March 29, 2010 12:07
North Korea made no comment on the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan, which went down Friday night near the de facto sea border. That could suggest the North had nothing to do with the unexplained explosion that sank the ship, since during previous altercations on the high seas it issued an official statement within hours.
The longest interval between one of the skirmishes and the North's release of an official statement was five hours and 35 minutes. Experts who do not believe that the North had anything to do with the sinking say if it had it would have boasted of the feat immediately.
But others disagree. A security official on Sunday said, "No North Korean media or military has mentioned anything about the sinking of the Cheonan, but in the past it was clear who launched the provocations, so the North released statements in a bid to shift the responsibility on to our side."
There is also speculation that it was a hit-and-run attack designed to make the South look bad. A North Korean source said, "Even if it says nothing, the North can still stir up conflict or discord within South Korea over the cause of the shipwreck. Whether it is involved or not, there is a likelihood that the North is keeping silent deliberately."
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