Final Report on Cheonan Sinking Released

[imText1]The South Korean Ministry of National Defense has finally issued its full report into the attack on the Cheonan, supplementing the results of the joint investigation team analysis with more details.

Releasing the report, the Ministry reconfirmed the conclusion that the Cheonan was sunk by a torpedo in a non-contact manner.

Dr. Yoon Duk Yong, Co-Chairman of the Joint Investigation Team, explained to reporters at a press briefing in the Ministry building this morning, “This is a report based on the results of an investigation after salvaging the hull, collecting the smoking gun in the form of the rear section of the torpedo, and examining explosive components.”

The report is available in Korean and English, and contains analysis of possible causes of the sinking and other details such as CCTV footage, explosive components, the testimonies of survivors, results of simulations of underwater explosions etc.

Joint investigation team officials Thomas J. Eccles, the U.S. investigation team leader, Agne Widholm, the Swedish investigation team leader and the U.K and Australian representatives all signed off on the report.

Today’s press conference saw the truth of the incident continue to be debated, with some reporters inquiring about the amount of explosives in the torpedo and the deformation of the propellers.

In terms of the deformation of the propellers, Noh In Shik, a professor at Chungnam University, replied, “Since this was not done by direct external contact, it doesn’t have a direct relation to the cause of the sinking. There had been no previous investigations into the phenomenon, so we conducted empirical study to verify the deformation of the propellers.”

He added, “As the result of an experiment conducted by KAMEWA, a Swedish company that produces torpedo propellers, we learned that the deformation of propellers can be caused by a sudden cessation of movement. Therefore, we concluded that deformation in the propellers was caused by a sudden stop, the inertia of the explosion etc.”

In terms of the quantity of explosives causing the bubble jet, the Ministry official explained, “There is no difference from the results of the announcement released on May 20th; 250kg of TNT. The same results were found when simulations using between 250kg and 350kg of TNT were conducted.”

In conclusion, Dr. Yoon, the Co-Chairman of the Investigation Team asserted that the release of the report means, “We let North Korea and the international community know that any secret attacks will leave evidence, and warned North Korea severely against any more provocations.”