, which had been conducting a mission 49 kilometers south of the Cheonan, to move up to the scene after raising a security alert, it said.

    The Sokcho met a ``fast-moving'' target, near the island, toward the North 10:55 p.m. and recognized it as an enemy at that time. Under the direction of the fleet command, the ship started shooting 76mm cannons toward the target, 9.3 kilometers away.

    The 76mm gun has a range of 12 kilometers and the ship's 40mm gun has a range of 8 kilometers. That's why the Sokcho ship chose the 76mm cannon attack, said the ministry.

    But the ship's radar later showed that the target had split and united into one repeatedly, a move seen to be that of a flock of birds, it said.

    As for possible moves by North Korean submarines near the NLL at the time of the sinking, the ministry said there had been no such activities.

    ``We didn't detect any movement by North Korean submarines near the NLL (when the Cheonan sank), and there is a low possibility of North Korea's dispatch of submarines to the South,'' said Rear Adm. Lee Ki-shik of the information and operations bureau at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    ``But we're still open to all possibilities, including a submarine intrusion, and are investigating the cause of the accident in a scientific and objective manner,'' Lee said.

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/04/205_63520.html
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I cannot understand the loss of lives. Why were the sailors not saved? Aren't there life boats and also being so close to the land itself, its something I don't understand.

    NK upping the ante means they need aid very quickly. I think there should be food shortage and they need food. Any belligerence from NK is usually when they need something.
     
  14. Dark_Prince

    Dark_Prince Regular Member

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    Hmmm, If North Korea is involved, would Uncle SAM suggest (shove it down the throat) South Korea to sit back and relax, as they are involved in AF-PAK? :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2010
  15. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    What Was the Cheonan Doing in Treacherous Waters?

    What was the Cheonan doing in the shallow and rapidly flowing waters near Baeknyeong Island before it sank due to an unexplained explosion on March 26? The military says patrol ships operate only in areas designated by the upper command, and the waters where the ship sank are within normal operating areas of the Cheonan.

    But that does not explain what it was doing there. Since being appointed to the helm of Cheonan in August of 2008, Caption Choi Won-il is said to have passed that region about a dozen times, or twice a month on average over the last 20 months.

    This has led to speculation that the Cheonan was on some kind of mission or conducting a reconnaissance run following detection of unusual activity by North Korea in the area. Supporting those claims is the fact that some crewmembers were talking to their family members by mobile phone at around 9:15 p.m. Friday night, just before the ship began to sink, and abruptly ended their calls telling them an "emergency" had arisen. There is also the fact that the warship Sokcho, which was near the Cheonan, fired a 76 mm cannons toward the north just after the blast.

    But the accounts of survivors and announcements made by the military indicate the Cheonan was not on a classified mission when it began to sink. Some of the sailors were not dressed in battle gear but in normal clothes or underwear when they were rescued. The military in a briefing Thursday said the Cheonan was sailing in waters close to Baeknyeong Island, in order to "use peacetime conditions to familiarize itself with geographical vantage points to deal with any North Korean attack in the future." In other words, the Cheonan was navigating those waters to practice patrol runs in preparation for a North Korean missile or artillery attack.

    An official at the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, "More flexibility was granted in terms of operational area this time" compared to the past when those routes were not usually included.

    There were also claims that the Cheonan had been escaping high waves or bad weather. Defense Minister Kim Tae-young suggested to reporters on Wednesday that the Cheonan may have been on an escape course on the fateful night.
     
  16. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Whatever hit the Cheonan, most likely homing torpedo, was enough to blow it in half. I doubt there was time to get many people in lifeboats before it capsized.

    The way for them to get aid is to pretend to dismantel their nuclear programme, not blowing up a ROK warship. When DPRK starts showing force, they usually kick out the aid groups.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7949785.stm
     
  17. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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  18. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    US to Assist S. Korea in Probe of Sunken Warship

    The commander of American forces stationed in Korea says he is confident a team of U.S. experts will help South Korea find out what caused a South Korean warship to sink in disputed waters last month. He says it is still to early to infer any North Korean role in the incident.

    U.S. General Walter Sharp says there have been no alarming military movements by North Korea since the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel, last month.

