September 13th, 2010
08:59 AM ET

South Korea's final word on sinking: North's torpedo blast

A final report says a torpedo caused shockwaves that sunk a South Korean ship killing 46 sailors.

South Korea on Monday released its final report on the March sinking of the warship Cheonan, reaffirming that a North Korean torpedo sent the Cheonan to the bottom of the Yellow Sea, killing 46 sailors.

The full report, prepared based on an investigation conducted by South Korean, U.S., Swedish, British and Australian officials, offers new details to back up May’s preliminary report on the incident.

“The ROK Navy ship Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean torpedo attack while conducting a normal mission in the vicinity of Baengnyeong Island at 09:22 p.m. on March 26, 2010,” the English-version of the report says in its conclusion, according to a Korea Times report.

The report says the torpedo did not strike the ship, but the shockwave generated when it exploded nearby split the Cheonan in two.

"The detonation location was 3 meters to the port from the center of the gas turbine room and at a depth of 6 to 9 meters. The weapon system used was a CHT-02D torpedo with approximately 250 kilograms of explosives manufactured by North Korea." South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quotes the report as saying.

The shockwave effect is substantiated by survivors’ accounts, according to the Yonhap report.

"Forty-one survivors said that they smelled oil, but there were no witnesses of flames, fire or a water column, nor were there any injuries from these factors," Yonhap quotes the full report as saying.

Critics say the final report still leaves questions. For instance, while investigators found traces of explosives on the hull of the Cheonan, no trace of explosives was found on torpedo parts recovered from the scene.

Investigators said that could be because the torpedo parts were too small to hold trace explosives, according to a Korea Herald report.

The final report also includes communication between the captain of the Cheonan, Cmdr. Choi Won-il, and his boss, squadron commander Capt. Lee Won-bo, according to Yonhap.

"I think we've been hit by something," Choi tells Lee.

"What do you think it is?" Lee asks.

"I think it's a torpedo," Choi says.

North Korea has denied any involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan, calling the results of the preliminary report “sheer fabrication,” according to its official Korea Central News Agency. KCNA had not yet posted any reaction to the full report.

U.S. forces during the summer conducted anti-submarine exercises with South Korea. Further exercises are planned, U.S. officials say.

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. SpaceMonkey

    Imagine if a NK sub crossed over to SK waters and that sub is blown up/sunk by SK. How far into WW3 would we be in right now had that happened?

    September 13, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Not very far.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      At all...

      September 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • grady

      World war 3 would not happen unlike the first korean war China depends on us to much today china would stay out of it wake up people its not the cold war anymore I think north korea would not go to war becouse it has no allies to back them up. and I see China invading North Korea just so they cant stop them from taking hostile actions. The real threat isnt in korea its in Tiwan and China might invade them.

      September 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray Porter

      the tragedy is the war never really ended,the was just an armistence not a declaration of peace.neither side acually claimed which side won the conflict,because it's still ongoing.If you study history, you would know this.

      September 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • silver

      Maybe the US the want responsible that action cause they wan war and money! "US say South Korea, buy more weapons! to us."

      September 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whynot5

      As with Khruschev's USSR, North Korea can and should be confronted. Eminent historian Timothy Naftali points out that Nikita was deathly afraid the U.S. would learn the true weakness of the USSR and take it out. History teaches that dictatorial nation states often mouth off precisely because their only defense is knowing the U.S. is reluctant to use its full power. (Iraq ranks as a rare exception by virtue of the U.S. having had a moron in the presidency.) That said, NK and Iran are pushing their luck. There will come a time say the odds makers.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • ikantraed

      Would you miss them? Prolly not.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diggy

      WW3? Neither side has anything that the world would fight over.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • josh

      NK has no real allies, you need allies for a "world war"

      September 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harvey

      NK has no allies? I'm sure Iran would step in and of course the big mouth of the south Chavez. I don't see it lasting more than a day though. The USA needs to take over everything from Mexico to Antartica. It's not like we couldn't do it and we could sure use the resources. Canada is cool so they can still hang.

