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Cheonan Investigators: N.Korean Torpedo Caused Cheonan's Sinking Updated: 2010-05-20 12:00:00 KST

Cheonan Investigators: N.Korean Torpedo Caused Cheonan's Sinking
The joint civilian-military investigation group has concluded that a torpedo attack by North Korea caused the South Korean naval ship Cheonan to sink in the West Sea this March.

[Interview : Yoon Duk-yong, Co-chairman
Cheonan Investigation Team] "Based on all such relevant facts and classified analysis, we have reached the clear conclusion that South Korea's Cheonan sank as the result of an external underwater explosion caused by a torpedo made in North Korea."

After more than a month of examining evidence the team announced its results on Thursday at the National Defense Ministry.
They confirmed that the Cheonan split in two because of a shockwave and the bubble jet effect which was caused by an underwater explosion from a torpedo fired by the communist state.

[Interview : Yoon Duk-yong, Co-chairman
Cheonan Investigation Team] "The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine. There is no other plausible explanation."

The investigation team official said the South Korean military detected movement from a North Korean submarine on the day of the disaster.
The team provided the evidence from its inquest including debris collected from near Baengnyeong Island and the blueprint of the torpedo made in North Korea.
The fragment collected from the wreck site with the 'Number 1' marked on it is consistent with markings on a stray North Korean torpedo the South recovered seven years ago.
The experts from the United States, Britain, Australia and Sweden said they fully support the final assessment.

"I was wondering what the other nations' representatives' specific roles in terms of investigation, and how do you analyze the final assessment."

[Interview : Admiral Thomas Eccles, US representative
Cheonan Investigation Team] "The international team in close cooperation with the Republic of Korea Joint investigative group worked both in a collaborative way, very closely together, and also employing our separate tools and methods so we were able, before the torpedo debris was found, to analyze the evidence with experts, eyewitness and calculated and analytical methods, in all of those, we found an agreement, both within the Republic of Korea and all of the international team."

The announcement on Thursday has now confirmed widespread suspicions the communist country is responsible for the tragedy that killed 46 South Korean sailors.

[Reporter : Kim Na-ri
narikim@arirang.co.kr] "Now that the investigation results conclude North Korea is at fault for the naval disaster, it is expected that all eyes will be on the South Korean government to see what it will do next.
Kim Na-ri, Arirang News."
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