U.S. Report: Kim Jong-Il Ordered S. Korean Ship Torpedoed
May 23, 2010
(ChattahBox)—The attack on a South Korean ship in the Yellow Sea, killing 46 sailors has been attributed to North Korea, based on forensic evidence, evaluated by an international five-country panel. Now, the next questions is: Was the torpedo attack authorized by the bellicose North Korean leader Kim Jong-il? An U.S. intelligence analysis says yes, all signs point to Kim Jong-il.
The U.S. intelligence report comes as Secretary of State Clinton is due to arrive in China and the United Nations Security Council is poised to issue sanctions against North Korea for the deadly act of aggression. But the sanctions will have little impact if China is not on board.
According to The NY Times, the intelligence report was based on knowledge of the politics of the closed off country:
‘“We can’t say it is established fact,” said one senior American official who was involved in the highly classified assessment, based on information collected by many of the country’s 16 intelligence agencies. “But there is very little doubt, based on what we know about the current state of the North Korean leadership and the military.”’
Additionally, intelligence officials point to an appearance by Kim Jong with the military unit 586, during which the North Korean leader, praised the unit and issued a fourth star to a general:
‘“Nobody is going to take overt credit for the sinking,” said Jonathan Pollack, a professor at the Naval War College and an expert on North Korea’s military. “But Kim’s visit to this unit has all the hallmarks of congratulating them for a job well done.”’
Meanwhile, North Korea has denied sinking the South Korean ship, calling the sailors “traitors” and threatening “all-out war” should South Korea retaliate.