      September 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixkiller

      China wouldn't go to war for North Korea if the north declared war on the south. They might go to war if either the south or US declared war on North Korea. China wouldn't be much comfortable with a US or South Korean presence right across the boarder and may well invade North Korea or the whole peninsula to prevent it. The South doesn't want a war because they rightly fear China might become involved, US doesn't want the war because we don't want China to get involved, China doesn't want a war because they'd really rather not get involved, and ultimately North Korea doesn't want a war because they would almost certainly lose sovereignty to any of the other three within days of war being declared. The sinking is a tragedy and morally reprehensible but there is little anybody can do about it.

      September 15, 2010 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Brandon

    Darn north koreans. They should pay but they wont..poor thing to do to the dead. If i had the power i would bomb north korea in a heart beat. F-u pingpongill

    September 13, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      The S. Korean's are so flipping soft! the North Sunk a ship of theirs in international waters, killed 46 crew members and still the South is too scared to confront them. Sinking a ship and killing innocent peope is an act of war that should not go unpunished! Otherwise, the North may as well keep doing it. Call it what you want, but simply put its an act of war that killed loved ones and S. Korea did nothing!

      September 13, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • 3827943

      Agree with Bob, Brandon is a big idiot

      September 13, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      We got over 5,000 nukes just sitting around doing absolutely nothing. What a waste of money.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      A, Fred, are you suggesting we risk WWIII over the sinking of a vessel that isn't ours, by a country that poses us no threat?

      China has more to lose from all this, and they are doing nothing.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fig1024

      World War implies that there are multiple countries on each side. North Korea is incapable of starting a world war because it has no allies. Nobody will support it – China knows better. Iran and other Middle East people got their own problems.
      No, we got much better chance of starting WW3 by bombing Iran over their nuclear power plant

      September 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      regarding chris's reply. The germans sank hundreds of our ships bound for the UK and Soviet Russia before they declared official war on us. The Korean Peninsula has been shooting at themselves since the war began in the 1950s. I really don't know why we're still there if we're going to let the south koreans get killed and not do anything about it.

      September 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • MIL

      Soeul with a population of over 10 million is unfortunately within artillery range of North Korea and NK could level it very quickly, as their many, many artillery pieces happen to be in mountains (solid rock) and as such are very difficult to destroy.

      As such there is no way that SK would ever retaliate unless there was something worth losing several million people over, plus a major city.

      September 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • GeeGee Richardson

      Brandon, I can't tell if you were in the Vietnam War or if you had a Dad in that terrible injustice to our boys/soldiers (most of who were boys, my brother was 18 years old..the draft you know) I can see how you feel. Just like you wonder how someone so evil as the taliban and other militant groups can get away with what they do, why do the evil live so long, this isn't just militant groups, people here in this country also. I don't have my little brother anymore, Vietnam took him.

      September 14, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ronaldo de la Cosmo

    @spacemonkey ... how far into world war 3 would we be?... no further than we are now my friend

    September 13, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Exactly my thoughts! xD

      September 13, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • nate karns

      i think we should bomb thim all and get out of there war

      September 14, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. Enlighten

    So in conclusion, South Korea doesn't know what hit them. North Korea is guilty until proven innocent.

    Funny, how can a report base on speculation instead of hard evidence be substantiated.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Did you even read the article?

      Is this the first article you read, regarding the sinking of the ship? You know, the one that was recovered with pieces of a torpedo with distinctive features like ones made in North Korea? Maybe you should change your name to "look at me! i made a post!!!11". Just sayin'.

      September 13, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Enlighten

      You better read why the U.N refused to put North Korea's Name in its report for this incident. Thank Goodness it's call the United Nations and the United Pro-Western Nations.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Enlighten

      You better read why the U.N refused to put North Korea's Name in its report for this incident. Thank Goodness it's call the United Nations NOT the United Pro-Western Nations.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Hey enlighten....please don't tell me you are looking to the UN to decide what the truth is?! Isn't that the group that just put Libya on their Human Rights Council?!?!?! Kim Jong Whacko could hold a news conference and show his home videos of the sinking and the UN would still not make a stand. Just as useless as the League of Nations!!!! All this griping about the Ground Zero Mosque....the UN is a bigger waste and more offensive to me than any Mosque!

