Thursday, May 20, 2010

North Korea Blamed For the Cheonan Sinking!

North Korea has officially been blamed for the sinking of South Korea's Cheonan naval vessel after an international investigation. I had said before that it sounded a little like the sinking of the USS Maine in 1898. However, this one now seems to be the reverse as the USS Maine was initially believed to have been deliberately sunk and later found to be an accident whereas the Cheonan was initially believed to have been an accident and later declared deliberate.

One of the pieces of evidence was the fact that a serial number from a torpedo was discovered on some of the shrapnel from the blast as the Korean Times says here:

Korea has found a serial number marked on fragments of torpedo propeller collected from the scene where the petrol ship Chonan of the navy sank in March, Yonhap News reported Wednesday.

The number was written in a font used in North Korea, and investigators have concluded that the 1,200-ton corvette came under a North Korean torpedo attack near the West Sea border on March 26 before breaking in half and sinking, Yonhap quoted officials in Seoul said.

Foreign experts from the United States, Britain and Australia working as part of an international team have also agreed to the assessment that a torpedo attack sank the Cheonan, officials said.

One blog that appears to have been correct from the start is One Free Korea which originally featured this post very shortly after the first part of the wreck was salvaged.

But also, while I was being tongue-in-cheek in a previous post on Kim Jong-il's trip to China about the meaning of "frank exchange of views" between China and North Korea, I can't help wondering whether or not Kim Jong-il actually was given a dressing down by Hu Jintao or at least made to explain whether North Korea were behind the sinking of the Cheonan.

Of course, naval border skirmishes between the navies of the two Koreas are not rare, but if this is the modern version of the USS Maine then it doesn't bode well for the future.


Alec said...

As I understand, the USS Maine was used as a pretext for invasion/annexation of Cuba (which is not desired here). Naval investigations quickly concluded that it was caused by unknown agents, and could have been a boiler accident.

angrysoba said...

Yes. The USS Maine was the pretext for the war with Spain (hence, "Remember the Maine! To Hell with Spain!") but in the case of the Maine I think it was believed to have been Spain's fault and later found to be an accident. In the case of the Cheonan, it seems to be the reverse (initially believed - or reported as - an accident and later discovered to have been deliberate).

As you say, there is absolutley no desire for a war with North Korea, and my post was really to stomp on the silly conspiracy theories that pop up like fungus whenever anything like this happens.

Here's an example: