South Korea: North Korea Torpedoed Ship
April 22, 2010
South Korea’s military believes a torpedo fired from a North Korean submarine sank its navy ship last month, based on intelligence gathered jointly with the United States, Reuters reported April 22. The military’s intelligence arm sent the report of “certain” North Korean involvement to the presidential Blue House soon after the incident, Yonhap quoted a high-ranking military source as saying. North Korean submarines are all armed with heavy torpedoes with 200 kg (441 lb) warheads, according to the military source. It is the military intelligence’s assessment that North Korea attacked with a heavy torpedo“The military intelligence has made the report to the Blue House and to the Defence Ministry immediately after the sinking of the Cheonan that it is clearly the work of North Korea’s military,” the source was quoted as saying.South Korea plans to soon raise the front half of the 1,200-tonne Cheonan, which went down near a disputed sea border with North Korea, and will issue its verdict on the cause of the explosion that sank the warship after that.Analysts said there is little South Korea can do even if Pyongyang is found to be the culprit, because a military response was likely to hurt its own quickly recovering economy and bolster North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s standing at home.The reclusive North has denied it had anything to do with the sinking near the disputed sea border off the west coast that has already been the scene of two deadly naval battles in the past decade.