    "We watch North Korea very closely every single day of the year, and we see no unusual activity at this time," he said.

    Sharp commands about 28,000 U.S. forces stationed here in South Korea. The two countries have maintained a military alliance for decades to deter any repeat of North Korea's 1950 invasion of the South.

    A team of American experts is expected to be in place here in South Korea by next week, to work closely with South Korean authorities in the investigation of last month's sinking of a South Korean navy corvette. The ship was patrolling waters west of the Korean peninsula, where North Korea has long disputed a maritime border with the South. Forty-five South Korean sailors are presumed to have lost their lives after an apparent explosion split the ship in half.

    The two Koreas have fought at least three naval skirmishes in the region. Some South Koreans are speculating a North Korean role in the sinking, possibly using a torpedo.

    General Sharp says he agrees with an earlier statement by President Lee Myung-bak, that accuracy of information is more important than speedy conclusions.

    "We don't want to rush to any conclusion as to what was the cause of the incident... so I'm not going to speculate on this... It just wouldn't be appropriate or informed to be able to do that," he said.

    Sharp says he is confident that combined U.S. and South Korean know-how will fill in the picture of what happened soon enough.

    "Talking to my Navy folks that have done this in other places, they're absolutely confident that with the teams that's being formed of those experts, we'll be able to figure out exactly what happened," he said.

    Poor weather conditions have hampered attempts to reach the hull of the sunken ship, in the past few days. A key question for the salvage crews will be whether the blast was directed inward - indicating a likely attack - or outward, indicating a malfunction on board.

    http://www1.voanews.com/english/new...e-of-Sunken-South-Korean-Vessel-89988647.html
     
  19. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Navy Locates Debris of Sunken Ship

    Overseas Experts to Assist Investigation

    The Navy has located fragments and debris of the sunken naval frigate Cheonan, which are expected to give it a decisive clue as to the cause of the incident, the Ministry of National Defense said Thursday.

    Experts say the remains of the ship’s bow and stern will help determine the exact cause of the sudden sinking of the 1,200-ton warship which tore in two after an unexplained explosion in waters near the western sea border with North Korea on March 26.

    They have said that if the vessel was destroyed by a torpedo or mine, there would be fragments or debris from the weapons.

    But Won Tae-jae, spokesman of the ministry, said, ``The salvage of the sunken bow and stern should be accomplished first, so we’re not in a hurry to retrieve the debris at the moment.’’
    Navy divers were trying to attach chains to parts of the sunken ship but later halted salvage operations due to strong winds and withdrew from the site.

    The Navy plans to put three to four chains around the separated stern and bow of the warship to bring it to the surface. Although they expect to refloat the bow next week, it is still uncertain how many days it will take to fully salvage the broken ship.

    In a related move, the United States, Britain, Australia and Sweden are expected to dispatch experts to Seoul to help determine the cause of the sinking of the ship, ministry officials said.
    The U.S. government, which had already announced plans to dispatch experts, will select about 10 personnel with expertise in analyzing naval warfare and disasters, they said.
    ``The American team is believed to have both civilian experts and retired military officials,’’ an official said, asking not to be named. U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. Walter Sharp is known to be consulting on the issue with
    Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughhead.
    Sharp, who concurrently serves as commander of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command and the United Nations Command, has expressed his willingness to fully support South Korea’s efforts to determine the cause of the ship sinking.

    As soon as American experts arrive in Seoul, South Korea will establish a joint investigation team to determine what caused the warship to sink, he said
    The team will conduct a simulation of the ship’s sinking and analyze ship fragments to be collected from underwater, he added.

    Britain, Australia and Sweden also expressed their willingness to take part in the joint investigation by sending experts, said the official.

    President Lee Myung-bak called for the creation of a multinational investigation team in a bid to enhance transparency of the investigation into the incident.

    The navy arranged a meeting between families of the missing sailors and survivors at the 2nd Navy Fleet headquarters in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. The family members asked whether there were any problems with the ship before the sinking, and if rescue operations ran properly afterwards. They also expressed worries about their health.

    A total of 58 people were rescued from the bow of the ship soon after it started sinking. The bodies of two sailors have been recovered, while 44 others remain missing.

