U.S. Thinks N.Korean Attack 'Likely' Cause of Shipwreck

      April 27, 2010 12:57

      The U.S. believes there is high chance that South Korean naval corvette Cheonan was sunk in a North Korean attack, CNN reported Monday. "A North Korean torpedo attack was the most likely cause for the sinking of a South Korean warship last month," it said citing a U.S. military official. "The United States believes the ship was sunk by the blast of an underwater explosion, but that the explosive device itself did not come in contact with the hull of the South Korean ship," he said.

      This is in line with what the South Korean military has concluded.

      Sailors who survived the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan on March 26 pay tribute to comrades who died in the wreck at an altar at the Second Navy Fleet Command in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province on Monday. /Courtesy of the Korean Navy

      U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, at a press conference after the 2010 International Media Conference in Hong Kong on Monday said he has been in consultation with the Chinese government about the investigation of the shipwreck, and Beijing has "deep concerns" about the matter. He added Beijing promised to "closely observe" investigations and that the U.S. asked China to take a responsible role in the matter.

      When asked if he would support taking the matter to the UN Security Council if North Korea is found to have been behind the sinking, Campbell hedged his bets, saying the U.S. and South Korea "are working closely on the investigation to ascertain, or try to ascertain, its causes. That investigation is still on the way. We don't yet have conclusive evidence." He added, "No final judgment has been reached. I can assure you that we will be in consultation with not only South Korea, but also others in the region, as we go forward. We are extraordinarily committed to maintaining peace and stability across the peninsula."

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