N. Korea Denies Torpedoing ‘South Korean Group of Traitors’
May 20, 2010
(ChattahBox)—An international investigative panel, composed of five countries, including the United States, has concluded that North Korea torpedoed a South Korean warship in March, killing 46 sailors. North Korea issued a defiant statement denouncing the panel’s findings and denying it attacked the ship, calling South Korea, a “group of traitors.” North Korean officials also derided the report, as a “smear campaign.”
The deadly attack took place in a disputed maritime border between the two countries in the Yellow Sea. North Korea has refused to honor the border set by the U.N. after the Korean War.
The five-country committee found conclusive evidence that a North Korean torpedo caused the sinking of the South Korean ship:
“Investigators recovered a propeller from the torpedo that blew the Cheonan in half on March 26, Yoon Duk-yong, the committee’s co-chair, told reporters. The propeller was from the kind of “torpedoes that were exported from North Korea and the letters and the fonts on the torpedo are the are the same that are used by North Korea,” Yoon said at a Thursday morning news conference.”‘
“This torpedo was manufactured in North Korea.Yoon said that the investigation found that a small to mid-sized North Korea sub “fired the torpedo that sunk the Cheonan vessel and retreated back to their border.”
And according to the Associated Press, additional evidence points to North Korea:
“The report also cites fractures on the main deck, statements from survivors and a sentry on a nearby island, and fractures and lacerations on the remains of deceased sailors.”
North Korean officials vehemently denied sinking the warship, issuing a statement filled with the usual rhetoric. “We had already warned the South Korean group of traitors not to make reckless remarks concerning the sinking of warship Cheonan of the puppet navy,” North Korea’s National Defence Commission said in a statement, according to the Korean Central News Agency. “Nevertheless, the group of traitors had far-fetchedly tried to link the case with us without offering any material evidence.”
Meanwhile, as hostilities between the two counties escalate, the U.S. is being drawn into the conflict. The U.S. and Japan have a mutual defense treaty with South Korea to defend “against any aggression.”
The White House has come out strongly in support of South Korea. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, said yesterday that President Obama spoke to the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, assuring him of America’s support.
“North Korea must understand that belligerence towards its neighbors and defiance of the international community are signs of weakness, not strength “Such unacceptable behavior only deepens North Korea’s isolation. It reinforces the resolve of its neighbors to intensify their cooperation to safeguard peace and stability in the region against all provocations,” Gibbs said in his statement.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to make an official visit to Seoul next week.