Report Finds North Korea Sunk the Cheonan

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A South Korean woman reads the results of the Cheonan investigation (Chung Dung-Jun/Getty Images)

A report conducted by an international civilian and military group found today that a North Korean submarine was responsible for sinking a South Korean Navy ship in March. Forty six people died when the ship, called the Cheonan, sank.

The report was partially based on forensic evidence from South Korea that included torpedo parts from the sea floor with what is believed to be a North Korean serial number. "The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine," chief investigator Yoon Duk-yong told The Associated Press. "There is no other plausible explanation."

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak vowed "stern action" for the attack, according to The AP.

The BBC reports that a statement from Pyongyang's National Defense Commission denied the group's allegations, and added that North Korea would send a team to South Korea to "verify material evidence" behind the accusation.

"If the (South Korean) enemies try to deal any retaliation or punishment, or if they try sanctions or a strike on us....we will answer to this with all-out war," said Colonel Pak In Ho of North Korea's navy, according to The AP.

China asked both North and South Korea to refrain from conflict. The White House called the Cheonan incident an "act of aggression" that violated international law and the 1953 truce that ended the Korean War.

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