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March 26 Sinking of Republic of Korea Ship Cheonan

Doug White

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May 19, 2010

South Korea says it now claims to have evidence that points to the North Korea in the sinking of a warship in March. The North continues to deny involvement while the South aims to bring the matter to the Security Council.


South Korea says one North Korean died after a brief exchange of fire between the two sides in the Yellow Sea near the maritime border.


"Our Korean People's Army was not founded for the purpose of attacking others. We have no intention to strike others first," Col. Pak, the naval spokesman, told APTN in the North Korean capital. "So why should we attack a ship like the Cheonan which has no relation with us, no need to strike it and we have no significance in doing so."


North Korea has waged a slew of attacks on South Korea since the 1950-53 fighting ended, including the 1987 downing of a South Korean airliner that killed all 115 people on board.


Pyongyang has never owned up to the attacks.


North Korea also disputes the maritime border drawn unilaterally by U.N. forces at the close of the Korean War, and the waters have been the site of several deadly naval clashes.


Detailed scientific analysis of the wreckage, as well as fragments recovered from the waters where the Cheonan went down, point to North Korea, investigators said.


The bending of the ship's keel backs the theory that an underwater torpedo triggered a shockwave and bubble effect that tore the ship apart, the report said.


The report also cites fractures on the main deck, statements from survivors and a sentry on a nearby island, and fractures and lacerations on the remains of deceased sailors.


Pieces of the torpedo "perfectly match" the schematics of a North Korean-made torpedo Pyongyang has tried to sell abroad, chief investigator Yoon Duk-yong said.


A serial number on one fragment is consistent with markings from a North Korean torpedo that Seoul obtained years earlier, Yoon said.


"The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine," he said. "There is no other plausible explanation."




At Seoul's main train station, scores of people watched raptly as the investigator laid out the evidence against North Korea.


"I'm afraid," said Naima Vela, 26-year-old student from Italy. "I still have a month or two to stay in Seoul and I don't know if I should."


Near the Demilitarized Zone, tourists peered across the border into North Korea.


"As a mother of a boy who is serving his military duty right now, I don't want a war to break out," Jeon Bok-soon said in Paju as she looked across the border into North Korea.


"However if (North Korea) keeps mentioning war, I think we should also show our strong military power," she said.


Associated Press writers Matthew Lee in Washington, Jay Alabaster in Tokyo, Kelly Olsen and Claire Lee in Seoul, and Chi-Chi Zhang in Beijing contributed to this report.


South Korea will claim that a North Korean torpedo was the culprit in sinking their naval ship according to domestic media reports.


The torpedo smashed into the ship, broke it into half, caused it to sink and killed 46 South Korean sailors.





December 1991

Two Koreas sign nonaggression pact.


June 1999

Six North Korean patrol boats repeatedly cross the Yellow Sea maritime border over nine days, prompting exchange of fire. South Korea says 20 to 30 North Korean sailors are killed, seven South Korean sailors wounded.


June 2002

Firefight sinks South Korean boat; six South Korean sailors die during the salvage operation.


November 2009

South Korea says one North Korean died after a brief exchange of fire between the two sides in the Yellow Sea near the maritime border.


Refference 1.

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Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement regarding the results of the investigation of the sinking of the Republic of Korea Ship Cheonan.


The investigation released by the Republic of Korea confirmed this week that North Korea is responsible for the attack on and sinking of the Republic of Korea Ship Cheonan on March 26th. I condemn in the strongest possible terms North Korea’s attack on the Cheonan and extend once again my sympathy to the families of those lost in this incident.


This unwarranted and unprovoked attack is continuing evidence of North Korea’s unwillingness to conform its behavior to that of a responsible member of the international community.


The United States and the international community must act quickly to condemn this act of aggression by North Korea and to resolve to work together to take actions necessary to address the challenges on the Korean Peninsula and to prevent such aggression in the future.

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Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, 5/21/10


Q What options does the U.S. realistically have to punish North Korea? And what response has the U.S. gotten from China?


MR. GIBBS: Well, I -- there are several -- obviously, you know that the Secretary is in the region. I don't have anything to add to what I said yesterday, but we continue to consult with the South Koreans. I know they had -- they had some emergency meetings last night and yesterday, based on the report that came back, providing responsibility for what happened to the North Koreans.

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Guest Johnny Quest

Smart-ass North Koreans ... South Korea should "accidentally" let loose a cruise missile into Pyongnang or however you spell their capital.

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