      September 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • helion

      Where in the report or the article does it state that there was no substantial evidence? I mean, is a coroner's report "based on speculation" when he has the fragments of the bullet pulled from a man's heart? They have pieces of the torpedo. They have the eye witness accounts of the surviving sailors. The only thing they don't have is an admission of guilt form North Korea. In fact, they have nothing from North Korea except "we didn't do it." Should we just sweep the torpedo fragments from the table and accept that?

      September 13, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Johnson

      Wow, you are behind the times my friend, read the article first and get familiar with what is has happened prior to posting....that.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • GeeGee Richardson

      Enlighten, it seems to me, you need some enlightening. As I read to the other replys to you, it doesn't look as though you have been watching this situation very closely. Remember, Sailors died that day, something was strong enough to break their vessel in half.....I honestly cannot see a concussion from a torpedo blast doing that kind of damage. I will believe, now and after it is proven, that a torpedo hit that ship. North Korea is our enemy, was back in the 1960's and is still today.....maybe you are too young to remember that or you choose not to. GeeGee

      September 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. villa

    who knows what really happen?All I know is how many humans can our planet sustained?Are we an apartment with 30people or a mansion?

    September 13, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You're disgusting. So anytime a human dies it is a good thing? If you felt this way and had any balls you would kill yourself, but of course it is others that are hurting the world. Not only are you disgusting, but you're an idiot.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. North Korea is like a bad child.

    NK isn't afraid to provoke and do crappy things to you, but anyone who does/says anything makes NK run and cry to China.
    I'm just waiting for China to get tired of NK's childish actions. Then who will they run to when they kill people?

    September 13, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Bystander

      Untl North Korea kills Chinese citizens en masse, China isn't going to do anything. They are like inconsiderate parents with a rambunctious child annoying other people at a restaurant: Until the kid annoys them, they'll continue to let it run wild as it's less tedious than disciplining it themselves.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Shangrabanka08

    I think that this is a terrible Thing for one country to accuse its neighboring country of something as horrible as that and for them to denied it.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. blah


    September 13, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. garrett

    we probably blew it up just so we have another reason to invade other countries and make money off terror. I wonder when us as a whole will wake up. hope everyone has a great week

    September 13, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • TwM

      Gotta love idiots posting conspiracy BS.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Speed

      Hey Garrett,

      Just in case you were wondering....
      We DID land on the moon AND there was no gun man on the grassy knoll.
      Geez , what a maroon!!! =0)

      September 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • truefax

      2 words Opperation Northwoods.

      Sometimes the crazies can be right.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lagos Ramirez

      Remember the far left accusing Bush of making up evidence about NK's nuclear program as an excuse to invade? How did that turn out? Remember the far left making the same accusations about Bush and Iran? How many troops do we have in Iran? How many U.N. inspectors have been expelled and banned from Iran after filing unflattering reports?

      People love their conspiracy theories.

      September 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike, Lexington, KY

      For those who have not been to South Korea, that is one country that actually does not need our help. Their army is one tough nut and I would be afraid to mess with them. I spent one year there as an officer in the Army and I mut say they are tough. We have nothing to gain by fighting N. Korea and much to loose if we do. Garrett, you must be a fan of Michael Moore...boooooo

      September 13, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • USN Atheist

      Conspiracy troll!!!

      September 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Navybat

      Garrett, words fail me as to how much of a total idiot you are. Unbelievable–you MORON.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • GeeGee Richardson

      Garrett, I cannot believe you said that. Now, I don't usually question the intelligence of a person, but from your statement, I certainly am wondering. You are wrong, wrong and how do I know?......This country wants to protect you and I, not put us in more danger.....We wouldn't kill our own allies.....we need everyone alive that supports us and that we support to watch out for each other. Oh, Garrett, I still cannot believe you said that.....D _ _n....GeeGee

      September 14, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. risab


    September 13, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |

      AHHH It's all a conspiracy..... So are the CROP CIRCLES !!!

