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Pattaya Daily News

24 April 2010 :: 14:04:15 pm 18891

Torpedo Attack Likely Cause of S. Korean Naval Disaster

South Korea successfully raised the front end of the Cheonan corvette on Saturday, with investigators confirming reports that a torpedo attack was the most likely cause of the vessels sinking.
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South Korea, the 24th of April 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: The Cheonan sank as a result of an unknown explosion just outside of the disputed maritime border with North Korea. 46 of the vessels crew, South Korean Navy sailors, died in the tragic incident which has left the Korean public devastated and eagerly anticipating an explanation for the sinking.

The front end of the ship was raised by a giant sea crane and drained before being placed on a barge. One body has been found so far in the just-raised wreckage with six out of the 46 sailors still missing.

Reports by investigative teams, which include experts from the United States, South Korea and Australia, have confirmed that the explosion was almost certainly external and the result of a surprise torpedo attack. “The way a hatch (near where the ship split in two) had been thrown off its hinge indicates there had been a very strong external impact,” an unnamed military official confirmed.

Speculation that North Korea was involved in the attack has been stifled by the government, who are reportedly worried that an armed conflict would damage South Koreas rapidly recovering economy. “The probably catastrophic costs of a war on the peninsula will greatly constrain the U.S. and South Korean options for a military response, which thus remains an unlikely trigger for major military conflict,” explained a statement made by the global strategy group “Control Risk” in a research note released this week.

The sinking of the ship is fraught with risks for South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who seeks to calm investors and shake off criticism his government tried to deflect suspicions linking the incident to the North. The two Koreas, technically still at war, have more than 1 million troops near their border. The United States has about 28,000 troops in the South to support its military.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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