    Twelve survivors including Choi Won-il, the captain of the Cheonan didn’t participate in the meeting.
    The cause of the sinking has yet to be uncovered, while speculation mounts. Possible scenarios include an onboard explosion, a torpedo attack from North Korea, a metal fatigue fracture in the ship, or a strike by a mine either intentionally or by accident.

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/04/205_63900.html
     
  20. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    South Korean Officials Say External Blast Sunk Navy Ship

    South Korean investigators have all but ruled out an on-board accident or collision with rocks as the cause of naval corvette's sinking.

    [​IMG]

    Yonhap, Lee Jung-hun Officials investigate the stern section of the sunken South Korean naval ship Cheonan after it was salvaged off Baengnyeong Island, South Korea

    South Korean investigators have all but ruled out an on-board accident or collision with rocks as the cause of a navy ship's sinking. The government is still treating the matter delicately, as suspicions remain that North Korea was involved in the sinking.

    A multinational investigative team said Friday that the South Korean naval corvette, the Cheonan, split in half and sank earlier this month due to force applied from outside the ship.

    Yoon Duk-yong, chief of the team, which includes marine salvage experts from the United States and Australia, says there is a far higher possibility of external explosion than one inside the ship.

    The Cheonan sank as it patrolled waters west of the Korean peninsula, where North Korea disputes a United Nations-mandated maritime border. The two Koreas have fought three naval skirmishes there since 1999.

    Salvage teams have managed to raise the biggest sections of the ship, and recover most of the bodies of the 46 sailors killed in the incident.

    Yoon says fragments of the hull are bent inward, showing that the explosive force came from the outside. He adds the likeliest possible causes of an onboard accident have been eliminated.

    He says there is no damage to the ship's ammunition depot, fuel tanks, or diesel engine room. Plastic coverings of electrical wires were also undamaged. Yoon says a lack of damage to the underside of the ship sharply reduces the chances it hit a reef or other underwater obstacle.

    South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-yoon is among those who have publicly speculated the Cheonan may have been destroyed by a North Korean mine or torpedo. Officials in Seoul are carefully avoiding any direct accusations, but Kim says the matter is being treated seriously.

    He says South Korea's government and military are treating the Cheonan incident as a "grave national security issue."

    Investigators say it could take months or even years to find hard evidence of a North Korean role in the sinking, in the form of mine or torpedo splinters in the wreckage. They caution against drawing premature conclusions.

    U.S. State Department Spokesman Philip Crowley said Thursday that Washington is offering full assistance to South Korea in the probe. He warned that North Korea's behavior in the region may affect multinational talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear weapons programs in exchange for energy, financial and diplomatic incentives.

    http://www1.voanews.com/english/new...y-External-Blast-Sunk-Navy-Ship-91021144.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  21. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    North Korea denies sinking South's warship

    North Korea has denied sinking a South Korean warship near their disputed maritime border last month.

    [​IMG]
    A huge offshore crane is being used to salvage parts of the sunken ship

    "As South Korea can't identify the cause of the accident, they are using the media to attribute it to us," said a statement carried by state media.

    It is the first official comment by Pyongyang on the incident, in which more than 40 sailors were killed.

    South Korean media has has pinned the blame on the North, but official statements have been more circumspect.

    There has been speculation in the South that the naval vessel was hit by a North Korean torpedo.

    South Korean officials have also previously suggested the ship could have struck an old mine left over from the 1950-1953 Korean War.

    North Korea accused the South of "a foolish attempt" to link the incident to Pyongyang, said an official statement published by the Korean Central News Agency.

    Salvage operation

    [​IMG]

    Fifty-eight crew survived, but 46 sailors died in the incident on 26 March.

    Salvage workers found 36 bodies in the shattered hull of the Cheonan, a 1,200-tonne navy gunboat.

    Two more bodies were recovered earlier, and another eight sailors remain unaccounted for.

    The bow section of the vessel is due to be raised in about a week's time.

    The Cheonan sank close to the sea border which marks North and South Korean territorial waters.

    The North does not accept the maritime border, known as the Northern Limit Line, which was drawn unilaterally by the US-led United Nations Command at the end of the Korean War.

    The sea border has been the scene of deadly clashes between the navies of the two Koreas in the past.


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8626710.stm
     

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