      September 13, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Jiri

      risab you're a moron – take your medicine and crawl back into your hole.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Thozmaniac

      Yea and the moon landings were faked, and the holocaust never happened, and GWB put on a ninja suit, climbed into the superstructure of the WTC wearing suction cups on his hands and wired the explosives that brought the towers down...who knew?

      September 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Speed

      Look everybody,

      Risab's parents let him out of the cellar!!!

      September 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Navybat

      You disgusting idiot. Do YOU even believe this crap you're writing?

      September 14, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. youngkeeper

    why did the N.K. torpedp the warship To get more crack down?

    September 13, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • johngalt

      This is only speculation, but the North Koreans were probably conducting some illegal activity. The North Koreans have been known to use submarines to smuggle spies, supplies, and what not. If the suspect sub was in the middle of something like that, the dangers of being caught would probably outweigh any flak they'd take for sinking the South Korean ship. In short, they sank the South Korean vessel so that their cargo, or whatever operation they were running, would not be compromised. So the big question is: what were they doing or trying to hide?

      September 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tim

    If a Nork ship was sunk by a Sork torpedo in Sork waters it would still be the Nork's fault, what a stupid set of double standards, right up there with blaming Iraqis for shooting at US troops in Iraq, or faulting Lebanon for Israel's use of phosphorous on a school building.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. ddeisla

    Yet another False flag made up by the US. Same as always... and the stupid sheep people that keep on believing what their governments tell them... its time to wake up

    September 13, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe M.

      I see that the North Korean and Chinese propaganda ministry bloggers have a heavy presence in this forum today. Kim Jong Il is a hereditary monarch and will force his defective offspring down the throats of his people. The entire Pacific Rim is polluted when the Kim dynasty dips their toes in the waters of the Pacific. The Kim dynasty is so incompetent that it has to beg for food to feed its people from the abundance of the people of South Korea who view the entire Kim dynasty as a classic case of hereditary mental illness.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe M.

      After many threats to start a nuclear war, the little whining midget has to get down on his knees, rub his hands together and beg for food from a free people that he says he despises. The South Korean people revel in their freedom and enjoyment of life and the realization that they are so blessed by God to have been saved from the curse of living under the thumb of the evil little midget who has to wear platform shoes to see eye to eye with most women in the world.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe M.

      The evil little midget has been forgetting to wear his hairpiece lately and it shows how sickly he is and how close to death he is. He is an embarassment to the entire communist world and when people around the world see him, they are appalled at the deformity created by the barren, infertile ideology of communism.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe M.

      When the little whining communist midget finally dies, North Korea will have to build a 300 foot tall statue of him to convince future generations of North Koreans that he was really a giant. He had to send his defective offspring to Switzerland to find a school that would hopefully teach him how to think, since all schools in North Korea only know how to teach the propaganda of communist ideology, a study of empty rhetoric.

      September 13, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe M.

      Are you there? Come out and play! Don't hide. The Truth Will Set You Free.

      September 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Navybat

      Where are all these crazy "US conspiracy-mongers" coming from? Who turned over that rotten log? Put it BACK!

      September 14, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fat Alist

    I want WW3, reduces world population.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • yaright

      There's always suicide. You don't want to be a hypocrite or anything.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Martin

    I dunno. First the report and evidence are fishy. It would be too easy to blow up the SK ship from an underwater location (without anyone seeing) and just sprinkle some pre-exploded NK torpedo parts near the sinking site. I agree with theory. (maybe it wasn't america, but another country with an agenda that doesn't include NK)

    September 13, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Bystander

      That's a lot of "maybes"... And to add to them, maybe it was North Korea after all. After all, when you think "cui bono" (the Latin adage for "who benefits"), you find that North Korea has the most to gain in their insane attempts to get #3 son accepted by their military (who's currently looking at him like he is a wart on their collective behinds rather than a [add superlative here] Leader–GrandDaddy was "Great Leader," Daddy is "Dear Leader," maybe #3 son is going to be named "Grandiose Leader"...)

      September 14, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
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