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Posts Tagged ‘sunk’

Russia wants ‘100% proof’ N.Korea sunk ship

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2010 at 1:06 pm

S.Korea minister vows retaliation over sunk warship

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

Seoul’s defence minister on Sunday vowed retaliation over the sinking of a South Korean warship which killed 46 sailors near the disputed sea border with North Korea last month.

“Those responsible for killing our soldiers must pay the price,” Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young told a KBS television programme aired nationwide Sunday.

“Retaliation — in whatever form it is — must be done.”

It echoed South Korean Navy chief Admiral Kim Sung-Chan’s reprisal pledge during Thursday’s mass funeral for the sailors, attended by President Lee Myung-Bak.

Lee will preside over a scheduled meeting of key military commanders on Tuesday to discuss the sinking of the Cheonan, becoming the first South Korea president to chair such a meeting, his office said Sunday.

“President Lee will check what tasks the Cheonan incident handed to our military and people, and state his position as the supreme commander of the armed forces,” presidential spokesman Park Sun-Kyoo said.

South Korea has not openly blamed its communist neighbour for the blast which tore apart the 1,200-tonne corvette Cheonan in the Yellow Sea on March 26.

But tensions between Pyongyang and Seoul have been simmering since the sinking, with suspicions growing that the North might have been behind the incident.

The North denies involvement.

Defence Minister Kim told the KBS show on Sunday that tiny “slivers of aluminium” collected from where the ship went down were being examined to see if they came from weapons used to sink the ship.

Kim has said a heavy torpedo was among the likeliest causes of the sinking. But he cautioned that the aluminium pieces, three millimetres (0.12 inches) in size, were not yet treated as “decisive” evidence, adding the probe should clarify if they belong to the vessel or something else.

Searchers are scouring the seabed for any other clues that could confirm whether the Cheonan was attacked.

Defence ministry officials said Sunday investigators were also trying to recover video images from surveillance cameras aboard the sunken ship to help determine what downed the vessel.

“The investigation team is trying to recover the images of five to six closed circuit televisions installed at key passages and ammunition rooms on the vessel in a bid to get a clue to finding out situations at the time of the explosion,” a ministry official said.

The Yellow Sea area was the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999 and 2002, and of a firefight last November which set a North Korean patrol boat ablaze.

The sinking of the warship has effectively put a brake on diplomatic efforts aimed at reviving six-nation nuclear disarmament talks on North Korea.

The North has also seized some assets owned by Seoul at the North’s Mount Kumgang tourist resort and announced it would let a new partner take over the tour business there from South Korea’s Hyundai Asan.

Source: SGGP

S.Korea to salvage sunk warship after calling off rescue

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2010 at 11:23 am

SEOUL, April 4, 2010 (AFP) – South Korea prepared Sunday to salvage a warship that sank more than a week ago near a disputed sea border with North Korea after calling off a dangerous operation to rescue its missing crewmen.

The operation stopped at the request of relatives of the missing sailors late Saturday after rescuers recovered the first body from the sunken warship, military officials said.

Family members (C) cry as South Korean sailors carry the body of Senior Chief Petty Officer Nam Ki-Hoon, who was one of 46 sailors missing from the ship, at the naval base in Pyeongtaek on April 4, 2010. AFP photo

“The rescue operation has been called off. The military will do its best to salvage the ship together with civilian experts,” defence ministry spokesman Yoon Won-Shik told reporters.

Navy officials said it would take weeks to lift the ship from the sea floor.

The 1,200-tonne Cheonan, crewed by 104 sailors, broke in two and sank on March 26 after a mystery explosion near the maritime border in the Yellow Sea.

A total of 58 people were rescued from the bow section of the 88-metre (290-foot) warship soon after but efforts to locate the missing 46 crew were hampered by bad weather and strong currents.

Navy officials said the body of Senior Chief Petty Officer Nam Ki-Hoon was retrieved from the petty officers’ mess hall of the sunken corvette.

After receiving confirmation of Nam’s death, the families of the missing crew asked the military to halt the rescue.

“We decided to request the military to stop the search and rescue operation and begin work to salvage the hull,” Choi Soo-Dong, representing the families, told reporters.

“Divers must not be sacrificed any more,” he said.

A navy diver died last week during the rescue operation.

Officials are still searching for answers as to what caused the ship to break in two in the murky waters off Baengyeong Island.

Military and presidential officials have dismissed media reports that the ship had been tracking North Korean submarines at the time.

Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young said Friday a torpedo might have sunk it but did not indicate who might have fired one.

Seoul has not cited any evidence that the North was involved, although the defence minister earlier in the week said a North Korean mine — either drifting or deliberately placed — might have caused the disaster.

The disaster site is close to the disputed border which was the scene of deadly naval clashes between North and South Korea in 1999 and 2002 and of a firefight last November.

South Korea’s navy, backed by fishing boats and US military divers, had been struggling against high waves and strong currents to explore the hull of the warship where many of the missing sailors could have been trapped.

A 2,000-tonne sea crane to be used to recover the wreck arrived Saturday near the site where the warship went down. The navy said a US landing ship was also ready nearby.

Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering said its 3,600-tonne crane would join the salvage operation.

A total of four giant cranes and three barges will be used to lift the front and rear sections of the sunken corvette from the sea floor, navy officials said.

The area around where the Cheonan went down has been crowded with ships and aircraft combing the sea.

Two people including an Indonesian sailor died and seven were missing after their fishing boat, which had been helping in the search, collided late Friday with a Cambodian-registered freighter, coast guard officials said.

The missing also included an Indonesian fisherman, they said.

The body of Nam has been transferred via helicopter to a naval command in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul.

But at his family’s request, his funeral will be delayed until the fate of his missing colleagues is confirmed, navy officials said.

Source: SGGP