Evidence Still Points To North Korea

As I have posted before, it is more and more evident that the sinking of South Korean Corvette Cheonan was the result of a torpedo attack by a North Korean submarine.  A new article in the Associated Press reviews the situation, and the fact that this is getting wider publicity means that the evidence is becoming stronger with each day. The real question now becomes “What will be South Korea’s Response?”  The two Koreas are still at war, and the United Nations are still listed as siding with South Korea.


Clues suggest NKorean sub behind warship attack

By ERIC TALMADGE (AP) – 9 hours ago

Evidence collected so far indicates a torpedo hit the Cheonan, killing 46 sailors, and suspicion is growing that it was launched from a small North Korean submarine. That scenario would make it the most serious attack on the South Korean military since the peninsula’s war ended in a truce in 1953.

“While the North Korean submarine force reflects dated technology by Western standards, North Korean submarines during wartime would present significant challenges, particularly in coastal areas,” according to the Arlington, Virginia-based Global Security think tank. “North Korea has placed high priority on submarine construction programs, which are ongoing despite its economic hardships.”

Article is here

AW1 Tim, among many others, has lamented for years the reduction in both ASW assets and training for our fleet. There was a time when these United States were a world leader in that field. Now?  Lets let the following paragraph from this article speak for itself:

“It shows that both the South Korean and U.S. surveillance and reconnaissance missions either failed or were not in operation in the area where the incident took place,” Tong Kim, a visiting professor at Korea University in Seoul, said. “Apparently there was no signal or geospatial intelligence on the movement of a North Korea submarine, if it was involved in the incident. The Cheonan’s submarine detector must have failed.”

This is further backed up by an article in the NYT

Forensic experts investigating the wreckage of a South Korean warship that sank near the sea border with North Korea have found traces of an explosive component commonly used in torpedoes and mines, South Korea’s defense minister said on Monday.

There is a chapter regarding our diminishing ASW skills in “Lessons Not Learned” by Roger Thompson. If you get the chance to read the book, it’s worth your time.

South Korean Navy Corvette Cheonan


12 Responses to “Evidence Still Points To North Korea”

  1. 1 ewok40k
    May 10, 2010 at 20:29

    still amazed by amount of firepower this corvette carries compared to LCS…
    and shallow water ASW is very tricky business, with reefs, wrecks etc making life miserable

  2. 2 SCOTT the BADGER
    May 10, 2010 at 21:17

    Plus, I would think we could get a squadron of them for the price of the two LCSes we have now.

  3. 3 Retired Now
    May 10, 2010 at 22:24

    If NOKO did this to one of our Naval warships, the United States would in 2010, invite the “leader” of North Korea to discuss this with us so that we could all understand WHY something like could happen and how to dialog better to prevent future reoccurrances of this type of “accident”.

    We all must understand (intellectually) every aspect of this “accident” so that the Age of Peace and Harmony and Understanding can finally arrive right here on Planet Earth.

    The AGE OF ACQUARIUS !! Where is the Fifth Dimension singers when we need them ?

  4. 4 xbradtc
    May 11, 2010 at 20:07

    What real choice does South Korea have beyond just sucking it up? Do they start a full-scale war with the NORKs? Other than that, their options include a strongly worded letter.

    • May 12, 2010 at 04:50

      That’s a really good question that I certainly don’t have an answer too. My gut tells me that their will be some sort of payback. There has been too many events by North Korea, too many incidents that the South has let slide.

      This time the North Koreans sank a warship and killed a bunch of sailors. That demands a response, or the next incident might be even greater in magnitude.

  5. 6 ewok40k
    May 11, 2010 at 20:26

    there is a possibility of tit-for-tat retribution, sinking a single sub would be reminder SK know who dunnit and are ready to exact retribution in the future – though there is risk of escalation

    • May 12, 2010 at 04:52

      And that is the larger question. What form will the retaliation take, and where and when will it occur.

      I’d suspect the South Koreans are having some quiet talks with the Chinese about Kim Jong Il and his government. At some point, even the Chinese will grow tired of North Korea’s intransigence.

      • 8 SCOTT the BADGER
        May 12, 2010 at 12:34

        I think that you are on to something there, Tim. There could well be a time when the cost of supporting the Kim Dynasty will be too expensive for the Chinese Government. China may see that a prosperous, unified Korea is less of a threat than a divided one, with half the country run by mad men.

      • 9 xbradtc
        May 12, 2010 at 15:22

        You’re an optimist.

      • 10 ewok40k
        May 12, 2010 at 17:27

        I think Chinese are weighing the leverage they gain by sorta-controlling Kim against possible(and literal!) fallout from failing to control him and are not happy…
        I just got message that NK is working on fussion bombs (yep, the H-ones). Ouch.

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